The Nissan Maxima is something of an oddity in the automotive landscape. It used to be that the Max was the biggest car in Nissan’s lineup — hence its maximum name. But for the last couple of generations, the Maxima’s size has been matched by its cheaper sister, the Nissan Altima.
This creates all sorts of confusion for some consumers. A friend saw me comparing a Camry to an Altima and said, “Shouldn’t you compare Camry to Maxima?”
No, no you should not. The Maxima is much more of a driver’s car than any Camry, though I admit the new-for-2018 Camry closes the gap a little (more on that in a minute.)
As for anyone else who may be confused by Maxima’s place in the family sedan world, let me put it this way: It punches well above its weight — so much so that, if I were considering spending my money on an entry-level luxury car like a Mercedes CLA or Lexus ES, I’d honestly consider the Maxima in that same pack.
2018 Nissan Armada Snow Patrol
There must be something about the Chicago Auto Show that brings out Nissan’s creativity. Two years ago, the Japanese automaker unveiled the Winter Warrior Concepts, a collection of outrageously engineered Pathfinder, Murano, and Rogue SUVs that featured snow tracks instead of actual wheels. This year, Nissan is returning to the Windy City with a pair of concepts that might as well be spiritual successors of the Winter Warriors. One of these concepts is a fresh take on the Nissan Armada, called the Snow Patrol. It’s not as outlandish as the Winter Warriors or its present counterpart, the Nissan 370Zki, but the Armada Snow Patrol is unique in its own right for a variety of reasons.
There’s no going around Nissan’s objective with the Armada Snow Patrol. Billy Hayes, the vice president of Nissan North America’s Commercial Vehicles and Trucks, called it a “return to roots” concept for the Armada model. “(The Armada) has a long off-road heritage as the Nissan Patrol, a global expedition vehicle,” he said. "As part of our celebration of winter at the Chicago Auto Show, we wanted to remind our growing family of Armada owners and enthusiasts that this full-size SUV stands ready to take you to the mountains, or at least safely through Chicago streets covered in lake effect snow."
One look at the Nissan Armada Snow Patrol and you’ll see exactly what Hayes is talking about.
2018 Nissan 370Zki
There’s a prevalent belief within automotive circles that the Nissan 370Z is in dire need of an update. The current version of the sports coupe has been on the market since 2009. That’s a long time for any car, let alone one that belongs in a niche segment. As the clamoring for a next-gen 370Z grows louder, Nissan has apparently been listening all along. All this time, the Japanese automaker was actually developing a new 370Z. The only problem is it’s not the 370Z replacement we’re expecting.
Feast your eyes on this creation. It’s a Nissan 370Z…on skis. Nissan calls it the 370Zki, and it’s actually something the automaker is bringing to the 2018 Chicago Auto Show later this month. I don’t suppose it’s the version of the 370Z that we’ve all been waiting for. On the bright side, it is a positively cool creation, at least once you get past the awkwardness of seeing the compact sports car sitting on snowmobile equipment.
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.
2020 Nissan Silvia S16
Between the 370Z and the GT-R, you could make the argument that Nissan already has a pretty solid lineup of sports cars. However, the more discerning enthusiasts out there will be quick to point out just how much more could be done. After all, the current Z car is practically ancient by modern standards given its introduction dates all the back to 2009, and at six figures, the current GT-R is just way too expensive for the average speed lover. That said, there’s one nameplate that desperately needs to be brought back into the discussion – the Silvia. The last time we saw this two-door beauty was in 2002 with the S15, and we think the time is right for a follow-up S16 generation to round out the Japanese automaker’s performance offerings. We know we’re certainly not alone in that respect, and indeed, the next-gen Silvia was expected to show in concept form at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Alas, such a creation never surfaced, but fear not, because we did a little chin scratching, drew up the above-featured rendering, and wrote up the following speculative review to help bridge the gap.
It’s been over 15 years since the S15 bit the dust, so any follow-up has a bit of catching up to do. However, we think Nissan has the right stuff to make it work. Read on for our take on it.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Nissan Silvia S16.
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?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Nissan Kicks.
2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker
Stars Wars: The Last Jedi is hitting theaters next week, and like in year’s past, Nissan is hitching its wagon on the monolithic movie franchise. We saw the fruits of that partnership last year with the launch of the Nissan Rogue One Edition. This year, Nissan and LucasFilms are upping the ante by launching a whole fleet of Stars Wars-inspired creations, including the vehicle you see here.
This is a Nissan Titan, or at least it was until it was redesigned to look more like one of those giant AT-M6 Walker bots that the First Order deployed against the Resistance in The Force Awakens. The overall look and the details that went into creating the Titan Star Wars is a feast for the senses. We should give credit to Vehicle Effects for making this transformation. The California-based company is famous in Hollywood circles for building some of the best cars to hit the silver screen, including all the vehicles in The Fast and Furious and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises. In addition to the Titan, Vehicle Effects also created the Nissan Altima Special Forces TIE Fighter, Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren, Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer, Nissan Maxima Captain Phasma, Nissan Rogue Poe Dameron’s X-Wing with BB8, and Nissan Rogue Sport A-Wing.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Nissan Star Wars Edition
Nissan Titan XD Snow Plow Package Is Ready for a White Christmas
Recent U.S. winters have had greater than average snowfall, and it seems that the upcoming cold season won’t be any different. Nissan is doing something about it, though, by offering the Titan XD with snow plow and all the accessories needed to turn the pickup truck into a reliable, commercial or personal snow remover. Called the Snow Plow Prep Package, this special winter upgrade was showcased at the 2017 SEMA Show and will become available this fall.
The bundle includes snow plows from five leading manufacturers, so you get to choose between Boss, Fisher, Meyer, SnowEx, and Western. The package also comes with higher capacity front springs that increase front gross axle weight rating (GAWR) capacity by from 4,325 to 4,900 pounds). This allows fitment of snow plows on all three body configurations of the Titan XD (Single Cab, King Cab, and Crew Cab). It’s worth mentioning that the heavy-duty springs aren’t anything new, being already available for the Titan XD with the Heavy Duty GAWR Package, which makes vehicles equipped with that package snow plow-capable.
All these vehicles are powered by the massive, 5.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to move large quantities of snow off anything from neighborhood alleys to interstate highways. There’s no word as to how much the Snow Plow Prep Package costs, but commercial buyers will benefit from a $500 Nissan Upfit Allowance to help defer the cost of the equipment.
2017 Nissan IMx
Back in 2013, Nissan unveiled the IDx concept, getting everyone excited about a competitor for the Toyota 86 and a revival of the iconic Datsun 510. But that didn’t happen as of 2017, with Nissan going back and forth with the idea. Four years have passed, and the Japanese firm returned with a new concept car using a similar nameplate. the IMx. But, while it sports a similar badge, the new concept, which made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, is actually entirely different in terms of layout and technology.
To be more specific, the IDx was a tribute to the Datsun 510, a compact sports car that made a name for itself on both public roads and race tracks, the IMx is a sleek crossover that provides a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, or the company’s approach to how cars are "powered, driven, and integrated with society." In simpler terms, it previews the brand’s upcoming electric drivetrain and autonomous system. It also hints at Nissan’s future design language, which may bring sleeker, sportier SUVs in showrooms.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan IMx concept.
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, but it’s still not as powerful and efficient as the recently unveiled Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. This could change in 2018 when Nissan is reportedly planning to launch a Nismo version of its electric hatchback.
Although Nissan has yet to confirm that a Leaf Nismo is underway, the concept unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show pretty much confirms that the Japanese firm is working on one. What’s more, the brand already announced that a "higher power, longer range version at a higher price" variant of the Leaf is in the works for the 2019 model year. Specs are still a mystery at this point, but the Nismo concept provides a few valuable hints as to what we may get in dealerships soon. Find out what we already know about the upcoming Nismo Leaf in the speculative review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Leaf Nismo.
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.
2018 Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf came to be in 2010 as the company’s first mass-produced, all-electric passenger car. Built on a bespoke platform based on the familiar Nissan B architecture it uses a synchronous electric motor and a range of battery packs that deliver up to 107 miles per charge. Although it has proven quite popular in several markets around the world, the first-generation Leaf has become rather dated now that GM has launched the Chevrolet Bolt and Opel Ampera-e, while Tesla rolled out the Model 3. Nissan is looking to catch up with the competition with a redesigned model that broke cover ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
With more than 283,000 units sold globally as of September 2017, the Nissan Leaf is still the world’s best-selling affordable, mass-produced electric vehicle. But with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 now in the picture, Nissan may have to cope with losing some of that market share. But the Japanese are ready to put up a good fight, as the new Leaf is a significant departure from the first-generation model. Sportier and more appealing to look at, it has a more upscale interior with new technology and a revised drivetrain with significantly more power and better range. Will it have what it takes to compete with the world’s most advanced EVs? Let’s find out below.
Continue reading to find out more about the upcoming Nissan Leaf.
2017 Nissan Titan & Frontier Midnight Editions
Nissan is playing off the massive hype surrounding the total solar eclipse by introducing three new Midnight Edition trucks for 2018: the Titan, Titan XD, and Frontier. Not surprisingly, the trucks are blacked out from hood to hitch with black interiors and several popular add-on features included. Not only does this tie in perfectly with today’s celestial event, it complements Nissan’s huge success with the Midnight Edition treatment on its other vehicles, which are said to sell twice as quick as standard models.
Billy Hayes, Nissan’s division vice president for North America sales, said, “Following the tremendous response to the original Maxima SR Midnight Edition, we’ve created a complete portfolio of the popular blacked-out Midnight Edition look among our core Nissan sedan, crossover and SUV models. We expect the strong customer appeal to continue with the expansion of the Midnight Edition package to our Titan, Titan XD and Frontier pickups.” Nissan isn’t the only automaker doing well with special edition models boosting sales. Chevrolet is killing it with special editions like the Redline, Rally, High Desert, Custom Sport HD, RealTree, Special Ops, Alaskan, and Black Out editions. Oh, and Chevy also has its own Midnight Edition with a blacked-out appearance, too. Ram also plays the game, offering its Ram pickups with the Limited Tungsten, Subline Green, Copper, Night, Rebel Black, and Rebel Mojave Sand editions. Hayes followed up by saying, “A great custom look straight from the factory is what buyers really appreciate. We’re finding that buyers in the millennial age group especially are attracted to the Midnight Editions. Last year, Nissan was ranked as the number one brand for millennial purchases.”
Speaking of purchases, the Titan, Titan XD, and Frontier Midnight Editions will go on sale starting in the late fall of 2017. Pricing has yet to be announced. For the full details on the trucks, keep reading below.
Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X Project Basecamp
Overlanding is growing from a niche market to the mainstream thanks to years of support from aftermarket manufacturers and the trendy idea of off-the-grid vacations. Nissan is tapping into the segment with this one-off custom Titan XD pickup designed to showcase the upgradability of the Titan XD with more than 60 aftermarket parts and accessories. The truck debuted at the 2017 Overland Expo West outside Flagstaff, Arizona where thousands gathered for the latest in overlanding gear.
Named Project Basecamp, this tricked-out Titan XD has been heavily modified to improve its off-road performance while carrying hundreds of pounds of equipment necessary for sustaining life miles away from civilization. The Cummins-powered Titan XD’s most prominent modifications include steel bumpers, fender flares, six-spoke wheels wrapped in 35-inch all-terrain Nitto tires, and the large cargo rack in the bed complete with a foldout tent. Fred Diaz, VP of Nissan America Trucks, said, “Overlanding is an exciting form of outdoor adventuring, taking participants into sometimes extreme terrain and climate conditions. We’re using the Project Basecamp to showcase the Titan XD PRO-4X model’s potential as the perfect platform for truck owners thinking of taking their adventures to the next level."
Continue reading for more information on Project Basecamp.
2017 Nissan Rogue Trail Warrior Project
Introduced in 2013 and revised for the 2017 model year, the second-generation Rogue has evolved into one of Nissan’s best-selling vehicles in the United States. As a result, the SUV is getting a lot of attention from the brand, including a few special-edition models like the Midnight Edition. For the 2017 New York Auto Show, the Japanese firm transformed the Rogue into a snow bank and sand dune fighter. This go-anywhere Rogue is called the Trail Warrior Project and uses tracks instead of wheels.
As cool as it may sound, this isn’t the first Rogue on tracks. In early 2016, Nissan unveiled a similar Rogue that was build by Motorsports in Action in Quebec, Canada. Also fitted with tracks, it was demonstrated on snow and created quite a lot of buzz on the Internet. However, it wasn’t as spectacular as the Trail Warrior Project, as it lacked the military look and most of the gear. Before the Rogue, Nissan built the Juke Nismo RSnow, a Juke Nismo on track that was developed and showcased in Europe. So Nissan has a lot of experience with corssovers on tracks and could build a production model. Unfortunately, is appears that the Trail Warrior Project will remain a New York Auto Show exclusive concept only.
"This new Rogue Trail Warrior adds a new dimension to family adventures with its snow/sand tracks, gear basket, winch and camo paint," said Michael Bunce, vice president of product planning at Nissan North America. "If you want to stand out from the crowd during a day on the slopes or the beach, this is the vehicle to take."
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Rogue Trail Warrior Project.
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 Murano Midnight Edition
This year’s Chicago Auto Show is shaping up to be a bonanza of special edition models, with every other debut being some sort of tweaked and tuned car, truck, or crossover. Nissan is no different, announcing that no less than five models will now enjoy the Midnight Edition special trimmings. Originally slated solely for the Maxima SR trim grade, the Midnight Edition package now makes its way to the Murano mid-size crossover, bearing visual updates like blacked-out wheels, trim pieces, and aero, as well as offering optional special edition floor mats.
In addition to the Murano, the Midnight Edition package can also be had with the Sentra, Altima, Rogue, and Pathfinder, not to mention the original Maxima as well. The move makes sense for a number of reasons – not only are blacked-out special editions particularly popular right now, but Nissan has divulged that the original Midnight Edition package was included in an impressive 85 percent of sales when it was originally just for the Maxima SR. As such, it makes sense to extend the styling tweaks to the models that make up the majority of Nissan’s U.S. sales.
For the Murano, the Midnight Edition package was made available for the Platinum trim level, the highest in the range. Like the other Midnight Edition models, the Murano Midnight Edition gets new wheels, a black spoiler, black side-view mirrors, and optional special edition floor mats.
The Murano’s exclusive wheels come with a 20-inch diameter and are made from aluminum alloy. The Murano’s roof rails were also painted black for the package, as are the splash guards behind the wheels. The unique floor mats get Midnight Edition badging and a dark coloring.
Speaking of hue, the Midnight Package was originally only offered with black for the exterior body panels, but now it can be added to models painted in Pearl White Cayenne Red, Gun Metallic, and Magnetic Black.
Interestingly, Nissan says adding the package will actually save a few bucks when compared to optioning in all the extras piece by piece. The package is on sale now and retails for $1,195, while the Murano Platinum trim level (sans-Midnight Edition) starts at $39,610.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Murano Midnight 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.