For the OP: unless you must buy new, or hate the look of the first generation Leaf, I'd buy used. Assuming you can find a 2015 for $11k and paying MSRP for a new Leaf S, that's at least $7k in savings, a nice down payment towards that hybrid SUV you're looking to buy in the future. Leasing is a terrible option in your circumstance, you'll be needing to lease a new car (so new down payment + monthly payments) while still paying for that SUV. Either that, or you'll have to go back to just that hybrid SUV as your sole car (and possibly not be able to commute all-electric, depending on that vehicle's AER).
Evoforce wrote:Don't buy a Leaf until they have thermal management for their battery. Maybe 2019 model? If you are set on a (new) Leaf now, lease it instead. Because of the bad battery reputation, Leaf depreciates quickly. Or buy an older Leaf with new battery replacement or 12 bars but know that it will degrade more rapidly than other manufacturers. Your best bet, buy a car with thermal management.
While that may be a wise move in your area, battery degradation is not going to be the same everywhere. I live in LA, and not near the beach, summer temps are generally in the 90's in my area, with occasional triple-digit spurts. Yet I didn't lose my first bar until the 3 year lease was almost over (see my sig line), and this was on a pre-2013 model which is notorious for heat-related degradation.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.