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Here Are The Nissan Leaf Years To Avoid

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Silver Nissan Leaf

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If you’re looking for a good compact car, you might be considering a Nissan Leaf. After all, Nissan gets pretty good reviews and consumer ratings and is a relatively reliable brand that tends to work well a lot of the time. The Leaf is an attractive small vehicle that packs a lot of function into a small package. 

That said, there are some Nissan Leaf years to avoid, just like any vehicle. 

If you want to know more about the Nissan Leaf years to avoid and which model years are more reliable, you’re in the right place. 

We’ll talk about the Nissan Leaf, which years you should avoid, which years are more effective and reliable, and what the most common problems are when it comes to the Nissan Leaf. 

Let’s take a closer look. 

Here Are The Nissan Leaf Years To Avoid

The Nissan Leaf is a newer release for Nissan, which is actually a great thing for this model because it means that it came out after Nissan already had some practice with compact car design and how to create a more functional commuter vehicle. 

Ultimately, that means that there aren’t nearly as many Nissan Leaf years to avoid compared with a lot of other lines. 

How few Nissan Leaf years to avoid are there? 

Here’s a list: 

  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2015

That’s right; there are just 3 Nissan Leaf years to avoid. 3. 

Part of that is high quality and effective design, but a lot of it is because of Nissan’s experience with this kind of vehicle. 


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There’s just one more thing; we were pushing it a little even to have three years to work with. There aren’t that many problems with any of these years; they’re just a little more prone to technical issues than the other years the Leaf has been in production. 

So, if you’re considering one of those three models, don’t be too worried. As long as you have a solid maintenance history and the vehicle has been kept in good condition, it’ll probably work just fine. 

Common Problems With Nissan Leaf 

Of course, like any consumer vehicle, there are a few common problems that seem to crop up with all of the Nissan Leaf years to avoid. Here are the most common problems so you can decide if this is the right model for you. 

Electrical Problems

The Nissan Leaf is cleverly named thanks to its very green profile. Of course, that means that the electrical system is even more important since it’s one of the most important parts of the system. If the battery isn’t working, there’s a big problem. 

Fortunately, this isn’t a hugely common problem, and usually, the problem can be fixed by getting your battery replaced. 

Unfortunately, replacing the battery won’t fix the underlying cause of premature battery failure. If your vehicle has a premature battery failure, there may be some options to help tweak the system, but a lot of the time, there isn’t a good answer, and you’ll just need to replace the battery a little more often.


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Air Bag Sensor Failure

Another common problem with the Nissan Leaf is that the passenger sensors start to fail. That can be a serious safety concern since the passenger sensor tells the vehicle which airbags it needs to deploy if you’re ever in an accident, based on where people are sitting in the vehicle. 

The other problem is that it can be difficult to know when the sensor has failed because it’s often a silent failure. 

Thankfully, like all the common problems with the Nissan Leaf, there aren’t that many reports because even though this problem is one of the most common, it’s still rare. 

Brake Problems

There are also a couple of different brake problems commonly associated with the earlier release years of the Nissan Leaf. The most common problem is that the brake pads wear out early or that the brakes start locking when used. 

Thankfully, both of those problems are usually a quick fix. However, both of those problems can make the vehicle a little more expensive to own, and brake failure while you’re on the road can be a serious problem. 

If you do decide to buy a Leaf from one of the Nissan Leaf years to avoid, you should consider getting your brakes checked a little more often than normal. 


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Premature Tire Wear 

The last problem we want to highlight when it comes to the Nissan Leaf years to avoid is that the early years of the Nissan Leaf did have a tire wear problem. Tire wear means you need to replace the tires faster and can be a big problem if you live somewhere snowy or with bad weather. 

However, checking your tire wear a little more often is an easy way to stay on top of this problem. Plus, the Nissan Leaf will help you save enough money at the pump that replacing the tires a little more often is less of a problem. 

Reliable Nissan Leaf Model Years

Of course, after we’ve spent all this time looking closely at the 3 Nissan Leaf years to avoid, let’s talk a little more about the Nissan Leaf years you can rely on.

The reliable Nissan Leaf years are: 

  • 2012
  • 2014
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

Yep. That’s pretty much every single year that we didn’t name as a year to avoid. 

That’s because the Nissan Leaf has some truly top-quality engineering behind it, and the electrical systems have gotten significantly more reliable since the earliest release. 

Which Nissan Leaf Models Are Good Used Vehicles?

If you’re looking for a Nissan Leaf that’s a good option as a used vehicle, we can recommend pretty much every model year except the three Nissan Leaf years to avoid. That said, we’d particularly recommend the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 models. 

Of course, if you’re looking for a used 2019 or 2020 model, that could be a bit of a challenge. The most recent models aren’t showing up on the used market very much since most owners are still holding on to the vehicle. 

It’s also worth noting that you may need to pay a little more to get a Nissan Leaf-used vehicle compared with other models. That’s because models with a reputation for efficiency and consistency in the long-term tend to maintain value better than vehicles with more known issues.

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