Best Nissan Leaf Model Year (And the Years To Avoid)

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Last Updated on July 5, 2024 by Rose Morah

A lot of Nissan Leaf owners have mentioned that their Nissan Leaf has been the best vehicle purchase in their history of owning different vehicles.

If you are looking to buy a used Nissan Leaf but wondering which model year is the best or which model year to avoid, this article has covered all that in detail.

This is what we are going to cover in this article:

  • Best Nissan Leaf model year
  • What Nissan Leaf Model year to avoid
  • Things to consider before buying a used Nissan Leaf

Best Nissan Leaf model year to buy

The best Nissan Leaf model years to buy are the newer models starting from 2018+. 

This is because of the following reasons:

  • They are more reliable than the older Nissan Leaf models.
  • The newer models have vastly improved batteries with larger capacities.

A larger battery capacity allows the vehicle to retain a higher battery percentage of the original range for more years.

  • The newer models have the e-Pedal and a better dashboard UI. 

The e-Pedal feature makes it more comfortable and fun to drive the Nissan Leaf.

  • The newer models (2018+) have more trunk space compared to the older models because of the difference in the designs of the vehicles.
  • Newer models have a more efficient heater compared to the early models.

Related: Nissan Leaf Model Comparison.

What Nissan Leaf Model year to avoid

The Nissan Leaf models to avoid are the earliest models that are from the year 2011 to 2012. These models are known as the “problematic model years”.

The following are the main reasons why you should avoid the 2011 and 2012 Nissan Leaf models;

  • The earliest models (2011 and 2012) had the worst battery chemistry.
  • Most of the earliest models will have heavily degraded batteries unless the battery has been replaced.

The last thing you would want to buy is an EV with heavy battery degradation. 

This is because you will end up spending a lot of money on battery replacement.

You should check out our article on how to check Nissan Leaf battery degradation when buying a used Nissan Leaf to learn more.

See also these Nissan Leaf Tips For New Owners.

What to consider before buying a used Nissan Leaf

  1. Where the seller/vehicle is located

The vehicle or seller’s location can help you figure out the state of the Leaf’s battery.

This is because the battery of the Nissan Leaf tends to degrade more in some locations compared to other locations (especially on older Nissan Leafs). 

For example, locations that experience hot temperatures more time in a year tend to have a higher battery degradation. 

You may also like:

What To Check Before Buying A Used Nissan Leaf (Nissan Leaf Inspection).

What To Know Before Buying a Nissan Leaf (Is It Worth It?).

  1. Check for rusts

No matter which year the Nissan Leaf is, I would highly recommend checking for rust before buying the used Nissan Leaf. This will help you negotiate the price, or rethink your purchase.

I noticed that most Nissan Leaf owners, especially those in places that have winter-salted roads, complain about rust.

  1. Where you live matters

Nissan Leaf, especially the old models, may not be the best option for those living in hot climate places mostly because they have no thermal management of their battery pack.

I would also recommend buyers who live in colder climates to go for Nissan Leaf models that have heat pumps because they tend to be more energy-efficient.