2017 Nissan LEAF

Pros: Impressively “normal” feel for an all-electric car; reasonably zippy acceleration; tax credits available; cheap running costs

Cons: Limited driving range, especially in cold weather; challenges of finding available charging stations; expense of home charger installation

CG Says: For 2017, all Nissan LEAF models have a potential 107-mile driving range. (Last year, the base S was capable of only 84 miles.) However, SV and SL still offer faster charging times. LEAF is a pure electric compact hatchback with seating for five. Power is provided by a 107-horsepower electric motor. LEAF is front-wheel drive. Available features include around-view camera, keyless access and starting, heated front and rear seats, and heated steering wheel. Were it a conventional or gas/electric hybrid compact car, LEAF would be a decent value. It drives well and is reasonably practical. As a pure-electric car, however, it works exceptionally well. It’s certainly not for everyone. In ideal temperature and driving conditions, Nissan’s claimed range of 107 miles is realistic. In cold climates, though, that can be cut by up to half. This is not a vehicle you would take on a long road trip, but it’s an ideal urban/suburban commuter. Its price seems steep for a compact car, but various tax credits and cash rebates from federal, state, and local governments, as well as incentives offered by the private sector, can help defray the cost. Overall driving costs that can be measured in pennies-per-mile also help counter the initial outlay.

The Facts
Class Compact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Nissan
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices S: $30,680
SV: $34,200
SL: $36,790

Base Engine
electric motor
Horsepower
107
Std. Transmission
single-speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (MPGe)
124
EPA Hwy Range (MPGe)
101