What should I look for in a used Nissan Leaf hatchback?
Despite its unconventional powertrain, the Leaf is shaped like a normal car with a significant nose and front overhang, this largely to comply with pedestrian impact legislation in the event of an accident. However, it’s not all visible from the driver’s seat, so check for any minor scuffs on the bodywork and any damage to the wheels, as the Leaf will mostly have been used in urban scenarios and in tight city centre parking spaces.
When test-driving a used electric vehicle, make sure you monitor the dash to see how quickly the battery is depleted and ensure that it can be charged fully just so you have a rough idea of battery condition, especially if you’re buying the car with batteries rather than going down the leasing route.
What are the most common problems with a used Nissan Leaf hatchback?
The Leaf is one of the most reliable cars on the road, aided by having fewer moving parts than conventional motor cars, and there are very few areas pointed out by owners for attention. Our recent survey highlighted bodywork issues, brake problems and non-engine electrics, but it must be noted that these were few and far between. There have been reports of faulty charging rates, however, caused by the battery pack being air cooled and therefore being more liable to overheating than a liquid-cooled equivalent. It's worth checking with the previous owner, if possible, to ascertain if the car has suffered from any glitches in this department.
Is a used Nissan Leaf hatchback reliable?
As we’ve mentioned, electrical vehicles start off with the advantage of having fewer moving parts than a conventionally powered car. In addition, the Leaf has a good reputation for reliability.
In the most recent survey in which this generation of Leaf appeared, it was the most reliable electric vehicle of all and one of the most reliable cars full stop, with an excellent reliability rating of 94%. The only faults recorded, on less than 8% of the cars, were with the bodywork, brakes and some non-engine electrics.
Nissan Leaf's standards components carry a warranty of three years or 60,000 miles, whereas specific electric vehicle components, including the lithium-ion battery, carry a warranty of five years or 60,000 miles, or eight years and 100,000 miles on the 30kWh car.
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.