Nissan Leaf reliability & safety

It's still a relatively new model, but the signs are the Nissan Leaf should be reliable and safe

Theoretically, electric cars should be more reliable than their petrol or diesel counterparts, if only because of the relative lack of moving parts: an electric motor has one, engines have hundreds.

Nissan Leaf reliability & problems

It's the biggest-selling name in the world of electric cars, but the second-generation Nissan Leaf is all-new. That means new batteries, new technology and a host of other new bits too numerous to mention. However, you can take comfort from the fact that the original Leaf has performed well in our Driver Power ownership satisfaction survey. In 2018, it was rated 21st for reliability, but more tellingly, just 4% of owners said they’d experienced a fault; plus, it was named the ‘best green car’.

Safety

When the Nissan Leaf was crash-tested by Euro NCAP, it scored impressive ratings across the board: 93% and 86% for adult and child occupant protection respectively. Much of that is down to the structural integrity of the car, and should provide huge peace of mind.

What’s more tangible is its 71% score in the Safety Assist category, which assess technology and features to help you avoid a crash in the first place.

As well as the features such as anti-lock brakes, skid-reducing ESP and autonomous emergency braking (which can apply the brakes automatically if a potential collision is detected), the Leaf offers a full roster of smart technology.

Lane-departure warning and 'Intelligent Lane Intervention' will alert you and intervene if you drift out of lane, while 'Intelligent Trace Control' automatically applies the brakes individually to help the car stay on the desired cornering line. 'Intelligent Ride Control' uses imperceptible acceleration and braking to iron out bumps in the road, maximising grip and ride comfort in the process.

But the Leaf's most lauded feature is the ProPilot system. Standard on the Tekna trim and optional elsewhere, it controls the accelerator, brakes and steering for a safer and more relaxing drive. It can even stop the car if required, keep you centred in your lane, and offers a self-parking function. On the basis that machines can’t lose concentration like a driver can, it should prevent collisions from happening in the first place.