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2018 Nissan Leaf Ownership: Good for Millennials?

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author photo by AutoTrader June 2018

We had our intern Ally spend some time with our long-term 2018 Nissan Leaf. Ally is an environmentally conscious 21 year old, putting her squarely in the target market for the new Leaf. Being one of the most-affordable EVs on the market, the Leaf poses an attractive value proposition for young drivers in the market for a new car that doesn't burn gas.

Unfortunately, Ally had a few problems with the Leaf. Some of those problems are specific to the Leaf; others were issues simply associated with EV life. Before we get into those, let's go over what Ally liked about the car.

Ally did feel good about the fact that she was getting around without having to burn any gas or directly cause any air pollution. Millennials grew up being taught the environmental dangers of air pollution, with one of the big sources of that pollution being cars, which is one of the reasons younger generations are generally more attracted to EVs and hybrids.

On top of being environmentally friendly, Ally also liked the peppy performance, thanks to the electric torque and the exceptionally smooth ride quality for a compact hatch. Cars in this class aren't normally known for great ride quality, so that was a pleasant surprise in the Leaf.

Ally also liked the easy Bluetooth connectivity in the NissanConnect infotainment system, which is another common priority for millennials. She also liked the leather seats, which can be hard to find in an EV. In order to continue the theme of environmental consciousness, some manufacturers use weird materials like bamboo or recycled materials for the seats in EVs.

Unfortunately, that was about all Ally liked about the interior. The lack of cupholders in the back seat and the small center console made for some annoying inconveniences. She's used to having a full, roomy center console, and the limited interior storage space was a big downside.

Ally also didn't like the look of the newly styled 2018 Nissan Leaf ... and neither did her friends. On an occasion when she took the Leaf to meet up with some friends, they had some fun making fun of how unattractive they thought the car was. While the styling is a big upgrade over the first-generation Leaf, it still has the look of a car for "millennial tree-huggers."

Ally also ran into some big inconveniences in terms of keeping the car charged. Her living situation doesn't give her the luxury of a dedicated parking space, where she can charge the car daily, which is a big inconvenience for a car with an electric range of 151 miles. Your parking circumstances can be a make-or-break situation for potential EV owners. Before you even consider an EV like the Nissan Leaf, make sure you have easy access to an electrical outlet either at work or at home. With the all-electric Leaf, you’ll never have to visit a gas station but you do need to be able to park near an electrical outlet -- and we do mean near. Keep in mind, most electric cars come with a charger than can be plugged into a normal household-style outlet, but most do NOT allow you to use a traditional extension cord.


Overall, there were a few things Ally liked about the 2018 Nissan Leaf, but the inconveniences that came with living with the car and the undesirable aesthetic make it hard for her to recommend to other discerning drivers her age.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Nissan Leaf Ownership: Good for Millennials? - Autotrader