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Buying a Nissan Leaf, What’s Your Reason, Ms. Eichenberger?

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Nissan Leaf Number 99,999
Nissan Leaf Number 99,999

Over 100,000 Nissan Leaf have been sold since the beginning, an impressive start for an electric vehicle, but why would you buy one?

You can probably come up with a number of reasons to buy a Nissan Leaf, especially if your financial circumstances permit you to sign financing papers. “Zero emissions” might top the list, as well as “near zero refueling costs.” Perhaps “fun to drive” and “good styling” might be a little lower on the list for some people. The 99,999th Nissan Leaf buyer, in Charlottesville, Virginia, wasn’t looking for a new vehicle, let alone an electric vehicle.

Seeing, apparently, wasn’t enough when Amy Eichenberger saw a fellow University of Virginia colleague’s Nissan Leaf, and she just had to learn more about it. Ms. Eichenberger describes the car as “modern, futuristic, and progressive,” which is pretty good to hear coming from the lips of an architect. At the same time, she describes herself as a picky driver, and has been driving a Mercedes Benz for around ten years. Having been told she’d never want to drive anything else after driving a Mercedes, how could a Nissan ever stack up?

I like the fact that Ms. Eichenberger mentions her needs in a vehicle, especially build quality, safety equipment, reliability, and ride quality. For years, her Mercedes was all of those things, but setting foot in a Nissan Leaf apparently changed her view of what kind of car could tick off all the items in that list. Really, there are few economy vehicles that are so well-put-together that they can compete with the likes of Mercedes, but “I do appreciate the solid feel and craftsmanship of a luxury vehicle, and I get that in the LEAF,” mentions Ms. Eichenberger.

Of course, Ms. Eichenberger didn’t set out to “buy a Nissan Leaf,” but test-drive several other vehicles, as well. Looking at the Volkswagen Jetta TDI (turbodiesel), Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, and a couple of Subaru wagons, the Nissan Leaf kept coming to the top of the list. “Everything else seemed stuck in the past,” she said.

Welcome to the future, Ms. Eichenberger.

Image © Nissan North America

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