A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Nissan LEAF

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The introduction of the LEAF represented the beginning of an age many car experts were skeptical would even happen – true mass production of a 100% electric vehicle. Not only did it happen but the LEAF was grabbed up with gusto by consumers, with Nissan selling out of its original 20,000 car run before they were even done making them. While the clean-running little car does have its limitations, it’s still an attractive and functional vehicle for its (growing) niche market.

Key Features

Besides its minimal carbon footprint and the fact that it actually has five doors – a rarity among true electric vehicles – the LEAF also features an ample audio package with USB and iPod connectivity, heated seats, steering wheel, and mirrors, and a rocking navigation system that shows you your travel limits as well as where to find a plug so you can “refuel” if need be.

Changes for 2012

The heated seats and steering wheel/mirrors are all new in 2012, as well a quick charge port added to the SL trim.

What We Like

The best part, obviously, is the independence from traditional fuels. The little touches like the navigation system and the ability to interface with vehicle controls via your smartphone really make this car fun as well as eco-friendly. The handling is typical of any car in its size class and the traction control and air bags offer peace of mind as far as safety goes.

What Concerns Us

The one big problem with electric cars is the range of travel – you can go roughly 100 miles without having to recharge. This is perfect for most people in order to commute to and from work, however you’ll still have to keep the old gas-guzzler around for long trips to grandma and grandpa’s.

Available Models

The LEAF features an AC synchronous electric motor/generator, a 24kWh lithium-ion-manganese-graphite battery pack offering 107 HP and 206.5 lb.-ft. torque. The fuel efficiency equivalence is 106/92.

Major Recalls

There are no recalls on the 2012 Nissan LEAF.

Common Issues

One of the biggest issues brought up in complaint reports about this model is a problem with the brakes continuing to function even after the driver lets up off the brake pedal and attempts to accelerate using the “gas” pedal. Other drivers have experienced the opposite problem – soft response in the brakes, with delayed stopping.

Nissan LEAF 2012 Interior


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Eladio

8 years of experience
128 reviews
Eladio
8 years of experience
Honda Civic - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Greensboro, North Carolina
Eladio arrived at the scheduled time and was great to work with. He was very professional and I am very satisfied with his work. This was my first time using YourMechanic and I am very pleased with how easy and convenient this service has been from start to finish. Definitely would recommend.
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Greensboro, North Carolina
Eladio was on time, expedient, and very professional. Very pleased with provided service (brake shoes replacement).

Chris

13 years of experience
107 reviews
Chris
13 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Port Richey, Florida
CHRIS IS THE BEST MECHANIC I HAVE EVER MEET IN MY LIFE. HE IS HONEST AND HE KNOWS HIS STUFF. VERY PROFESSIONAL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE. THANK YOU CHRIS!!!

Pardeep

19 years of experience
587 reviews
Pardeep
19 years of experience
Dodge Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Pradeep was early to my appointment and during his work he showed me that I didn’t need rear brake shoes saving me money.He cleaned and serviced the existing shoes and he also adjusted my parking brake cable. Great job. I will always use Your mechanic for any car repairs.

Oreste

12 years of experience
117 reviews
Oreste
12 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Miami, Florida
Orestes is very professional. He explained what was done to my vehicle and suggested upcoming maintenance needed. Great person

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