The Nissan Leaf Won Kelley Blue Book’s 2020 5-Year Cost to Own Award

When it comes to deciding on an electric vehicle to purchase, there are many factors to take into consideration – price, safety, reputation, features, and ultimately resale value in the future. That can be a lot to factor out to find the electric vehicle for you, but there’s one way to make it a bit easier on you. Kelley Blue Book comes out with its 5-Year Cost to Own award, every year, where they award the vehicles with the lowest costs predicted for that time period. This year, the Nissan Leaf is the winner.

What KBB factors into the 5-Year Cost to Own awards

When Kelley Blue Book decides which vehicle to give the award to, it takes several factors into account. One is the cost a driver will incur to insure the vehicle for a five-year period. The initial purchase price of the car is another item on their list. How much are you going to shell out in monthly payments on average for the car? KBB, however, doesn’t necessarily pick the cheapest model because of other factors. 

One factor that plays a role in the purchase price is the depreciation value of the car for that time period. The price you lose driving the vehicle off the lot actually holds a lot of weight in the decision because of the trade-in value you would get when you go to get a new car. A cheaper vehicle might cause you to lose more money when you go to trade it in. The reputation of the vehicle’s brand is another important item. If the brand isn’t known for reliable cars, it won’t be as desirable on the market when you want to sell it.

Other factors include fuel efficiency and interest rates. The numbers they generate will give you an idea of how much it would cost to own the vehicle for five years.

How the Nissan Leaf won the award 

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Kelley Blue Book predicted the cost of the Nissan Leaf for five years of ownership would be about $40,186. The purchase price of the base model would cost approximately $32,525. If you apply the federal tax credit for electric vehicles, it would bring the price down to the $25,000 range. 

The Nissan Leaf base model will give you about 150 miles on a battery charge. If you elect to go for a higher model, you can get the 240-volt charger, which would save you money by enabling the Leaf to go a total of 226 miles before you would have to charge it again. 

Nissan produces the Leaf to be an all-electric vehicle, so you won’t have the added costs of filling up with fuel or dealing with extra maintenance visits like oil changes. Other vehicles offer that as well, but the Leaf carries an excellent reputation for reliability, which earned it some extra points. 

How the Leaf beat out its competition


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The Chevrolet Bolt EV came in second place, while the Hyundai Kona Electric came in third. These two were pretty close in the standings to the Leaf, but long-term costs appeared to be higher than what KBB expects the Leaf to bring. 

The Chevy Bolt had longer distance-to-charge figures, but its predicted cost to own price for five years turned out to be $42,417. The Kona was costlier yet. Its predicted costs were $44,910, despite having a distance-to-charge figure of 258 miles, just one mile short of the Bolt. 

If you add up the fact the Nissan Leaf has modern interior styling and comfortable seating with plenty of standard features, with the cost to own award, it makes Nissan’s EV offering even better. Especially since the Leaf has won that award three years in a row.