Should You Buy a First-Generation Nissan LEAF On Closeout Sale?

For nearly eight years now, the first-generation Nissan LEAF has been an affordable everyday family car to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. First with a twenty-four kilowatt-hour battery pack and more recently a thirty- kilowatt-hour battery pack, current Nissan LEAFs can travel an EPA-approved one hundred and seven miles per charge in the U.S — about one hundred and seventy two kilometers — and when specced with a DC quick charge port, can refill their on-board battery packs from empty to eighty percent full in about thirty minutes from a compatible DC quick charge station.

Yet as you’ll know if you’ve followed electric vehicle development for any length of time, the current generation LEAF is due to be superseded this year by the next-generation twenty eighteen Nissan LEAF.

Expected to have a longer-range at least double that of the current LEAF and due to debut with some semi-autonomous driving technology, the next-generation LEAF will enter the marketplace about the same time as the brand-new Tesla Model 3 and as such, will need to sell for a similar amount of money to both the Model 3 and the twenty seventeen Chevy Bolt EV.

And that means that Nissan is seriously discounting the outgoing LEAF model, working with local dealers and groups across the world to offer some really low-priced lease deals and financing plans. In some places in the U.S. for example, that’s brought down the cost of a new LEAF down to thirteen thousand dollars after incentives and group buy discounts.
But should you buy one? Or should you hold out for the replacement?

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  • Ed Norris

    I’m driving a ’13 Volt, and committed to not burning gas and driving as much as possible in electric mode. I’ve done about 75,000 miles in 3.75 years (so lots of time suffering patiently with 3.3 kW charging) makes the under $15k price for a ’17 Leaf worth thinking hard about. The 30 kWh battery Leaf is not the ultimate EV, but at that price, owning is as cheap as leasing normally would be.

    Three or four years from now the choices will be stellar among 200 mile range pure EVs. For the time being, the Leaf’s faster charging rate (double the L2 rate and it has DC charging to boot) and double the EV range of the ’17 Leaf over what I have now is dramatic. The planning around charging during the course of my year would be a cakewalk compared to the discipline I have to have in the Volt. Even working at it, there are times I just can’t charge enough to cover the distance and end up burning gas. I’d never have that ICE anxiety issue in a ’17 Leaf with a 30 kWh battery. It’s a plenty peppy and useful car for most anything. Even if the range declined towards 100,000 miles, how bad could that be? Down to 20 useful kWhs of range? By that time it would be paid off and no problem to replace, if need be.