2017 Nissan LEAF Reviews and Ratings

S Hatchback

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J.D. Power Verified Consumer Reviews (8)
Overall Rating
  3.9 / 5
Reliability
  4.1 / 5
Interior
  3.6 / 5
Exterior
  3.8 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4 / 5

By ed s Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:51pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
  4.5 / 5
Our 2017 Nissan Leaf is excellent! Allows us to drive 90 miles into Boston and back each day with plenty of battery to spare. Great handling car that our 18 and 20 year old wan to drive whenever they get the chance.
Reliability
  4.5 / 5
Interior
  4.5 / 5
Exterior
  4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4.5 / 5

By Lee Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 9:35am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   3.1 / 5
My 2017 Nissan Leaf is a great around town car. It can be quick if you need, and I get approximately 120 miles a charge. I love the features such as bluetooth for hands free calling. My car is equipped with the navigation system, which also allows me to check on the charging status remotely. It is very quiet and solid feeling. The interior seats 4 adults comfortably. This car feels like a big car when your in it! I love the styling, especially the headlights and tail lights. I love not adding to the brown cloud in my city! No Gas, Ever! This is the wave of the future! The future is here now so take advantage of it and buy a Nissan Leaf.
Reliability
   3 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   3 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3.5 / 5

By Pamela Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 10:13am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
Owning a 100% electric Nissan Leaf is easy, convenient and a blast to drive! In Colorado it is becoming easier everyday to charge on the road, they are installing stations at intervals along all the interstates! We have gotten into the habit of plugging into the standard 110w garage outlet when we are home.The interior is very roomy, the trunk space is larger than you would think. Lots of leg room and head space. Teens love the AUX port. The body style of the Nissan Leaf is playful. In May there was a snow storm, the Leaf handled perfectly, no slipping, sliding or getting stuck on dangerous roads. I had an accident I-25 with a rogue tire. Our leaf maneuvered great. Although the tire blew out, Nissan sent a flat bed to get me to safety. Free towing is provided for the first 2 years so you can get accustomed your electric car travel distance. We haven't needed this service, but it is nice to know its available. Nissan should offer the Leaf in green. So we could say ""We went GREEN and got a Nissan Leaf!"" :)
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Michael Saturday, September 2, 2017 - 7:50pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.5 / 5
I rarely take trips beyond the LEAF's range, so it's perfect for nearly all of my driving needs. On the one occasion I've needed to travel farther since buying it, I simply rented a car, and I'll still end up saving money over all. (Not to mention the environment!)
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By DAVID Friday, August 18, 2017 - 1:33pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.5 / 5
IT IS WHAT I EXPECTED AND MORE. I HAVE NOT SPENT MONEY ON ENERGY SINCE I BOUGHT THE LEAF. Best feature - TORQUE FROM 0-40 MPH IS BETTER THAN ANY 4 CYLINDER CAR. VERY ROOMY AND TALL ENOUGH NOT TO BE LOST ON THE HIGHWAY. NEAT LOOKING STOP/RUNNING LIGHTS. AC IS STRONG AND QUICK TO WORK. Worst feature - TINNIE AUDIO SPEAKERS. NO WAY TO SHUT OFF THE REVERSE GEAR BEEPER. WINDSHIELD DEFROST IS SLOW.
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Mickey Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 11:25am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   3 / 5
Exceptional value. Easy to maintain. Worry-free. Best Features - Fuel economy. Worst Features - Interior styling.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   2 / 5
Exterior
   3.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   2.5 / 5

By Brandon Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:59am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   3.8 / 5
While driving an electric car is NOT better for the environment (making batteries and electricity requires a lot of fossil fuels) it is much better for my wallet and freedom. It's cheaper to drive and there's almost no maintenance. I rarely exceed 120 miles in any one trip so I rarely have to even consider my available range. I never interrupt my schedule to get gas. I never have to get an emissions check oil change or tune up. It seats four adults very comfortably and five comfortably enough. And it's fun to drive - with all the low end torque I've startled motorcycles with how fast it is off the line. There are some negatives: my YETI doesn't fit. And let's face it if you drive one: progressives will idolize you and conservatives will be annoyed by you - people will assume you're making a political statement or being smug and it does affect how people drive around you.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   3.5 / 5
Exterior
   3.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Andy Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 4:45pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   3.6 / 5
I have a Leaf S with 30 kWh battery and DC Fast Charge option. It's been a great commuter/suburban family car so far.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   3.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5


Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2017 Nissan LEAF
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Nissan Leaf is a five-door hatchback all-electric car, already something of an icon, having been around since 2011. Economy aside, it’s best boast is interior space, having the volume of a midsize car in a compact exterior package. The 2017 model is last of the first generation.

An all-new Leaf is expected for 2018, and it is due, because the electric range of competitors keeps increasing. The Leaf is a strong contender with a range of 107 miles, boosted up from 84 miles just two years ago (by a 30-kw battery pack), but the march for mileage continues. The 2017 Leaf cannot match the class-leading Chevrolet Bolt’s 234 miles for miles.

The Leaf is built in Tennessee.

It silently accelerates from zero to sixty in less than 10 seconds, and can go 90 mph, although not for 107 miles. That’s easily quick enough to keep up with traffic. It’s easy to drive, although boring.

Its 80-kilowatt (107-horsepower) electric motor draws from the lithium-ion battery pack under the floor, creating a strong 187 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels.

The 6.6-kW charger can fully charge in four hours, and there’s an available DC fast-charging port. A plug-in electric heater keeps the battery warm overnight in winter.

Model Lineup

The 2017 Nissan Leaf comes in S ($30,680), SL ($34,200), and SV ($36,790) models. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

The S comes with heated seats front and rear, heated steering wheel, Bluetooth, rearview camera, dark nylon upholstery, 16-inch steel wheels and plastic wheel covers, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen. Leaf SV adds a 7.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, power mirrors, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The SL gets leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, and automatic headlamps. Options include a seven-speaker Bose audio system and surround-view cameras.

Walkaround

With some electric cars, you can’t tell. The Leaf isn’t like that. It announces itself with a weird aero jellybean shape. No grille, rather a sloping nose with a hatch over charging port. Frog-like headlamps rise and creep to the windshield pillars. The tail is striped by vertical LED taillamps.

Interior

The cabin doesn’t try to match the aero style, but that doesn’t mean there’s not some space-agey features mingling with some cheap controls. The drive selector looks like a mushroom, and the digital displays are dazzling. The Leaf starts with a button and goes into gear with a mouse. The parking brake still uses a pedal, somehow stuck in the last century.

The instrument panel uses two rows bunched behind the steering wheel, plus a screen in the center of the dash that displays range, maps, energy use, nearby recharging points, and more. On the entry-level S it’s five inches, and on other models it’s seven inches.

Due to federal definitions, the Leaf squeezes into that official midsize interior/compact exterior class. It will seat four comfortably and five without much more effort. That’s only possible thanks to the careful mounting of the battery pack deep under the rear seat.

Since an electric car has no engine to drown out the road noise, a well-isolated cabin is critical. A special detail in the Leaf is its exclusive silent windshield wipers; engineers tried using the wipers borrowed from a luxury Infiniti, but they were too loud. We have to ask: does that mean the new Infiniti will feature Leaf wipers?

Driving Impressions

Entirely calm and quiet, the Leaf can accelerate more quickly than an economy car with an engine. There’s less drama, but also less excitement. At least less visceral excitement. Being rapidly whooshed can be exciting too.

Those healthy 187 pound-feet of torque is there when you want it, although the Leaf isn’t terribly quick between 40 and 70 mph, the two-lane passing speeds.

At speeds above about 50 mph, the Leaf feels breathless, and the steering gets heavier, like it’s pushing into headwind, which is exactly what’s happening with wind drag, so the range drops like a stone.

The accelerator pedal demands a lot of pressure to get all the way down. It’s a deliberate design, to make sure you’re committed to using up your precious energy and range, not unlike your computer asking you, Are you sure?

The Eco mode cuts power by 10 percent to increase the range, but it sure feels like a lot more than 10 percent to us. It’s a good (and safer) thing that when you floor it, it snaps out of Eco and gives what you ask, all the juice it’s got.

One thing that will be a joy to city drivers, which is most of them because an electric car is really a city car, is the tiny turning circle of 17 feet. Easy to make a U-turn to snag that parking space on the opposite side of the street, like they do all the time in San Francisco.

The regenerative braking is tuned to feel like an automatic transmission. There’s a B mode, which increases the regeneration to feel like engine braking. B mode theoretically brings you more range, because it keeps the battery charge higher and longer; but it requires more concentration from the driver, so allow for that aggressive braking.

The low-mounted battery pack lowers the center of gravity, so the balance is good, and there’s no body roll during cornering, but neither is there much feedback or feel in the steering. Hard cornering isn’t what the Leaf is all about anyhow, nor is that something Leaf owners are likely to engage in, on their way home from the library. However, it is a tall car on small wheels, so it’s sensitive to side winds.

Overall, the Leaf’s handling and roadholding are adequate, but hardly engaging; driven aggressively, it’s disappointing, with numb steering and little feedback. The driver feels removed. But on the upside, the turning circle is a shockingly small 17 feet.

Summary

The Nissan Leaf is a contender in the all-electric field. However, a redesigned model is expected for 2018.

Sam Moses contributed to this report.


J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality 3 / 5
Overall Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
4 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Overall Quality - Design
2 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Design
4 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Design
2 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
3 / 5

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

J.D. Power Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards, visit the Car Ratings page to learn more about awards and ratings.