Posts: 1532
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:38 pm

krush40 wrote:The two I used for this comparison are a 2013 SL and 2015 SV.

The 2015 is listed for roughly $800 cheaper, although I haven't spoken to either seller whether there's wiggle room.
Makes sense. The SL will have some additional options that may or may not be useful. They've changed them so much over the years, that I haven't kept track. I definitely like my SL and was willing to pay the extra price to get the back up camera. Most of the other stuff wasn't needed (DCQC port, auto lights, etc). Back in 2011 we didn't have as many options or they all got pushed onto the SL. It seems laughable today, but heck, that's what we were offered, and at $400+/mo leases.
2011 SL; 9 bar, 45.80 AHr; 45,000 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: ... al#p226115"
Cold: ... 60#p243033"

Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:35 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jan 2018
Leaf Number: 007797

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:16 pm

krush40 wrote:now my car only goes to work and back (about 20 miles round trip). The plan is to get rid of the Mazda (and it's payment) and replace it with something that will get me to work and back for the next 5 or so years and not cost a lot along the way while we eventually reevaluate our needs.

As an owner of a 2011 Leaf (less efficient than later models) with a 7 bar battery (probably one of the worst Leaf batteries on the road today), my car has absolutely no problems going a 20 mile round trip, even driving aggressively and at high speed. Either of these cars, in the conditions you describe (in shade or in a garage) will easily last you the next 5 years, battery wise. You could make that trip with a battery at 35% health, which is super unlikely to happen, even with the earliest model year and Phoenix-level climate.

So personally, I don't think you can go wrong. That said, I'd go with whatever car looks best to you and has the best battery health. A better battery will allow you to drive your Leaf further, which means you'll find yourself using it for lots of situations outside just going to/from work.

Also, according to consumer reports, both the 2013 and 2015 MY have excellent reliability. In fact, the Leaf has near perfect reliability in all MYs except 2012. 2014 has the best reliability of all MY's.

Have your Leaf checked for recalls after you buy it. There are a few Air bag recalls on both years, and a brake recall in 2013.

Best of luck!

P.S. Another option is to pick up a 2011 in worse condition for super cheap, if you only want it for that 20 mile commute. You might be able to get a great price (~$3000 less than a 2013) and replace the car more frequently.

Posts: 1071
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:10 pm

I'm hoping that, with the CHADEMO charging package, I'll still get use out of my 2013 SV for a few more years...

That's thanks to continued growth of the DCFC network in my area, which will make a low range LEAF less intolerable thanks to being able to get an adhoc quick charge as needed.

With only L1/L2 charging options, I think I'd soon tire of living with a 9 bar (or less) LEAF.
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D

Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:59 am
Delivery Date: 24 Aug 2018
Leaf Number: 328283

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:55 pm

I've had my Leaf for less than a month, so I'm certainly no expert, but my wife and I went through a very similar comparison when shopping for ours. We were mostly comparing 2013, 2014, and 2015 models, and they all had mileage ranging in the 20k's, 30k's, and 40k's. I think the highest one we looked at was 52k, and the lowest was 25k. 80k miles on a 2015 seems very high to me, at least compared to the options we had.

Most had 11 bars, one or two may have had 10 bars. That was the extent of my knowledge of the batteries, that plus reading about the 2012 and older models having problematic batteries. I wish I had known about Leaf Spy Pro during our shopping process, I would have used it extensively! But alas.

I think that seeing the different versions of the car and trim in person are important, but I'm not sure you really need to do extensive test driving...from the few I drove, they all felt exactly the same...driving a 2013 felt the same as driving a 2015. The differences are in the other features.

After researching and driving a few, we decided that we definitely needed to have:
Level 3 DC Quick Charge
Heat pump
Traction control
Cloth seats (we don't like leather seats)

Things that were optional but nice to have:
Backup camera
Alloy wheels
A color we liked (blue, red, or dark grey....basically anything but silver)
Dark/Black interior

The above checklist lead us to narrow down our choices to only consider the SV models, since we didn't want the leather seats in the SL models, and the S models lacked the other fancy feature we wanted. We were actually on our way to buy a 2013 SV with 42k miles from a 3rd party dealer, when my wife found an ad for a 2015 SV with 42k miles for about the same price, so we took a detour to a Nissan dealership to check it out. We test drove that one, decided it was a better deal, and found out that we would be getting a Certified Pre-Owned warranty from Nissan, which is definitely worth something (they told us no 3rd party dealers can offer that). So we started the process of buying that car....and after about 3 hours of paperwork and waiting we were told that the car had been sold by Nissan Fleet services to someone else! Needless to say we were pissed. So to make it up to us, the Nissan dealership offered us one of three other cars that had just come in, hadn't been cleaned or inspected yet. We chose a blue one, a 2015 SV with 25k miles. They matched the price of the other one we were going to buy, which is pretty nuts since this one had 20k fewer miles and 12 bars!

We then went through about another 3 hours of paperwork and waiting...the other stupid part of our story is that we had gone with the intention of buying cash, but Nissan has this program where it is actually $700 more expensive to buy in cash! So they convinced us to finance the car (we then paid it off in full, about 2 weeks later, incurring around $50 of interest).

So the final amount we ended up paying, including finance charges, DMV fees, etc., was: $11,562.32
We also got everything we wanted on the list above, no compromises! We just had to wait a few days for the car to be cleaned and inspected, then our dealer personally delivered the car to us (by hauling it on a trailer). We live about 2 hours from the dealership, so that was pretty nuts too!

The whole process was such a mess, I feel like this dealership's motto should be 'You'll go through an ordeal, but you'll get a good deal'.

We originally bought this car with the intention of replacing a 2001 Toyota Prius as our running errands vehicle. Now we enjoy it so much that we're planning long distance roadtrips in it!

So I guess my advice to you is this: if you are sure that this will just be commute vehicle and nothing else, then it isn't all that important which one you choose. As others have said, even a depleted battery will get you 20 miles without issue. However, if you think you may be swooned by the car into taking it on longer trips, then definitely pay a bit extra for a battery that is in better condition, and that has the features you want (especially QC, as roadtrips without QC aren't really feasible).

Also, I suggest buying from a Nissan dealership to get the CPO warranty...despite the awful experience we had, I think the warranty is worth it.
2015 Leaf SV, 25k miles, 12 bars

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