2021 Nissan Kicks (Facelift)
Nissan has revised the Kicks compact crossover for the 2021 model year, and while it’s just a facelift, it’s hard not to notice how different it looks. In short, the 2021 Kicks is more aggressive and sleeker than before with a new, larger grille, revised exterior lighting, and improved interior amenities that pushes the compact crossover closer to the premium segment than ever before.
2020 Nissan Leaf - Driven
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.
2020 Nissan Sentra - Driven
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.
2020 Nissan Sentra - Driven
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.
2020 Nissan Versa - Driven
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.
2020 Nissan Rogue - Driven
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.
2020 Nissan Sentra Photo Gallery
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.
2020 Nissan Juke
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.
2019 Nissan 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.
2020 Nissan Sentra
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.
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport
When seen from a bird’s eye view, Nissan is actually managing its crossover portfolio quite well. At the entry-level, the Japanese automaker has the Kicks and, at the top, it has the Nissan Rogue. Nissan had the Juke to fill the gap in between, but the model was discontinued a couple of years back. Although it looked like the Kicks will have to manage two duties, Nissan quickly came up with a much better replacement for the Juke in the form of the Nissan Rogue Sport. The Rogue Sport was specially designed for the U.S. market and is not being sold anywhere else.
2019 Nissan Sentra - Short Review
As a compact sedan, the Nissan Sentra never was what one may call "popular" among gearheads. Yet, Nissan is eager to improve it, even going so far as to release a spirited Nismo version in the process a few years back. Now, we have the 2019 Nissan Sentra with only a handful of upgrades, most notable of which is the integration of the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all models, save for the entry Sentra S.
2019 Nissan Leaf Nismo
Introduced in 2010, the Nissan Leaf set many benchmarks in the electric car market and has become one of the most popular EVs out there. But, after seven years on the market, the Leaf got a bit long in the tooth, and with other companies having introduced more modern EVs in this niche, Nissan had no choice but to develop a second-generation model. Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the new Leaf is better in just about any department and it finally spawned a Nismo version.
Previewed by a concept unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the Leaf Nismo is heavily based on the show car. However, the Nismo isn’t the "higher power, longer range version at a higher price" promised by Nissan, as the upgrade is far from comprehensive under the skin. The EV was also launched in Japan only, and it doesn’t seem as if Nissan wants to sell it in Europe or the United States anytime soon. Information is still scarce, but until more data becomes available let’s have a closer look at what we already know about it.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Leaf Nismo.
2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec
Without a doubt, the SUV and crossover market is still running strong, prompting every automaker under the sun to fill their lineups to capacity with fresh tall-riding hatches in a bid to satisfy the public’s seemingly never-ending demand. Nissan is no different, offering U.S buyers no less than six different models in the segment, including the Juke, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada. Unfortunately, lovers of the funky and fun Juke won’t see the compact on the roster for much longer, as rumor has it Nissan is showing it the door in 2018. However, in its stead, Nissan will offer something fresh – enter the Kicks. The Kicks is Nissan’s very first new nameplate in 8 years, arriving as a new entry-level model in the Japanese automaker’s lineup with more room and a lower price tag than the Juke. It’s also got some nice technology, both for entertainment and for safety purposes.
The Kicks is already on sale in South America, but arrives stateside more or less unchanged in the hopes of enticing urban consumers, or as Nissan puts it, “singles or couples looking for unique styling, roominess, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features at an affordable price.” So – how does it stack up?
Updated 05/08/2018: Nissan announced prices for the 2018 Kicks. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Nissan Kicks.
2020 Nissan IMx
Having launched the Leaf back in 2010, Nissan is one of the pioneers of the all-electric industry. While not as efficient as the recently launched Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the Leaf remains the best-selling EV ever build as of early 2018. However, Nissan has yet to expand its all-electric lineup beyond this hatchback, and it is now falling behind the competition. This could change by the end of 2018, with Nissan likely to debut a battery-powered crossover based on the IMx concept.
Introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the IMx is described as "an all-electric crossover concept vehicle offering fully autonomous operation and a driving range of more than 600 km." Nissan also says that the vehicle provides "a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society." The IMx also previews the company’s new design language, so it could change quite a few things for the Japanese automaker. If put into production, it could go against the Tesla Model X, currently the quickest, most efficient, and most popular electric crossover out there.
While Nissan didn’t officially confirm a production version of the IMx, an all-electric crossover is the next logical step now that the second-generation Leaf is on its way to dealerships. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan IMx.
2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept
The Nissan Leaf has been around since 2010, and it’s already one of the most popular all-electric vehicles on the road. The Japanese compact has been declared the best-selling EV in both 2013 and 2014 and sales have already surpassed 250,000 units as of 2017. On top of that, it has won numerous awards globally. Come 2017, and Nissan has launched the second-generation Leaf, a significantly improved vehicle that’s not only more appealing to look at, but also a better competitor to brand-new EVs like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. And it seems that the second-gen Leaf may finally spawn a Nismo version. Or at least this is what the Leaf Nismo Concept that was built for the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show suggests.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed for production, the Leaf Nismo Concept seems ready to hit the assembly line, as every new feature it received is inspired by previous Nismo cars. As usual, it has a sportier exterior, while the interior is highlighted by contrast stitching and the Nismo-specific red trim. The drivetrain has also been upgraded with a new, sporty suspension and revised ECU. On the other hand, both the electric motor and the battery are as standard as they get, which raises some concern as to whether or not the production version of the Leaf Nismo will be an authentic Nismo vehicle or just an annoying visual package. But, let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.
2017 Nissan Micra Bose Personal Edition
The Nissan Micra is a good subcompact car that Nissan has relied on to compete against the likes of the Ford Fiesta and the Honda Jazz. It’s certainly made a name for itself in its segment, but the last thing you’d probably associate with the Micra is a premium sound system company like Bose. Then again, the auto industry is a business of never-ending surprises, and we were treated to one such surprise at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Nissan brought with it the Micra Bose Personal Edition, a special edition iteration of the subcompact car that was developed to celebrate the collaboration between Nissan and, you guessed it, Bose.
There is some initial surprise in seeing a car like the Micra get the full Bose treatment, but once that first reaction wears off, you’ll be happy to know that the Micra Bose Personal Edition is actually a pretty interesting offering. Sure, Bose is heavily involved, particularly when it comes to the car’s sound system, but the car isn’t just about Bose either. It also has a choice of unique paint colors and a wide range of added accessories courtesy of the car’s very own personalization program.
Yep, the Nissan Micra has its own version of Porsche Exclusive or McLaren Special Operations, relative, of course, to the quality and price point of its segment. Oh, and while we’re at it, the Micra Bose Limited Edition also has a trove of tech and standard equipment, all thanks to the fact that the whole run of limited edition models – 3,000 in total – are based on the range-topping Tekna trim.
As far as cars with personalities are concerned, the Nissan Micra Bose Personal Edition makes no bones about what makes it special. You can point to the fancy-schematic color scheme or the aforementioned menu of tech and equipment, but at the end of the day, this limited run version of the Micra is all about Bose.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Micra Bose Personal Edition.
2017 Nissan Rogue Midnight Edition
The Chicago Auto Show has carved a unique niche in the auto show calendar. Whereas other events like Geneva and Detroit are considered the two biggest shows in the world, the Windy City’s version has evolved into a place where automakers showcase their latest accessories and special editions. Nissan, for example, is heavily involved in Chicago because most of its high-profile models, including the best-selling Nissan Rogue, are showing off their new Midnight Edition packages.
You might remember that Nissan initially offered the Midnight Edition package for the Maxima sedan a year ago. Well, it turns out that a lot of people liked the essence of the package that they started clamoring the Japanese automaker to expand its availability to other models wearing the Nissan badge. And so, here we are. Nissan not only gave in to those demands, it went above and beyond what was asked and developed packages for not one, but five new models, including the aforementioned Rogue compact SUV.
The Midnight Edition package for the Nissan Rogue consists mainly of aesthetic upgrades meant to infuse some sporting character to the vehicle. In as far as objectives are concerned, the Rogue’s Midnight Edition package not different from others of its kind, even if the specifics do vary depending on the model.
Remember though that if you’re looking for extensive upgrades to your Nissan Rogue, the Midnight Edition package doesn’t address everything you might be looking for. For one, engine upgrades are nowhere to be found and the interior add-ons are minimal at best. But if your expectations are right where they should be, the package should be an attractive option, especially since the added cost of it won’t necessarily burn holes in your pocket.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Rogue Midnight Edition package.
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport
The second-generation Nissan Rogue was introduced in 2013, and much like its predecessor, it’s a version of the X-Trail specifically revised for the North American market. Upgraded inside and out for the 2017 model year, the Rogue also gained a little brother for the 2018 model year. Dubbed Rogue Sport, this new crossover is actually the second-generation Qashqai, that Nissan launched in Europe for the 2014 model year.
In case you’re wondering, Nissan decided to the rename it the Rogue Sport as the company found that Americans would have trouble pronouncing the Qashqai name. In Canada, however, the Qashqai will retain its original name, which comes from the Qashqai people living in mountainous Southwestern Iran.
Aside from the name and minor revisions on the outside (due to homologation reasons), the Rogue Sport is identical to its European counterparts as far as design goes. Slotted between the Juke and the Rogue, the Rogue Sport is supposed to appeal to "singles or couples without kids who want a sportier vehicle and can live with a little less cargo capacity than the current Rogue offers."
The crossover gets its juice from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder connected to the company’s Xtronic CVT. This is the biggest engine available in the Euro-spec Qashqai, but not the most powerful, which is the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-pot. The crossover will be available in three trim levels: S, SV, and SL.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Rogue Sport.
2017 Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the Star Wars franchise is experiencing a renaissance. As with most valued franchises, companies have had no problem jumping in on the bandwagon. Count Nissan among these companies and the Japanese automaker hasn’t been bashful about its partnership with Star Wars franchise. You only need to take a look at the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition that was unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show to see the lengths by which this partnership has grown in the past few years.
Based on the 2017 Nissan Rogue, the SUV gets an overdose in Star Wars-related cosmetic digs, right down to the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire logos on the cupholders and the Rogue One logo badging on the front doors. Remember in 2013 when Nissan and Star Wars also collaborated on another model, the Juke Star Wars Edition? That version had more buzz surrounding it, but you can make a case that the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition SUV received more of the stylized Star Wars treatment than the Juke ever had.
Here’s the best part about the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition: only 5,400 units are going to be made available and of that 5,400 units, 5,000 has been earmarked for the U.S. market with the remaining 400 going to Canada. It’s a far cry from the Juke Star Wars Edition, which was only made available in Japan. Remember though, the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition only comes in package form and is only available for Rogue models equipped with the Sun and Sound Touring Package. The package costs $1,990.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition.
2017 Nissan Versa Note
Launched at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the second-generation Note arrived on a new platform that Nissan introduced with the Micra. Although slightly longer and wider than its predecessor, the new Note had a significantly lower roof, trading the former MPV-style looks for a more standard hatchback layout. The Note crossed the pond to the U.S. in 2013, when it replaced the hatchback version of the Versa and was renamed the Versa Note. The North American model also sports the biggest engine available with the nameplate globally, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder. In other markets, the Note uses a 1.2-liter three-cylinder and a 1.5-liter four-pot diesel. The Versa Note was redesigned for the 2017 model year, when it received Nissan’s recent styling language and a few interior updates.
Much like all recent redesigns and facelifts, the updated Versa Note adopted Nissan’s "V-Motion" grille, a design highlight that is already available on the majority of the company’s vehicles. In the U.S., the Verso and the Verso Note were the last models to not feature the grille. Thanks to the new "V-Motion" element, the Versa Note bears a closer family resemblance to the larger Nissan Sentra, Altima, and Maxima, while also boasting a sportier design that’s more in line with recently updated competitors such as the Honda Fit, Chevrolet Sonic, and Ford Fiesta.
"Versa Note and Versa sedan combine to be America’s best-selling nameplate in the entry level segment," said Michael Bunce, vice president of product planning. "The enhancements for the new model year give Versa Note a fresh new look, which should help keep the Versa pair in the number one position again in 2017."
It remains to be seen whether Bunce’s comment proves to be accurate with so many cars fighting for supremacy in this segment, but until those sales figures come rollin’ in, let’s have a closer look at what the facelifted Versa Note brings to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Nissan Versa Note.
2017 Nissan Juke Black Pearl Edition
The Nissan Juke is by far the funkiest crossover available, and things are about to get a little funkier with the introduction of a new special-edition model being called the Juke Black Pearl Edition. Manufacturers have been going crazy the past couple of years with the whole “dark theme,” with everybody and their brother jumping on the bandwagon. While a good portion of those models are relatively boring compared to their standard models, this new special edition from Nissan takes the dark theme to a whole new level. Instead of showcasing a model with a few black accents, Nissan did it the right way by blacking out nearly the entire exterior, save for a few Pearl White accents. It’s based on the Juke SV and can be had in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, but will only be sold in just 1,250 examples. You have a little time to get to the dealer here in the U.S., as 1,000 of them are slated for this market. But, if you live in Canada, you might want to head to the dealer now as only 250 of them will be available to our northern neighbors.
Michael Bunce, the VP of Product Planning for Nissan North America, said, “Juke has always followed its own path as a distinctive urban sport cross, standing apart from ordinary crossover SUVs from both design and performance aspects. The new Black Pearl Edition continues Juke’s performance formula while adding a bold-on-bold appearance inside and out.”
Well, he certainly has the “bold-on-bold” thing right, as a model this black, and with white accents, is a pretty bold move. But, being so limited, and being based on a vehicle like the Nissan Juke, it’s sure to find a place in the heart of many. But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves in that regard, let’s take a closer look on the Juke Black Pearl and why it is worth your consideration.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Juke Black Pearl Edition.