7 Best & Worst Nissan Leaf Years (Stats & Examples)

The Nissan Leaf is a famous electric five-door electric hatchback produced by the Nissan company. It’s actually one of the cheapest electric cars you can lease.

It is ridiculously cheap and affordable and although its battery range per full charge isn’t excellent, it definitely got better over the years.

In this article, we have highlighted certain reliable years of the Nissan Leaf and on the flip side, years to avoid. 

The Best and Worst Years for the Nissan Leaf Are:

The most reliable models include the 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2017 model years. The model years to avoid are 2015, 2011, and 2013 models. 

What Nissan Leaf Years Are the Most Reliable?

The Nissan Leaf is mostly a reliable vehicle but some model years have been particularly outstanding and we have listed them below. These Nissan Leaf model years are also more likely to last long.

1. 2023 Nissan Leaf

The latest Nissan Leaf, which is the 2023 model, is one of the most reliable years. It has better sustainability, improved range, and fewer body parts problems. 

The leaf is equipped 40 kWh lithium-ion battery and has an EPA range of up to 149 miles at a price of $29,135 according to Car and Driver. 

Its other entry-level (SV Plus) trim, is equipped with a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers a range of up to 212 miles.

This car produces a very smooth ride because of the placement of the battery. The low-slung battery makes the Leaf hug the ground to give it the necessary coordination and balance.

The 2023 version boasts of its impressive tech features that add to the comfort of drivers. It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

To get the most out of its features, the SV Plus trim has the famous pro-pilot system and a more advanced adaptive cruise control system and lane centering.

Added to the highlights of the leaf, the cabin is spacious as there is enough leg and headroom with supportive seats. However, the downside to this interior is that the rear seats don’t fold flat and there is limited item storage.

Lastly, the updated reliability rating of the Nissan Leaf from JD Power gives it a rating of 73 out of 100 while Kelley Blue Book gives it a 4.5 out of 5.0. Not bad.

2. 2022 Nissan Leaf

The next on the line for one of the reliable models of the Nissan Leaf is the 2022 model year.

This vehicle is a great electric car for daily commutes and despite its low price starting at an MSRP of $28,495, it still carries most of the company’s innovation.

The 2022 Nissan Leaf comes in 5 different trim levels which are S, SV, S Plus, SV Plus, and SL Plus, and these trims have a battery range between 149 miles to 226 miles. 

The cabin is just like the 2023 model, featuring comfortable seats and upholstery. What’s more, the 2022 Nissan Leaf is also a very quiet car and the only source of noise in this vehicle is the wind and road noise.

Going further, the 2022 model also has some notable features that include the pro pilot assist, but this only comes on higher trims. The advanced airbag system and the automatic emergency braking are also present in the 2022 model. 

This model gets a reliability rating of 73 out of 100 by JD Power and it simultaneously gets a 4.5 out of 5.0 by Kelley Blue Book.

To top it all, the 2022 model was awarded a perfect 5-star rating by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

3. 2021 Nissan Leaf

The next reliable year for the leaf is the 2021 model, but it is equally the same as the 2020 model. So we will jointly discuss both.

These models reek of excellence as they have the perfect handling, acceleration, and driving experience, complemented by a wide range of driver assistance features. You can’t go far wrong with either of these models.

The standard trims come with a 147-horsepower electric motor that powers the front wheels with a 40.0-kWh battery pack while the leaf plus models come with a  214-hp electric motor and a larger 62.0-kWh battery.

The former achieves a limited range of 150 miles, while the latter gets 226 miles of driving range.

These models have decent and well-placed interiors. The positioning of these controls prevents the vehicle from looking cheap. Its gauge cluster features a large analog speedometer next to a 7.0-inch digital screen that can be adjusted to show varieties.

The 2020 and 2021 models also have a plethora of driver assistance features. Some of them include:

  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, 
  • Lane departure warning, 
  • Rear cross traffic alert and 
  • Automatic high-beam headlamps.

Lastly, these models get the same reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 from Kelley Blue Book. 

4. 2017 Nissan Leaf

The 2017 model is the last year of the first generation and it has been tested to be dependable over the years 

This model has a 30-kWh lithium-ion battery and an electric motor that delivers 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels.

The higher version like the SV and SL were also equipped with this same battery, and the only difference between the base model and the higher trims was their standard charger package.

With this 30-kWh lithium-ion battery, the vehicles get at least a 107-mile range.

This quiet model provides a good driving experience with its nicely shaped seats. The only downside is its clumsy interior controls and cargo compartment.

Its driving position isn’t so great as well.

However, the 2017 model had a nice selection of safety features. Some of them include:

  •  Rearview monitor
  •  Around view monitors
  • Advanced airbag system
  • NissanConnect EV technology

JD Power gives the 2017 Nissan Leaf an overall rating of 81 out of 100 for its reliability.

What Nissan Leaf Years Should You Avoid?

Below is a list of some Nissan Leaf models considered unreliable. In fact, the Nissan Leaf is among the models to be aware of regarding electric car recalls.

1. 2011 Nissan Leaf

The major problem with the 2011 Nissan Leaf was its battery issues. Its battery degraded quickly and could only achieve a range of 75 miles per full battery and to make matters worse; it took longer charging times 

The Nissan Leaf also suffered from airbag-related problems. It was reported by some owners that the entire airbag system was not responsive followed by the warning airbag light.

This issue was quite frustrating for owners as they had to make significant replacements like seat sensor replacements or even total front seat replacements. 

Other problems of the 2011 Nissan Leaf include:

  • Premature tires wear
  • Occupant classification system sensor failure

2. 2013 Nissan Leaf

The widespread problem of the 2013 Nissan Leaf was the faulty brakes. As stated earlier, the recall included Nissans produced between 2013 to 2015.

The brake issue was that the car failed to stop when the owners pressed the brakes. It also had the problem of accelerating independently without any input from the driver. This problem led to a crash and injuries to passengers.

This model also had faulty seat belts and airbag sensor problems. The car had difficulty identifying an occupant in the front seats, which affected its normal operations.

The seat belts also failed to function in dire moments. Other minor complaints about the 2013 Nissan Leaf include:

  • Problems with the steering system
  • Failure of windshield wipers
  • Heater stopped working
  • Low battery range

What Are Some Typical Problems With the Nissan Leaf Models?

We’ve outlined a brief list of some Nissan Leaf problems. You can probe deeper into them in your own time.

Thankfully, despite these problems, the Nissan Leaf is also among the affordable electric cars with a decent range.

  • Massive brake failure 
  • Malfunctioning of the electric motors
  • Battery loss and degradation 
  • Tire wear 
  • Long battery charge or failure to charge
  • Airbag problem 
  • Occupant classification system sensor failure
  • Failure of the power inverter and main chip
  • Bad battery range


Back to best/worst years for all Nissan models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.