Nissan LEAF Ranked Among Top 10 Most Reliable Cars Of 2015


Nissan LEAF electric powertrain

Nissan LEAF electric powertrain

British site Carbuyer released its list of the top 10 most reliable cars from superminis to SUVs.  The list was compiled according toinformation and statistics from the the 2015 Auto Express Driver Power Survey.

The annual questionnaire, filled out by around 61,000 car owners, shows that in reliability category, there are no competitors for Japanese and Korean brands (9 out of 10).

“This year’s car reliability ratings reflect well on Japanese manufacturers, with a special mention going to Lexus. The brand has three cars in this year’s Top 10 and the IS saloon took the coveted number one overall slot on the customer satisfaction survey.

Insights from the survey also showed that drivers are more satisfied with their car in general than ever before. More hybrid and electric cars are on the list than in previous surveys too. Motorists in London are the hardest to please on average.”

Top 10:

  1. Toyota iQ city car
  2. Lexus NX SUV
  3. Lexus IS saloon
  4. Hyundai i10 hatchback
  5. Honda Jazz hatchback
  6. Lexus GS saloon (2005-2011)
  7. Toyota RAV4 SUV
  8. Nissan Leaf hatchback
  9. Kia Picanto hatchback
  10. SEAT Leon hatchback

Among 200 models, there is one electric in the top 10 – Nissan LEAF at eight.

Well, Nissan LEAF from the beginning was very reliable, especially when it comes to drivetrain. If more heat resistant Lizard batteries, introduced in 2013, prevent significant capacity fade in all markets, it really could be a long-lasting vehicle, which will be appreciated after years.

Nissan LEAF verdict (with small bug about it being in seventh place, not eight as seen in list above):

“The Nissan Leaf’s seventh place result for reliability should help put to bed the doubts over battery technology used in cars. Since the Leaf has been on sale in 2011, it’s managed to claim the hefty title of the best selling all-electric car in the world. That’s mainly because, despite the electric-based mechanical parts, the Leaf looks like a normal car. It also placed eighth in the overall satisfaction survey listing; that may not be as good as the Renault ZOE (which came fifth), but the Leaf completely outpaces the Renault in terms of build quality and reliability.”

Source: Carbuyer

Category: Nissan


33 responses to "Nissan LEAF Ranked Among Top 10 Most Reliable Cars Of 2015"
  1. Phatcat73 says:

    Battery degradation must not be a factor on this list. however the electric motor and other components are solid.

    1. KC says:

      Newer leafs have much less degradation. My 2013 still has full capacity in Phoenix AZ.

    2. Exceptional battery degradation was only an issue for 2011/12 models in hot climates.

      While we won’t know total numbers not exceeding expectation until 2017 (when 5 year battery capacity warrant expires). These 2011/12’a account for only ~18k of the ~85k LEAFs sold in the U.S. with a small fraction located in hot climates.

      ie: At this time, approx 1 in 5 LEAFs sold was a 2011/12, of which under half are located in a hot climate. This means less than 1/10 potentially effected. All 11/12’s have an option to upgrade to 2013+, or better battery pack in the future, so any issue is correctable (with exceptional battery degradation being covered under warranty)

      note: driving power & performance is not effected, just operational range (which in reality means only a few % of the entire LEAF is effected) And, may, or may not be an issue depending on owner needs.

      So far the 2013+ model year LEAFs appear to have battery degradation that falls well within expectations. This considering there are ~15k+ 2013+ MY LEAFs in GA … a hot, humid summer climate; and another ~25k+ in southern CA, TX and AZ … hot dry climates.

      1. BraveLilToaster says:

        Unless your car has the ability to sweat to keep itself cool, humidity would impact nothing on its operation. It only makes *you* uncomfortable.

        I hear it can be tough on electronics, but that’s a solved problem for the most part.

        1. Nick says:

          In my case, high humidity makes me much more likely to run the HVAC system.

          Not sure if that was the point OP was trying to make or not.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          It may be a “solved problem”, but numerous credible claims have been made that the MY 2011-2 Leaf had a problem with premature battery degradation in areas where there were multiple days in a row of very high heat and in some areas with high humidity.

          I don’t know if Nissan ever formally admitted there was such a problem, but apparently they didn’t do a proper job of protecting Leaf electronics from corrosion due to high humidity, at least not for the first two production years of the model.

          However, to Nissan’s credit, it appears they did fix the problem starting with MY 2013.

      2. Dave K. says:

        There are also a lot of 2012 Leafs in Atlanta, and a few 2011s bought out of state. I know of exactly 1 that has had a battery replacement under warranty due to lost capacity. My 2011 is close to the 60K mark and still has 10 bars. So even here it’s been very limited. The 2013+ cars seem to be fine.

    3. BraveLilToaster says:

      Yes, that’s because this survey was taken in the UK.

      There’s literally *no* heat-related issues in the UK. I even doubt many of them have seen any serious capacity loss so far.

  2. There is nearly no battery degradation in a 2015 model in UK.

  3. Jeff Songster says:

    Love my LEAFs… 2013 and 2015… Over 30k electric miles and no repairs or anything else wrong with my 2.

  4. Heisenberght says:

    “there are no competitors for Japanese and Korean brands (9 out of 10)”

    … I hope our dear german auto-makers read that…

    …and try to catch up!

  5. offib says:

    This is the UK now, the temperatures wouldn’t even have any negative effect on battery life on the cells from LEAFs, hybrids or air cooled batteries in general.

    If (and we know) there’s hardly anything that can go wrong with the drivetrain, then its lack of first place is simply due to build quality like rattles and slow or unresponsive windows. Yet stuff like that shouldn’t define a car’s value of being reliable.

  6. Nick says:

    My 2011 with 65k miles has been wonderfully reliable so far. Best car I’ve owned to date by a long shot!

    1. Nick says:

      Nice to see that my experience isn’t a fluke. 🙂

      1. Stephen Hodges says:

        Me too… not sure a dead washer motor counts as a major fault… bought a 2011 and shipped it to Jamaica, so its not even been inside a dealer since (they hardly know what a Leaf is). Apart from some battery loss (9 bars now) its superb. Best choice of car I’ve ever made.

  7. Jelloslug says:

    The 2013 that I leased was great. I would not hesitate to get another one.

  8. krona2k says:

    My 2012 air con has failed and the local dealer claimed it wasn’t covered under warranty. They said there wasn’t any leaks but couldn’t explain where all the gas has gone in three months.

    Anyway my lease is up in February so I couldn’t be bothered to fight it, after all it will be their problem when they come to sell it.

  9. A refference to different lists?

    InsideEVs: “Nissan LEAF verdict (with small bug about it being in seventh place, not eight as seen in list above)”

    Nissan: “Leaf’s seventh place result for reliability”

    Nissan: “placed eighth in the overall satisfaction survey listing; that may not be as good as the Renault ZOE (which came fifth)”

    I’m not seeing Zoe in the list above. Are the references to the same list?

  10. Ken says:

    List of things that were replaced or wore out on my 2012 Leaf with 64,000 miles:
    1. Tires
    2. Wiper blades (rear is dealer only $15)
    3, Tires again ( i like to autocross alot)
    4. Washer fluid
    That’s it and my 2015 Leaf hasn’t needed anything yet in 13k miles.

    1. Mister G says:

      I’m into 35th month of 39 month lease of 2012 Leaf and only had to replace tires and washer fluid, I have lost 3 bars of range…only negative.

    2. BraveLilToaster says:

      “I like to autocross a lot”

      Yeah, I’ve seen a few people doing that with their Leafs, but I have to suggest…

  11. abasile says:

    While the 2013 battery may be better than the 2011/2012 batteries, I’ve read much on MNL indicating that the “lizard” chemistry wasn’t introduced until MY 2015 (and maybe some late 2014 cars).

    That said, our 2011 LEAF has been quite reliable so far. At 57K miles, though, its battery capacity is down at least 23%. Hopefully Nissan will allow us to upgrade to a higher capacity battery when available. First, though, we’ll want to wait for longer-term data on the durability of the 2015 batteries.

  12. BraveLilToaster says:

    While its electric drive train might be stupendously reliable, that’s not the only thing that can go wrong with a car. Bugs in the software can be a pain, doors sticking or failing to unlock or lock, AC/heat, various body/suspension issues, brakes, 12V battery and accessory stuff, etc etc.

    That said, in the two and a half years we’ve owned our 2012, there haven’t been any issues that I can recall. For a while there, we thought the auto sensing wipers or the auto sensing headlights weren’t working, but that wasn’t the case. Certainly nothing that would stop the car from going, stopping, or letting us in and out (we’re looking at you, Tesla!).

    1. Ken says:

      Whoa!! Wait a minute. Ive had 2 2012 Leaf SV and a 2015 S. I didn’t know there were auto sensing wipers! Is this only on the SL or a european model? I dont even have auto on headlights.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        …hate to tell you this, but you have auto headlights too, just whip out your manual and it will guide you thought it. (It was previously much more straight forward in the first model year as opposed to the latest copies)

        I will say their operation is a little unsettling at first as your physical instrumentation only has a “on” setting for them…you will probably stand there and wait for them to turn off (or on) at first.

        1. Ken says:

          I know about the auto headlights. I dont have them. My 2012 models were very early SV models. SL models and later SV models have them. I saw them on a few friend’s cars. And my 2015 S doesn’t have them. It doesn’t have nav or carwings either but im ok with that.

      2. Jason Jackson says:

        My 2011 Nissan Leaf SL has auto on headlights. Still the best car we have ever owned. (30K + miles) We have had some capacity loss, but not enough to earn a new battery. I’m almost certain we will try to buy a replacement battery when the longer range batteries come on the market. I think this car would be perfect with around 110 miles of range. It’s a great around town car now, but with more range you wont need a gas car at all.

      3. dan says:

        The US LEAF doesn’t have the rain sensing wipers.

  13. Marc says:

    In my case…2 LEAFs, 3.5 years, 24000 miles, not a single repair.
    And I’m anxious to see the 2017 LEAF 2.0!

  14. My two Nissan LEAFs, a 2011 and a 2012, had a combined 36,000 miles when they were traded in for other electric cars (I don’t have gasoline cars).

    I had absolutely no serious problems of any kind with either. Short comings, of course, are the well documented battery degradation issue (even in San Diego’s moderate climate) and premature tire wear.

    They never left me stranded, unlike some “other brand” drivetrains made by a company in Fremont, California.

    I would absolutely buy another LEAF with 150-200 miles range, although I’d probably choose a 200 mile range Model 3 with Supercharger and CHAdeMO capability.

    The LEAF was by far the quietest car of any EV that I’ve driven or owned (I’ve driven a lot of them!). It’s a cream puff.

    By the way, I would pay $2000 extra to have Tesla Supercharger access on a 150-200 miles range LEAF (but I still want a CHAdeMO inlet on there).

    Great job, Nissan! Even the missteps with the battery have come full circle. The current batteries last longer and go farther.

  15. My 14 Leaf only has 8k miles on it, I live in a hot climate 90-100+ from June-Sept. and I have all 12 bars of range left. Not a single problem it has never been back to the dealer since my purchase.

  16. Speculawyer says:

    Far fewer parts, far fewer moving parts, much less heat, fewer liquids to leak, etc. It is just obvious that EVs will be more reliable.

    And right now at this early point in their history, they probably do have a few bugs that need to be worked out. But EVs should become even more reliable over the next 10 years as they learn from the cars in the field.

  17. Jonathan says:

    My 2015 still shows 288 GIDS at full charge, that’s down from 292 when new (<2% drop). It also has 16,000 miles on it and is on its second california summer.