GREEN CHOICE
GREEN CHOICE

Nissan Leaf

The new Leaf might seem to be an enticing electric vehicle at first blush. It offers decent--albeit limited--driving range and a low entry price. The base model is thousands less than the entry-level versions of the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3, even before federal or state tax incentives.
Alerts
There is 1 recall 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
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

The new Leaf might seem to be an enticing electric vehicle at first blush. It offers decent--albeit limited--driving range and a low entry price. The base model is thousands less than the entry-level versions of the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3, even before federal or state tax incentives.

And even though this redesign improves on the original, it offers little beyond an attractive price to distinguish it from its EV competitors.

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 (147 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Nissan Leaf owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Android Auto

"Very spotty. Sometimes voice recognition works. Usually not. It will ask repeatedly who do you want to call. Seems to be a lag or lead in the system. Cannot voice a text message like other systems seemed to be able to do. Could be the phone, could be the Leaf. However, voice recognition using the Nissan built-in system with bluetooth works. Android auto is able to display and voice directions using Google Maps. Works OK playing music most of the time. Sometimes refuses to display playlists."

Anonymous, HI (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Apple CarPlay

"The AppleCar play on the Leaf hangs unexpectedly. I use it for Google maps and to listen to Pandora. Not sure which app is causing the problem. Works fine with Bluetooth, but does not work well with CarPlay."

Anonymous, MD (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
CD player

"It doesn't come with a CD player. All you can do is connect some other device to the system or listen to the radio. I hooked up a Discman through the auxiliary cable, but it's much less convenient to operate than the in dash CD player I had in the 2015 model. They oughta let us have one in this higher priced model."

Kent M., CA (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Display screen goes blank

"The screen goes blank after a couple of seconds of trying to set up navigation. Nobody at Nissan seems to be able to help me."

Anonymous, BC (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Hardware replacement

"The "žTelemetry System" failed and prevented me from remotely checking the battery charge level. The issue took a while to resolve; i first had to spent two or three hours on the phone with the Nissan telemetry team who incorrectly told me I had no telemetry subscription and I needed to pay for that (incorrect information for electric vehicles). The dealership then didn't have the part in stock and I had to come back five times to get it fixed; at first the new part didn't work (supposedly because Nissan kept changing the reset procedures without protectively informing their dealerships, expecting the dealership to open internet service tickets to learn about changes to procedures)... and now, 6 months later, I have some of the same symptoms again."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Screen goes blank after a few seconds. No time to enter address."

Anonymous, BC (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"The blue tooth in the car doesnt start everytime, so the phone wont connect. The car has to be shut down, then restart to trigger the Blue tooth to restart. It doenst renders the car undriveable, but its annoying when i want to make a phone call and the phone is not paired."

Anonymous, MO (2018 Nissan Leaf S Electric)
Speakers

"The left speaker cuts out intermittently."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Nissan Leaf SV 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

Body control module

"Sensors failed on 2 seperate occasions."

Anonymous, HI (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Interior lights

"Dome light buzzes"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)
USB port

"Failed"

Anonymous, HI (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Wiper motor or washer

"Rear window wiper does not work"

Tom W., TN (2018 Nissan Leaf SL 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

"There was a creaking sound coming from the front when the Leaf took off from stop or slowed down."

Anonymous, BC (2018 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

"The braking was making a loud clicking sound each time braking was used (whether regenerative or standard). I had to take it to the dealer and they said it needed tightening/adjusting and were able to remedy the problem completely."

Anonymous, WA (2018 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

Driveshaft or axle

"A clicking sound from the drivers side front started in 2019. This issue was repaired by removing the drive shafts and replacing the grease in the cv joints. This repair was completed under warranty at the Nissan dealer."

Anonymous, (2018 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

"Not diagnosed yet. Makes clicking noise"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

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.

What Owners Say

Springs or torsion bars

"Something had to be tightened to prevent a creaking noise while the Leaf was slowing down or taking off."

Anonymous, BC (2018 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"The AC gets too cold. The dealer couldn't fix it. They thought it was a problem with the heater. They could not understand that the Leaf uses a heat pump instead of an AC that turns on the heater if the air is too cold."

Anonymous, (2018 Nissan Leaf S 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

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Vehicle totally dead. Had to be jumped to get going."

Anonymous, HI (2018 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Hit a huge rock on the ground while driving on a completely dark round on a winter night! Not the cars fault. I have tried to fix it but body work is just way too expensive to afford."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Overheating

"The air cooling system for the batteries is not adequate to cool them down in high heat conditions like I have in southern California. When the battery overheats the AC system shuts off. When it's hot out the battery will not charge and it loses range quickly. I had it at Palm Springs Nissan for 2 weeks and they did nothing. I drove the car more and it kept doing the same thing. I tried driving it to Fontana Nissan where I purchased the car. As I am on the freeway a warning comes on my dash to slow down because the battery is overheating, I pulled over to a shopping center and Nissan had the car towed to the dealer. Fontana Nissan had the car 21 days. Nissan sent an engineer out to look at the car. He explained that the car was behaving normally. It shuts the systems down in order to prevent any damage to the battery. I explained to Nissan and the dealer that I live in a very hot climate and the AC must work at all times. Many times I have clients with me, which has happened and the AC shuts off. This car should not be sold in areas that get over 100 plus in the summer. I was never told about any possibility of this by the dealer or Nissan. Your company needs to make your members aware of the potential issues this car may have. It seems to have range issues when it gets very cold as well, but was not an issue for me."

Keith F., CA (2018 Nissan Leaf SL 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

"Damaged in the door was caused with the same incident when the body side and trim got damaged"

Anonymous, WA (2018 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Automatic emergency braking front radar sensor failed, causing brakes to be applied without warning. Radar sensor replaced and all is well. System is well designed and works perfectly, now."

Mike W., OR (2018 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Started to experience a gear grinding noise at approx. 30000 miles in 2019. Nissan dealer technical specialist supported Nissan dealer with determining the cause of the noise is the gear reduction attached to the electric drive motor. This part was replaced under warranty. A loaner car was provided while the repair was made in July 2020."

Anonymous, (2018 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Minor

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

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.

Brakes

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

Engine Major

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

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