GREEN CHOICE
GREEN CHOICE

Nissan Leaf Change Vehicle

The Leaf is 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 get in and out of. The Leaf's main drawbacks are a limited driving range of only about 75 miles per charge and long recharge times. That makes it best used as a commuter car or an urban runabout.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

The Leaf is 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 get in and out of. The Leaf's main drawbacks are a limited driving range of only about 75 miles per charge and long recharge times. That makes it best used as a commuter car or an urban runabout.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
Transmissions Available
  • 1-speed Direct
Engines Available
  • electric (107 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Nissan Leaf owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"I noticed my A/C had stopped working the first time the local weather reached about 20?, requiring me to use the A/C for the first time this year. Unfortunately, a month ago, while it was still cold, I passed 36,000 mi so the repair wasn't covered under warranty. Yet I have no way of knowing if it failed under warranty or not as I wouldn't be testing my A/C in winter. I am currently trying to negotiate with Nissan to make an exception to the warranty and can't afford to make the repair otherwise. In this region, the summers are swelteringly hot and if Nissan won't honor their warranty, I will have the most sweat-drenched clothes, and the most dehydrated condition when I arrive home each evening."

Jeffrey J., VA (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

"The cabling had become corroded from 2 weeks of non use. Fixed under warranty"

Jeffrey J., VA (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Blower (fan) motor

"windshield defroster not working"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Nissan Leaf Electric)
Heater system

"The passenger side heat from the front didn't work (the heated seat was ok). The Nissan dealer installed a new one on warranty"

Anonymous, MA (2016 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"Door handle wouldn't lock or open. Happened twice."

Anonymous, HI (2016 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)
Locks and latches

"Driver's door handle separated from the mechanism, had to be replaced (under warranty)"

Robert F., AZ (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

"The door handle plastic cover kept coming out of its connection so that then you couldn't touch the button to unlock the door, so it had to keep having to be pushed back in. Every time I opened the door it would pop loose. So I took it and and Nissan replaced it under warrantee"

Anonymous, OR (2016 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"You idiots do not leave me a field to discuss the most important issue regarding the 2016 Nissan LEAF: Battery Capacity Loss, i.e. reduced fuel range! Why isn't this even an option because this is what people need to know: I drive for 21 months, 37,000 mi and have experienced over 75% battery capacity reduction. This is something I think folks need to be aware of as it's an abnormally rapid battery capacity loss curve for such a young vehicle. Please make this front and center when comparing comparable electric vehicles. If this continues, I won't have enough capacity to get home from work in the evenings well before the battery replacement warranty of 66% by 60,000 mi. This will make my evening commute interminable."

Jeffrey J., VA (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

"The charge capacity of the battery pack had decreased to 50 percent. Nissan replaced the batteries at no cost."

Anonymous, HI (2016 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"I got a new phone and can't resurrect bluetooth."

Anonymous, MD (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Speakers

"Began in 2016 and has been getting worse. Sound fades in and out between one or both of the fron speakers. Sometimes they, most of the time they do not."

Anonymous, OK (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

"The battery progressively stopped charging to its fullest capacity. At 100% charge, I had only 20 Kw of charge on a 30Kw battery. Turns out there was a recall of which I did not receive notice. Nissan fixed the issue with a software patch at no cost."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"rubber seal around drivers door loose"

Joseph S., GA (2016 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Heated or cooled seats

"Rear heated seats and switch did not work and needed repaired."

C S., NC (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Airbag recall required taking it to the dealer for repairs TWICE"

Anonymous, MD (2016 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"We get a lot of clicking and rattling noise from the wiring harness in the hatch area."

Keith C., WA (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"After driving the car running errands, I started the car and the brakes were not functioning. I turned the car off and had it towed to the dealership. Nissan paid for all repairs."

Anonymous, MN (2016 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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