How To Read A Nissan Leaf Dashboard? [Explained]

Many people have driven gas or diesel cars before they step behind the wheel of a Nissan Leaf. That means many of the indicators, gauges, icons, meters, and warning lights in the Nissan Leaf’s dashboard will be familiar to them when they get in.

That said, there are some different things about an electric vehicle’s dashboard, especially a 2nd generation Nissan Leaf. So let’s take a quick tour of the dashboard of the Nissan Leaf.

Photo credit: Nissan Media

Left-Hand Instrument Panel

The left-hand instrument panel is where you can access information about your car, battery, charging status, infotainment system and more. There are options for which information is shown in this space, and you can toggle between the ‘pages’ of available data using the direction pad to the left of your steering wheel.

Power Meter:
This is the default screen you see when you get in the car. It’s a large circular dial marked in gradations, with a figure in miles at the center and a picture of a charging point next to it. That central figure shows how many more miles you can go before needing to recharge.

The circular gauge is complicated, though – when it moves clockwise, it indicates the power being consumed by the motor. When it moves anti-clockwise, it registers regenerative power and recharges the battery. Most drivers will probably only need to read the central figure.

To the left of your power meter, you have four vertical dots. Each of these gives you more information on your power situation – how long till full charge, your battery temperature, the percentage fullness of your battery, and your battery capacity.

Underneath the power meter, you also have a smartphone-style battery power gauge in percentage fullness.

You’ll see a time, a speed limit, and a temperature indicator along the top left. That’s the temperature outside the vehicle, as opposed to the battery temperature.

Going down the direction pad will give details of your infotainment options – radio stations, audio sources, and track listings for your MP3 player.

Another tap down on the direction pad, and you’ll see your satnav, with road graphics, turn indicators, street names, etc.

Drive Economy and Other Data:
Down the pad, you can find information on your driving economy, including records of how fuel and cost-efficient your current drive and several previous drives have been so that you can keep a record of your energy efficiency.

Digital Speedometer:
One of the things people ask about most when they get into the 2nd Generation Nissan Leaf: “Where’s the digital speedo gone?” That’s understandable because there’s a traditional analog speedo on the right-hand side, and at first glance, it looks like a retro step. But no – the digital speedo is here, nested within all the options for how you fill your left-hand instrument panel.

Pro Pilot:
Down the pad, you’ll find the Pro Pilot displayed in the left-hand instrument panel. This gives you details of which sensors are currently active and can turn on and customize the elements of the car’s safety features that appeal to you. For example, lane maintenance, blind spot awareness, the maximum distance between you and the vehicle in front, collision avoidance, and more are all available from this screen.

Tire Pressure Monitoring:
Moving down the screens, you’ll find your tire pressure monitoring screen in the left-hand instrument panel.

Drive Computer:
Drop down again, and you’ll access your drive computer, giving details of how far you’ve traveled on your current journey compared to other trips.

The left-hand instrument panel is also where you’ll find options to change practically every setting in the car and set alarms to remind yourself of when you want to schedule maintenance or check on things like your tires.

Somewhere between an alarm clock and an Alexa, it’s highly customizable and will need you to explore it in more detail to ensure your particular alarms of consequence are set.

Where everything we’ve said so far needs a pinch of salt is that the settings section lets you change and order the screens you see in the left-hand instrument panel as default, so you can essentially tweak any of this information so that what’s available to you, and the order in which the pages come, works better for you.

System Warnings:
You can also access any system warnings that have been triggered in the history of your use of the car here. If you’re out of windshield washing liquid, you’ll get a notice, and you can access it through a warning triangle icon in your drive computer.

Analog Speedometer

Taking up much of the right-hand space of the dash is an analog speedometer for anyone who doesn’t enjoy the digital version or who routinely wants to keep the left-hand instrument panel filled with other information.

Eco Mode/e-Pedal

When you select Eco mode on your 2nd generation Leaf, the Eco Mode icon will illuminate. Eco mode helps you go further on less power by reducing acceleration compared to when you’re in standard Drive mode (D).

The e-pedal indicator light lets you know when the e-pedal system is engaged. The e-pedal helps you slow, stop, or stay stopped, using only the accelerator pedal rather than switching between the accelerator and the brake. It’s a system that takes a little while to get used to, but once you master it, it becomes handy and natural.

Warning Lights

Most of the warning lights in a Nissan Leaf are the same as in any other car and should be read the same way. A few you might not know though, are:

Electric Shift Control Warning Light

A cogwheel with a central exclamation point is the electric shift control warning light. It lights up when a malfunction occurs in the electric shift control system.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

A symbol representing a rounded tire with treads along the bottom and a central exclamation point means you have low pressure in one or more tires.

Vehicle Charging Light

The image of a power cable lights up in green when you connect your charge connector and flashes while the car is charging. The Leaf automatically stops charging when it’s full, saving you from remembering to stop the charge.

EV Warning Light

An image of a car with an exclamation point through its center indicates a malfunction in the car’s electrical or cooling systems.

Power Limitation Warning Light

A tortoise in a circle indicates your power is limited, and your car will be less responsive when you press on the accelerator. The rest of your Nissan Leaf’s dashboard should be intuitive to most drivers.

Related Articles:
3 ways you can you charge a Nissan Leaf at home
Can a Nissan Leaf be used to jump-start?
Can a Nissan Leaf use a Tesla Supercharger?
How long will a Nissan Leaf battery last for?
What does it cost to charge a Nissan Leaf?
How to replace a Nissan Leaf key battery
Why are used Nissan Leaf’s so cheap?
Can you tow a Nissan Leaf?
The BEST EV home chargers for the Nissan Leaf