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Rankings & Research

The 2015 Nissan Leaf ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Compact Cars category. Currently the Nissan Leaf has a score of 8.2 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 64 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Nissan Leaf Review

The 2015 Nissan Leaf offers more luxury and space than other electric vehicles. It also has a strong reliability rating, a comfortable ride, and composed handling. Still, it takes several hours to charge, and it could use more power on the highway. 

Pros & Cons

  • Hushed cabin
  • Handles well
  • Spacious interior

  • Can struggle to pass on the highway
  • Long charging time in base model

2015 Nissan Leaf Overview

Is the 2015 Nissan Leaf a Good Used Car?

If you're in the market for an electric car, the 2015 Nissan Leaf is a good buy. Its upscale, quiet cabin has plenty of user-friendly technology and roomy seats. The Leaf also offers a smooth ride and fairly agile handling. However, its sometimes-sluggish motor brings down its performance score, and most of its all-electric competitors have shorter charging times.

Used 2015 Nissan Leaf Performance and Interior

The 2015 Nissan Leaf's 107-horsepower, 80-kW electric motor produces decent acceleration around town. It could use a little more power on the highway, however, especially when you're running in-cabin features like air conditioning. A single-speed automatic transmission with three drive modes is standard. The Leaf gets 126 mpg-equivalent in the city and 101 mpg-e on the highway. It has an all-electric range of 84 miles. For comparison, the Ford Focus Electric has a range of 76 miles with 110 mpg-e in the city and 99 mpg-e on the highway. The 2015 Leaf has a smooth, placid ride and well-controlled handling. Its regenerative brakes also provide strong stopping power.

Read more about Leaf performance »

The Nissan Leaf is a hatchback that seats five. There's plenty of room in the front and rear, and outward visibility is good from the front seats. There are two LATCH connectors for child safety seats in the rear row. With a maximum of 30 cubic feet, the Leaf's cargo capacity is bigger than that of most electric hatchbacks.

The Leaf's cabin has modern styling and high-tech displays in front of the steering wheel and on the dashboard. With a quick glance, the driver can note the car's energy usage, charge level, and more. Standard features include Bluetooth, automatic climate control, satellite radio, a USB port, a rearview camera, and a 4.3-inch touch-screen display that is easy to use.

Read more about Leaf interior »

Used 2015 Nissan Leaf Prices

The price of a used 2015 Nissan Leaf ranges from about $17,500 for the base S model to around $21,600 for the Leaf SL. Prices vary depending on the car's location, condition, mileage, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 60 Reviews Analyzed

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional reviews, plus data like crash test ratings, reliability scores, and ownership costs. Our staff has researched and analyzed 60 Nissan Leaf reviews to give you a complete overview of its strengths and weaknesses.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To ensure our reviews are neutral, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and another company manages the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Nissan Leaf?

J.D. Power and Associates gives the 2015 Nissan Leaf an above-average predicted reliability score of four out of five.

Read more about Leaf reliability »

How Safe Is the Leaf?

Most compact cars performed better than the 2015 Leaf in crash tests. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Leaf earned Good scores (the best possible) in four tests: moderate overlap front, side impact, rear crash protections, and roof strength. It got a Poor rating (the worst possible) in the small overlap front crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Leaf four out of five stars overall, as well as four stars in the three crash tests (frontal, side, and rollover). A rearview camera is standard and a 360-degree camera is available.

See Leaf safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Leaf?

The 2015 Nissan Leaf is a part of the car's first generation, which launched with the 2011 model and includes the 2017 model. The 2013 model included several notable updates, including a faster onboard charger, an improved range, and more cargo room. The base S trim also debuted for 2013. A rearview camera became standard for 2014. Since there were no major changes for 2015, you can likely save money on a similarly equipped 2014 model.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Leaf »

Which Used Nissan Leaf Is Right for Me?

Three trim levels are available: S (base), SV, and SL. All trims come with a 107-horsepower, 80-kW electric motor, front-wheel drive, and a single-speed automatic transmission.

The Leaf S comes standard with a 3.6-kW onboard charger, a portable trickle-charge cable, a battery heater, speed-sensitive electric power steering, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, front and rear heated seats, cruise control, push-button start, and a rearview camera.

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

Despite the Leaf's strong predicted reliability rating, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned Nissan. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Nissan certified pre-owned program »

2015 Nissan Leaf and Other Cars to Consider

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

The Ford Focus Electric is a solid option, but most electric car shoppers will prefer the Nissan Leaf. The Nissan is more practical, thanks to its roomier cabin and its additional 16 cubic feet of cargo space compared to the Focus Electric. The Leaf also has an 8-mile longer range and a significantly better predicted reliability score. The Ford Focus Electric does hold one significant advantage over the Leaf: It takes about 3.6 hours to fully charge, while the base model Leaf takes about eight hours.

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

Between the two, the Nissan Leaf is the superior car. The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid runs on both electric and gas. When using just electric power, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid doesn’t travel very far - only 11 miles – compared to the Leaf's 84-mile range. Additionally, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid has a dull ride and cheap interior materials, and its harsh transitions between gas and electric power are difficult to ignore.

Compare the Leaf, Focus Electric, and Prius Plug-in Hybrid »

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