Used Nissan LEAF Review (2010-2017) MK1

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Nissan Leaf Exterior Front Driving

Nissan LEAF (2010-2017)

The Nissan LEAF is a practical and eco-friendly front-runner in the used car market

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  • Zero emissions
  • Low running costs
  • Decent boot size
  • Expensive to buy
  • Looks might not be to everyone's taste
  • Not the most exciting to drive
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What's the Nissan LEAF like?

By far the biggest selling electric car in the UK and many other countries is the Nissan LEAF, which was one of the first on the market back in 2010.

There's little doubt in most people’s minds that this is the type of car we'll all be driving before many more years have passed.

Drivers looking to buy a LEAF may worry about the range on a single charge. However, most drivers use their cars to commute, shop, and get from A to B, rarely covering more than 40 miles at a time.

That’s well within the Nissan’s real tested range of about 70 miles, and even that depends on careful driving, load, traffic conditions, weather, and accessory use.


Perhaps the best reason to buy the Nissan LEAF is the zero emissions and low impact on the planet.
Peter Hayward

Battery life has never been an issue, and some cars have already covered 120,000 miles and more with no problems at all. Nissan says that it only replaces about five batteries a year worldwide, and most of those are because of accidents.

A larger 30kWh battery was introduced in 2016, first on more expensive trims and then on all models. Maximum range went up to a real tested 107 miles, which makes the LEAF even more of a proposition for many people.

Top speed is limited to around 90mph to help conserve the batteries, but it always feels willing and full of urge around town because it has an electric power.

Petrol and diesel cars produce maximum low speed torque and peak power at different points in their rev range.

But electric motors produce maximum torque and power right through their range, and it’s this that helps the LEAF – even in 24kWh guise – good for approximately 0 to 60mph in under 10 seconds.

Driving Experience

As for driving, it feels very much like a petrol or diesel medium hatch with an automatic gearbox.

That gearbox suits the car's ethos very well. Just put it into drive and away, very quietly, you go.

Comfort is very good over most surfaces and handling and road holding, albeit with rather inert steering, are also well up with the normal competition.


There’s room for five inside, with a decent sized boot and standard kit on all models includes audio remote control, cruise control, climate, six airbags, electric windows and mirrors, traction control, alloy wheels, and parking sensors.

Find your Nissan LEAF your way with CarStore

Comfortability, low running costs, and zero emissions are just a few reasons why the pioneering Nissan LEAF is a popular choice in the used car market. The fully-electric hatchback's unique interior sports a bold, futuristic design and has plenty of room for up to five inside, making for a relaxing and enjoyable driving experience.