Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Electric motors, home charging 20.0 - 23.3 mpp
Electric motors, public charging 10.0 - 11.7 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.

Fuel economy

Electric motors 3.0 - 3.5 miles/kWh
  • Depending on where you charge it, the Leaf is cheap to recharge
  • If you have a home charger and do it overnight, you’ll be quids in
  • Depreciation and long-term costs are still an unknown quantity

As with any electric car, the ‘fuelling’ costs of a Nissan Leaf are very low indeed. This is one of the big advantages of a car like this – you don’t pour petrol or diesel into it at a rate of £50-odd a tank. But for those who don’t charge up at home, beware of inconsistent recharging costs. Some private charging companies have recently begun ramping up their fees.

Stick to charging at home, and Nissan claims you'll spend just £300 per year keeping the Leaf topped-up with electricity over an average annual mileage. At the time of writing a full charge on an overnight domestic tariff should cost around £2.

How far does it go on a single charge?

How far you can travel on a single charge will be affected by a number of things – including the weather (EVs don’t like the cold), how many people are on board and your driving style. The faster you go the quicker you will use up the battery; be gentle and you might just be surprised at the distance the new Leaf will go.

You can read more about how we fared in a 40kWh Nissan Leaf over six-months of mixed driving in our long-term review.

Nissan Leaf resale values

Regardless of trim level, expect a three-year-old Leaf with 30,000 miles on the odometer to be worth just 50% of its new price. Recent improvements in resale value have made a big difference to the economics of running one – in 2017, a 2015 Nissan Leaf Acenta with 20,000 miles on the clock would have been worth around £8,850. In 2020, a 2018 Nissan Leaf Acenta with the same mileage would be worth £11,000, a rise of £2,150.

The Nissan Leaf produces no tailpipe emissions of any kind – one of its greatest selling points of an EV and something that will get increasingly significant as towns and cities begin to look more and more closely at air quality issues. You’re unlikely to ever get banned from driving in a city centre the way you might in a diesel if you’ve got an electric car.

That said, if you want to be truly green, you also need to look at the way you charge it – does your electricity come from renewable sources or pollution-heavy traditional means such as burning fossil fuels?

Nissan is planning to ease these kinds of concerns by creating what it calls an entire electric eco-system, including selling customers solar panel installations and static batteries for off-peak electric storage (using recycled Nissan Leaf battery packs) in order to minimise both the environmental impact and the Leaf’s running costs. Generate enough of your own electricity, and in some idealised scenarios you could end up running your Leaf for free.

Is it reliable?

  • Overall Nissan reliability is above average
  • BEVs have fewer mechanical parts to go wrong
  • Keep it serviced regularly and it should prove niggle-free

The Nissan Leaf has proven itself reliable and dependable, with owners willingly sharing tales of blissfully problem-free driving in keeping with Nissan’s claims of a 94% customer satisfaction rate – the highest of any of its models.

Notions that electric cars are complex and unreliable is rapidly diminishing, thanks in part to companies like Nissan that build cars to high quality standards, but also due to the increasing realisation that they have fewer mechanical parts to wear out than conventional vehicles.

This makes them cheap and relatively easy to service, leaving the first and second owners to really only worrying about consumables. And there are fewer of these – the Leaf requires no oil and is likely to be much lighter on its brake pads and discs than a conventionally propelled hatchback.

Of course, the Leaf does need to be serviced by dealers with BEV-specific training. Concern over the longevity of electric car batteries also seems to be unfounded. Nissan has more than 300,000 Leafs, and claims it is yet to have a total battery failure.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £0
Insurance group 21 - 25
How much is it to insure?
Find out more about all electric cars here