Nissan Leaf Review & Prices

The Nissan Leaf is a smart-looking electric car with a big boot but alternatives feel plusher inside and come with easier-to-use infotainment systems

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RRP £28,495 - £36,445 Avg. Carwow saving £3,800 off RRP
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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • E+ models have a good range
  • Plenty of clever safety kit
  • Good boot space

What's not so good

  • Sluggish infotainment system
  • Interior feels a bit cheap in places
  • Alternatives are roomier in the back

Find out more about the Nissan Leaf

Is the Nissan Leaf a good car?

The Nissan Leaf is a pretty good way to get into electric vehicle ownership, because it has strong performance and a sleek design, although you’ll need to spend a decent amount extra to get the version with the best range.

Gone are the days when buying an electric car marked you out as some kind of automotive pioneer. Not any more; having an EV is a bit like having a reusable face mask – you’re doing the right thing but don’t need to shout about it.

That said, the Nissan Leaf stands out with its angular front end, smooth grille-less bumper and optional contrasting roof. There are a few subtle blue highlights that hint at the Leaf’s electric credentials; all very subtle. A Volkswagen ID3 probably shouts ‘I am an electric car!’ more, if that’s what you’re after.

It’s a similar story inside, where you’ll find a fairly unassuming, yet nicely laid out cabin. Entry-level models look pretty plain, but higher-spec cars come with some partial leather seats with blue stitching to spruce things up a bit.

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Appropriately for a futuristic electric car, you don’t have to fork out for any of the Nissan Leaf’s infotainment tech. Sat-nav, smartphone mirroring and a digital driver’s display all come as standard. It’s just a shame that the 8.0-inch touchscreen isn’t particularly quick to respond.

There are no major compromises when it comes to the passenger space. There’s room for four adults to sit comfortably – although three in the back is more of a squeeze than in an e-Golf – and the boot is a decent size for a small family hatchback.

There's a bit of a difference between the range of the two battery alternatives; the standard 148bhp model can only manage up to 168 miles between charges while the top-of-the-range 214bhp Leaf e+ can manage as many as 239 miles. According to the official numbers at least. In the real world, as with all EVs, driving style, temperature and a variety of other factors will impact how close you can get to the quoted figures.

Charging from empty to full at home using a 7kWh charger will take 6.5 hours, and if you plug in to a 50kW rapid charger while out and about then you’ll get from 20% to 80% in 60 minutes on the standard model and 90 minutes on the e+ version.

You’ll want to consider the Nissan Leaf if you’re looking for a cheap-to-run electric car that’s comfortable and has a decent boot

The electric motor is almost silent while you’re cruising along, which helps the Nissan Leaf cope well with motorway journeys for a relatively small electric car. You won’t hear a great deal of wind or tyre noise at speed, either, and it softens bumps really nicely too.

The swift off-the-line acceleration of the Leaf means it feels punchy enough to nip through town traffic, too, regardless of which version you go for.

There’s an upright seating position and large windows, which help give you a good view out – just the thing for manoeuvring about town. You even get a range of safety features designed to prevent avoidable crashes and there’s an optional Pro Pilot feature that’ll accelerate, brake and steer for you on motorways to help take the sting out of long drives.

The Nissan Leaf makes a good family car, and a better one if you choose a couple of the desirable added extras, too. If you have got easy, regular access to charging then it should offer cheap electric-car running costs, too.

Check out some great deals on the Nissan Leaf at carwow, as well as our deals on the whole Nissan range. Or if you're interested in a used Nissan Leaf then visit our used page. You can also sell your current car through carwow.

How much is the Nissan Leaf?

The Nissan Leaf has a RRP range of £28,495 to £36,445. However, with Carwow you can save on average £3,800. Prices start at £25,089 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £204. The price of a used Nissan Leaf on Carwow starts at £8,494.

Our most popular versions of the Nissan Leaf are:

Model version Carwow price from
110kW N-Connecta 39kWh 5dr Auto £26,386 Compare offers
110kW Shiro 39kWh 5dr Auto £25,623 Compare offers

The Nissan Leaf offers strong value in base Tekna trim, coming standard with Nissan’s Safety Shield driver assist package as well as a decent 8.0-inch infotainment unit. In this trim it undercuts alternatives like the Peugeot e-208, Hyundai Kona and Volkswagen ID3, but can’t quite match them on range.

For that you’ll have to step up to the higher trim levels, as well as by £3,500 to the larger 59kWh battery, which negates the pricing advantage, and puts it up against newer and plusher options. That said, you do get a decent amount of kit for your money, and that much-improved and more practical battery range figure.

Performance and drive comfort

Regardless of spec, the Leaf is quick and responsive, with a comfortable ride around town, although other EVs can offer a sportier driving experience

In town

With a comfortable ride and well-considered driving position, the Nissan Leaf makes for a good city car. Visibility is good aside from a side pillar that partially blocks the view out over your shoulder, and you also get a standard rearview camera which aids with parking manoeuvres. 

You’ll have to move up a trim to get front and rear parking sensors and a surround-view monitor with object detection, but the Leaf is compact enough to fit most parking spots, so it isn’t essential. Nissan’s e-Pedal allows for one pedal driving, a useful feature that works well in town and the light steering and progressive brake feel further take the stress out of the daily grind. 

We’d stick with the lighter models with the 39kWh battery pack if you spend most of your time in town, as their reduced range shouldn’t be a deal breaker and they offer a smoother ride over bumps than the heavier 59kWh models.

On the motorway

The Leaf’s easy-going nature translates into a refined and quiet motorway experience. For regular highway journeys you may want the more powerful 214bhp model, not for its added accelerative ability, but rather for the additional range it offers over the 148bhp models. 

The ProPilot autonomous driver assists are another value add on motorway journeys, capable of steering, braking and accelerating for you. Even without this feature it is a quiet and capable cruiser, with minimal wind and road noise, and with space and comfort to accommodate four adults with ease.

On a twisty road

A comfort-biased ride quality means that the Leaf wasn’t designed with fast cornering in mind, but it still feels solid and capable on twisty roads, just not quite as eager and sporty as the Mini Electric or Mazda MX-30. Grip levels are decent, and the steering is accurate if a bit artificial feeling – something relatively common in small electric cars.

The Leaf is one of the quicker small electric cars, both models are responsive and deliver a satisfying surge of acceleration at low to medium speeds.

Space and practicality

The Leaf is spacious enough for four adults and has enough storage space to keep everyone happy, just be aware that taller rear passenger heads could be brushing the roof

It may be a hatchback, but the Leaf’s elevated seating position and large window area give it an SUV-esque feel, and it’s certainly spacious enough for a pair of tall adults. The seats are comfortable, with a leather/suede covering available on higher trims. An ISOFIX mounting can be had as an optional extra for the front passenger seat.

The door bins have a cut out for water bottles and there’s a set of cupholders in the centre console as well. You can also make use of a small slot ahead of the gear lever to store your phone, handily, a 12-volt socket and USB port are situated just above it.

For items you want to keep out of sight, a small but deep lidded central cubby is set behind the central cupholders. 

Space in the back seats

Two adults or three teenagers will fit comfortably in the rear, leg and kneeroom is great, as is the visibility out thanks to a high seating position. Although this, combined with a slightly sloping roofline will have taller passengers rubbing their heads along the roof. 

The middle seat is narrow and even more elevated than the outer two pews, so three adults abreast will be a tight squeeze. ISOFIX mountings are easy to access and there are two door bins for some odds and ends.  

Boot space

You get a generous 435 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place, this is better than most alternatives, with the Hyundai Kona managing just 332 litres and Peugeot e-208 offering 311 litres. The Volkswagen ID3 is a bit closer with 385 litres on offer. The pumping Bose sound system in the top Tekna models does eat up 15 litres of boot space, though.

You get some tether points to secure loose luggage and while the parcel shelf takes up a bit of space when fitted, there’s still enough room back there to pack a few large suitcases out of sight. So, while overall space is good, the high load lip makes it tricky to load heavy items. You can lower the rear backrests in a 60/40 split, but there is a pronounced step which will further impede your efforts when packing in heavy items. Dropping the seats opens up a 1,176-litre load area, compared with 1,106 for the Peugeot e-208

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The Leaf retains a familiar if not exactly cutting-edge interior, some materials are a bit subpar, though

While some alternatives have adopted the minimalist futuristic cabin look, the Nissan Leaf retains a more traditional interior layout, with a few modern touches, most aptly demonstrated by the rather odd half-digital, half-analogue driver display. 

The base trims feel a bit cheap in places, with hard plastics and cheap-feeling materials sprinkled around the cabin. Step up to the N-Connecta trim and you get some partial leather trim, while the range-topping Tekna adds leather to the dash and some fancier trim inserts. Even so, a Peugeot e-208 looks far funkier while the VW ID.3 has better quality materials throughout.

Standard on all models is an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, it comes with DAB radio, navigation with voice control and an EV telematics system that shows charging stations along your planned route. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included too, so you can use your own navigation and music streaming apps if you prefer. 

A six-speaker audio system is standard while a Bose unit is standard on the Tekna trim. You can also download an app which lets you control various features remotely like cooling, heating and charging. Not unique in this class, but a useful feature, nonetheless.

Electric range, charging and tax

The Nissan Leaf can be had in two flavours, the base model is equipped with a 148bhp electric motor and 39kWh battery pack which is good for a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds and should manage 168 miles between charges.

The Leaf e+ is fitted with a 214bhp motor and larger 59kWh battery pack, this gives it a longer 239-mile range and the 0-62mph sprint is one second quicker. In our real-world tests, the e+ model managed 208 miles, which is 87% of its claimed figure.

Both models feel responsive to drive, and even the lower powered Leaf is quicker than alternatives like the Peugeot e-208 and Hyundai Kona Electric. They aren’t the best when it comes to range though, both the Peugeot and Hyundai go further in their base trims, managing 217 miles and 190 miles respectively.

It’s not all down to a small battery pack as the Leaf is less efficient than most alternatives; the 39kWh model manages 3.7 miles/kWh compared to the Peugeot e-208’s 3.9 miles/kWh. The Hyundai Kona Electric, which does 4.3 miles/kWh, gets an additional 22 miles out of the same 39kWh battery pack. It’s not a huge difference, but if you need the most distance out of every kW of energy then you may want to look to alternatives like the Hyundai as well as the impressive Volkswagen ID3.

Electric cars are currently exempt from road tax and congestion charge fees in low emissions zones.

Safety and security

The Nissan Leaf received a full five-star Euro NCAP rating in 2018, it scored an impressive 93% for adult occupant safety with 86% for child occupants. 

You get a lot of active and passive safety systems in your Leaf. Nissan’s Safety Shield system is standard fitment, it includes lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and high beam assist among its many features.

The ProPilot autonomous driver assist package is also standard on all trims, it can steer, brake and accelerate for you on the motorway.

N-Connecta trims add a surround-view camera with parking sensors front and rear, Tekna trims also get an enhanced version of ProPilot with traffic jam pilot (autonomous driving assists in town), intelligent lane keeping and an electronic parking brake.

Reliability and problems

The Nissan Leaf was one of the first all-electric mass production cars, first introduced in 2011 and this second-generation model has been on sale since 2018. This would suggest that most niggling issues should have been ironed out by now, however a number of owners have complained about electric glitches early on during the ownership period. 

Running and servicing costs were considered to be excellent, though, and with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, any niggling issues will be taken care of by the manufacturer. An extended warranty can be taken out once this period/mileage has expired as long as the vehicle has not covered more than 100,000-miles and is less than 10 years old. Extending your Leaf’s coverage by 12 months and up to 75,000-miles currently costs £469. A recall in 2020 was carried out to rectify an issue with the park lock.

Buy or lease the Nissan Leaf at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £28,495 - £36,445 Avg. Carwow saving £3,800 off RRP
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