Here’s What It’s Like To Own The Nissan Leaf For A Year

Although they had a hard time at first, in the last few years EV sales have really taken off. Nearly every major automaker offers at least one, but most consumers feel like the range anxiety and long charging times aren’t for them.

Most of those who have already taken this step would allegedly never go back to internal combustion engine-powered cars, as they’re more than satisfied with their EV. Is this the case for RoadShow, who have been driving around in a Nissan Leaf for the past year? Let’s look into some of the things they had to say about it.

Also Watch: Can The New Nissan Leaf With 200-Mile Range Convince You To Go Green?

First and foremost, the Leaf makes EV life easy. It’s the kind of car that adapts to you so you don’t have to adapt to it. It’s easy to drive and park, has sufficient power for the occasional overtake and the interior doesn’t look like it came from a sci-fi film. Controls are ordinary and the infotainment system doesn’t disappoint, but you’ll have to get used to one important feature if you want to get a few extra miles of range: the e-Pedal, which enables single-pedal driving.

Using it as a daily driver and plugging it in most nights would help users forget that petrol stations exist. In good weather conditions, the Leaf could exceed the official 150-mile (241 km) range, but during winter in Michigan, it experienced a 50+ percent drop in range over night. This can be solved by getting the Leaf Plus, which adds a more powerful electric motor and a bigger battery that ups the total travel distance on a single charge to 226 miles (364 km).

Is Nissan’s electric hatchback good enough to make you consider getting into the EV life? The answer lies right below, alongside other aspects, including service visits and possible squeaks or rattles that might have appeared during the first year of ownership.


  • Paul

    I don’t know, but even with 200 mi. available I’d still get range anxiety. I’d be more comfortable with about double that. Walking towards the Grocery yesterday in the car park I had a Tesla go by me. Freakin’ crazy eerily silent when you’re used to hearing an engine running when a car goes by.

    • Dudamus

      Yeah it will be a while before people start thinking about daily energy requirements instead of paycheck to paycheck for a tank of gas. With an EV you only think about how much you need the next day, it only takes 2 seconds to plug it in and it is ready to go the next day.

  • Bo Hanan

    I bet its like Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…



    • Dudamus

      Not too much, about $25 a month for my LEAF, whereas my Titan Crew cab would set me back around $250 a month for gasoline. My wife’s Prius cost her around $50 a month in gas and her new LEAF only about half that in electricity The LEAF is a lot heavier sturdier car than her old Prius. Both great economy cars but the LEAF is like a racing car compared to a Prius.

  • Super Rob

    So you fill up the tank, go to bed as a cold front moves in, then wake up to half a tank. EV’s are a long way from the whole country being able to own one without making huge sacrifices. I wonder how many EV owners lease another one? I think the novelty of an EV wears off and after the lease (I doubt many purchase them) owners return to an ICE car unless it’s strictly a 2nd vehicle. As soon as someone makes that technical breakthrough where you get 300 miles, refill in 5 minutes and no weather effects, EV’s will quickly become the norm. Until then some pretend they can do everything while most sit on the sidelines waiting.

    • Dudamus

      Yeah like a gas car the weather can reduce your range, so it is best to select a EV with twice the range of your daily commute. For example. My Titan crew cab gets 19mpg at 55mph, but only 13mpg at 75mph. Same for my EV, it will go 85 miles at 55 mph but only 65 miles at 75 mph. In winter I use the heated seats and steering wheel heater so it doesn’t cut into my range, but if you use the cabin heater it can cut into your range a lot, just like using the AC out in the desert in a gas car. Whats great about EVs is how much power and torque and how smooth they are.

    • Dudamus

      If you are a single car family then a hybrid is probably a good choice for many people. This can help your determine if a hybrid or EV is best for your family and commuting.

      • Super Rob

        I’ve been waiting for a 35mpg mid sized SUV for years. In the past I’ve owned a few Civic hybrids and there really is no sacrifices to hybrids. The Highlander has been stuck at 29mpg forever. Honda is going to have a Pilot Hybrid so maybe some competition will get things moving forward. Jumping straight to EV’s has eliminated a great avenue for higher mileage with proven technology and infrastructure.

  • Stealth333

    This is my favorite current EV on the market. I guess it has to do with me loving the Honda Fit.

  • Dudamus

    We only saw about a 15% drop in range in winter, but it was a mild winter in Alabama. I suspect the car will last a lifetime if it is anything like our earlier LEAFs. Three main factors for any EV.

    1) Get an EV with twice the range of your daily commute.
    2) Use it in the LION battery sweet spot 20-80% charge for best battery longevity
    3) Save 100% charges for trips our of town

    It should last a lifetime. For example my LEAF I bought in 2011 has 75 mile range unlike my wife’s newer 2018 LEAF. My commute is about 38 miles and it seems like my old LEAF will last a lifetime. Great cars, albeit limited range.

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