Least Expensive Car to Own: 2018 Nissan LEAF

Nissan Leaf has lowest cost of ownership of any car - KBB

The folks at Kelley Blue Book are mighty impressed with the new 2018 Nissan LEAF. At the Chicago Auto Show this week, it gave the LEAF an award for being the least expensive car to own over a 5 year period … which is great. But, it begs the question: how did the folks at KBB decide a car that has only been available for 5 days has such a low cost of ownership?

Let’s dig into that a bit. The operative word in this instance is “projected.” Kelley Blue Book has taken out its crystal ball and “projected” how much it will cost to own a LEAF. Your mileage may vary. See dealer for details.

The calculus includes such factors as expected depreciation, fuel costs (electricity, in this case), finance charges, and insurance premiums, together with maintenance expenses, repair costs, and state and local fees. Every new car buyer should do the same thing before signing on the dotted line, of course. However, most don’t. They only want to know what their monthly payment will be and whether or not they can take that new car home today.


2018 Nissan LEAF is Worth Driving Home Today

The new LEAF has 40% greater range than the original and more appealing exterior styling. According to Electric Cars Report, it incorporates Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility suite, featuring technologies such as ProPILOT Assist, e-Pedal, Automatic Emergency Braking and more.

“Nissan Intelligent Mobility is about applying the latest technology to set a new benchmark for exciting and safe driving and the all-new Nissan LEAF delivers on that in every way,” said Brian Maragno, head of Nissan’s EV marketing and sales team. “In addition to the exhilarating drive, EVs are inherently less expensive to operate than gas-powered cars and the 2018 Nissan LEAF provides more range, content and technology at a lower MSRP than the previous generation, offering customers more value at a lower price.”

Even though the 2018 LEAF is priced $690 less than last year’s model at $29,990, it has 37% more horsepower and a lot more range- up to 225 miles, in fact. Nissan’s e-Pedal technology that makes one pedal driving a breeze, and automatic emergency braking. The LEAF comes in three trim levels, beginning with the S. The SV adds adaptive cruise control and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The top of the line SL comes with additional features like Bose Premium audio system, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, Intelligent Around View Monitor and a portable L1/L2 charging cord.

Two factors that help keep the cost of owning a LEAF low are that electricity costs less than gasoline and the reputation electric cars have for needing much fewer repairs and maintenance compared to their gas powered cousins. The 2018 Nissan LEAF may not be a Tesla Model 3, but it is a full featured automobile that starts under $30,000 and is available now, not next month, next quarter, or next year. For some- especially the good people at Kelley- it may the perfect car for joining the electric car revolution.


By Steve Hanley, originally published by Cleantechnica.

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