Is Nissan Leaf a good first car for beginners? Detail Overview!

Nissan Leaf 

Nissan has been in the market for a long time, and it’s known for the quality and reliability of its cars. So, this is the article for you for any beginner who is thinking of buying their first car. Suppose you are confused about whether to buy a Nissan Leaf as your first car or not. Here is what you need to know.

So, Is the Nissan leaf an excellent first car? Nissan leaf is lightweight and comes with a good range, and budget-friendly vehicle, making it the best suited to buy as a first car. 

Beginner riders, teenagers, or students just starting can go with Nissan leaf. I would also not recommend when you drive long-distance either, and it is not for commercial purposes, don’t go with the Nissan Leaf. Apart from this, if you are an adult, don’t go with a Nissan leaf as it is an underpowered and small car that doesn’t even make you feel like driving a car.

Thus, even if you are new in the market and looking for the best beginner car to start with, there are many options. You don’t need to settle for a Nissan leaf car. I have listed five cars for beginners under $40000 in this post. But before moving to that topic, let’s see what the Nissan leaf car has to offer.

Here is the list of specifications that a Nissan leaf car has to offer:-

Electric Motor125 CC (exact 123.9 CC) air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke
No of air bags5
Torqu9.7 hp (7.2 kW) @7,000 rpm
No of seat30.0 in
Kerb Weight106 kg or 234 lbs
Colors available4 (Black, Yellow, White, Blue)
Price$3,399 (Non-ABS) and $3,599  (ABS)

 A beginner rider is more prone to make mistakes if they start on a high-power motor, especially a sports one. Then they would damage not only themselves but also the car. And, as you know, the service cost will always fill your pockets. Thus, it will be better to start on a cheap vehicle, whether new or used. With Nissan leaf, packed with all the necessary features in their car, it will cost around $27,500 to $37,500(At Showroom). Nissan leaf specifications are such that they can fit most beginners. 

But, I think if you have little extra money in your pocket, then don’t go for Nissan leaf as there are better options out there. With just a little money add-on of $5000 to $10000, you can get a better car packed with more power and better ergonomics, design, etc. I have talked about these cars below that. You can read. But before jumping to that portion, we’ll first discuss some pros and cons of it. We’ll discuss some good point that makes Nissan leaf a better car for beginner, and later I’ll move to the wrong fact that makes the riders not choose it. So, let’s start.

Reasons to buy Nissan-leaf as the first car for beginners (Pros to buying Nissan leaf)

In this section, I will talk about why you take the Nissan leaf as your first car.

Motor Displacement

Nissan leaf comes with a 150ps electric synchronous motor that can achieve the top speed of 62 mph. This speed may be less for highways, but a beginner who has never ridden a car before can’t handle high speed. Thus, with less rate, a beginner will be able to take the vehicle quickly and learn to drive it. They can make a Nissan leaf a stepping stone in their moving journey and then switch to higher displacement cars.

Range and batteries

The thing that attracts me to the Nissan leaf is its efficiency. Also, according to Wikipedia, “Part of the Nissan leaf’s success has been its charge economy rating of 62 kWh battery‑US (214 hp/226 mile; 62 kwh battery‑imp), a power output of 214 hp (62 kWh) at 9,800 rpm, and a top speed of 93 MPH”. Thus with a Nissan leaf car, you can ride without thinking about refueling, which is suitable for students also.

Nissan leaf battery Range

How to recondition the Nissan leaf battery? Nissan leaf battery technologies such as lead-acid, NiCd, and NiMh are degraded by the formation of sulfate layers or crystalline dendrites within the material that could, in some cases, be disrupted with a different charging routine to restore some of the battery’s original capacity.

Modern Lithium-Ion batteries used in cars contain a chip that is used to control the charging of the storm. It also monitors the temperature of the battery to prevent overheating under normal conditions. Leaving it plugged in continuously does not harm the battery because of the intelligence inside the battery casing. Discharging any battery too deeply does degrade the storm because of the chemical process that happens when a battery is deeply discharged. For that reason, the chip inside the battery also protects the battery from fully discharging before disabling the battery.

How long does it take to charge a Nissan Leaf? It depends on how empty the battery is and whether you’re using a Level 1 or a Level 2 charger. But average charging time taken for a full charge takes 8 to 12 hours.

Nissan leaf battery charging time

Charging any battery-electric car in town is much simpler than keeping a gasoline car filled up with fuel because the car plugs in overnight and is always “full” in the morning. On the highway, there is more to think about. Still, it is no more stressful than operating any other kind of car after you get used to it, provided you are driving a Nissan Leaf.

How much does it cost to charge a Nissan Leaf? The average cost of charging Nissan leaf in the US is $0.1285/kWh, meaning it costs only $5.14 on average to recharge. Your cheapest option is to use the portable EVSE with your LEAF and plug it into any standard household outlet. Of course, this may or may not suit your needs based on your daily travel patterns (you should be able to replenish about 40–50 miles of use in a 10 hour overnight charge session with North American 120V service—240V service in the rest of the world will be better).

You have to install a 240V outlet (if you don’t have one already). If you know what you are doing, you could even do this yourself, but generally, you would find an electrician to do this for about $150–250. Unless you have a new 2022 LEAF with SV or SL trims (which comes with an EVSE capable of 240V charging), you will need to upgrade your portable EVSE (EVSE Upgrade, Low-Cost EVE Charging Solutions) for about $250, or you could buy a simple 240V capable. These options are not as fast as is technically possible (they are limited to 20A) but will still deliver what is probably an acceptable charging rate.

How to charge the Nissan leaf?

Charging the 2022 Nissan LEAF is easy, whether at home or on the go.

  • You can connect and charge your Nissan LEAF in four quick steps:
  • Park and make sure the car is turned off.
  • Open the charge port lid and cap.
  • Plug the charge connector into the charge port. The Nissan LEAF lets you know with a quick beep when done correctly.
  • When the battery reaches full, the Nissan LEAF stops charging. To end charging at any point, unplug the charge connector.

Reasons to not buy Nissan-leaf as the first car for beginners (Cons to buying Nissan leaf)

Weight

Nissan leaf weighs only 3484 lbs (1580 kg), which is easy to handle and easy to lift. As we know that weight plays an important factor while driving. A heavy-weight car may affect the driving experience. It may be hard for beginner riders to handle or lift if got fallen. But Nissan leaf removes this limit giving you the freedom to ride as a beginner, leaving space to do adventure.

Power

As Nissan leaf comes with a 150ps electric synchronous motor, Two Electric Motors with a 304 HP, and All-Wheel Drive. that can provide you a top speed of 93 mph which is more than enough for a beginner. But, it is not enough on the road and gets out of the traffic easily.

150ps electric synchronous motor

You will be left alone on the road as all the other cars are generally faster than this. At the price point of $37,599, the engine displacement it comes with is totally unjustifiable.

As Leaf is a less powered car, it can limit you while highway driving as well as group driving. If you ever thought of group driving, then you will have to either drive with a specific group in which everybody has a Nissan leaf car or have the same motor.

Thus, with less power or less speed, the driving experience will be boring. Even if I eliminate the engine power and go with it, the price doesn’t satisfy the point of having a Nissan leaf. 

Ergonomics & Design 

Nissan leaf is a small car that can be used by students and small families for their wandering purpose. But, if you are an adult also use this car, then it will not suit you until you are a too fat person. As you can see above image, while driving, the Nissan leaf handle will touch your foot as the distance is short between handles. Apart from this, driving on it is like driving in a child’s car and will be a backache for tall riders in the long run.

Price

Nissan leaf’s price is not justifiable compared to its As, and I am talking about the Nissan leaf from the beginning that its price is not justifiable as there are better options than Nissan leaf-like Tesla model 3, which costs less than it and provides better power delivery. Or, if you invest more money, you can get a full-fledged 44.5 KWH. That’s the reason I don’t recommend the Nissan leaf even to beginners because they will outgrow significantly faster. Then Leaf will be boring to ride.

How much is a Nissan Leaf? According to expert Nissan leaf is a good deal; the price range varies on different models minimum price is $27,500, and the top end (top modal) price is $37,500

That’s why I have shared the car that is a little expensive but is a car that will keep you hooked up for several years.

Best Alternative to Nissan leafTop 6 alternatives for Nissan leaf

These cars are packed with double or triple the power of the Nissan leaf under the price point of $40,000.

If you were buying a Nissan leaf car having a motor displacement of 62 KWH with which you couldn’t even accelerate more than 93 mph (150 kmph).

But, if you invest $10,000 more, you can get double the displacement and double the speed of than Nissan leaf.

As a beginner, buy a used car and then, with time, buy a new one for under $40,000. Cause it would be a better option than settling directly with Nissan leaf.

Here, is the list of cars under $40,000 that can be better for you!

Car ModelEngine DisplacementBattery RangePrice
Chevrolet Bolt EV200 Hp / 150 kW259 Mile$4,999
Nissan LEAF170 kWh / 80 kW149 Mile$4,999
Hyundai Kona Electric100 KWH / 136 PS300 Mile$4999
Kia Niro EV201 HP / 150 KWH239 Mile$4845
Chevrolet Bolt EUV200 Hp / 150 kW247 Mile$4,599
Mini Cooper Electric181.03bhp110 Mile$2,699

As you can see, there are plenty of options to buy a car under $40,000, which are excellent in speed, handling, looks, etc.

Conclusion

Nissan leaf is a good car, but as there are other options at some additional money. Also, Chevrolet Bolt will be a better car than the Nissan leaf as it totally justifies its price point. Chevrolet Bolt costs $40,000 less and comes with more power than Nissan leaf. And, if you have decided that no matter what you want, Nissan leaf. If this is so then buy a used one, as you will be able to ride the Nissan leaf at will lower price than after some time; as you excel at driving, sell it and get a new car of higher displacement car.

FAQs

Do you need to have a license to ride Nissan leaf? According to the U.S department, any vehicle bigger than child care requires an authorized license to be ridden on the road. So, make sure you get your approval before you start to ride on the road. As Nissan leaf is 125cc thus, it requires a valid driving license. For more information, check your local state website regarding car licenses.

  • Go up to 226 miles on a single charge with Nissan LEAF’s available 62 kWh battery. 
  • Three different levels of charging mean a plug-in is never out of reach. 
  • Wherever you are, if you’ve got a compatible smartphone, you’re connected with your Nissan LEAF. 
How to charge the Nissan leaf at home? The most reliable and efficient way takes a few steps:
charge the Nissan leaf at home
  • Have an electrician install a NEMA 14–50 outlet in your garage or near where you’ll be parking. I would install it as centrally as possible if your parking situation changes.
  • Purchase a J1772 charger with a NEMA 14–50 plug. You can get these almost anywhere these days. Make sure to buy one with a long charging cord if you can’t park it right next to the charger.
  • For a Leaf, you only need a 32 Amp version of the charger.
  • Install the charger on the wall to be plugged into your new outlet.

Can you charge a Nissan LEAF while it’s on? Yes, but to be precise, it depends on what you mean by “on”.

The car has a push-button start. When the charging cord is plugged in, you can press “START,” The dashboard/radio will illuminate and operate. The 12V accessory power will be available. You can control the heater and A/C. But you won’t be able to shift out of the park or drive the car.

How far can a Nissan leaf go? Our readout usually shows about 120 miles on a full charge in warm weather. In cold weather, it might be 97 or so.

It very much depends on your driving style, but also speed. If you think about it in a petrol car, it depends on RPM, if you drive with the same speed on 3rd gear you will use more petrol than when you switch to 5th gear.

In EV, there are no gears (not an automatic gearbox – no gears!), so driving faster means more RPM (up to 10500 for Leaf, if I remember correctly).

How to jump-start a Nissan leaf? Yes, you just need a battery for that which is charged and is in good condition, there are two batteries in an electric vehicle, most probably one for the motor. The other one is the auxiliary for the electrical units like light, AC, wipers, stereo, sensors, ECU, etc. So it can be done with no issues.

While it’s possible to jump-start a car using an electric vehicle, it’s highly recommended that you don’t. … However, the 12-volt battery in an electric vehicle lacks the punch required to crank an internal combustion engine. You risk damaging it if you attempt to jump-start another vehicle