Technically, the birth of Nissan started in 1911. However, this company wouldn't be the Nissan we know and love today. Instead, it would go through many names until Nissan became official around 1934.
For a long time, Nissan was just the name of the vehicles made for their domestic market. Their American/European equivalents, on the other hand, were branded as Datsun. But after a few decades, the Datsun was discontinued and became the Nissan of today, and since then they've produced great vehicles for every level of consumer. For further information, here's a complete guide to Nissan's car lineup...
Because Nissan has been around for so long, they've developed a large fan base and loyal customers. This isn't for no reason, of course, as Nissan is well known for making good cars and very fast sports cars (like the GT-R's).
More recently though, Nissan has started to fall a bit in terms of reliability and mechanical issues. According to a Telegraph poll on the matter, Nissan apparently had "98 problems per 100 vehicles" and "a reliability index of 88." Needless to say, an 88 isn't a failing score by any means, but shows a trend that will hopefully be turned around before too long.
Like many other automotive manufacturers today, safety has become a core element of their vehicle's design. Along with that, consumers are also becoming more focused on safety for themselves and their occupants. Thankfully, Nissan is up to date in that department.
Just about every one of their latest models come standard with basic safety features like traction control, crumple-zones (for impact absorption), and indicators for reversing and lane changing. Nissans pass all American standards for road legal vehicles and also have newer systems like Automatic Emergency Braking (A.E.B.) to avoid accidents.
One of the things Nissan is best known for nowadays is expansive assemblage of sedans and four-door vehicles. Similar to their competition, Nissan manages to sell them for an affordable price as well.
Nissan's current list of sedans are as follows: the Versa, Sentra, Altima, Maxima, and LEAF. The Versa and Sentra are more of an urban cruiser and fuel-saver (Around $15,000 to $18,000), while the Altima and Maxima are the higher-end models ($24,000 to $35,000) with more room, power, and luxury. The LEAF, however, is an electric vehicle, which will be discussed in further depth later on.
Throughout the generations, Nissan's sports car and coupe lineup has slowly diminished into only a few models. Although they don't have vehicles like the Silvia and Skyline (At least not yet), Nissan still has a competitive roster.
Nissan only has two sports cars/coupes: The 370Z (Including the 370Z Roadster and Nismo versions) and the GT-R (And GT-R Nismo). The 370Z is a great middle-ground between the GT-R and anything lower-end ($25,000+). They've also found a home in motorsports after proving to be great little race cars.
As far as the GT-R is concerned, its reputation speaks for itself. Nissan's engineering and supercar-level design/production has made the GT-R a "supercar killer." And, for less than $100,000, the GT-R is a real steal.
In the entirety of Nissan's lineup, the category with the most models is that of Sports Utility Vehicles and Crossovers (not including commercial vehicles). Due to the rising popularity in compact SUVs and the like, it's clear why this is now the case.
The lineup of Nissan SUVs (And Crossovers) amount to six in total: the Kicks ($19,000), Rogue and Rogue Sport ($22,000 to $26,000), Murano ($31,000), Pathfinder ($32,000), and Armada ($48,000). When observing the price differences, it's clear that their SUVs are similar to their sedans in terms of quality and prices. The smaller the car, the cheaper the cost.
Compared to the rest of Nissan's models, their Hatchback category falls very short. This type of vehicle can only be found in two of Nissan's models (at least in 2019): the Versa Note and LEAF.
RELATED: The 10 Sportiest Hatchbacks, Ranked
The Versa Note is exactly what you'd think it is, a hatchback version of the standard Versa. Surprisingly though, it's not much more expensive than the standard Versa (an extra $1,000 or less). The other one, as mentioned earlier, is an electric vehicle, which goes for as low as $23,000, but as much as $30,000.
Just like with the hatchbacks, Nissan, once again, seems to be behind their competition a bit when it comes to hybrids and electrics. In Nissan's current selection of models, there's only one hybrid vehicle and only one fully electric vehicle.
If you've gotten this far in the list, you're already aware of the full-electric LEAF: a small and affordable alternative to something like a Tesla or Chevrolet Spark. Nissan's hybrid, on the other hand, isn't a normal sedan, but is actually their Rogue SUV (~$29,000). Perhaps Nissan sees a lot of potential in the SUV market, however they'll need to add more options before too long.
3 Budget (Low End)
The thing that Japanese car manufacturers have become extremely revered for, along with their good build quality, is their accessibility by the general middle class. Nissan is obviously no different than their neighbors.
For a vehicle around the $15,000-range, look to the Versa, Kicks, and Sentra (for a little bit more). These vehicles are economical and cheap to repair. The Kicks is an SUV for large families, while the Versa and Sentra are more centered around fuel-saving and urban driving.
But regardless of what you're looking for, you'll likely find it in Nissan's current choice of cars.
2 Budget (High End)
For the individual with a wad of cash burning a hole in their pockets, Nissan is certainly a good place to spend it (or a majority of cars , for that matter). They've got luxury cruisers, family vehicles, and a powerful hypercar.
Nissan's largest vehicle and most expensive SUV is the Armada. The Armada is like a Buick Enclave: Designed for comfort, class, and safety, yet still almost $40,000. The most costly vehicle that they have, though, is none other than their GT-R. The standard GT-R is expensive enough ($100,000) and fast enough already, but you can always drop and extra $25,000 or so to get the upgraded alternative, the GT-R Nismo.
When observing a car maker, everyone likes to look at what they are currently making. What they should be doing, however, is looking towards their past, as Nissan's classic cars are a sight to behold (Most of the time).
Like now, Nissan's best and most winning vehicles were their GT-R's, Skylines, and Nismo-tuned one-offs. To add to this, Nissan has built the perfect tuner cars such as the SX-series (180SX, 200SX, and 240SX) and Z-series. All in all, Nissan truly shines in their antiques.