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Nissan Is Considering a Z SUV Because Why Not

Nissan Is Considering a Z SUV Because Why Not

Japanese automaker needs a cash cow, and this might be it

The Nissan Z Proto’s arrival has thrust Nissan straight to the headlines, and as speculation continues to grow on what kind of next-generation Z sports car is going to come out of the concept vehicle, word has it that Nissan isn’t going to stop with just a new Z sports car.

Ivan Espinosa, Nissan’s Senior VP for Global Product Planning, admitted during a recent media event that a Z SUV (or crossover) is something that Nissan is currently exploring. Espinoza stopped short of confirming anything, but the fact that it’s even in consideration speaks to the lengths that Nissan will go to in order to maximize the strength and appeal of its Z brand. Given the company’s current financial struggles, a Z SUV doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

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2020 Nissan Leaf - Driven

2020 Nissan Leaf - Driven

The Leaf is a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and even some things ugly

Nissan Leaf has been on the block for a decade now. It was one of the earliest entrants in the market and continues to live on. While it can be considered as the veteran in this segment if you go by its age, the Leaf didn’t make a mark like, say, any of the Tesla models did in their respective segment.

The electric hatch comes with acceptable aesthetics and decent tech features, but not the best powertrain or battery specs. But, there’s certainly more to this than meets the eye, and we’re here to uncover it. The Nissan Leaf arrived at TopSpeed’s headquarters recently, and here are our impressions about this urban electric commuter.

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2020 Nissan Sentra - Driven

2020 Nissan Sentra - Driven

Forget (most of) what you knew about Nissan’s compact sedan

The last two generations of Nissan Sentra have followed a simple formula: a spacious interior, a smooth ride, great gas mileage, and low prices. For plenty of compact-sedan buyers, that’s a winning formula. But it came at the expense of driving pleasure — to the extreme. Last year’s Nissan Sentra wasn’t merely dull, but downright awful if you try to get some grins. Its wheezy 124-horsepower engine struggled under all but the gentlest acceleration, and its handling betrayed an alarming lack of composure for a modern small car. And while its upright styling could be considered elegant from some angles, it just looked tall and narrow from others.

For the 2020 model year, Nissan has worked to reinvent the Sentra. A striking new body sits atop a more sophisticated suspension and wraps around a more potent engine and a fancier interior. All the while, Nissan has kept prices in check and even improved the Sentra’s gas mileage.

Do the changes turn the Sentra into a class leader? Not exactly. Even after this year’s improvements, you can still find quicker, sharper-handling, more luxuriously-finished small sedans. And if you loved the old Sentra because you could get a huge backseat and trunk at a fire-sale price, the new model will feel like a step backward.

By becoming more similar to competitors like the latest Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and Kia Forte, the 2020 Sentra loses the old model’s standout spaciousness and value — but it brings fresh advantages to the table all while keeping costs in check.

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Crazy Car for Sale: R35-Powered 2019 Nissan Juke GT-R

Crazy Car for Sale: R35-Powered 2019 Nissan Juke GT-R

It’s the only one you can buy, but it costs as much as a Ferrari!

Built from 2010 to 2019, the first-generation Nissan Juke was a really popular crossover. It looked rather strange on the outside, but it grew on people. On top of that, it was available with a wide range of engines and a decent interior in terms of space and features. But the Juke wasn’t particularly powerful until 2013 when the 197-horsepower Nismo model was launched. Things became really wild for the same model year, as Nissan announced the Juke-R, fitted with the GT-R’s twin-turbo V-6 engine. Only five were built, and just one made it onto the streets. And you can buy that specific model for a whopping $324,000.

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2020 Nissan Sentra - Driven

2020 Nissan Sentra - Driven

The car that was once unappealing in so many ways has moved upmarket

The Sentra might be Nissan’s best-selling model of all time, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s been labeled as “cheap,” “uninspired,” or “sluggish.” Those claims to fame come courtesy of the last-generation model that has, thankfully, been replaced. For the 2020 model year, the Nissan Sentra ditches its old digs for a new Maxima-inspired design that sits atop a new platform. That old, sluggish 1.8-liter engine has been replaced with something a little more responsible and powerful, the 2.0-liter from the Nissan Rogue.

With the Nissan Sentra set to hit dealers in late February, Nissan invited us to give its updated compact sedan a test drive to see just how much better it really is. This is our experience.

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2020 Nissan Versa - Driven

2020 Nissan Versa - Driven

Nissan’s updated, entry-level sedan is kind of fun to drive

The third-generation Nissan Versa was launched and the 2019 New York Auto Show, and with it came an all-new design inside an out. The new Versa features a wider body, was finally updated to feature Nissan’s V-Motion grille, and the rear end benefits form boomerang-shaped tail lights. We got the chance to test the SR model, so it had the extra spoiler on the rear deck but overall, as a package, the new Versa is sportier and more aggressive than before.

The interior felt a dramatic revamp as well, borrowing features from the recently updated Maxima and Altima. The new “Gliding Wing” instrument panel is probably the most recognizable change here, but we also had the SR model, so we were focused on things like the flat-bottom steering wheel, seven-inch infotainment display, and the red and black interior. In terms of cargo room, the Versa will swallow up 14.3 cubic-feet of goods with the rear seats in place or as much as 88.9 with the seats folded down.

Under the hood of our SR tester sits a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that was completely revamped from the last model. It delivers a meager 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque, which is, impressively, 12-percent more horsepower and 7-percent more torque. The engine sent the power to the front, 17-inch wheels via an automatic transmission. Pricing for the Versa SR starts at $18,240, but ours was priced at $21,490 with a few option boxes checked. Stay tuned for a full, in-depth review of the 2019 Nissan Versa SR.

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2020 Nissan Rogue - Driven

2020 Nissan Rogue - Driven

This aging compact crossover still has the goods

It’s far too easy for car aficionados to dismiss an aging vehicle. “Just look at that dashboard — straight out of 2014. And that hopelessly uncompetitive engine, ugh; to keep up, it needs at least 11% more horsepower. Junk!”

Now, we’d never suggest that cars never fall behind the curve. Quite the contrary, it happens all the time in today’s fast-paced marketplace. But when a vehicle gets the important stuff right from the start, especially if it also benefits from updates over the years, it can still be a great choice in its segment throughout its lifespan. And that’s precisely the case we’re finding with the 2020 Nissan Rogue compact crossover, one of America’s best-selling vehicles. The Rogue still brings a handsome face, a pleasant driving experience, great gas mileage, and a spacious cabin. And it’s now laden with advanced driver-assistance technology, even on the base model.

True, the Rogue hasn’t changed much since its current generation debuted as a 2014 model. Yes, its interior still has the sort of humdrum plastics and plain shapes that most newer competitors have moved away from. And its 170 horsepower is undoubtedly on the low side for the segment these days. The Rogue isn’t one of the compact crossovers that brings a high degree of luxury, sporty performance, or overall pizzazz. But we’d challenge its critics to spend a week in one, study how it compares to its competitors, and still write it off as a tired relic. We found the Rogue to be a solid family vehicle at compelling prices, and we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed our time with it — and with the glowing praise it received from passengers. Prices start at $26,39, including destination charge.

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2020 Nissan Sentra Photo Gallery

2020 Nissan Sentra Photo Gallery

It’s not a performance model by any means, but the new Nissan Sentra is a huge step forward

Nissan introduced the new generation of the Sentra at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show with an all-new look that’s not only more classy, but more modern than ever. It brings the next generation of Nissan’s V-Motion grille, sleeker headlights, revised taillights, and a all-new side profile that puts an emphasis on both form and function. It now sits two inches lower and two inches wider, while borrowing some DNA from the new Nissan Maxima. Eight exterior colors are available and the rear end even gets a sporty little spoiler.

Unfortunately, a performance model doesn’t seem to be in the books, but the 2020 model does come with an increase in performance thanks to a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Despite the lack of turbocharging, the new engine delivers 149 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. It’s still not a lot by modern day expectations, but horsepower is improved by 20-percent while torque has been increased by 16-percent. If nothing else, maybe merging on the highway will be easier, right?

The good news is that, despite the lack of performance credentials, the interior of the Sentra is actually a nice place to be. The interior is more refined and luxurious than ever. It is a little deceiving, though, as the flat-bottom steering wheel, contrast stitching, and aluminum accents might have you believing that you’re in something much more that it really is. The new, 2020 Nissan Sentra goes on sale in January 2020 and should come with a mild pricing increase at best.

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Nissan Will Introduce an IMx-Based Production Model to the U.S. Market but It Won't Be Anywhere Near as Cool

Nissan Will Introduce an IMx-Based Production Model to the U.S. Market but It Won’t Be Anywhere Near as Cool

It also won’t arrive until 2021 so there’s enough time to dissect what this model is going to be

Nissan’s IMx concept is finally going to be put to good use. Word has it that the SUV concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show will form the basis of a new compact electric crossover that will be sold down the road in the U.S. Not much is known about Nissan’s plans at the moment, but early whispers paint a hazy picture of a Rogue-sized crossover that can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under five seconds and run for 300 miles on a single charge. The new electric crossover isn’t expected to arrive until 2021, but when it does, it will be among eight new all-electric models that Nissan plans to launch globally over the coming years.

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Next-Gen Nissan Juke NISMO has its work cut out?

Next-Gen Nissan Juke NISMO has its work cut out?

It needs to look, drive and feel really exciting

Nissan has only just pulled the veil away from its all-new second-generation Juke crossover and we’re already wondering what the hot Juke NISMO variant might be like. The automaker will probably go quite crazy with it if it does get made, but until we get official confirmation of the production model, this rendering is all we have to go by.

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2019 Nissan Juke arrives with updated design, new platform and roomier interior

2019 Nissan Juke arrives with updated design, new platform and roomier interior

Nearly ten years after the first Nissan Juke burst onto the car scene, an all-new model has been launched

Nissan took a gamble when it launched the Juke small crossover in 2010. The bug-eyed design was definitely very polarizing, but the model quickly (and rather surprisingly for some) gained a lot of fans and now it’s a really common sight in many countries (over one million found homes just in Europe alone). And since the radical design approach proved so successful, Nissan has elected not to change it too much for the model’s second generation that was just revealed, even though it’s an all-new vehicle riding on a different platform.

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2020 Nissan Juke

2020 Nissan Juke

The second-generation model arrives for the 2020 model year

The 2020 Nissan Juke is an upcoming subcompact crossover from the Japanese firm. It’s the second-generation of the already iconic SUV that has soldiered on with minor changes since 2010. The 2020 Juke will make its global debut in September with a brand-new exterior design, a revamped interior, and state-of-the-art technology borrowed from bigger Nissan models.

When the Nissan Kicks replaced the Juke in the U.S. for the 2018 model year, it was rumored that the old crossover won’t have a future in other parts of the world. We were basically expecting a replacement under a different nameplate in Europe as well. In an unexpected turn of events, Nissan announced that the Juke will carry over with a second-generation model. The new Juke will arrive in early September 2019 and Nissan just released preliminary information and photos of camouflaged prototypes. Check out my speculative review below to find out everything we know about this vehicle.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 Nissan Kicks

Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 Nissan Kicks

Since crossovers are all the craze these days, we’ve decided that it’s time to start paying our dues to the little guys in the subcompact segment. After all, they do offer a lot of space for their size, and some of them actually offer decent creature comforts too. With that in mind, we’ve decided to give the 2019 Nissan Kicks a second look. As Nissan’s smallest crossover and a replacement for the Juke in the U.S. market, the Nissan Kicks has a lot to live up to. It does have that cool floating roof, though, and according to Nissan, it has the “best-in-class rear passenger space.” What really catches our attention, however, is the exterior look that’s toned down in comparison to the Juke it replaces but isn’t so toned down that it’s boring or undesirable. In fact, the Kicks represents exactly what the Juke should have been all this time. Needless to say, we’re pretty fond of the new Kicks, so we’ve decided to make it our wallpaper of the day. We’ve posted our favorite below, but you can choose your favorite from the gallery at the bottom of the page!

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2019 Nissan Kicks

2019 Nissan Kicks

Nissan expands is CUV offerings with the new subcompact Kicks

The Kicks is Nissan’s smallest crossover offering in the United States, and it’s widely based on the 2014 Nissan Kicks Concept that debuted back in 2014 at the Sao Paulo International Auto Show. In essence, the new Kicks CUV is quite similar to the concept, and most of the design cues carry over. As always, the overall design has been toned down a bit because, well, the production models are never as good as the concepts. Major features include a floating roof with a “wrap-around visor,” a comprehensive infotainment system, and best-in-class rear passenger space.

Keno Kato, the Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan, said, “With Kicks, we have developed a compact crossover in the best Nissan tradition, and thanks to the unmatched experience we have in creating vehicles to meet the needs of car-buyers around the world, Kicks will offer best-in-class design, convenience, and technological innovation. And, it will demonstrate Nissan’s commitment to Nissan Intelligent Mobility. Kicks is a car to confidently take on the city.”

The Kicks replaced the Juke in the United States, but it’s not available in Europe as of 2019. Let’s find out more about this crossover in the review below.

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2020 Nissan Sentra

2020 Nissan Sentra

The overlooked sedan will now demand all your attention

Nissan unveiled the new Sylphy at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. The new Sylphy will most likely come to our shores as the new 2020 Nissan Sentra. Nissan has been selling the Sentra in the U.S. since 2013 and it has been quite a success for the Japanese automaker. Even though the Sentra has managed to create a market for itself as a value-for-money proposition, it does not appeal to the enthusiasts or anyone looking for a little ’life’ in their car. However, the company plans to change this with the 2020 model, and we must say, it has our attention! Disclaimer: I’ll be calling this car the Nissan Sentra throughout the article and not Nissan Sylphy because we’ll be getting it with the Sentra badge in the U.S. - and partly because Sylphy sounds quite funny.

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