Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
7/4/15 12:40 a.m.

SWMBO's Grand Prix is making me too nervous. Just rolled over 150K, and the trans is soft-shifting and in shift adaptive mode, the oil pan and rack both leak, and it need struts and a fuel sender. I had to put a battery and an alternator in it today. I got pissed and went to see what our new local CarMax's had, and was shocked to find a HUGE selection of Nissan Leaf's for $12K or less! Quite a few under $10K, even the mid-range models (SV?) with the fast chargers, and about 30K miles. Is this a bad idea?

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
7/4/15 7:41 a.m.

No it's not a bad idea, so long as you realize a cold weather commute will max out at about 50 miles without charging.

I can also say firsthand that the build quality of the Tennessee-made 2013 models was inferior to the 2011-12 models. I hear it has gotten better but don't know for sure. My heater has been broken in each winter I've driven it now, on the coldest day. It's under warrantee but I'd hate to see the bill for that.

2013+ MY got a heat pump to increase efficiency but I have heard it only works in a very specific temp range.

I would definitely get an SV model for the faster charger. At $12k it might be a better deal to buy used. But I only pay about $220 a month for a brand new lease with a warrantee, so look into the lease option.

Mike
Mike Dork
7/4/15 8:24 a.m.

Nissan was particularly cool with one feature of the battery meter, the battery condition meter. The batteries in anything will age and lose capacity over time. The Leaf will track that, and put it right on the instrument panel. Make sure you have a reasonable number of bars on the gauge. Also check the Carfax for registration in Arizona or New Mexico. The Leaf lacks active battery cooling, and as a result, cars that spent a lot of time in those two states experienced accelerated battery degradation. There are charts, so many charts, that have been compiled by Leaf owners. Find those, and make sure that you'll have the range you want at the highway speeds you want, in the temperatures you'll be facing. You don't want to buy the car for an 80 mile range to discover that your 25 mile work commute becomes one way because you are doing 80 mph in 20 degree temperatures.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
7/4/15 8:36 a.m.

If you really want to get into the nitty gritty, you can buy a Bluetooth OBD-II adapter and use Leaf Spy, an app that allows you to see the exact condition of the battery. Might be a good investment prior to purchase of a used Leaf.

Raze
Raze UltraDork
7/4/15 8:45 a.m.

You can get lightly used volts for not a whole lot more...

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke Dork
7/4/15 5:01 p.m.

I would definitely rather have a volt over a leaf.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
7/4/15 5:49 p.m.

SWMBO's worst-case scenario route is 8 mile each way. We have my Vue for road trips. I would entertain a Volt, but I have not seen one at that price point.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
7/4/15 5:49 p.m.
bastomatic wrote: If you really want to get into the nitty gritty, you can buy a Bluetooth OBD-II adapter and use Leaf Spy, an app that allows you to see the exact condition of the battery. Might be a good investment prior to purchase of a used Leaf.

I have an OBDII dongle. I shall now download that app, many thanks.

Mike
Mike Dork
7/5/15 11:59 a.m.
Javelin wrote: SWMBO's worst-case scenario route is 8 mile each way. We have my Vue for road trips. I would entertain a Volt, but I have not seen one at that price point.

You should buy an electric car then. You're on the good side of the worst case scenario for golf carts. Hell, the i-MiEV could do it, and those are even cheaper.

My wife has a 4runner. When I had the Volt, it was more like we had the 4runner, and had the Volt for road trips. It is a very low maintenance car that ticks off many miles with very little fuel, and has a nice infotainment system.

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