Should I buy this 2011 Nissan LEAF?

Discussion in 'General' started by Domenick, Jun 9, 2019.

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  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    This car just popped up for sale and I'm seriously considering getting it. I thought I'd bring it up here just in case anyone has some advice or warning or whatever.

    It's 2011 with just over 56,000 miles, but the battery was replaced under warranty in 2016 and has all its bars and, I guess, range. Seller is asking $5,250.

    I'll see it in person tomorrow.

    I've been super wary about getting a LEAF, especially a 2011-2012 because I live in North Florida and I was worried about degradation. I also am not well off and/or fiscally conservative, and this works with my budget.

    I haven't actually driven one since shortly after they first became available and that was a 10-minute test drive. I have, though, ridden as a passenger in my friend's a bit, and I love the sound(lessness) and the interior is alright.

    One of my biggest concerns is my driveway. It's very steeply pitched and I'm a bit worried about scraping. So, if anyone has any insight into that aspect, I'd love to hear it.

    Used black Nissan LEAF front 3-quarter.jpg
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  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I recommend passing as you should be able to find a BMW i3-REx for a somewhat similar price. The reason is the REx will give you 'gas range' and the EV the ability to learn the lessons of EV travel. With the Leaf, you are 'learning to swim by being tossed in the pool.'

    Shorter range EV, plug-in cars are not going to give you the range needed to learn how EVs work.

    Send me a PM and we can discuss alternatives.

    Bob Wilson
  4. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    WTF used i3s are sub $10k? Over here the cheapest used ones are $17,000 USD.

    But for a commuter car/city runabout/second car, that leaf looks great.
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Domenick, of course as a staff member and moderator here, I'm sure that you're pretty familiar with EVs in general. So I don't think I can offer you any advice you haven't seen before.

    However, I don't know if you're familiar with the Leaf instrument display. But even if you are, perhaps there are others reading this thread who aren't, and may benefit from an explanation: Permanent loss of "bars" is displayed on the instrument panel, on the small outer bits of the bars. The larger inner segments show current state of charge. For example, on the display shown below, the car has permanently lost 1 "bar" of capacity.


    So if I were considering buying a Leaf, I'd certainly be looking at that display. I've read that some used car dealers reset the display to show all 12 bars, in a manner similar to illegally rolling back the odometer on a used car. Unfortunately, there aren't any laws to prevent resetting the Leaf's display. But if you're going to be looking at a Leaf sold by the previous owner, then hopefully that's something you won't have to worry about.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  6. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I think I'd prefer having a BMW i3, but the ones I've seen are generally up in the $15K range.
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  8. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    This one had all its bars. Interesting comment about resetting bars, though. I'd like to know if that is, indeed, feasible. Because it would really make me not want to buy one from a dealer.
  9. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    So, update:

    I got a message this morning that someone had shown up with full price in cash and it was sold. A total kick in the gut for me because I had every intention of bringing the cash price with me and sewing this up this afternoon, and have been euphoric that I finally had found an EV I could afford, trust, and enjoy.

    I could have gone to see it last night, but it's such a big purchase for me, I was trying to make sure I wasn't impulse-buying and overlooking an important point.

    Lesson learned, I guess.

    Deep sigh.

    p.s. If anyone has a lead on an EV with all its range intact in the $5,000 range, reply to this thread.

    p.p.s. No hard feelings toward the seller. I understand if someone's right there in front of you with cash, it's hard to say no or ask them to wait.

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