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2015 Nissan Leaf Review

The 2015 Nissan Leaf is roomier and more upscale than most compact cars. It also has a stellar reliability rating and admirable performance, making it one of the highest ranked cars in the segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent reliability rating
  • Good handling
  • Spacious, modern interior
  • Struggles to pass on the highway
  • Long charging time with base model




Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 6.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.7
Safety: 8.1
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Nissan Leaf Overview

Is the 2015 Nissan Leaf a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2015 Nissan Leaf is a good car, and it's an excellent value in the compact car class. It boasts a premium cabin and an outstanding all-electric range, and its estimated five-year ownership costs are the lowest in the class. It also earned a top-tier predicted reliability rating. However, the Leaf isn’t perfect. It requires more than double the battery charge time of some competing all-electric cars, and its powertrain feels sluggish on the highway.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Nissan Leaf review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 64 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Nissan Leaf?

Based on listings for the 2015 Leaf on our site, the average list price is $12,400. Prices range from $10,000 to $15,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Nissan Leaf Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2015 Leaf are estimated to be around $14,800 over five years, or $2,960 per year. That’s one of the lowest estimates in the compact car class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Nissan Leaf?

The starting price of a 2019 Nissan Leaf is about $15,000 higher than the average price of a used 2015 model, but that's not counting any federal or state tax credits you may get buying a new model. It’s a significantly better car than the 2015 model. Nissan totally redesigned the Leaf for 2018, giving it a larger battery pack that increases the driving range to 226 miles. The 2015 model offers only an 84-mile range. The new Leaf is worth the money, but only if it fits in your budget.

Read about the new Nissan Leaf »

If you want a new electric car, but your budget is limited to the price of the average 2015 Nissan Leaf, you’re out of luck. In fact, you won’t even find nonelectric new compact car for that amount of money.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Nissan Leaf Is Best?

The 2015 Leaf is part of a generation that spans the 2011 through 2017 model years. We recommend beginning your search with the 2016 model, which has an all-electric driving range of 107 miles in select trims. It also comes with an updated infotainment system. The 2017 model has a bigger battery, but there are few changes otherwise.

You should also consider the fully redesigned 2018 Leaf. The Leaf's electric motor gained 40 horsepower for 2018, and its all-electric range increased to 151 miles. The 2018 Leaf is available with a number of driver assistance features that were not optional in earlier models, including automatic emergency braking, a surround-view parking camera system, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Leaf »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Nissan Leaf?

The 2015 Leaf has a perfect reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Leaf reliability »

2015 Nissan Leaf Recalls

As of this writing, there are three recalls for the 2015 Leaf. They address problems related to the passenger air bags deploying improperly and brake relays potentially freezing in cold temperatures. Before buying this vehicle, make sure these recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Nissan Leaf safety recalls »

Which Used Nissan Leaf Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Nissan Leaf is available in three trims: S, SV, and SL.

The base Leaf S model comes with just enough handy technology and convenience features to satisfy the average compact-car shopper. Standard features include Bluetooth, cruise control, push-button start, a rearview camera, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, a 3.6-kW onboard charger, a portable trickle-charge cable, a battery heater, and speed-sensitive electric power steering.

If you want faster charging, consider the mid-range Leaf SV, which adds a 6.6-kW onboard charger, plus a 7-inch color LCD display and hands-free text messaging. The top-of-the-line Leaf SL comes with leather upholstery, a quick-charge port, LED low-beam automatic headlights, fog lights, LED taillights, and a spoiler, which supports solar charging of the 12-volt battery for vehicle accessories.

See 2015 Nissan Leaf trims and specs »

What Does Nissan's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Nissan offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each Nissan CPO vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like rental car reimbursement, a three-month SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a Security+Plus Extended protection plan, towing, and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully.

Nissan’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer, according to our research. Mazda, Honda, and Chevrolet all have more robust programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Leaf?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Leaf the highest rating of Good in four out of five crash tests. It earned the lowest rating of Poor in the driver-side small overlap front test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Leaf an overall rating of four out of five stars. It also received four stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests.

All 2015 Leaf models come with a rearview camera. Some Leafs may also have LED low-beam automatic headlights.

See Leaf safety scores »

2015 Nissan Leaf Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Nissan Leaf or 2015 Toyota Prius Plug-In?

When comparing alternative-fuel compact cars, both the 2015 Toyota Prius Plug-In and Nissan Leaf are solid options with roomy cabins and outstanding reliability ratings. However, the Leaf has a much longer all-electric range. The Prius Plug-In can travel just 11 miles on a charge, while the Leaf can go 84. Additionally, the Prius Plug-In has a dull ride, subpar cabin materials, and harsh transitions between gas and electric power. Stick with the Leaf.

Which Is Better: 2015 Nissan Leaf or 2015 Ford Focus Electric?

The 2015 Ford Focus Electric delivers a satisfying driving experience and good fuel economy. However, the Focus Electric doesn't offer the good reliability rating, roomy interior, or spacious cargo area that its Nissan rival has. The Leaf is the clear choice in this comparison.

Compare the Leaf, Prius Plug-In, and Focus »

2015 Nissan Leaf Performance

How Does the 2015 Nissan Leaf Drive?

The base 2015 Nissan Leaf is powered by a 107-horsepower, 80-kW electric motor that generates enough power for cruising around town. However, it struggles to reach highway speeds, especially when you’re running cabin features like air conditioning. A single-speed automatic transmission with three drive modes is standard.

The Leaf handles corners well, and its ride is smooth and comfortable. Unlike some rivals, the Leaf has regenerative brakes with good stopping power and an even pedal feel.

Does the 2015 Nissan Leaf Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Leaf gets 126 MPG-equivalent in the city and 101 MPGe on the highway. It has an all-electric range of 84 miles. For comparison, the 2015 Ford Focus Electric has a range of 76 miles and gets 110 MPGe in the city and 99 MPGe on the highway.

For more information on these ratings, check out What Is MPGe?

Read more about Leaf performance »

2015 Nissan Leaf Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Nissan Leaf Seat?

The Nissan Leaf is a hatchback that seats five. Heated front and rear seats, cloth upholstery, and a heated steering wheel are standard. Partially recycled cloth upholstery is available in the SV trim, and leather upholstery is available in the SL. The seats are roomy in both rows, and outward visibility is good. Still, some occupants may wish for more side bolstering in the seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Nissan Leaf?

There are two LATCH connectors for child safety seats in the rear row.

2015 Nissan Leaf Features

The Leaf comes standard with automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a 4.3-inch touch screen Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a USB port.

Upgrades include hands-free text messaging, a navigation system with a 7-inch touch screen, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, iPhone app integration for Pandora, and Nissan’s Around View Monitor, which uses multiple cameras to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle when parking.

The Leaf’s cabin features modern technology that is easy to use. Programming the available navigation system is simple, and you can use it to easily locate nearby charging stations.

See 2015 Nissan Leaf specs »

Read more about Leaf interior »

2015 Nissan Leaf Dimensions

Nissan Leaf Cargo Space

The Leaf has 24 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, which expands to 30 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seats folded. With the rear seats up, the Leaf has significantly more cargo space than rivals like the Ford Focus Electric.

2015 Leaf Length and Weight

The 2015 Nissan Leaf is almost 14.6 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,243 to 3,328 pounds, depending on the powertrain and trim.

Where Was the 2015 Nissan Leaf Built?

Nissan assembled the 2015 Leaf in Tennessee.

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