Nissan LEAF Named Most Reliable Car In Survey

NOV 11 2017 BY MARK KANE 26

Nissan LEAF

A new automotive survey has declared the Nissan LEAF the most reliable car on the road – at least for New Zealand anyway.  A result which isn’t terribly surprising ,given there is no combustion engine or gearbox to clutter things up, and also a limited number of volume EV offerings in the country.

Nissan LEAF

Only 4% of LEAFs in Consumer New Zealand’s survey had reported a major reliability problem that caused significant repair costs, or took the EV off the road for an extended time.

Overall, 97% of LEAF owners were very satisfied with their purchase.

Among the 23 brands, Suzuki was deemed the most reliable overall, as only 20% of the 432 Suzuki owners who participated in the survery reported a major failure, compared to an average of 33% across all brands.

Just as a point of interest – Land Rover, Volvo and Daihatsu were the worst performers in the report, with more than half of the owners reporting major problems in the past year.

Best and worst models

Small cars
Most reliable: Suzuki Swift
Most satisfied owners: Suzuki Swift
Least reliable: Ford Fiesta
Least satisfied owners: Holden Barina

Medium cars
Most reliable: Nissan Leaf (and most reliable overall)
Most satisfied owners: Nissan Leaf
Least reliable: Toyota Caldina
Least satisfied owners: Ford Focus

Large cars
Most reliable: Skoda Octavia
Most satisfied owners: Skoda Octavia
Least reliable: Nissan Primera
Least satisfied owners: Toyota Avensis

Most reliable: Mitsubishi ASX
Most satisfied owners: Toyota Land Cruiser
Least reliable: Ford Territory
Least satisfied owners: Holden Captiva

“Our survey covered 10,350 vehicles. We analysed 23 brands and 69 models. Results are for models with more than 30 responses. Our survey asked owners about serious, major and minor faults with their cars in the past 12 months. We also asked how satisfied they were with the car and how likely they were to recommend the model to friends and family.”

The new 2018 Nissan LEAF arrived in Japan in October…and in “early 2018” for the rest of the world

An example of great LEAF reliability was underlined by a local Uber driver. Reports the New Zealand Herad:

“Uber driver Mathew Dearnaley has been driving a Leaf since July last year and said he wasn’t surprised to hear the car had come out on top.

“It’s a dream, it’s magic,” he said. “There’s absolutely minimum maintenance. I bought it with 12,000km on the clock in July last year. It’s now up to 95,000km.”

He took his “electric lady”, a second generation Leaf, for six-monthly checks as part of his requirements for work, but had only needed to have it serviced once.

“I’m not a petrol head so I don’t know much about car maintenance so it suits me – there’s bugger all maintenance to do on it.””

source: Consumer New Zealand, New Zealand Herald

Categories: Nissan

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26 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Named Most Reliable Car In Survey"

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While it’s great that the Leaf is deemed reliable, Nissan really needs to add better thermal management so the battery doesn’t lose so much capacity after a few years

Lack of a thermal management system contributes to reliability. Less mechanical complexity == better.

It certainly does not contribute to the reliability of the Leaf battery pack retaining capacity over time!

Defining “reliability” only in terms of how many times the car had to be taken to the shop to be serviced… isn’t doing anyone shopping for a car any great service.

The lack of reliability of the Leaf’s battery pack in retaining capacity is most definitely a major issue, a major problem, with the car.

Sorry, Pu-poo, but reliability is to do with how often things break, and he is OBVIOUSLY 100% correct! You just won’t admit it because you imagine yourself to know Nissan needs a TMS…

Show me the data. I want to know what capacity loss you define as acceptable, in energy per distance driven terms (% capacity loss after X km driven is obviously utterly meaningless; the bigger the pack, the more cycles to drive X km. Loss in kWh per 100k km driven is meaningful, however, so state that please). Then I want to see the data showing the percentage of packs that have unacceptable loss for Nissan and several other makers, because this is the libelous slur you and several others repeatedly sling around, that Nissan is supposed to be much worse in this respect than others. I haven’t seen a shred of real evidence for it anywhere.

In fact, if I were like you I would now be writing about how it’s obvious you’re shorting the Nissan stock, or else clinically insane.

LOL! 😆

Terawatt, this is far from the first time you’ve embarrassed yourself with an emotional rant on a perfectly factual subject. However, I think it is the first time you’ve posted something so wildly counter-factual, and not merely illogical, but downright crazy.

Are you, too, off your meds today? It certainly looks like it!

I thought they had increases the moderation on the comment section? Post like the above certainly doesn’t belong here.

It’s just PP. I think people feel sorry for him.

I have a 2013 Leaf that has over 60,000 miles on it. In those 5 years it has lost 1 of the 12 bars of battery capacity. Repair wise, nothing has ever broke on it.

The leaf needs another cabins heather for winter time, too bad.

I don’t think thermal management is a problem in New Zealand, with mild winters and summers not getting too hot typically. Probably one of the better markets for the Leaf. I’m not surprised at all that people are very happy with them there. Especially if they have a garage to further moderate temps.

The bigger battery packs will likely even be better, due to the larger bulk of the battery keeping actual battery temps even more moderate.


Auckland where close to half the population live bottoms out at around 0C and tops out at about 30C. Most of the country probably falls within 5 degrees either side of those norms even at the worst of times.

On a side note we also happen to be a long skinny country which should make building quick charging infrastructure a pretty easy proposition, makes it a pretty good place to consider using shorter range EV’s.

I’ve noticed my 30kWh LEAF tends to shed battery most quickly above about 48C. Interestingly, 48C is when a Tesla begins to actively cool the battery (a fan comes on at 45C). The highest my LEAF ever got was 53.5C for about 5 minutes 9 months ago. You can also reduce heat build up by doing 5-10 min charges every 45 mins or so. Keeping the speed down around 80kph also helps shed heat. In NZ, battery heat isn’t really an issue unless you do 600km high speed drives every day.

“In NZ, battery heat isn’t really an issue unless you do 600km high speed drives every day.”

Fast-charging the battery will also cause overheating of the battery pack, so — at least in theory — frequent use of DCFC charging might also cause premature battery aging.

My 2016 leaf sv 30kwh battery got a replacement last week. Lost 4 bars with 19k miles in Nevada weather. As per service dept. it’s common to them replacing the battery under warranty coz of the desert heat plus no cooling system in the battery. Next e.v. car with no thermal management = no sale.

>Lack of a thermal management system contributes to reliability.

Not if you live in Phoenix it doesn’t. Nissan has “half” of needed thermal management. It has battery heaters. No cooling. Don’t know if this applies to the 2018 Leaf. They may have that fixed now.

That’s a good point. You’ll use up a LEAF pack quickly in high temperature conditions.

It will be reliable while that’s happening. While providing much less range over time, it will start and work everyday.

I can agree that it ought to have one if you live in Phoenix. But it still wouldn’t contribute to reliability unless you are claiming the LEAF actually stops working in such conditions. And it plainly doesn’t.

more range more reliability


range reliability

Stupid forum bugs – just encode my input as HTML… <>

What’s the best used hybrid with thermal battery cooling?

Phoenix weather parked outside 120+°F.

A Chevy Volt, especially if you can plug in as well.

Huge thanks, all years?

Volt’s battery packs have proven to be effectively bullet proof.

There have been reports of noticeably lower overall reliability in the second generation Chevy Volt (2016-present), but so far as I know, the reliability of the battery pack is still superb, with a very low incidence of reported problems.

It is important to note here that the majority of Nissan Leafs on New Zealand roads are ‘grey market’ vehicles.
Nissan sold a few new ones over several years, and then got out of the business of supplying new Leafs.
So it is ‘second-hand’ Leafs (ex-Japanese or ex-UK that now have a second life in New Zealand) that have taken out top spot in the reliability survey!

I’m interested in the tipping point temperature for battery capacity loss, as I’ve had some curious if bad experience this year. For the first half of the year, when it was the normal sunny Jamaica, temperatures in the low to mid 30’s (C), though the tarmac was undoubtedly much hotter, my 2011 Leaf was steadily losing 1% per month (the battery temp was stuck at 6 bars). Since September it seems to have been overcast or raining, with the temperature only just lower, I’ve hardly lost anything, certainly not a %. Now this is with an early Leaf, so I’m interested whether the lizard battery simply has a higher critical temperature, but will still lose capacity if it is surpassed. As I am considering a newer Leaf now I have only 6 bars left, I hope our weather stays cloudy!

Excellent News. Families all over the world will enjoy these cars for generations. The LEAF is indeed very reliable, just make sure the limited range suites your family. Twice the range of your daily commute is best then you have plenty of juice for AC, heat, and extra errands.