Thursday, 29 September 2022

 

“Wow. That’s a Nissan?”

This was a common expression I heard all week when people would walk by and stare at the 2023 Nissan Z I was test-driving.

The long-awaited vehicle — the 7th generation of the Z model aimed at driving enthusiasts — has finally arrived this summer, offering a more affordable option to fans of speed and power who don’t want to spend luxury dollars for a rear-wheel-drive coupe offering a pure thrill ride. With few true competitors — most notably the Toyota GR Supra — the latest Z has a great shot at drawing a significant fan base among devoted enthusiasts. 

In an era where most big launches are electric vehicles, the arrival of the new Z is a big deal.

The 2023 Nissan Z is the 7th generation of the Z legacy, which stretches back all the way to 1969. I was able to test a prototype of this highly anticipated sports car, and I’m back with a full report on the vehicle — which aims to continue the Z’s historic styling and sporty nature while adding in some modern tech features.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

 

As large as vehicles have gotten these days, with the biggest SUVs looking more and more like monster trucks than ever, there is still a strong market — particularly among younger people and those who drive mainly in urban areas — for smaller and more maneuverable vehicles that don’t take up so much space.

That’s where vehicles like the 2022 Nissan Kicks — a subcompact crossover first introduced a few years back — come into play. WIth a no-frills approach that’s the polar opposite of the ultra luxury offerings available today, it’s focused mainly on offering an attractive, tech-savvy ride that is also affordable.

I recently tested the 2022 Nissan Kicks (in the top SR trim level), and I’m back with a full report of what it offers and how it compares to the myriad small SUV offerings available to today’s car-buying public.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Some vehicles offer updated models every few years, others not so much. You can definitely put the Nissan Frontier in the second category.

Believe it or not, the last major redesign of the Frontier — Nissan’s mid-size pickup truck — came way back in 2005, an eternity in today’s automotive world.

Naturally, recent-year models were lacking compared to newer offerings from the competition, but finally in 2022 Nissan has decided to put that to an end.

The 2022 Nissan Frontier — which I recently was able to test — improves on the design of the vehicle, brings updates under the hood, and boosts the tech and safety offerings.

Read on to learn more about how the brand new Frontier compares to other leading trucks in this segment.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

 

 

I’ve long been a fan of the Nissan Pathfinder, a three-row SUV that has been around for nearly four decades and has often been ahead of the curve in terms of capability, design and technology. I have driven them on long road trips in the past and found them to be very comfortable and among the strongest 3-row SUVs for families traveling near or far.

But with its latest major updates coming in 2016, it was about time for a redesign. With an endless assault from rival SUVs unveiling their latest and greatest, you can’t stay stagnant that long in this business. So the 2022 model year brings us a brand new Pathfinder model — completely redesigned inside and out — that is more in tune with the current state of SUVs.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of this new Pathfinder, and I’m back with a full report. WIll this new version live up to its past, and does it measure up to the seemingly endless competition in the segment?

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Much of the talk in the realm of light-duty pickups revolves around the BIg 3 domestic offerings, but beneath all of that there are some hidden gems to be found.

The Nissan Titan can claim this distinction, as it remains as one of the two main options for fans of non-domestic trucks, along with the Toyota Tundra.

The Titan is way lower in the annual sales rankings than the top sellers (for perspective, about 30,000 Titans are sold annually, vs. almost 800,000 Ford F-Series trucks), but not everyone is enamored by the Ford/Chevy/GMC/RAM models, and they need options too, creating the niche market that the Titan can serve. Also of note: Titan trucks are assembled in the U.S. and have North American content, so like most of today’s vehicles it’s not even fully foreign.

I recently tested the 2021 Nissan Titan PRO-4X Crew Cab, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

As we move closer to everyone and their mother having a truck or SUV, small car offerings are a rarity these days, especially the subcompact vehicles that seem to be disappearing more and more each year.

The Nissan Versa is one of the few still available to those in search of a tinier ride: A subcompact, front-wheel-drive, 4-door sedan. I spent a week in a 2021 Versa, and I’m back with a full report on this small but capable ride.

LOOKS

Completely redesigned in 2020 and touched up a bit for 2021, the 2021 Nissan Versa is now one of the better-looking subcompact sedans available on the market, inside and out.

Legroom is always a concern in a subcompact, but up front there’s plenty to spare even for taller folks. In the back, of course, it’s going to be a bit cramped, which is why these types of vehicles are often used as commuter cars and not family carriers.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

Reaching the 40-year mark is a major achievement for any vehicle, and the Nissan Maxima reaches that ripe old age in 2021, leading the way as the Nissan brand’s flagship sedan.

Currently on its eight edition, the last major upgrade to the Maxima came in 2015, but for 2021 there is a limited-production 40th Anniversary Edition with some attractive design additions.

Even after all this time, and despite tough competition, the Maxima remains an attractive full-size sedan with a level of sportiness rarely found in the segment.

I recently tested a 2021 40th Anniversary Nissan Maxima and I’m back with a full report.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

With the tremendous success of Nissan’s Rogue crossover, which grew from an upstart to a contender for sales leader in its segment, it was only natural that a new version, the Rogue Sport, was introduced a few years back.

It continues to be a popular offering, and recently I had a chance to drive the 2020 Rogue Sport, which features strong technology and safety offerings, sharp looks, a roomy design and excellent value for the segment.

LOOKS

The Rogue Sport gets some updated, sporty styling for the 2020 model, particularly in the front and rear ends, and the results are pleasing to the eye. LED lights are featured, and you have options for unique metallic paint schemes including Nitro Lime and Monarch Orange.

Though the Rogue Sport is a bit smaller than the standard Rogue, it still offers an impressive amount of cargo space (among best numbers in class, at 61 cubic feet with rear seats down) and decent legroom and headroom both in front and back seats.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

People buying compact sedans aren’t generally looking for a vehicle that will take home beauty awards. They tend to want something functional and practical and affordable.

Nissan competes in this segment with the Sentra, and saw a need to step things up for the 2020 redesign. And it turned out quite nicely.

With the 2020 Nissan Sentra SR Premium, Nissan has managed to meet all the criteria listed above, plus offer a beautiful looking ride that will turn heads. It looks like a sports car, and drives much better than you’d expect from an entry-level sedan out of a non-luxury automaker’s stable.

LOOKS

The 2020 Nissan Sentra I tested featured a two-tone Monarch Orange and Super Black color scheme which was sharp and among the best looking vehicles I’ve seen this year. The design up front is especially bold and attractive and jumps out at you in a good way.

In a class not known much for its looks, this may be among the best-looking options available in 2020. I got more feedback on this car than I've gotten on vehicles that cost twice as much, and it was all positive.

This is a compact sedan, so legroom and headroom are tight in the rear, but the front seats are quite comfortable. The quality of materials used inside the Sentra were higher than you might expect for this price point, too.

Standard on the SR trim level are 18-inch alloy wheels, dark chrome grill, LED headlights and fog lamps, heated exterior mirrors, a rear spoiler, leather shift knob, and sport cloth interior.

The Premium package (well worth its $2,170 cost) will get you thin lens LED headlamps, power sliding glass moonroof, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats, leatherette seats, Intelligent Around View Monitor, and auto-dimming rear view mirror.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

Long viewed as one of the more basic, low-priced vehicles available to buyers on a budget, the Nissan Versa comes back for 2020 with a redesign aimed at stepping up its status among subcompact vehicles.  

I recently spent some time in a 2020 Versa and I’m back with a full report on how impactful the changes for the new model were, and how it competes in the subcompact sedan segment.

LOOKS

While in the past the Versa mostly blended in and lacked character in its exterior design, the 2020 Versa makes a strong impression and delivers a big step up design-wise — with a new look that’s lower to the ground, as well as wider and longer, and featuring sharp lines.

A statement is also made with the new interior, which feels quite comfortable and is more upscale than its bargain basement price would lead you to expect. The Versa seats 5 people, though the rear seating will be tight for adults. Controls are well placed and easy to use.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

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