2015 Nissan Leaf — 1 Year Review

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It’s been just over one year since our long-term review of a 2015 Nissan Leaf started (~4 articles/month). The EV is still smooth and jazzy, like Bossa Nova. The city I live in has a wonderful charging infrastructure, which I’ve praised repeatedly and been thankful for. I rarely use Nissan dealerships, as they often have other cars in the charging spots. (Some possible advice on that one: pull around to the back if the spot in the front is blocked — you may find one by the service station. Also, even if the dealership doesn’t have a public charging station, the service station probably does.)

White Nissan LEAF

I feel thankful every day with the zero-emissions Leaf.

Of course, I smell gasoline anyway — just not as much as I used to.

Not car-free, I feel I am at least mitigating air pollution by driving electric — and this year, driving as little as possible. I appreciate Nissan’s fine craftsmanship, and most of all, I do not believe there is another EV I find as enjoyable to drive as the Leaf.


Inspired by our Leaf, I have talked with city employees to try to persuade them to get EVs in their fleets. However, I don’t think I’ve had any luck yet on that front.

Below, I list more specific information about this first year. I apologize to the readers who are more EV savvy or car savvy — as I miss very many issues that you notice. And thanks for the all the comments — there so much more informative than my comments in one of my last posts. [Editor’s note: Part of the reason for having a “normal,” non-techie, non-gearhead grandma do the long-term review was actually to make it more applicable and in tune with a potential normal buyer. I think that has been quite a useful feature of this long-term review, especially since we’ve gotten a lot of compliments for precisely that.]

Here are more of my thoughts on the usefulness of the 2015 Nissan Leaf for my transportation needs (without home charging):

  1. It is no problem for me to live without home charging. The municipality I am near is simply an easy place to find EV chargers (easier than many municipalities in Florida). So I am rather overcharged too much of the time just from charging while doing errands, going for walks in the park, etc. The Leaf charges fast. I run an errand or take a walk and it is full. I have never personally driven below a 20% state of charge — and seldom get close to that.
  2. Public charging is fine — people are curious, interested in EVs. I only dislike using a charger when the cost of charging is very high. Then I seek to charge elsewhere. I have not run into many negative situations charging. Fellow chargers are polite >99% of the time. They chat, they smile, and they share a vision of cleaner air — lighter technology. I once had a fast charging station get stuck whereby I couldn’t get my charger out — and found out that was a routine issue at that charging station — and I have been ICE’d several times, with some parking officers not even caring about it. Overall, though, public charging is a positive community experience and much more enjoyable than filling up a gas tank.
  3. Driving an EV is easier than driving an ICE car — at least, driving this Nissan Leaf EV is. My favorite thing about the Leaf is I feel I can avoid accidents more easily due to the agility of the drive. I’ve said it all before, but it is worth repeating. Smooth and agile — that is the Nissan Leaf. No herky-jerky in a Nissan Leaf. The EV slides into acceleration silently — NO transmission. The steering wheel moves lightly as no other steering wheel has in my experience. Maneuvering is magic. Visibility is superb.
  4.  Storage is not a problem for me. The Nissan Leaf accommodated three travelers and suitcases on one recent trip.
  5. People are appreciative of the ride quality. A spell comes of them. A bubble of ease. They all agree it is smooth — unless a truck jumps out in front of us or something rather inconveniently and brings us to a sharp halt. Most people like the quiet. A few have missed the vroom vroom of an ICE vehicle.
  6. It is difficult for me to think about another car. My thoughts on another one might lean towards Tesla — as I am interested in the best safety features. Tesla is keen and focused quite well on safety — including autonomous safety.
  7.  A note on car sickness: I continue to be very satisfied with the Leaf — front seat or back seat. Although I liked the BMW i3 quite a bit, I got car sick as a rider in the back seat. I have also become car sick in a Tesla Model S. The Model X, on the other hand, was smooth even in the third seat — way back in the back, but it is out of my price range. The Nissan Leaf is wonderful in many ways. I do not find the back seat travel is uncomfortable at all.
  8. Nissan Leaf scores high on convenience. No oil changes. Maintenance is low. Charging is easy and convenient (where I live).

Of course, I have some things I’d change about the Leaf. I just published that list two days ago.

I am not a car expert in any sense of the word. Nissan Leaf quirks may still be eluding me for the next year. Check out the next year of articles and see if I find some interesting quirks.


More stories from our long-term review of the Nissan Leaf:

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Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor.

Cynthia Shahan has 946 posts and counting. See all posts by Cynthia Shahan