Used Nissan Leaf (Mk1, 2011-2018) review - What should you look out for?
As a pioneering EV, the Leaf featured a number of quirks that you’ll need to be aware of, particularly if you’re coming from an ICE car
Nissan has a reputation for good build quality, excellent reliability and thoughtful design. Yet the Leaf isn’t perfect and there are one or two things that you should keep a lookout for when viewing any possible purchase.
Common used Mk1 Nissan Leaf problems
Ensure all charging cables are present and undamaged; new ones are costly, but you could consider a used one.
It takes eight hours to fully charge a Leaf using a domestic 13-amp three-pin plug socket; the fast charger roughly halves this.
Buy a Leaf with NissanConnect/Carwings (Acenta trim and above), and you can monitor the battery charge remotely from your phone.
The Leaf’s infotainment system uses a pre-loaded SD card. Ensure this is present and correct, because buying a replacement can be costly.
The original Leaf has been recalled three times so far, firstly in January 2015 because of faulty steering columns being fitted during the manufacturing process, potentially leading to a loss of steering in the worst-case scenario. The 4,474 Leafs affected by this fault were built between February 2013 and October 2014.
The second recall came in August 2015 and involved 10,248 Leafs made between May 2013 and March 2015. Only cars with keyless go were affected by a switch issue, which could cause the electric motor to cut out entirely. The most recent action was issued in July 2017, and affected 65 Leafs made in February and March 2017. These were fitted with a faulty headlamp-levelling system; Nissan’s fix was to update the control unit’s software.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe pioneering Nissan Leaf brings EV motoring to the masses, although this early electric adopter isn't without its flaws
- 2How much will it cost?It’s doesn’t cost as much to buy as rivals, plus the Nissan will cost peanuts to run
- 3How practical is it?Surprisingly spacious and packed with kit, the Nissan is every bit as practical and usable as conventional family cars
- 4What's it like to drive?Zippy acceleration, excellent refinement and a comfortable ride make the Leaf a relaxing partner. It’s not much fun though
- 5What should you look out for? - currently readingAs a pioneering EV, the Leaf featured a number of quirks that you’ll need to be aware of, particularly if you’re coming from an ICE car
- 6What do owners think?The Nissan Leaf was a strong performer in our 2019 Driver Power survey