Expensive compared to normal options, but cheap for an electric car
Leafs aren’t cheap to buy outright, but the Government will contribute £4500 towards your purchase. Tailpipe emissions are zero, so you won’t pay any road tax, and charging it fully will cost a fraction of what you’d pay for a full tank of fuel in a conventionally powered rival. Its residual values aren’t exceptional, though, and are on a par with many a conventionally powered rival.
The option to lease the battery lowers the initial outlay by a further £5000 and will cost buyers from around £70 per month, which could make it a more tempting proposition for some.
Nissan Leaf equipment
Acenta trim best suits the Leaf
An entry-level Leaf Visia comes with a fairly uninspiring amount of equipment, although it does feature climate control, Bluetooth, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, all-round electric windows, a height adjustable driver’s seat and keyless start and go.
For a more rounded specification we’d recommend opting for the Acenta trim if you can. It adds cruise control, power-fold door mirrors, a driver’s armrest, and automatic lights and wipers. You also get the better infotainment with sat-nav and Nissan Connect EV, as well as plusher interior trim.
The top-spec Tekna grade features lots of toys, but it commands a hefty price. Only those really keen for every last piece of kit, such as the high-end Bose audio system and heated leather seats all round, should opt for this.
Nissan Leaf reliability
Good reliability and few battery concerns
It’s unlikely you’ll experience any major failings with the Nissan Leaf because the company has a superb reliability record. Rather than one standard warranty, various components are covered for different durations, which can be confusing.
The car’s standard components get a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, while the electric drivetrain, which includes the motor and battery, are covered for five years or 60,000 miles on the 24kWh car, or eight years or 100,000 miles on the 30kWh model.
This means that should your battery’s charge meter read fewer than 9 bars out of the 12 shown in the instrument cluster – that is it continues to work but doesn’t last as long - then Nissan will still replace it.
There’s a further five years or 60,000-mile warranty on the high voltage electrical components, and finally a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Nissan Leaf safety & security
Impressive safety and theft protection
The Leaf comes with stability control to help you avoid trouble, and it also has six airbags in case trouble becomes unavoidable. It scored the full five stars in crash tests conducted by Euro NCAP, its performance being helped by its ultra-rigid structure. There’s an audible exterior sound to warn pedestrians of your presence, too.
Other standard safety features consist of tyre pressure monitoring, daytime running lights and a safety kit that includes a warning triangle and two high-visibility jackets.
Theft protection comes in the form of a standard-fit alarm and engine immobiliser. Security experts Thatcham consequently rate the Leaf very highly. It earned the maximum five-star rating in terms of theft protection and four stars for interior protection.
Only available with the smaller 24kWH battery, and includes climate control, Bluetooth, a USB connector, a multi-function steering wheel, plus keyless entry and start. We’d recommend spending the extra money to get the Acenta model, though.
Our pick Acenta
There are lots of useful additions to Acenta versions of the Leaf. These include cruise control and a speed-limiter, automatic lights and wipers, digital climate control and better suede-effect trim. Other additional features include a better stereo, the ‘B drive mode’ and a telematics system that improves sat-nav updates and traffic info.
You’ll have to pay a lot more for the Tekna trim but you do get some niceties that make it worthwhile. Key upgrades includes a seven-speaker Bose audio system, the 360-degree parking camera, heated front and rear seats, heated mirrors, a heated steering wheel, full leather trim, LED headlamps and full black leather trim.