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2016 Nissan LEAF

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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Select a Trim
2016 S24 4dr Hatchback
most popular
Price:   -  From $29,010
2016 S30 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $30,680
2016 SV 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $34,200
2016 SL 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $36,790


Introduced in 2011, the LEAF was soon acclaimed as the car that turned the idea of an all-electric vehicle from an auto-show exhibit into a functional, everyday driver. Now in its sixth year, the Leaf continues to gain in popularity.

A four-door hatchback, the LEAF is designed to seat five, though four will be a lot more comfortable. Until this year, maximum range between battery charges has been limited to about 84 miles. That’s more than enough to cover short commutes and around-town errand running. In fact, most drivers travel far fewer miles each day. For those concerned about running out of energy, however, a longer-range battery is now available.

What's New for 2016

A new higher-capacity 30 kWh battery pack goes into SV and SL trim levels, boosting driving range to an EPA-estimated 107 miles. That’s 27 percent longer than the preceding LEAF’s range. The base-level LEAF S retains that older 24 kWh battery and its 84-mile range. All models use an 80 kW AC motor that generates 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque.

Every LEAF now has NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, Nissan’s infotainment system. The LEAF S has a 5-inch display and Bluetooth for both phone calls and audio streaming. Hands-free Text Messaging Assist and a USB port also are included. SV and SL models get NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, with a 7-inch display and voice recognition. Improved charging-screen information will update every 12 miles when driving.

Nissan LEAF

Choosing Your Nissan LEAF

As an all-electric car, the LEAF operates solely on battery power, with an electric motor to provide propulsion. In the base S trim level, the 80 kW electric motor teams with a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery, providing a range of about 84 miles on a full charge. Maximum range escalates to as much as 107 miles with the new, higher-capacity battery used in SV and SL models. Note that range depends on such factors as traffic and your particular driving style.

Two chargers are available. What Nissan calls the “normal” 3.6 kW charger is standard for S trim. A 6.6 kW charger is standard with SV and SL trims. A quick-charge port that substantially speeds up charging times is standard with SL trim and available for S and SV.

Charging with a basic household 120-volt outlet can take 15 hours or more. Adding a 240-volt charging system to your garage (if you have one) will likely cost $1,000 or more, depending on whether you can install it yourself or need professional installation.

Three trim levels are offered:

Nissan LEAF


At the base S level, the LEAF is equipped with a 24 kWh battery and 3.6 kW charger, as well as automatic climate control, a rearview camera, trip computer, pushbutton start, NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, 12-volt outlet, console storage, and 16-inch steel wheels. The four-speaker audio system uses a 4.3-inch color screen. The only available option is the charge package that includes a 6.6kW charger and quick-charge port.

Nissan LEAF


Standard feature upgrades for SV trim include the 30 kWh battery, quick-charge port and 6.6 kW charger, plus a navigation system with a 7-inch screen and NavTraffic, NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, partially recycled cloth seat upholstery, heated mirrors and steering wheel, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The audio system adds two speakers for a total of six. An optional Premium package features a 360-degree Around View monitor and a Bose seven-speaker premium audio system.

Nissan LEAF


Top-level SL trim adds leather-appointed seat upholstery, LED headlights, foglamps, heated rear seat, HomeLink universal remote, cargo cover, and a rear-spoiler solar panel as standard features. The optional Premium package includes a 360-degree monitor and Bose sound system.

CarsDirect Tip

When picking a LEAF, consider how each choice of charger will affect your lifestyle and driving capabilities. Although the LEAF S starts at $29,010 (plus destination charge), SV and SL trim levels, with their higher-capacity battery and longer range, are priced considerably higher: $34,200 and $36,790, respectively. Nissan’s LEAF is expected to be redesigned in 2017, with a longer-yet range and more mainstream styling.

Get your price on a Nissan LEAF »

Read our review on the Nissan LEAF »

Nissan LEAF
author image
Contributing Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Editor

Nissan calls it the LEAF (all capital letters). When launched for 2011, it led the way for “affordable” electric cars. Improvements have been made since, and the 2016 edition gets a substantial range increase.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $29,010 (plus $850 destination charge), the LEAF comes in S, SV and SL trim with an electric motor, 24 or 30 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and single-speed transmission.

Standard equipment for the LEAF SV ($34,200) includes:

  • 30 kWh battery (new for 2016)
  • 6.6 kW onboard charger
  • 107-horsepower electric motor
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Navigation system
  • NissanConnect
  • Rearview monitor
  • 16-inch alloy wheels

An optional Premium Package includes an Around View Monitor and seven-speaker Bose audio.

Performance Pros

Nissan LEAF
  • Improved range. A new 30-kWh lithium-ion battery pack goes into SV and SL models for 2016, increasing range to an estimated 107 miles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The S model retains a 24-kWh battery, with an 84-mile range.
  • Economical operation. With no liquid fuel consumed, the only cost is for electricity to charge the battery. The EPA says LEAF “fuel-economy” is equivalent to 114 miles per gallon.
  • Driving ease. All you do is press Start, move the console-mounted selector knob into Drive or Reverse with your palm, push the accelerator pedal, and you’ve rolling. Except for lack of sounds, it’s not much different from driving a conventional car. Acceleration is satisfying when starting off, but tapers down as you approach highway speeds.

Performance Cons

  • Range still limited. While the 107-mile range provided by the new battery is a sizable step forward, and beats all comparable electric cars on the road, it’s still well short of the distance provided by the far more costly Tesla. It’s also unlikely to ease the minds of electric-car doubters.
  • Charging location. Forget any electric unless you have a 240-volt charging site handy. That requirement leaves most apartment dwellers out of the running.
  • Safety ratings could be better. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the LEAF four stars for frontal and side impacts, and four stars overall; but the early-model (2011-12) LEAF earned a five-star crash-test rating. Good ratings were earned from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, except for Poor in the stringent small-overlap test.

Interior Pros

Nissan LEAF
  • Quietness. As expected, a LEAF is smooth-running and nearly silent. Some drivers consider the driver experience calm and soothing, which is a welcome benefit during crowded commutes.
  • Front-seat space. Headroom is huge, with good legroom. Elbow space, not quite as extensive.
  • Useful driving data. Instrumentation gives plentiful data about the likely number of miles remaining, along with locations of nearby charging stations. They could be at workplaces, theaters, malls, parking lots, commuter train stations -- or nowhere in the immediate area.

Interior Cons

  • Rear-seat space. Some Nissan small cars have spacious back seats, but the LEAF is not among them. Back-seat riders can expect to be forced into a knees-up position, at least to some extent.
  • Short front seats bottoms. Nissan certainly isn’t alone in curtailing the length of seat cushions. Even so, front occupants can get pleasantly comfortable, helped by good support and ample cushioning.
  • Basic-looking dashboard. All the information needed is there, most of it on a dual-level instrument layout ahead of the driver.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Nissan LEAF

Knowledge that you’re doing the “right thing” is a subtle benefit of electric-car ownership. It’s easy to feel self-satisfied. After all, at least in a tiny way, you’re contributing toward saving the planet -- while enjoying a comfortable and satisfying ride along the way. Still, for every driver who gives a resounding thumbs-up, another shuns the electric experience, even dubbing it weird.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Certainly, price remains an obstacle, especially for SV and SL models -- the very ones that are most attractive. Nissan reminds prospective buyers about the $7,500 tax credit from the federal government, as well as local incentives. Note that federal credits vary depending on how much you owe in taxes.

The Bottom Line

Naturally, neither the LEAF nor any other electric car is for everyone, or even for a large proportion of shoppers. For starters, unless you have a convenient location for a 240-volt charging system, going electric is not for you. Better to look for an appealing hybrid (or plug-in hybrid) instead.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Horsepower/Torque
107 HP / 187 ft.lbs.
1-spd auto
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
126 / 101 / 115 Mpge
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Horsepower/Torque
107 HP / 187 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
126 / 101 / 115 Mpge
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Semi-independent Torsion Beam Beam
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
Recommended Fuel Type
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
30.0 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
92 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
175.0 "
Exterior Width
69.7 "
Exterior Height
61.0 "
Front Headroom
41.2 "
Rear Headroom
37.3 "
Front Legroom
42.1 "
Rear Legroom
33.3 "
Front Shoulder Room
54.3 "
Rear Shoulder Room
52.5 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,256 Lbs.
Wheel Base
106 "
Turning Radius
17.1 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
16.0 " Steel
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Front Body-colored With Chrome Insert
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months

Used 2016 Nissan LEAF for Sale

1 vehicles found within 100 miles of your area
Color: White



60,012 mi

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American Motors (25 mi)

Phone: (949) 436-2276

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We have expanded the search to include other Nissan LEAF years that you might be interested in.

Color: Glacier White



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Karplus Warehouse Inc (23 mi)

Phone: (747) 232-5403
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Stadium Nissan (32 mi)

Phone: (657) 215-8555
Color: Glacier White



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Stadium Nissan (32 mi)

Phone: (657) 215-8555
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