Nissan's LEAF holds the distinction of being the first widely available and affordable all-electric car. Overall, it's a civilized vehicle with very low running costs. It's very quiet, rides comfortably and is easy to enter and exit. The main drawbacks are its limited driving range of only about 75 miles per charge and long recharge times. This makes it best used as a commuter car or an urban runabout.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Electric driving is the future. While it was a little expensive to be a first adopter, I feel driving the Leaf is a pleasurable experience every time I take it out of the garage."

BRUCE J., WI (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"I only use this car off-highway but when needed, the acceleration is very strong. For a pretty wide car, it turns in a VERY small radius and takes bumps and pot holes very well."

R V., TX (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Electric drive is far superior to internal combustion engines as it has significantly more torque, no lag, and is much quieter."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Love to drive this car. Quick, nimble and FUN. I prefer the driving experience of my Leaf over any other vehicle I've owned - from my C300 to BMW to Saab"

DARRELL W., OR (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The ride is as good as a Lexus and it is quiet. Driving range has not been a problem. And it accelerates very quickly."

STEVEN S., GA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"2011 and 2012 models have original electric high torque drive making acceleration when needed very good -- 2013 up to present has changed electrical system reducing maximum torque and spoiling the driving experience -- I would not recommend the 2013+ cars regarding this aspect of the electric car experience"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Acceleration is very good from the start. It's very peppy. It's enjoyable to drive, considering that it is also eco-friendly."

DAVID V., NJ (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Quite driving and great acceleration. Cheap to operate."

DONALD D., OH (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The Leaf is amazing to drive - the acceleration is quick and snappy and the handling is go-cart responsive. I prefer it above and beyond all of the other cars I've driven in the past decade."

AMANDA A., KS (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Brake response is inconsistent almost to the point of being dangerous. Sometimes the brakes "grab" a lot harder than other times for no apparent reason"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Fantastic acceleration and handling. Better than almost any other vehicle I've driven except the Chevy Volt and the Tesla S."

MICHAEL Q., MD (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It will take off like a rocket if you want to expend the energy. It is smooth, corners well, extremely quiet, and fun to drive."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Surprising acceleration from standing start, flat cornering"

JOHN T., SC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Nothing is greater than driving an electric car."

MICHAEL M., FL (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Peppy, responsive, tight, handles well with low battery weight."

CRAIG M., IA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It's rather disconcerting to be so concerned with running out of power. There are few charging stations in our area; we currently have only a trickle charger; hills and thruway driving reduce range quite a bit."

ELIZABETH M., NY (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Love the absence of a transmission, car responds instantly to accelerator pedal. Absence of noise is another benefit. Able to extract full capabilities from the car (i.e. floor the accelerator) without slow downshift and roaring, attention-drawing engine noise. Acceleration feels stronger than track test numbers would lead you to expect. Handling is good due to low center of mass, but efficient tires lack enough road holding grip to really take advantage of that. Overall very fun and easy t"

ANDREW H., ME (2012 Nissan Leaf)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Seats are too firm, ride is too stiff. Very quiet. Windshield fogs up badly, hard to clear. I don't use heating much in order to get more range."

G F., OR (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The ride is smooth and comfortable, seats and steering wheel heats up in winter, but uses up lots of battery."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The seats really need to be improved from a comfort standpoint. Drivers seat needs to be more adjustable."

JULIA P., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"I have spent $0 on maintenance. There is no need for oil changes, tune ups, etc. with and all electric care. The savings in this respect alone is huge."

Anonymous, MN (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The car is a pleasure to drive. It drives like any normal car and it's quick to accelerate when you need the extra speed. The maintenance is minimal, it doesn't need gas,tune ups, and oil changes. For me it's the perfect city car. You don't have to warm it up, just get in and drive."

ROBERT P., CT (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Nissan absolutely lies about the range of this vehicle. They say it goes 100 miles, or 84 miles, or 73 miles, depending on where you look. But in reality it gets about 35-50 miles of total range. They absolutely positively LIE about this, and in addition they use very misleading language to brush it over. I am completely unsatisfied with the company's behavior concerning this. I understand that electric vehicles are a new technology, etc., but that is not an excuse for dishonesty. I want my mo"

RICK S., PA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The car has lost most of its original value, much more than any other car I've owned. Nissan is clueless on how to address this car, both from an owner experience and a service basis. I'll likely never buy a Nissan again."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Very expensive when purchased new. Blue book value has plummeted greatly in only 4 years due to problems with lithium battery. Lithium battery pack degraded to 2/3 capacity after only 29,000 miles on the odometer. Nissan replaced battery pack for free but I will be on my own the next time this new battery pack degrades (and it will degrade)."

GLENN B., AZ (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Used LEAF prices were very cheap this year due to low gas prices."

CRAIG M., IA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"An electric car is a treat to drive, has fewer maintenance issues, and feels cleaner by not having the exhaust system. Yes, the battery will need replacing at some point, but if charging stations are reasonably available, the car is fantastic (it is a commuter and in-town errand car)."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The depreciation on the LEAF is terrible. Be prepared to own the car for a long, long time to get your money's worth."

GERALD H., MN (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"State and Federal incentives are great. Monthly lease is cheaper than my cell phone monthly bill by$10!"

RAVINDRA P., TX (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The depreciation on the LEAF has been terrible ! The range degradation has been worse than the car indicates when fully charged. I have "babied" the battery by mainly charging at night to keep the battery cool."

M M., CT (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Apparently there is a very low re-sale value on this vehicle. We paid in excess of $34K for this car and it has not maintained its value very well."

JANET H., NC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"I feel this particular vehicle is a good value, because I don't have to pay for gasoline in addition to the car. It's not a great value, because it only gets 50% of the specified range. Nissan has completed ignored the problem, calling it "expected" and "normal." It is what keeps this car from being a great value."

MICHAEL Q., MD (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It was purchased used, previously leased. It cost half the price of a new Leaf, and had only 17,000 miles on it."

G F., OR (2012 Nissan Leaf)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Ugly. BMW i3 has much better styling as well as the Tesla Model X"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It looks beautiful outside and inside."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Low end finishes, junky feel inside, looks low end on the outside as well"

JANET H., NC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Interior is 40% recycled material. No luxury feel. Too plain for my tastes."

RAVINDRA P., TX (2012 Nissan Leaf)
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