Published on November 30th, 2016 | by Cynthia Shahan0
2015 Nissan Leaf — 1 Year Review
November 30th, 2016 by Cynthia Shahan
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.)
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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Storage is not a problem for me. The Nissan Leaf accommodated three travelers and suitcases on one recent trip.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- CleanTechnica Busts Into Electric Car Wilderness
- 10 Slick Uses For A Nissan Leaf Or Other Electric Car
- 8 Ways Life Has Changed Since Driving An All-Electric Car
- Nissan Leaf vs Cadillac XTS Luxury Sedan
- BMW Is A Thoughtful Automaker — Comparing BMW i3 With Nissan Leaf For A 2nd Time
- Ford C-Max Energi vs Nissan LEAF — Comparing The Drive
- A Teacher’s First EV Test Drive Experience (In Nissan LEAF)
- “Yes, This Is Definitely The Future… Gonna Be A Worldwide Phenomenon” — 1st Drive In A Nissan LEAF
- 10 Things I Do While Charging A Nissan LEAF
- 10 Uses For A Silent Nissan LEAF
- EVs Translated To Song (Sunday Fun)
- “Comedic” Almost ICE’d Vignette
- Being ICE’d … Many Drivers Cannot Read Signs? (Video)
- Nocturnal Charging — Is Tampa To Cocoa Beach In A 2015 Nissan Leaf In The Evening Possible?
- Fast Charging For A Nissan Leaf — My Experience
- ChargeHub — EV Charging Help, Data, & Community
- The Questions People Ask About The Nissan LEAF At A Charging Station
- Caution: Things To Notice When Adjusting To An Electric Vehicle