Nissan Leaf review

Category: Electric car

Section: Costs & verdict

Nissan Leaf 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 review
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 rear cornering
  • Nissan Leaf 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Nissan Leaf 2019 rear seats
  • Nissan Leaf 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 side
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 instrument panel
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 gear selector
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 front seats
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 boot
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 charging socket
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 review
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 rear cornering
  • Nissan Leaf 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Nissan Leaf 2019 rear seats
  • Nissan Leaf 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 side
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 instrument panel
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 gear selector
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 front seats
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 boot
  • Nissan Leaf 2020 charging socket
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In this section:
  • Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
  • Equipment, options and extras
  • Reliability
  • Safety and security

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

After factoring in the government grant, the 40kWh version of the Leaf is one of the most affordable electric cars on sale, competing with the likes of the MG ZS EV and entry-level versions of the Renault Zoe. However, jumping up to the 62kWh e+ model hikes up the price considerable; it's costs a similar amount to the Kia e-Niro and VW ID.3, and not a whole lot less than an entry-level Tesla Model 3. If you're a company car driver, though, you'll be on to a winner: all electric cars have ultra-low benefit-in-kind tax rates, at least for the next few years. The potential fuel savings over a regular petrol or diesel car are enormous, too. 

The Leaf uses a Type 2 cable to plug into a regular home charging point. Charging from 0-100% using a 7kW charger will take around 6.5hrs (40kW Leaf) or 10hrs (62kWh e+) However, there’s also a CHAdeMO connector for fast charging at up to 50kW, which will take the Leaf 40kWh from 10-80% in about 40mins, and the 62kWh e+ in about an hour – roughly the same time as the ID.3 takes.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Acenta trim is all most buyers will really need. It gives you 16in alloys, climate control, automatic lights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and tonnes of safety kit, along with the sat-nav-equipped infotainment system we mentioned earlier. If you want heated seats or parking sensors, you can always add them as an option.

It's worth considering an upgrade to N-Connecta trim, though – this adds part-faux leather, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, privacy glass, power-folding door mirrors and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Overview

The Nissan Leaf is reasonable to drive, well equipped and pretty easy to live with, but it's falling behind in this quickly developing class. Newer rivals can go further on a full charge, and are plusher and better to drive. If you're on a budget, the standard 40kWh Leaf still makes some sense, but we'd certainly choose one of the many better alternative cars over the expensive 62kWh e+ models.

  • 40kWh model is quite comfy
  • Lots of standard kit
  • Big boot
  • Rear headroom is tight
  • Flawed driving position
  • Risk of injuries in a crash