Turning over a new LEAF

I haven’t posted to this blog in a very, very long time. Many things have changed since then:

1. We welcomed a new life into this world.
2. We moved to a new, larger home. (See #1)
3. We purchased a Nissan LEAF.

Since this blog isn’t about me doting about my daughters (although it would be infinitely more adorable if it was!), let’s look at #3. It’s actually been nearly 2 years since we purchased the LEAF.

Knowing the prices of used LEAFs, I started occasionally searching on AutoTrader for lightly-used LEAFs. Since I live in Dallas and the temperatures get quite warm here (today’s high is forecasted to be 100°F; it’s already 100°F now, so I think we’ll break that again), I wanted to stick with the 2015 model year LEAF. It has the “lizard” battery, which is purported to last longer in hot climates than the earlier LEAF batteries.

I found what I was looking for: A 2015 LEAF “S” model, with absolutely NO options whatsoever. Coming from a base-model i-MiEV, this was STILL going to be a step up. The car had 215 miles on the odometer. It really was purchased by someone and returned within the first 200 miles. I can’t even imagine taking the hit on price vs. resale value. Ouch!

My wife and I drove to Ft. Worth (after some very poor interactions with the dealership, so I’m not going to name names) and looked at the car. When we pulled up, my wife asked me if the car had been wrecked! I looked closely, and no, there wasn’t a scratch on it. She pointed at the hood and asked, “Is it supposed to look like that?” Okay, okay, the LEAF is not a very attractive car.

Pricing is what made me pull the trigger. It was $10K off MSRP. Granted, used vehicles cannot get the tax credit for EVs, but I didn’t qualify for the tax credit anyway. Having $10K off the sticker was like having the full value of both the US and the Texas tax credits for a nearly-new car.

We drove the LEAF home from Ft. Worth, through some of Dallas’ famous rush-hour traffic. Fortunately, EVs do their best in stop-and-go traffic, and the LEAF made it home with ~40% left on the battery and all five efficiency “trees” illuminated. Not bad for a 58 mile drive. This means, if I needed to, I could drive to Ft. Worth, find a charging station (cough!), charge for a short while, and have enough for the return journey.

Today, the LEAF is still doing well. I frequently see 100+ mile remaining on the “guess o meter” range meter, since I do almost 100% city driving. I even saw 125 miles the other day! Whoo hoo! I know that’s not realistic on the highway, but it’s pretty close in the city.

There are several recalls outstanding for my vehicle that I’ll get to sometime. But the fact is that I have to make a special trip to the dealership to get the recall work done since the car needs no significant regular maintenance. At 22 months and 16,000 miles, the only maintenance I’m even considering is replacing the front tires. (The Escopia tires the car comes with are garbage.)

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