$17,838 - $23,242

2016 Nissan Leaf Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Nissan Leaf was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.7

Most reviewers praise the 2016 Nissan Leaf for its sharp interior design, while others are put off by the presence of cheap plastic materials in the cabin. Critics note other positive attributes like useful cargo room, an accommodating back seat, and user-friendly technology. 

  • "Despite the Leaf's economy car roots, the interior is surprisingly pleasant. There's a strong emphasis on modern design, with a large center stack in the middle of the dash housing most of the car's system controls." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The 2014 Nissan Leaf has a futuristic and airy cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • Interior trim is comprised mostly of uninspired, budget-grade plastic. Given Leaf's price and high technology, it's not entirely inappropriate here." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Seating

The 2016 Nissan Leaf seats five and comes standard with heated front seats and cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery is available, as is cloth upholstery made from recycled materials. Heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel were standard last year, but they are optional in 2016.

Test drivers report that the 2016 Leaf feels spacious for a compact car. Visibility is good, and the front seats are comfortable and provide a favorable driving position, according to critics. They add that the rear seats are roomy enough for tall passengers.

  • "The seats are comfortable, and the driving position is good. Visibility is great, especially with the redesigned rear headrests." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2015 Nissan Leaf's battery pack is located under the floor beneath the seats, a design that contributes to the car's airy cabin and rear seats roomy enough even for tall passengers." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Passenger space is slightly greater than that of the typical compact, while cargo room was recently improved by moving the onboard charger to the front of the Leaf." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The Leaf EV boasts big windows and a high roof, meaning it's easy to see out and airy inside. Four can fit comfortably, five in a pinch." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

Interior Features

Standard features include a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, proximity key, push-button start, automatic climate control, a rearview camera and a new NissanConnect infotainment system with a 5-inch display and Nissan's Mobile Apps smartphone integration. Hands-free text messaging is also newly standard for 2016. Available features include automatic headlights, a six-speaker stereo, a seven-speaker Bose stereo, HD Radio, navigation, Nissan’s Around View Monitor, which uses multiple cameras to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle when parking, and the new NissanConnect EV system, which allows you to use your smartphone to monitor the Leaf's charge and turn on the heater or air conditioner.

The Nissan Leaf has lots of high-tech features, and reviewers say they are all user-friendly. Test drivers add that the Leaf's EV-related displays are intuitive, as are the climate and navigation systems.

See 2016 Nissan Leaf specs »

  • "For all the new technology in the Leaf, it certainly operates like a normal car. That's high praise for Nissan, since the Leaf isn't meant to confuse drivers with gadgetry and high-tech equipment." -- AutoTrader
  • "Part of the Leaf's charm -- and success -- comes from its comfortable cabin with cutting-edge technology that doesn't intimidate. You won't need a computer science background to operate the Leaf's various bells and whistles, and the cabin is pleasant and roomy." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Leaf's two-tier gauge layout is reminiscent of the Honda Civic. It works well here. While a few displays in the binnacle below the speedometer are unconventional, they're easy to understand and read at a glance. The climate controls are self-evident, and the navigation system is fairly easy to program." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Cargo

The Leaf has 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seat, which is excellent for a compact car. That number increases to 30 cubic feet with the standard 60/40-split rear seat folded, which isn’t as good as many cars in the hatchback class but is good for an electric vehicle.

  • "[B]ehind the rear seats is an admirable 24 cubic feet of cargo space, with 60/40 folding rear seats for larger items." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Cargo room behind the rear seats is generous, at 24 cubic feet." -- Edmunds (2014)

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