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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 6:16 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Mesa, AZ
Hello everybody. I'm a new member who is dead set on getting a Nissan LEAF. I thought I knew what I was doing, but now I just have more and more questions, so I thought I would see if anybody can give me advice. Originally, I was thinking of buying (financing) a 2012 LEAF SV by ordering a blue one with no other options from Nissan, and having it delivered to the nearest dealer. I live in Mesa, Arizona. Here are some questions I have now.

DEALERSHIP: I test drove a LEAF at Earnhard Nissan in Mesa because they were the closest. After visiting them on three different occasions, I have decided that I do not want to deal with them anymore. I was wondering if any Phoenix area LEAF owners have suggestions for the best LEAF dealers. I have read good things about Avondale Nissan on the forums, but that was back in 2010. I'm hoping to avoid dealerships that pretend that they know about the LEAF when they don't, and dealerships that will try to charge for "paint protection" and other silly stuff like that.

LEASE VS. BUY: I originally wanted to buy for several reasons. First of all, I have NEVER leased a car before. I've read a little bit about it, and it makes my head swim. I tried to talk to a dealer about it, but I kinda had the feeling that he was just trying to convince me to lease because he would get more comission (not sure if this is true or not). I'm familiar with a bit of the history of EVs (my first vehicle was a truck my dad and I converted when I was in high school), and I'm old enough to remember the EV1s, and what GM did to them. So, I am a little worried that I will love the car, and then I won't be able to get it back at the end of the lease. However, I am a high school teacher, so my salary isn't huge. I can only afford car payments of around $350/month or so. I think I would have to lease for 80 months to get the monthly payments even close to that. Plus, with every car I have financed before, I wound up owing more than it was worth for years. So, now leasing is looking a little more promising, but I still don't quite understand what you have to do to buy the car when your lease is up.

SV vs SL: I really don't want most of the whisltes and bells that come with the SL, such as a backup camera, cargo net, etc. I have a fairly short commute, so I can't think of when I would ever need to quick charge. My husband drives a diesel that will suit us fine for long trips/road trips, etc. However, I recently applied for the free ECOtality charger. I got a request to set up an electrical inspection, but I guess you must have a vehicle with a quick charge port to be eligible for the program. Now I'm trying to decide if it might be worth it to lease an SL so I can get the free charger. I know it would be an extra $30/month or so, but I've heard the chargers + installation usually run around $2000 anyway.

So, what do you folks think? Any advice would be appreciated. I know I could probably ask the dealers, but I would rather get suggestions from actual owners or people who have begun the process of owning a LEAF.

_________________
2012 Nissan LEAF SL blue ocean
RAQ: 5-12-2012
Ordered 5-12-2012
Found just what I wanted with floor mats thrown in for free at my dealer and bought off the lot 5-31-12


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:55 pm
Posts: 389
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
I really haven't heard any good comments about the buying experience in Arizona, that's why we mostly bought in Washington State and had the cars shipped. The dealer in WA has had some bad experiences, so I wouldn't recommend that anymore. For most of us, the $1,500 - 2,000 savings was worth dealing with our dealer in Washington State.

However, since I have purchased the vehicle, I have had nothing but excellent experence with Pinnacle Nissan in Scottsdale. The service manager, Doug Barsell, is excellent as are the service techs.

I have the SL and would not buy a vehicle without backup camera ever again. Once you have the luxury of the backup camera, it is a highly valued option.

Regarding the QC, I bought it thinking it would make it easier to sell, if they could ever pry this great vehicle out of my hands. I love my LEAF.

I have had some good experiences with the sales staff at Pinnacle since acquiring the vehicle. I complained to Nissan about the poor service I received from the dealer in Washington State, and Nissan arranged for Pinnacle to do the new owner walkthrough and intro to the car. They have been excellent and continue to be excellent.

Finally, I had originally intended to purchase the LEAF in AZ from Riverview in Mesa. They reneged on the deal the day before I was to order it. I would never use them for anything because I consider them to be unreliable and not trustworthy.

My recommendation IF YOU PURCHASE IN AZ is Pinnacle Nissan and definitely the SL Model. I would still look at out of state dealers with significant discounts before deciding on a local dealer. California has lots of dealers willing to significantly discount the LEAF and still save over $1k after shipping.

Good Luck with your choice. Your choice is vehicle is an excellent choice that you will be happy with for years to come. I LOVE MY LEAF!!!

_________________
Reserved 4/20/2010
Ordered 9/2/2010
Arrived 4/17/2011
Installed 5.52 kW PV 2/2011
Upgraded PV to 6.9 kW 2/2012
Upgraded PV to 7.59 kW 2/2013


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:33 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Chandler, AZ
Delivery Date: 29 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 7837
I recommend that you try Coulter Nissan in Glendale. I purchased from them, and had a nice hassle-free sales experience. My price back in August of 2011 was about $1500 under MSRP, and at the time this was the only dealership that was offering a price under MSRP. At this time, there may be other dealers offering similar deals. At the time I purchased, they had limited knowledge of the vehicle because they didn't have a lot of experience selling them. I am glad that I found a dealership that was matching or beating the CA prices, without the hassle of shipping or registering the vehicle here myself.

For service, I have had a good experience at Power Nissan in Tempe, and have had only one technical issue with the Leaf that required dealer service. Their dealership was professional and handled the issue with good communication.

_________________
Glacier Pearl SL-e, Delivered Aug 26th, 2011
Current Miles: 45,983 Miles (Oct 4, 2014); Capacity Bars: 12/12;
Batt 2: AHr=55.98; SOH = 35% Hx = 71.94%
EV Project; EVSE Upgrade Rev2


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:47 am
Posts: 358
Location: Central Phoenix
Delivery Date: 20 May 2011
Leaf Number: 2530
Welcome to the forum Skippy.

I purchased from Coulter also and the transaction was smooth and I felt like I got as good a price as I could find at the time (negotiated the deal in December, 2010). I have been treated well by them ever since, although I haven't really had much contact with them since my delivery on May 20, 2011. When doing the fina paperwork the owner of the dealership admitted that he didn't really think an electric vehicle could work for his family's lifestyle. I only relate that because if you read some of the old threads you will find that California has some awesome dealerships that really believe in and push the Leaf. I'm not sure that kind of dealership exists in the Phoenix area.

I don't know anything about leasing either, having never done it. I purchased, and do not regret it. I may have considered leasing, but I didn't want an EV1 kind of experience.

I have the SL and again, I don't regret it. I have never used the QC port (in fact I've never used a public charger). I plan to keep my car a long long time so if the QC infrastructure ever takes off, I'll be glad I have it. I do like the back-up camera.

Good luck with your decision. I hope you love your Leaf as much as I love mine!

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Kelly

White SL-e (sold back to Nissan on January 10, 2013)


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:53 pm
Posts: 4674
Location: Morgan Hill, CA, south of San Jose
Delivery Date: 02 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1537
I had never leased before, and had major doubts about it, but I'm glad I did.
  • The monthly payments are much lower.
  • There is no hassle or doubt about the $7,500 federal tax credit.
  • A lot of things are going to happen in the EV market over the next three years, and that will be a better time to make a decision about what you want for a longer future.

I thought there was nothing on the SL that I really wanted, but Nissan confused my order and I ended up with one anyway. I love the backup camera. I haven't used the QC yet, but I may well do so in the future. Personally, none of the other SL features are worth a dime to me.

You said "with no other options", but there is one thing you will absolutely have to have, either from Nissan or somewhere else. That is a set of floor mats, since the "carpet" will be ruined within a few weeks. I got, and very much like, the rubber set from Nissan. I also recommend the cargo organizer, though some people here don't like it. Most of the other options are sick jokes.

Ray

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End of April 2013: Traded my 2011 SL for a 2013 S with charge pkg.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:06 am 
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Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 3:08 pm
Posts: 3765
Location: Timbuktu, Mali
Delivery Date: 29 Aug 2012
The lease is a good deal because Nissan takes the $7500 tax credit and applies it as a down payment, thus you can just pay off the lease the next day with a regular credit union car loan and you get to keep that $7500... its a good move unless you are absolutely sure you qualify for the tax credit outright.

Search for the threads here about the $289 lease deal that is being offered.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:02 pm
Posts: 87
Delivery Date: 24 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 0613
Greetings! I leased from ABC mostly because it was close to my home and convenient, but also because Jim Springer, the LEAF specialist there was super helpful (a former oil man who is now an EV proponent). The deal was good, but at MSRP (I leased way back when the cars were super hard to get). Like others here, I leased so that I could upgrade in three years (now to the Infiniti!) And so that the tax credit was a non issue. I've been back for service twice to ABC and the facility isn't all that remarkable but the techs know what they are doing and the service is polite and friendly. I am still surprised when i turn heads pulling up to the dealership, but the car is still pretty unique so i guess it shouldn't shock me. Good luck and just wait until you switch to full time electric driving-I hate it when i have to use the ICE!

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Glacier White SL-EV delivered 3/23/2011 in Phoenix, AZ
VIN: 000613
EVProject Participant: Blink installed 3/21/2011


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:04 pm
Posts: 4380
Location: San Diego, CA, US
skippycoyote wrote:
... and I'm old enough to remember the EV1s, and what GM did to them. So, I am a little worried that I will love the car, and then I won't be able to get it back at the end of the lease. However, I am a high school teacher, so my salary isn't huge. I can only afford car payments of around $350/month or so. I think I would have to lease for 80 months to get the monthly payments even close to that. Plus, with every car I have financed before, I wound up owing more than it was worth for years. So, now leasing is looking a little more promising, but I still don't quite understand what you have to do to buy the car when your lease is up. ...
The way the lease is structured, you absolutely have the right to buy the car at the end of the lease, so the EV1 scenario is impossible. As far as buying the car at the end goes, you'll want to compare the residual to the market value of the car at that point. If the residual is less than the market value (which seems to be highly likely at this point), and you want to keep the car, then you should buy. Just go to your credit union and/or work with the dealer to arrange a loan for buying the car, just like you would a used car.

_________________
2014 Rav4 EV, Blizzard Pearl White
2011 LEAF SL w/QC, Blue Ocean, returned at end of lease


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 1461
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Delivery Date: 03 Jun 2011
Back then, if you qualify for the Ecotality program for a free EVSE station in your garage, the QuickCharge port on your car comes for free. Some people who bought the car instead of ordered it had their $700 QC option refunded to them by Nissan. So I wouldn't rule out the QC option too quickly. Ask Ecotality and Nissan if the free QC port is still being offered.

I used to think I didn't need the backup camera, but now after having used it for almost a year, I'd be glad to pay money for it.

If you don't have enough tax liability to get most of the $7500 tax credit back, leasing is better like other said, with an option to buy. Just make sure they don't jack up the interest too high to make up for any discount they might have given you.

I also bought from Coulter and got a $1400 discount from them. The sales experience was straightforward and trouble free.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Location: San Diego, CA, US
Volusiano wrote:
Back then, if you qualify for the Ecotality program for a free EVSE station in your garage, the QuickCharge port on your car comes for free. ...
My neighbor is getting a Blink through the EV Project and indicated that this was the last month of the program. Since the QC port is part of the SL now, I don't think it's being reimbursed.

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2014 Rav4 EV, Blizzard Pearl White
2011 LEAF SL w/QC, Blue Ocean, returned at end of lease


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