Nissan Leaf review - Reliability and safety
A five-star safety rating bodes well, as do the high levels of safety-related technology fitted to the car
The latest Leaf scored a full five stars out of five when tested by the experts at Euro NCAP in 2018, scoring 93% for adult safety and 86% for child occupant protection.
Similarly, we’re reassured by the large amount of safety-related tech that comes on the car. As well as the usual collection of airbags, ABS and ESP, every version also has Intelligent Emergency Braking (which will automatically apply the brakes if it senses a possible impact), Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent Lane Intervention, which will guide you back into lane, if you start to drift out of it.
Also standard are Nissan’s Intelligent Trace Control and Intelligent Ride Control systems. The former will automatically apply the brakes to keep the car on its desired cornering line, while the latter uses a combination of the engine and brakes to prevent the car pitching up and down as it travels along a poorly surfaced road.
It takes advantage of the way that a car’s nose will rise slightly when the driver accelerates, and then fall again when the driver brakes or just lifts off the accelerator. So, by imperceptibly adjusting the brakes or accelerator, the system can make the car ride more smoothly.
Car group tests
Used car tests
Beyond that, the Pro Pilot system (an option on N-Connecta trim and standard on Tekna) not only adjusts your speed to keep you a set distance from the car in front – bringing the car to a complete halt, if necessary – it will also keep you centred in your lane.
The Leaf ranked 40th out of 75 cars in our 2021 Driver Power ownership survey, while Nissan itself achieved 18th place on a list of 29 manufacturers, down from 11th spot in 2020.
Like every Nissan car, the Leaf comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. This is about average for this class, but it can be extended for an additional fee.
However, beyond that standard warranty, there is also some extra cover to recognise the fact that the Leaf is an electric car.
For a start, the car comes with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty on all the dedicated EV components; and, for eight years/100,000 miles, the battery warranty cover protects against capacity loss of more than nine of its 12 bars, as shown on the capacity gauge on the dashboard.
Service intervals on the Leaf are every 18,000 miles – the same as on a diesel Qashqai, for example.
Nissan also operates a system of fixed-price servicing options, starting at around £150 for a minor service on an electric car – which is cheaper than for a petrol or diesel model.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe all-electric Nissan Leaf is a practical and efficient family hatch, but it faces a growing number of appealing EV rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe electric motor responds quickly and smoothly, while the e-Pedal system makes the Leaf a great car to drive around town
- 3Range, charging and running costsRunning on electric power only and with zero tailpipe emissions, the Nissan Leaf is a very cheap car to own
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe cabin looks fairly conventional, but there’s an impressive amount of technology fitted
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Nissan Leaf will happily take four adults, and its boot is one of the biggest in the class
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingA five-star safety rating bodes well, as do the high levels of safety-related technology fitted to the car