TLDR – In my opinion, the Nissan Leaf is a great commuter car and I am overall very happy with the purchase. I cannot speak to quick charging or living in super-hot climates (I live in Northern Virginia).
In my experience being on car forums for the last few years, we see a lot more complaints about ownership or problems that come up. At the same time, most of us browse through car forums prior to purchasing a vehicle to read about pros and cons of ownership. Unfortunately, most people on car forums are more vocal about problems, concerns and issues rather than the things that they like about the car. So, I thought I would drop a quick note after my first month of ownership of my 2018 Leaf.
I was looking for a great commuter vehicle that had great gas mileage and I was very open to a PHEV or electric. My office building provides free level 2 charging and I quickly narrowed my search down to an electric vehicle. My commute is about eight miles each way and I make a visit to an off-site facility which is about 35 miles round trip once a week. I test drove the e-Golf, Bolt and of course the Leaf.
In the end the Leaf was the best balance of comfort, cost and features. I searched for an SL without Pro-Pilot (I love ACC, and hate lane keep features – previous experience with previous two vehicles). Between a nice discount (even prior to my up-coming federal tax credit) and zero percent financing it was an easy decision to make.
I am just over 6’2” and I am still surprised by the size on the inside and the comfort of the ride. Telescopic steering wheel would have been nice, but not a deal breaker. I read a lot about rapidgate or whatever, but I never plan on using the Leaf as a road trip car (we have a second car that is a normal gas car).