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.
2021 Nissan Ariya
In the wake of the success it had with the LEAF EV, Nissan is extending its ambitions in the crossover segment with the futuristic-looking Ariya, an all-electric crossover based on the Ariya prototype shown in 2019 in Tokyo.
As you’d expect, the styling cues flaunted by that Ariya - inside and outside - have a clear correspondent in Japanese tradition. The Ariya is available in 2WD and 4WD guise. Customers can also pick from one of the two available battery packs. We’ll get into more detail below.
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.
2019 Nissan Leaf Twin-Motor Concept
The 2019 Nissan Leaf Twin-Motor is an all-electric concept car that features two electric motors and all-wheel-drive capability. It’s heavily based on the existing second-generation Nissan Leaf, as it features an identical exterior and a lightly modified interior. Unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the twin-motor Leaf concept previews a new production car that’s already in the works. According to Nissan, this new drivetrain will enable a future EV to "achieve a huge leap in acceleration, cornering and braking performance, on par with the latest sports cars."
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.
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.
2018 Nissan Frontier Sentinel Concept
The São Paulo Motor Show in Brazil is always a good place to find interesting models that don’t usually make their way to the U.S. Nissan is known for having a big presence in the event, and this year’s no different. The Japanese automaker brought the Frontier Sentinel Concept — we call it the Navarra here — to The Land of Drizzle. The Frontier Sentinel is a rescue concept truck is described as “sturdy enough to go on missions in the most extreme and remote areas.” In other words, it would make for a sweet ride in the U.S., provided Nissan makes it production-ready in the first place.
Nissan has made the Japan-only Note e-Power Nismo even faster than before, with the new Note e-Power Nismo S. That “S” entails it has some extra power thanks to a boost in its electric output.
The Note e-Power Nismo, as its name suggests, is a Nismo-tuned version of the already existing Note e-Power and the Nismo S is one additional tier above. It features not only a power boost over the regular Note e-Power, but also gets a reinforced chassis as well as a much sportier suspension setup to transform its driving experience.
This extra performance is also mirrored in the way it looks, with new red-accented bumpers and side skirts and obligatory Nismo S badges front and rear - on the sides; the e-Power badge is displayed instead. According to Nissan, the car should provide “exhilarating acceleration,” while at the same time also being quiet and is touted as a new kind of Nismo experience.
In order to avoid confusion - Nissan also sells non-electrified Nismo and Nismo S versions of the Note, alongside the electrified ones. This new model detailed here is the e-Power Nismo S, which is a range extender hybrid.
1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG
In case you were unaware, the high-end collectible car market in the U.S. is finally starting to recognize all the great classics hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun. While European and American sports cars have always held a place of prominence, Japanese rides are now making some serious parallel headway, carving out a real niche at some of the biggest auctions of the year. One of the most easily recognized classic Japanese models has to be the original Nissan Z, known stateside as the Datsun 240 Z. Offering timeless good looks, excellent handling, plenty of power, and a great noise from the exhaust, the original Z brought modern Japanese technology to the masses, and is now highly sought after in the collector market. One of the rarer and more visually appealing examples of the early Z is the ZG, also known as the HS30-H Nissan Fairlady ZG, which brought even more style to bear with the addition of several unique body components, plus a sharper driving experience with new drivetrain components.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1972 Nissan Fairlady 240 ZG.
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.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo Has Been Unveiled, But It May Leave You Disappointed
Since the introduction of the first Nissan Leaf, the automotive world has been quite eager to see what the Nissan performance division Nismo can do with the electric hatch. The race-ready Nismo Leaf RC was the first one to appear, but it was just too radical. Then, over the years, Nissan played around with some pseudo spirited versions never giving us a true Nismo Leaf. All that until October 25, 2017, when the Japanese company showcased the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.
Fast forward to today.
Nine months of the gestation period gave birth to a Leaf Nismo only available in Japan and wearing much the same attire as the concept version. Yet, I am far more interested in what Nismo did to that 147 horsepower drivetrain.