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
Found just what I wanted with floor mats thrown in for free at my dealer and bought off the lot 5-31-12