If you want a reliable car buy one 3 years old with a by now proven good
Some years ago Which magazine came up with 3 year old cars what were far
more reliable than newer models.
Another +1 for Which?
FWIW my Jazz hybrid has lived up to its reputation. It's going to need a
set of disks and pads at the next MOT, but all it has needed so far on
top of routine servicing is wiper blades and tyres.
You silly old FUDder.
1: How long they last.
Nissan are claiming that used in temperate North European climate they
can last for over 20 years. Most cars are scrapped at 14 years - though
Nissan seem to think 10 years is cars life. They are worrying what they
will they do with all the batteries from scrapped cars (#Tesla call it a
If you frequently use rapid charging life will be reduced. If you are a
charge to 100% at home, life will be reduced - only charge to 90-95%. If
you run it near flat frequently life will be reduced.
If you commute for more than 1 1/2 hours each day then an older Nissan
Leaf may not be the car for you. Get a Tesla 3.
2: How much they cost to replace.
£4290. (but 1/2 of this in Japan)
It's not worth replacing a battery on an 8 year old Leaf. Battery health
is an important factor in the value of 2nd hand Leaf or any EV.
"Paul O?Neill, EV manager for Nissan Motor GB, said "Nissan expects the
majority of Leaf drivers will never need to replace their battery. The
fact we have only replaced three batteries out of 30,000 Leafs sold
across Europe since launch supports this."
Had my 196K mile, 27 year old 200SX in welding shop last week. Speaking
to guy that runs the place he says Toyota go forever.
I've had 4 coolant hoses fail in last year - it's way of asking for a
new silicone hose upgrade. Anyone of these events could have destroyed
the engine. Had a major oil leak from the oil cooler, the o-rings that
seal it have been discontinued. Tinkle on startup says it's going to
need big ends soon. I spend less a year than most people lose in
Reliability Index link below is based on claims and cost of repair. Cars
are out of makers warranty and will be 2nd owner so typically 3-6 years
old. Few people will be buying 3rd party warranty for cars over 8 years old.
Ford Fiesta/Focus the rear suspension bushes will fail at about 7-8
years old. Cheap to fix but needs a £100 tool - a big screw, extended
double length nut, large short tube and some discs. Without this tool it
is a much more expensive job, as Ford say take the whole rear suspension
off and use a press tool. 3-4 hours instead of 1 and labour is around
Fiesta and BMW break coil springs. Fiesta £25 a pair, £50 to fit. BMW if
you have to ask you can't ...
Battery technology (or rather the management of batteries) has moved on a
huge amount in the last 8 years. The OP was asking for a new car, so they
won't experience the growing pains of early 2010s technology, which is the
current crop of cars reaching the end of their first decade.
It's like being in 1990 and comparing with a PC from 1980, or an aircraft in
1930 compared with 1910. The past was not a simple predictor of the future.
Many thanks for the info. Somewhat longer than I believed.
I did note that Nissan only guarantee 60,000 miles but if the battery
failed just outside the warranty it implies the car could be a write off
after 5 years of typical driving.
The Nissan claim puts me in mind of the BMW boast that their
transmissions were maintenance free for the service life of the
vehicle and actually advised customers and service centres to not
bother changing the gearbox oil and filter. See how that worked out
for them. And then there was the VW emissions scandal.
Manufacturers' claims need to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Lexus, who use the same battery technology as the Toyota Prius, give you a
warranty for 10k milee/one year as the result of a check that costs £50
standalone or is free with a service. They will extend that warranty until
the car is 15 years old. As others have pointed out there are pleanty
examples of Priuses getting to over 250,000 miles and Lexuses are also known
for their longevity.
There is a healthy secondary market in battery refurbishment for the
Toyota/Lexus battery packs because there are so many Priuses around. The
Check Hybrid System warning light usually means there is a bad module
somewhere in the battery block; these are connected in series so one bad
module will tend to degrade the whole system. There are companies out there
who will identify and replace the bad module(s) and generally sort the
system out for you at reasoable rates, e.g.
Not sure how this translates to full EVs, but I would expect similar rules
apply, although the hybrid batteries get a fairly easy life.
EV batteries are a lot bigger and more unwieldy. It is possible to remove
some of them from underneath using a forklift. I'm not sure how easy it is
to get at modules of some of them, but I presume you can with some effort.
For the Tesla Model 3, Elon says (2019) battery modules should last 300-500k
miles (1500 cycles) and a module replacement would be $5-7k. Tesla's
Chinese battery supplier CATL is making a battery rated at 2 million km
(1.24 million miles).
A module swap is probably at least half a day's labour for somewhere that's
set up to do it, so it is likely not a very cheap repair even if you get the
modules from scrap vehicles. (Tesla model S 5kWh module is about GBP1000 on
ebay these days)
Doable, but not trivial. OTOH I'm not sure what you'd be looking at for an
engine swap in terms of parts and labour.
EV? still too expensive and not enough charge stations for me to have
one as my only vehicle.
Nissan Leaf £29,000 new depreciating to £9000 at 3 years old 48,000
miles (source Autotrader, cars within a 50 mile radius of Peterborough)
Wow! pointless buying new £20,000 loss in 3 years!
That tells me they are not very popular and Joe Public must think that
there is far too much of a risk of battery/control electronics failure
or they are in fact not very good.
That's the currently available crop, give it another 5 to 10 years and
there might be suitable vehicles, battery technology, enough charging
stations and available National Grid capacity to charge them.
Whilst those are two important considerations, having had a test drive in
an EV, I never want to drive an ICE powered abomination again!
It?s only when you drive an EV that you realise just how crap ICEs are for