Published on April 30th, 2018 | by Cynthia Shahan0
2½ Year Nissan LEAF Review
April 30th, 2018 by Cynthia Shahan
Since the evening I leased a Nissan LEAF in 2015, my smooth experience of the Nissan LEAF has not changed.
I experience no problems and little change with the battery (no battery issues). The Nissan is still running effortlessly and has not had maintenance issues after 27,050 miles. But traffic and overbuilding in Florida have. I sat in a 2-hour traffic jam the other day in St. Petersburg on a stretch of road that previously took me 5–10 minutes to cover. Electric cars will not solve that issue. Car-free living might help, but you have to live in the right place for that to work.
Pedestrian- and metro-friendly, car-free Cinque Terra. Photo by Cynthia Shahan
Back to the LEAF, here are some key highlights of my perspective after 2½ years with the 24 kWh LEAF:
¤ The 2015 Nissan LEAF meets my transportation needs even without home charging.
¤ Public charging is excellent — people are curious, interested in EVs, and it’s nice to talk to them while charging at the park and around the city.
¤ Driving an EV is more natural than driving an ICE car.
¤ Storage is not a problem for me. A sizeable, long, wide table easily slides in and out.
¤ Passengers are appreciative of the smooth, quiet ambiance. A spell comes of them. A bubble of ease.
→ Related: Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review
It is difficult for me to think about another car. I love the LEAF.
My family historically has issues with car sickness, but we continue to be very satisfied with the LEAF in this regard after 2½ years— 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, however, was smooth even in the third seat — way back in the back, but it is out of my price range. The Nissan LEAF is terrific in many ways. I do not find the back seat travel is uncomfortable at all.
Nissan LEAF scores are high on convenience as well. No oil changes. Maintenance is low. Charging is comfortable and convenient (where I live).
The Nissan LEAF still runs as smooth as ever. Today, I can’t imagine paying bigger bucks for smelly, expensive gas — compared to my most expensive charge of $5 and the clean, quiet ride of the LEAF.
What else might I miss if I left the LEAF? The LEAF also has a sweet turning ratio and feel. I can back up and turn at the same time using just one hand (on a small street).
The car feels as if it glides down the road, so smooth and quiet. It is effortless. It’s so responsive — moving as in a silent airplane through time and space.
What would I like more? Range. My attraction to the minimalism of Model 3 moves me away from the idea of another LEAF as well. A new LEAF looks appealing, but a Model 3 has special attractions.
What would I like more? Electric mass transit. Especially in places such as the west coast of Florida, where mass transit remains inadequate in spite of people working for years to ease this problem. The problem remains: “car culture.”
It is a primary choice that I make when possible. I walked for hours in Europe last year and was car-free for three weeks. The best was walking in the many car-free cities one can easily find and enjoy in Europe. It was the exercise, the walking, but also the absence of exhaust fumes that made it so wonderful.
We could do better, but car dependencies are hard to break and Florida has it bad. I imagine I will need to buy the LEAF off of the dealer or find another used EV in 6 months in car-centric Florida. We’ll see. The good news is I love my LEAF as much today as I did the day I got it.
Related story: 47 CleanTechnica Electric Vehicle Review Articles In 2017.