New for 2015For the 2015 Nissan Leaf, the S models add a B-mode drive option already higher trims (more aggressive regenerative braking), SV and SL models gain Bluetooth Hands-Free texting and voice destination entry, the SV gets standard 17-inch alloy wheels and Morning Sky Blue is added as an exterior color option.
Vehicle OverviewThe Nissan Leaf is an all-electric compact hatchback that is about the size of a Versa; the car is the best-selling fully electric car in the U.S.
SummaryThe 2015 Nissan Leaf is powered by an electric motor that puts out 107 hp and 187 lb-ft of torque, which is good for an EPA-estimated range of 84 miles. Charging of the on-board batteries takes about 21 hours at 110-volt or about 8 hours at 220-volt, but a fast charger is capable of bringing the battery to 80% charge in just 30 minutes.
The 2015 Leaf's fuel economy is rated at 126/101 MPGe city/highway by the EPA, more efficient than the Ford Focus EV and Kia Soul EV, but just under the Chevrolet Spark EV's 128/109 MPGe and about on par with the Volkswagen e-Golf's 126/105 MPGe and the Fiat 500e's 122/108 MPGe. All of the above vehicles have an EPA-estimated driving range of between 76 miles (Focus EV) and 93 miles (Soul EV).
The 2015 Nissan Leaf received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing it received four ratings of good and one of poor in the new – and more difficult – small overlap front category (the highest possible rating is good).
What We ThinkThe 2015 Nissan Leaf is an interesting proposition: the driving experience is pleasant, visibility is great, steering is light without being vague, and the B-mode that increases regenerative braking levels makes commutes a little more fun as “you anticipate traffic's chaos with the aim of using the stopping pedal as little as possible.”
One editor, after driving a 2013 Nissan Leaf, pointed out the problem with an otherwise decent enough vehicle: “Even with the upgrades, the Leaf is still too expensive and, without the government's generous support, no one would want it.”
- Fast charges in 30 minutes
- Great outward visibility
- Mostly normal driving experience
You Won’t Like
- Range anxiety
- Even with tax incentives, still expensive
- Home charging station is $999 (DIY) or $1,999 (Pro-installed)
- Ford Focus EV
- Mitsubishi i-MiEV
- Chevrolet Volt
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Chevrolet Spark EV