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)

"After 2 years with this car, I don’t have anything to complain about. It is the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. Acceleration is instant and it’s very quick. It is extremely reliable in all weather conditions. There are no tune ups, no oil changes, no gas and no problems. What can I say, it’s a great car for my puprposes."

Robert P., CT (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Smooth, quiet and effortless but powerful acceleration. Cornering is as good as anything I have ever driven. Long distance driving is comfortable and easy if the charging stops have been planned in advance."

Michael B., BC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Acceleration is instantaneous on pressing the pedal, continuous, very smooth, very quiet and astonishingly powerful. Joining highway traffic or getting to the merge point exactly when I want to is very easy. The vehicle always goes at exactly the speed I choose whether 1 km/hr or 120 km/hr without hesitation and always with a smooth transition."

Michael B., BC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It is fun to drive."

Randy T., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"At the corner, I can easily move ahead of any line, which makes it easy to change lanes. The pickup is better than any car I have driven or seen."

Anonymous, MB (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Acceleration is surprisingly perky. However, it handles curves as if you were driving a boat."

Mary G., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Outstanding acceleration and quietness of electric motor."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The driving experience is great. Very good acceleration, it is very quiet, handling is good enough."

Anonymous, OR (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Handling is excellent and acceleration in drive mode is exciting if you want to waste your kilowatts."

Clyde S., KS (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Instant, silent acceleration. Fun to drive."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"In Normal mode - the default - the Leaf is fairly responsive and sporty, but it won't break any records or set you back in your seat. If you put it in Eco mode for extended range (for my money, rarely worth it but sometimes handy), acceleration is noticeably decreased and regenerative braking increased, which makes it feel like a lethargic electric car. Overall I do like it, and the newer Leafs have improved range and handling, but I do wish the battery was even a bit larger. Range decreases significantly in winter which can occasionally push its limits - there are no chargers at the office."

Jesse P., PA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Acceleration is good enough. Dont recommend eco mode for the highway. Efficiency is greatly reduced on the highway. I'll drive 12 miles on the highway at 60mph and lose 30 miles of range on the Guess o meter. In the city sometimes I will perform better than expected. However the highway is always a disappointment in the leaf."

Phillip N., OR (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"A blast to drive. Pick up is great!"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It accelerates very quickly."

Anonymous, OR (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It is very zippy. I mostly drive it in Eco mode, but if you put in in Drive, it has rapid acceleration - good for quick merges when needed."

Amy G., MN (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"I find the LEAF's instant, quick acceleration from 0 to 30 more useable than a fast 0 to 60 acceleration in other cars I've had."

David A., VA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Driving is smooth and handling is excellent. Acceleration is amazing."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Torquey solid acceleration, Nice Toggle to Coast function reminiscent of stick shift. Good Driver's car, feels more nimble than heavier cars such as Tesla Model S"

Robert D., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Being an electric car, it has 100% torque at zero speed, so it can out-accelerate almost any other car for the first few blocks. With the batteries in the floorboard, it handles like a go-kart with no body roll and precise handling."

William G., CO (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"This car is just fast. Extreme acceleration sold me on the test drive. Reminds me of my 1st gen Toyota MR2"

John K., VA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Handling is very responsive and accurate and felt comfortable. Acceleration is excellent."

L D., GA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Oops, I think I answered that already. But again, it handles like a little rocket. I put it in 'eco' mode because it actually accelerates too fast for me. It is really a fun car to drive. It handles very well on curves and hugs the road."

Connie S., WA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Electric drivetrains are inherently superior to internal combustion engines."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It has a lot more pep in accelerating than any of our gas cars did, except for one--his Pontiac Fiero with a 3.5 L engine. It goes great in snow, even though it doesn't have AWD or 4WD. It has FWD."

Darlin M., PA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Being electric it is fast and smooth the smoothest drive I have ever had."

Anonymous, BC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"This little car has surprised me in how much power it can generate. When it is out of the "eco"mode it great merging into highway traffic Up would definitely do that again"

Cindy T., HI (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The thing that I like best about the Driving Experience is that acceleration is instantaneous."

Louis H., IL (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"I can beat anybody from zero to 50 km/hr from a standing start. It is hard not to road race from a stop sign."

Frank E., BC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"very good"

Sam M., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Electric drive accelerates better than all vehicles except high-performance sports cars. Handling is somewhat awkward due to the disproportionately long wheelbase. Turning radius is annoyingly poor. Something needs to be done about improving the driving range and the battery deterioration of the Leaf. It's deficient range when fully charged makes it, at best, a decent urban car."

Jane H., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

Comfort

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)

"Seats are nice and comfortavle. Cabin is well insulated from NVH. It feels like a nice place to be."

Phillip N., OR (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Smooth refined ride for a small car due to electric motor. Surprisingly comfortable inside. Feels larger than it is."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Smooth comfortable ride"

Malcolm D., NY (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It's extremely quiet and very comfortable."

Clyde S., KS (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It is very comfortable."

Randy T., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It’s easy to enter and exit, the seats are very comfortable and there isn’t any noise. The exterior is somewhat odd looking but the car is a great vehicle for the majority of my daily travels."

Robert P., CT (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"It’s quiet. Love that."

Mary G., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Overall the Leaf is is moderately comfortable, but feels a bit stiff. The model year I own has a bit of a high-pitched whine from the electric motor that can get annoying after a while. The newer models do not seem to have this issue - the motors were redesigned. road noise is low and overall it's an excellent commuter."

Jesse P., PA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The comfort of this car exceeded my expectations. I find the seats to be very comfortable. I had expected the car to be quiet but it exceeded my expectations in that regard as well."

Louis H., IL (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"I was blown away by how comfortable this car is. It drives like a little race car too, very responsive and hugs the road on curves. I have to put it 'eco' mode or it's actually a little too much for me."

Connie S., WA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Comfortable capable driver's car it does everything you ask it to do in traffic or the freeway but comes up short on range."

Robert D., CA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"NO noise is the best part, other than minimal road noise from the tires it's completely silent. The low center of gravity makes for great handling around town."

Worp N., GA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

Value

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)

"The leaf never does well in your ratings and we've never understood this. Ours has been great. We even got the battery replaced for free. Nissan also gave us a deep discount to buy out our lease. We always wonder if your other readers somehow got lemons"

Kevin G., AZ (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"Value was marginal even with the $7500 Federal tax credit. Range is very limited and decreases with time and also dependent upon type of replacement tires installed. Initial tire life was low - 30,000 miles."

L D., GA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"The Leaf is extremely inexpensive to own and drive. There is virtually no maintenance to do and electricity is less than 1/2 the cost of gasoline. It also has a full range of Bluetooth, navigation, remote start climate control, and audio systems that make it a good value."

William G., CO (2012 Nissan Leaf)

"We bought this totally unaware of what it would be like. Never test drove it. Had a bit of Range Anxiety because it's not as helpful as our X--doesn't show charging stations on the GPS map, but for a commuter car for my husband (workplace within range), it's ideal. With what we saved in gas, we paid half the monthly loan payment on the car."

Darlin M., PA (2012 Nissan Leaf)

Styling

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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