ezeagle wrote:What are the pros and cons of buying a 2011 nissan leaf SV for $5000 and then buying a new battery for it and spending another $6000 for the battery. The car is super clean and well taken care of, just needs a new battery. Would this be better than buying a 2015 S model for about 12,000?
To me, very little pros in purchasing a pre '13 Leaf. As mentioned, being a '11 in may
lack the winter package, but maybe in your local, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Another negative is L2 charging is 1/2 the speed of post '12s. IMO this is a big deal. It's nice to be able to pull into a free L2 charging station, plug in and shop for an hour and come back to a battery thats gained 30% charge, figure 1/2 that or roughly 15%/hr with a pre '13.
The heater is also much poorer on the liquid loop pre '13 models, slow to heat and not very efficient. As opposed to the heat pump in the post '12 SV and SL models which is not only more efficient but heats quicker.
A pre '13 will also lack the incredibly handy % SOC meter, unless you purchase a OBDII device and LeafSpy for your cell phone, you'll basically have to rely on the incredibly inaccurate GOM(or miles remaining meter) oh and while still inaccurate, they did make the GOM a bit better in post '12 models.
The older Japan built models do have a few +'s over the US built '13's and on but IMO nothing worth all the -'s. Search the many threads on MNL for the +'s and -'s of the 2 different types.
IMO for the ~$10-11k you'd have tied up in your '11 you'd be much better purchasing a post '12(preferably a SV/SL if the faster charging and more efficient heater is important to you) one with a ~90% battery SOH. You really shouldn't have a problem finding one in your price range. Heck for your requirements you could save a bit and get one with a lower SOH but when it gets <80% you'll get noticeably less regen or the ability to recharge the battery when letting off the gas, which also makes you use the brakes more and in turn wears them out much faster. Regen is a nice feature and sucks when it goes away! (says someone with an 8 bar '12
If you were talking about doing what your proposing with a post '12 I might say go for it but not so much for an '11 or '12.