Nissan – Tue, 13 Aug 2019 13:21:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 AutoGuide.comNissan – Top 12 Cheapest Pickup Trucks – The Short List Tue, 16 Jul 2019 20:05:51 +0000 Top 12 Cheapest Pickup Trucks – The Short List Top 12 Cheapest Pickup Trucks – The Short List
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What are the most affordable new pickup trucks you can buy today? Keep reading and you’ll find out.

It’s funny, America’s most popular cars these days are actually trucks, with millions of them finding new homes every year. It seems in the 21st century, four-by-four crew-cab pickups have become the new family sedan.

But not everyone needs a truck for domestic duties. Some people use them to, you know, work. Fleet customers, contractors and bargain hunters alike don’t care about massaging leather seats, multi-panel sunroofs or the latest tech. They want a rugged vehicle with the lowest price. So, here are a dozen – YES, A DOZEN – of the most affordable new 2019 model year pickup trucks available today.

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12. Ford F-250 XL

$34,745, including $1,595 in delivery fees

ford f-250

Kicking this list off is the popular Ford F-250, Dearborn’s entry-level Super Duty truck. In base XL trim with a regular-cab body, eight-foot bed and two-wheel drive it starts around 35 grand. At that price, you get a standard 6.2-liter gasoline V8 with 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. This engine is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, which routes twist to a set of stylish 17-inch painted steel wheels!

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Maintenance Tips Every Driver Should Know – The Short List

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11. Toyota Tundra SR

$33,015, including $1,495 in delivery fees

Toyota’s Tundra is not the newest full-size pickup on the market today – not by a longshot – but it’s probably the most reliable. When it comes to value, you can pick up an entry-level SR model for roughly $33,000 including delivery charges. That gets you an extended-cab body with a six-and-a-half-foot bed. Under the hood resides a 4.6-liter V8 that’s good for 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed auto-box and two-wheel drive round out this truck’s powertrain.

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10. Nissan Titan S

$32,085, including $1,395 in delivery fees


But undercutting the Tundra by nearly a grand is Nissan’s Titan. The most-affordable version you can get features a regular-cab body and two-wheel drive. In entry-level S trim it comes with features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even air conditioning. Power is provided by a standard 5.6-liter V8 with 390 horses and 394 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic does the shiftin’.

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9. Honda Ridgeline RT

$31,035, including $1,045 in delivery fees

Honda Ridgeline

Next up, a truck that’s not a truck, because it’s kind of a minivan, the Honda Ridgeline. Rather than having a heavy, separate, ladder-style frame, this rig is based on a unibody architecture, sharing key components with other large Hondas like the Pilot, Passport and, yes, even the Odyssey.

A base, front-wheel-drive RT model can be yours for 31 grand and change. That gets you a 3.5-liter V6, a concealed in-bed trunk and a tailgate that both drops down and swings to the side. NEAT-O!

The Ridgeline is graced with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, plus cylinder deactivation for enhanced fuel economy. A six-speed automatic is the only gearbox offered.

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8. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT

$29,895, including $1,595 in delivery fees

But if you want something more traditional, and with greater capability, Chevrolet will happily sell you an all-new Silverado 1500. A bare-bones Work Truck model can be had for less than $30,000 including delivery fees. That gets you a three-person bench seat and an eight-foot bed. A 4.3-liter V6 delivers the goods, 285 horsepower. Its 305 pound-feet of peak torque are routed through a six-speed automatic transmission spinning just the rear wheels, which happen to span 17 inches and be made of steel.

SEE ALSO: 8 Great V8 Swaps – The Short List

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7. Ford F-150 XL

$29,750, including $1,595 in delivery fees

Undercutting its crosstown rival by the price of a fancy steak dinner is the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150. In stripped-down XL trim it comes with a regular-cab body and a six-and-a-half-foot bed. At that price, you also get a 3.3-liter V6 augmented by both port and direct fuel injection, so it delivers more horsepower and torque than you might expect for a naturally aspirated unit of this displacement: 290 ponies and 265 pound-feet. Rounding out this powertrain is a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.

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6. Ram 1500 Classic Tradesman

$29,090, including $1,695 in destination fees

Now, for the best value in the full-size pickup segment, the Ram 1500 Classic! Even though FCA introduced an all-new light-duty Ram a year or so ago, they’ve kept the previous generation in production to offer customers more choice and even better value. You can take one home in Tradesman trim with a regular-cab and two-wheel drive for about $29,000. That also gets you a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.

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5. Ford Ranger XL

$25,495, including $1,195 in delivery fees

ford ranger review

Dropping down to the MIDSIZE truck segment, let’s talk Ford Ranger. The most affordable version of this smart-sized pickup goes for less than $25,500 including delivery. That gets you an XL model powered by a muscular 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-banger matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This combo gives you 270 horsepower with 310 torques. Those figures enable a maximum payload rating of 1,860 pounds and the ability to tow up to 7,500 pounds.

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4. Toyota Tacoma

$25,080, including $1,095 in delivery fees

For even less than the Ranger you can nab a Toyota Tacoma, which sets the standard in midsize-pickup longevity. A few Andrew Jacksons more than 25 large gets you an SR grade with the Access Cab body and a six-foot bed. Up front resides a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower. Its 180 pound-feet of torque is routed to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. This rig’s signature on-the-floor seating position is included free of charge.

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3. GMC Canyon

$23,295, including $1,095 in delivery fees

2016 GMC Canyon All Terrain Diesel

Next, we go professional grade with the GMC Canyon. In entry-level SL trim, you get an extended-cab body for a bit of extra interior room plus a 74-inch-long bed that will haul plenty of stuff. Between the front fenders is a fire-breathing 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s rated at 200 horses and 191 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard. You get all this for around $23,295 including destination.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Ugliest Cars of 2019 – The Short List

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2. Chevrolet Colorado

$22,395, including $1,095 in delivery fees

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel

But undercutting its corporate sibling by around 900 bucks is the Chevrolet Colorado. In Base trim – seriously, that’s what they call it, Work Truck is a step up – you get the same cab, bed and powertrain as the GMC we just talked about. In the Colorado a manual transmission used to be offered but, sadly, it’s since been discontinued due to low sales. SHAME ON Y’ALL FOR NOT BUYING ONE! And you wonder why we can’t have nice things…

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1. Nissan Frontier

$20,135, including $1,045 in delivery fees

Nissan Frontier

But now for the most affordable new pickup truck in America, the Nissan Frontier. For a mere $23,135 including 1,045 bucks in delivery fees you can drive home in an extended cab S model of this popular-if-antiquated pickup. This gets you rear-wheel drive, a row-your-own five-speed manual gearbox and even a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Output is modest, clocking in at 152 horses and 171 pound-feet, but for the price it’s easy to look past some of the Frontier’s shortcomings.

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Top 10 Electric Cars with the Longest Range Wed, 12 Jun 2019 14:00:29 +0000 Top 10 Electric Cars with the Longest Range Top 10 Electric Cars with the Longest Range
When it comes to electric cars (EVs), there’s nothing more important than range. more]]>
When it comes to electric cars (EVs), there’s nothing more important than range.

Sure, comfort, performance, and technology are very important to many prospective EV owners, but typically, they want the vehicle to be able to travel a respectable distance on a full battery charge before anything else.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Electric Vehicles – The Short List

In this post, we’re going to count down the top 10 EVs with the most range for 2019. Our list includes vehicles that can be purchased new in 2019 only, so electric vehicles or variants that have gone out of production were not eligible.

This wasn’t a very hard list to whittle down, to be honest, as there aren’t many EVs for sale today. Hopefully, that will change in coming years, however, as major players like Honda, Volkswagen and Ford look to get in on the EV game.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Hybrids with AWD

10. Audi E-Tron

The 2019 Audi E-Tron is 10th on our list, with its 95 kWh lithium-ion battery and dual electric motors providing a maximum estimated driving range of 204 miles. The vehicle returns the equivalent of 74 MPGe, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

ALSO SEE: Best EV Charges for your Home

9. Nissan Leaf Plus

Ninth is the 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus. Serving as a long-range version to the standard Leaf, the Leaf Plus has a larger 62 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a slightly more powerful single electric motor. It will get an estimated 226 miles on a charge and is rated at 108 MPGe by the EPA.

ALSO SEE: 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus Review

8. Jaguar I-Pace

The Jaguar I-Pace crossover (not to be confused with the gasoline Jaguar E-Pace) has a dual motor electric drive system and 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which make for a maximum electric driving range of 234 miles. The EPA rates the vehicle’s efficiency at 76 MPGe.

ALSO SEE: 2019 Jaguar I-Pace Review

7. Chevrolet Bolt EV

General Motors’ awkwardly shaped EV, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, is very efficient for what it is. It has a single electric motor and 60 kWh battery pack, which provides a pure electric range of 238 miles. The vehicle is rated at 109 MPGe, meaning its battery and electric motor aren’t wasting much energy and do a good job at regenerating energy when the vehicle is coasting and braking.

ALSO SEE: 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Review

6. Kia Niro EV

Hyundai and Kia are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the electric vehicle space. The Niro EV is a shining example of the Korean brand’s EV prowess, with its 64 kWh lithium-ion battery and single electric motor good for an impressive driving range of 239 miles. The EPA rates the Niro EV at 112 MPGe – only slightly less efficient than the smartly engineered Bolt EV.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Surprising Cars a Tesla Model 3 Beats in a Drag Race

5. Kia Soul EV

The new Kia Soul EV seems like a great offering right off the bat. It has the same 64 kWh lithium-ion battery and single electric motor as the Niro EV, but it is slightly more efficient at 114 MPGe. This enables a slightly further driving range than the Niro EV of 243 miles, although the real-world range of these two would be nearly identical.

ALSO SEE: 2020 Kia Soul EV Review


4. Hyundai Kona EV

Yet another Hyundai-Kia entry appears on our list in the way of the Hyundai Kona EV. The Kona is one of our favorite crossovers in standard gas-powered form and it only gets better with a torquey electric powertrain. Powering this emissions-free crossover is the same 64 kWh battery and single electric motor found in the Soul EV and Niro EV, but better aerodynamics help the Kona EV eke out an estimated 258 miles of range on a single charge.

ALSO SEE: 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Review

3. Tesla Model X Long Range

You knew Tesla would occupy the first three spots of this list, right? Kicking things off for the electric car brand is its fancy Model X crossover, which can travel 295 miles on a single charge thanks to its large 100 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and twin electric motors. The EPA rates its efficiency at a somewhat poor 87 MPGe – the Model X’s potato shape certainly lending itself to this disappointing figure.

2. Tesla Model 3 Long Range

The long-range Tesla Model 3 has a 75 kWh lithium-ion battery and either a single or dual electric motors, which provide an estimated driving range of 310 miles. The EPA rates the Model 3’s efficiency at a very impressive 130 MPGe. While it finds itself in second place, the Model 3 has the best efficiency of any EV on this list.

ALSO SEE: Tesla Model 3 Review

1. Tesla Model S Long Range

All these years later and the Tesla Model S remains the most impressive electric production vehicle, with the long-range version of the sedan able to travel 335 miles estimated on a single charge thanks to its 100 kWh battery and twin electric motors. The EPA rates its efficiency at 102 MPGe. Can anyone dethrone Tesla at this point?


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8 Great V8 Swaps – The Short List Sun, 12 May 2019 02:18:55 +0000 8 Great V8 Swaps – The Short List 8 Great V8 Swaps – The Short List
A V8 swap isn't for the faint of heart. more]]>
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How can you transform your ride into something truly special while drastically improving its performance at the same time? Just swap in a V8 engine!

Welcome to another installment of The Short List! It’s hard to argue with the smooth, responsive performance of an engine with two banks for four cylinders. I think we can all agree, the addition of a V8 can improve practically any car.

SEE ALSO: Winners and Losers from the 2019 New York Auto Show – The Short List

This engine configuration provides maximum displacement in a relatively small package, meaning you can shoehorn one into a space normally occupied by something as small a malnourished four-cylinder.

Now, on this list, we’ve focused on realistic V8 swaps, ones you could do yourself using readily available kits. This means there are no crazy one-off builds from SEMA or anything, as much as I’d like to see a Rolls-Royce Merlin swapped into an original Mini, but I digress.

8. Jeep Wrangler (Hemi)

Starting things off, who wouldn’t want a V8-powered Jeep Wrangler? If you’re a JK owner and are unhappy with Pentastar power, or worse, that breathless, old 3.8-liter pushrod V6, the folks over at Quadratec will happily sell you a kit that allows a 5.7-liter Hemi to mount under this off-roader’s hood. Making it worth the $5,800, this kit also includes things like a new wiring harness, an updated transmission crossmember and high-flow catalytic converters. Engine not included.

Of course, there are other companies that will sell you kits allowing you to drop a GM LS V8 into your Wrangler, but c’mon, a Chrysler product should really feature a Mopar powertrain.

7. E46 BMW 3 Series (GM LS)

Love the E46 3 Series? Who doesn’t? All these years later, it’s still my favorite BMW. But if you’re unsatisfied with the performance provided by this generation 3er’s inline-six, fear not, there’s room for an LS ahead of the firewall. Vorshlag Motorsports sells a variety of brackets and bolts that allow this legendary V8 to securely mount inside the bowels of your favorite 3 Series where it can provide stupid-fast acceleration with plenty of rumbling sounds.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Best BMW Accessories

6. Ford Focus (Small-block Ford or Modular)

The Ford Focus has always been a scrappy little car, funky and fun to drive, but it’s never been the fastest thing on four wheels, especially the first-generation model. That changes if you grab the V8 conversion kit from Kugel Komponents. It allows you to drop a small-block Ford or modular V8 into your Focus. Best of all, this kit is completely bolt-on, requiring zero welding, however, it ain’t cheap, costing roughly $8,000, which doesn’t include an appropriate engine, transmission or rear end. Still, the idea of a rear-drive Focus with V8 power is tantalizing…

SEE ALSO: Why the Four-Cylinder Hybrid is the Best Powertrain in the Jeep Wrangler – The Short List

5. Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 (GM LS)

The Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 family of sports coupes is a blast to drive, sharp, light and plenty engaging. But the major complaint about these cars is a relative lack of power. Their 2.0-liter boxer four maxes out at about 205 ponies, though this is nothing a little LS can’t correct. For a mere $3,200, Weapons-Grade Performance will sell you a kit that allows one of these V8s to fit into the engine bay of your BRZ-family vehicle. Opt for the $7,500 complete kit, which comes with extra goodies like cooling components, upgraded wiring, a new instrument cluster and more, and you’re well on your way to roasting the tires, just provide the LS engine and transmission of your choice.

4. Nissan 350Z (GM LS)

Nissan’s Z car is a legend. For decades, it’s provided performance and driving dynamics in spades. Now, if you own a 350Z, the acceleration it offers is more than adequate, but who wants to settle for good enough when you could have astounding? Rectifying this, Sikky Manufacturing offers a little something that – surprise, surprise – lets you enjoy the smooth giddy-up of a GM LS V8. Base price is around $2,250 and it goes up from there depending on what goodies you want.

Interestingly, with this kit, no modifications to the factory crossmember or subframe are required. And that’s an important word of warning; V8 conversions are generally neither easy nor cheap. Lots of heavy wrenching is involved, and many require welding. While they can be SERIOUSLY COOL, swaps like these are NOT for the faint of heart.

3. Honda S2000 (GM LS)

Unquestionably, one of the greatest sports cars of the last 20 years is Honda’s S2000. Light and nimble, its naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine revved to the heavens above to deliver exhilarating performance. But for all its virtues, this two-seater had one serious flaw: a complete lack of torque. You had to wring its neck or else it wouldn’t move. But solving this issue is as easy as signing your name; just cut a check for a suspiciously inexpensive $1,650 and you’ve got most of what you’re going to need in order to fit an eight-cylinder fire-breather between the S2000’s front fenders. Yes, yet again, it accepts another LS, which you have to provide…

2. Subaru WRX (GM LS)

With standard all-wheel drive and unusual-sounding boxer engines, Subarus are not afraid to be different. But let’s say you want something a little more mainstream, to make your WRX sound like a muscle car. Well, now you can do that thanks to a bunch of components offered by the website Buy their subframe kit, oil pan and more and you’ll be well on your way to LS-ifying your favorite Subaru.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Diesel-Powered Cars You Can Buy in the U.S. – The Short List

1. Mazda MX-5 Miata (GM LS)

Miata Is Always The Answer, right? Sure, unless you’ve got to haul sheets of plywood. Anyway, if you want an absolutely INSANE MX-5, get in touch with the fine folks at Flyin’ Miata out in Colorado, because they’ve figured out how to fit a V8 into each generation of this legendary Mazda car: NA, NB, NC and even the new ND. This swap is sure to transform a light and nimble vehicle into something absolutely insane, a car that’s fast enough to outrun some supercars. Because don’t forget, the Miata has always been a featherweight.

It’s amazing how popular GM’s LS engine is. It’s taken over the world, trouncing both the Chrysler Hemi family and Ford’s various V8 offerings. And why shouldn’t it? They’re reliable, GM’s built untold millions of them meaning they’re affordable, they support huge displacements with very compact external dimensions. This puts it right in the sweet spot of the Venn diagram, making it an ideal engine for V8 swaps.

Check out more episodes of The Short List

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Top 10 Best Cars for Teens – The Short List Tue, 07 May 2019 13:00:39 +0000 Top 10 Best Cars for Teens – The Short List Top 10 Best Cars for Teens – The Short List
Our picks are affordable, reliable, safe, and even a bit cool. more]]>
best cars for teens

Are you a young driver in need of a new car or the parent of one that will be making the monthly payments? 

If so, you’re probably wondering what are the best new cars for teenage motorists. Well, any recommendations need to be safe, so we picked cars with Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick + ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Affordability is also critical, as is reliability, efficiency, and even coolness. Anything we recommend can’t be a total snooze. Keeping all those important factors in mind, here are our picks for the best cars for teens.

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Honda Fit

2019 honda fit

The Honda Fit is a snap to maneuver, exceptionally efficient, and more versatile than some vehicles twice its size, thanks to that hatchback body and second-row Magic Seat. With a base price around $17,000, up to 40 miles per gallon highway, and good crash-test scores across the board from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this car is a no-brainer. Oh, and for extra fun, they can even be had with a six-speed manual gearbox, which is great because we think it will help curb distracted driving.

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SEE ALSO: Top 10 Least Reliable Cars

Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Nine Things to Know About the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

What is it that Toyota does better than practically any other automaker? Oh, that’s right, they make vehicles that last forever. With luck, the new Toyota Corolla Hatchback will provide decades of reliable service with minimal repairs. Versatile, stylish, and economical with a starting price around $20,000, this five-door just about does it all. And with 168 horsepower on tap, its performance isn’t too bad, either. Another bonus? It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Get New & Used Toyota Corolla Prices

Nissan Kicks

2019 Nissan Kicks SV Pros and Cons

Next up, a crossover, Nissan’s subcompact Kicks. One of this vehicle’s main advantages is its bargain-basement price, starting off around $19,000. But even though it’s exceedingly affordable, nothing about it feels flagrantly chintzy. The interior is reasonably nice, there’s plenty of cargo space and of course, the fuel economy is stellar, topping out at 36 MPG highway. Throw in good crash test scores and just 122 horsepower so no one can go too fast and it’s an ideal choice for teenage drivers.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Cheap AWD Cars and Crossovers


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Hyundai Veloster

But if young motorists want something with a little more visual pizzazz than provided by the Kicks, Hyundai’s Veloster delivers. This asymmetrical hatchback looks cool yet is still reasonably practical. Three powertrains are offered, including a base 2.0-liter engine with 147 ponies, though a 1.6L turbo with much more giddy-up is also available, as is a high-performance N model with up to 275 horsepower. We’re going to recommend the base version, which starts at right around $19,500 with a six-speed manual transmission. Yes, an automatic is offered for an extra $1,000.

Get New & Used Hyundai Veloster Prices

Kia Forte

The Kia Forte is another excellent choice for youthful drivers. Not only does this compact sedan look great, but it also comes with an upscale interior and starts at right around $18,000. At that price, you get a standard eight-inch touchscreen, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and much more. The Forte even earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS, meaning it should perform well in practically every type of crash.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Reliable Cars


Get New & Used Kia Forte Prices

Mazda CX-3

2019 mazda cx-3

Our next recommendation is the Mazda CX-3, one of the most stylish and upscale small crossovers available today. Not only does it look and feel far more expensive than anything that starts at less than $22,000 should, but it’s also great to drive and is extremely safe. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine provides the motivation, delivering 148 horsepower. It’s matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox and standard front-wheel drive. Of course, for extra grip, four-corner traction is also on the menu.

ALSO SEE: Top 5 Best AWD Hatchbacks

Get New & Used Mazda CX-3 Prices

Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza’s biggest selling feature is standard all-wheel drive, but that’s not all this small sedan or five-door hatch has going for it. An IIHS Top Safety Pick+ thanks to its superior front-crash prevention technology, excellent headlights, and all-around structural integrity, this Subaru is a jack-of-all-trades. A 2.0-liter boxer-four provides 152 ponies, while an available continuously variable transmission helps deliver up to 38 miles per gallon on the highway.

SEE ALSO: Why the Four-Cylinder Hybrid is the Best Powertrain in the Jeep Wrangler


Get New & Used Subaru Impreza Prices

Kia Soul

Another top choice for young drivers is the Kia Soul. A style-focused hatchback-crossover-thing, this segment-blurring icon has been totally redesigned for the 2020 model year. Not only does it look cool, but it’s also versatile, well-built, and offers loads of technology, like standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Most models of the Soul feature a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter engine, but you can also get a 1.6-liter turbo with 201 ponies. No matter what’s under the hood, this Kia is an excellent choice for teens.

Get New & Used Kia Soul Prices

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf has always been popular with young motorists, likely because it has cachet thanks to its buttoned-down looks and no-nonsense interior. Starting at around $22,000, this versatile VW gives you a lot for your money, like a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with 147 horsepower. There’s also standard blind-spot monitoring and even forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. But perhaps best of all, the Golf comes with a standard six-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. It may not be as reliable as a Toyota, but that guarantee is tough to top.

SEE ALSO: 5 Fun, Low-Horsepower Cars


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Honda Civic

2019 Honda Civic Sedan Touring

But perhaps the best new car for young drivers is the Honda Civic. This nameplate has a long track record of dependable and economical service, providing transportation to millions of people around the world. It’s super safe, starts at about $20,000, sips fuel, drives well, offers lots of tech, and is even available in a wide range of flavors. You can get sedan, coupe, hatchback, sporty Si and ultra-high-performance Type R versions of the Civic, meaning there’s something there for practically everyone, even teens.

Get New & Used Honda Civic Prices

Check out more episodes of The Short List

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2019 Nissan Kicks Pros and Cons Wed, 01 May 2019 14:08:59 +0000 2019 Nissan Kicks Pros and Cons 2019 Nissan Kicks Pros and Cons
Tiny crossover is super affordable and has a lot to offer. more]]>
[See image gallery at]

Inexpensive usually equates to underwhelming. After all, you can’t expect filet mignon for the price of a fast food burger.

Whether we’re talking knock-off replacement parts made by a spurious supplier in provincial China, bargain-basement auto insurance or even an entry-level small car, you almost always get what you pay for in the automotive world. But when you can score ground sirloin for the price of generic-brand hot dogs, well, that’s news worth trumpeting.

The Kicks is Nissan’s subcompact or B-segment crossover. It’s a vehicle designed to help quench consumers’ insatiable thirst for these elevated vehicles. Based on the Versa small car, it’s by far the Japanese automaker’s smallest utility offering, at least in North America.

Here are some pros and cons of the 2019 Nissan Kicks.


It Costs How Much?!

With a base price of just $19,535 including $995 in destination charges, this little crossover is an unequivocal bargain. That figure undercuts major rivals including the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V and Ford Ecosport. Heck, the midrange SV model tested here (it slots between the base S and range-topping SR) went for barely more than 21 grand.

ALSO SEE: Nissan Kicks Review

Upscale Interior

And really, what makes it such a good deal is that the Kicks doesn’t feel cheap. It’s sturdy and decently refined, with a nicer interior than you’d probably ever expect. Even though the cabin is almost entirely hard plastic, it’s attractively grained and not overly shiny. Likewise, the build quality is excellent.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Toyota Corolla Review – VIDEO

The vehicle also comes with some welcome standard features, things like a seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, a trio of USB ports and more. Top-end models can also be fitted with the $1,000 SR Premium Package, which includes niceties like an upscale, eight-speaker Bose sound system, Prima-Tex leatherette seating surfaces and heated front seats.

Decent Performance

Every Kicks sold in America is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. This powerplant delivers 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. Making the most of that limited output, the only transmission offered is a continuously variable automatic.

Get New & Used Nissan Kicks Prices
A tire-scorcher it is not, the Kicks nonetheless goes about its business with minimal drama, delivering decent performance in most driving situations. An added bonus: the engine is surprisingly refined for a small-displacement four-banger, far more pleasant than the 2.0-liter unit powering Kia’s Forte compact car. That one sounds like it’s going to thrash itself to pieces if the tachometer needle goes beyond about 3,500 rpm.

Crazy Fuel Efficiency

Of course, the tradeoff for subsonic speed is enhanced fuel economy. And this Nissan doesn’t disappoint here, either.

Rated by the U.S. EPA at 31 miles per gallon in city use, 36 on the highway and 33 combined it’s supremely economical to operate. In fact, in real-world use, it still averaged around 32 mpg despite almost constantly flooring the accelerator. Driven more responsibly it would no-doubt do even better.

Cheeky Styling

With its small overall dimensions and chunky front end, you might just think the Kicks is cute. Its body is handsome enough and well proportioned, with none of the weirdness of Nissan’s now-discontinued Juke.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Review – VIDEO

For added flair, various contrast-colored roofs are also available, naturally, for a small upcharge. You can get a red body and black top, a white roof with deep blue paint or even a gray-colored body capped off with bright orange, a particularly fetching combination.

Roomy Cabin

With a wheelbase of just 103.1 inches, the Kicks is a tiny-tot crossover. Still, it offers decent backseat legroom at a maximum of 33.2 inches. That rear bench is fairly upright, though the headroom is likewise excellent. There’s enough room for five people in a pinch.

The Kicks’ cargo space is even more impressive. With the second-row seat up, it provides 25.3 cubic feet of storage space. Fold the backrest flat and that figure grows to more than 53. Both of those numbers are within spitting distance of what a Jeep Compass provides.

It’s a Safe Buy

Even though it’s small, this crossover is remarkably safe. The Nissan Kicks has earned a Top Safety Pick score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, meaning it’s a smart choice.


Still a Bit Slow


There’s a lot to like about the Nissan Kicks, but it does have a few downsides. As mentioned, the performance it provides is adequate, but a touch more speed would be appreciated. Nissan offers a 1.6-liter turbo-four in the Sentra SR Turbo small car. With 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, it would really wake this crossover up, likely without much of a fuel-economy penalty.

Lifeless Steering

A powertrain upgrade would be welcome, but acceleration is not this vehicle’s most glaring dynamic weakness; unquestionably, it’s steering. The Kick’s tiller about as lifeless as you’ll find in the automotive world today. It gives absolutely zero feedback from the road surface meaning you have no idea what the front wheels are doing. The whole thing feels completely synthesized; you may as well be steering the vehicle with an XBox controller, that’s how disconnected it is.

SEE ALSO: New 2020 Hyundai Venue CUV will Slot Under the Kona

No All-Wheel Drive

Limiting its appeal in regions that receive wintertime snow and ice, the Kicks is front-wheel drive only. If you need a vehicle with four-corner grip, you’ll, regrettably, have to look elsewhere. Perhaps Nissan’s all-new 2019 Altima sedan is worth your consideration? It’s now available with all-wheel drive.

Get New & Used Nissan Kicks Prices

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Best Cars for Teens – The Short List

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2019 Nissan Altima AWD Pros and Cons Mon, 29 Apr 2019 19:04:42 +0000 2019 Nissan Altima AWD Pros and Cons 2019 Nissan Altima AWD Pros and Cons
Nissan's new sedan has a lot to offer, but it's not perfect. more]]>
[See image gallery at]

The Nissan Altima is brand new for 2019. Likely better in every way than the previous generation, this midsize sedan offers drivers a lot for the money. Here are some pros and cons of Nissan’s family-friendly four-door.


Nasty No More


While a fancy 2.0-liter variable-compression turbocharged engine is optional in the new Altima, delivering a stout 248 horses with 280 pound-feet of torque, the base powerplant will be found under the hood of the vast majority of these cars sold.

Naturally aspirated and displacing 2.5-liters, the standard engine is rated at a class-competitive 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet. If this unit sounds familiar, it should. An engine of this displacement has been offered in the Altima for years, however, this one is some 80 percent new, delivering greater refinement and efficiency.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Nissan Altima Platinum Review – VIDEO

The difference between that old 2.5-liter four-cylinder and this new version is night and day. The former was one of the most unpleasant engines available in the market, loud, gritty and offensive, it made driving a chore. Fortunately, the new one is silky smooth, likely one of the most refined base engines available in the segment.

Sure, its power delivery is a little soft off the line, but once it posts a few revs on the clock it pulls with surprising enthusiasm. In typical Nissan fashion, a continuously variable transmission is the only one offered in this sedan.

Available All-Wheel Drive

nissan altima awd

Even when bolted to the Altima’s available all-wheel-drive system, that engine is more responsive than you might expect. Setting itself apart from most offerings in the midsize-sedan segment, this Nissan is available with four-corner traction, an indispensable feature in large portions of America.

ALSO SEE: Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made?

Curiously, this traction-enhancing technology is not available with the up-level, turbocharged engine. The automaker is focusing on making it available at a more affordable price, an upcharge of just $1,350. And if you’re curious, the base price for a new Altima is around $24,000, though the top-of-the-line Platinum-trim model tested here stickered for roughly $34,000 including $895 in delivery fees.

For those of you that live in Canada, 2019 Altimas are only offered with all-wheel drive, which makes sense given the severe winters you often must endure.

The Seats are AMAZING!

Coddling the driver and front passenger are some of the most comfortable buckets in the car business. Altima’s NASA-inspired Zero-Gravity seats are all-day cushy and supple yet still supportive in all the right places. They’re nothing short of AMAZING and make you wonder why all cars and trucks don’t have such wonderful seats.

But what about persons relegated to steerage? The Altima doesn’t disappoint, either. The back bench is similarly plush, with plenty of comfort and, perhaps more importantly, space for those that are long of leg.

Get New & Used Nissan Altima Prices

Much Improved Interior

Another pro of the Nissan Altima is its much-improved interior. Designers created a simple, cleanly styled cabin with easy-to-reach-and-use controls.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Nissan Murano Review

Five trim levels are offered: S, SR, SV, SL and Platinum. Fortunately, even the most basic model is well equipped. Features like an eight-way power driver’s seat, automatic emergency braking, a driver-alertness monitor, Bluetooth, engine remote start, a back-up camera and an infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen are all standard in the entry-level S version. Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto are included at no extra cost as well.

ProPILOT Assist Rocks

Nissan ProPILOT Assist technology reduces the hassle of stop-and

Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist adaptive cruise-control system with lane centering is a welcome addition to the Altima. It’s standard on higher-trim versions of the car.

With a forward-facing camera and radar sensor, plus plenty of computer hardware and software, it allows you to drive long distances with ease as it controls the vehicle’s acceleration and braking according to traffic conditions and even helps keep it between the lines, so it doesn’t wander or ping-pong from one lane marker to the other.  It works smoothly and feels very natural, where other systems can feel jerky and a bit scary. ProPILOT Assist has to be a pro on this list as “Pro” right in the name!


Some Low-Rent Interior Materials


Yes, the new Altima’s cabin is much improved over the previous generation’s, with a clean, elegant layout and easy-to-use controls, however, it’s still not perfect. Some of the materials are a little low-rent, like the carbon fiber-textured plastic around the window switches. Beyond that, in several test cars I’ve driven the portion of the dashboard where the climate controls attach feels quite flimsy, yielding under slight pressure from a finger.

Fortunately, this car’s interior foibles are relatively few, as it’s still an extremely likable package from design and functionality standpoints.

ALSO SEE: 2019 Nissan Altima vs Honda Accord Comparison

Not Quite as Good as the Accord

The 2019 Nissan Altima is a tremendous leap ahead of its predecessor, being better in probably every way, both measurable and immeasurable. It’s comfortable, roomy, drives well and offers plenty of tempting technology. The only problem is, it doesn’t really break any new ground in the midsize-sedan segment.

SEE ALSO: Nissan Kicks Review

Despite being such a Jack-of-all-trades, an overall fine four-door car, the new Altima still isn’t quite as easy to recommend as the segment-leading Honda Accord, which has an edge in several areas, from interior quality to driving dynamics.

It Left Me Stranded

One final downside to the particular Altima tested here is that it left me stranded. The morning I went out to snap some photos of it I went through a carwash to clean up the exterior. When I arrived at my shoot location, I shut the engine off after getting the car positioned where I wanted it. BIG mistake.

After that, it refused to start. All the in-vehicle electronics appeared to be working normally but nothing I did would get the engine to crank. It simply refused to fire up.

I never got a confirmation on exactly what went awry, but the fleet-management company told me this Altima was a very early-build preproduction model, so perhaps all the bugs hadn’t been worked out just yet.

Get New & Used Nissan Altima Prices

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2020 Nissan Versa Sedan Debuts Looking Like a Mini Altima Fri, 12 Apr 2019 20:30:23 +0000 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan Debuts Looking Like a Mini Altima 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan Debuts Looking Like a Mini Altima
Budget sedan gets a lot of new tech as standard. more]]>

Nissan just unveiled its brand new 2020 Versa subcompact sedan. This totally overhauled small car brings more technology, extra refinement, and fresh design to a vehicle segment more typically known for utilitarianism and bargain-basement prices.

The new Versa is lower, wider and longer than before, with an overall look that’s more premium than people shopping for this type of car might expect. Up front is a prominent V-motion grille, Nissan’s signature styling element. This redesigned Versa also features boomerang-shaped headlamps, a floating roof and uniquely styled C-pillars, elements that help it fit in with the rest of this automaker’s car lineup.

SEE ALSO: Nissan Kicks Review

For extra choice, eight exterior colors will be offered. A few of the signature hues include Electric Blue Metallic, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat and Monarch Orange Metallic.

Bringing groundbreaking features to the subcompact segment, elements of Nissan Safety Shield 360, the automaker’s suite of advanced driver aides, are offered on the new Versa. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams and even rear automatic braking are all standard. Optional safety equipment includes things like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a driver-alertness monitor and even adaptive cruise control. Just a few short years ago, these high-end features weren’t even available on luxury cars and now many will be standard fare on Nissan’s smallest sedan.

ALSO SEE: Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made?

Inside, the Versa’s “Gliding Wing” instrument panel is vaguely reminiscent of what’s found in the Altima and Maxima four-doors, though upon closer inspection, it looks almost exactly like the cabin of Nissan’s Kicks subcompact crossover, which is not a bad thing. Keeping the driver and passengers happy, remote keyless entry, push-button start and power windows are all standard.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Nissan Pathfinder Review

Optionally, buyers can get heated front seats and automatic climate control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are on the menu as well.

Under the Versa’s hood, just one engine will be offered, a familiar 1.6-liter four-cylinder delivering 122 horses and 114 pound-feet of torque. This should be the exact same engine found between the Kicks’ front fenders. It can be paired with either an automatic transmission of the continuously variable variety or a five-ratio manual for drivers that prefer rowing their own gears.

The new 2020 Nissan Versa sedan is expected to go on sale this summer. Look for it at dealerships in just a few short months. Pricing will be made available closer to its on-sale date, though it should compare very favorably to the outgoing model, which starts right around $13,000.

Discuss this story on our Nissan Forum

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Could Millennials Save the Sedan in America? Thu, 14 Mar 2019 19:36:52 +0000 Could Millennials Save the Sedan in America? Could Millennials Save the Sedan in America?
The ongoing demise of sedans in the U.S. is well publicized. It’s also completely overblown. more]]>

The ongoing demise of sedans in the U.S. is well publicized. It’s also completely overblown.

Sure, a handful of automakers have exited various passenger-vehicle segments or are in the process of vacating them, but there’s still money to be made selling automobiles that aren’t pickup trucks or some sort of crossover.

“The size of the sedan market in this country is 5 million [units],” said Denis Le Vot. “It’s not 500,000, OK? It’s big.” A genial Frenchman, he’s worked around the world, serving in countries as varied as Russia and even Turkey. Today, he’s one of Nissan’s top executives in North America, senior vice president and chairman of the firm’s management committee.

Le Vot’s global experience provides him with ample perspective. Even though sedans might be on the skids in America, “This is not about the U.S. only, it’s worldwide,” he said. “Now, we as Nissan have China, a bit of Japan [and] the U.S., that we’re very strong. So, we have an international footprint for the sedans.” Mexico is another extremely important country for the automaker. They’re the top brand there with around 20 percent market share.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Nissan Altima Platinum Review – VIDEO

Thanks to this global scale, Nissan is somewhat insulated from any declines in U.S. car sales, should they continue to falter. But that may not be the case.

Of course, predicting the future with any certainty is extremely difficult. Le Vot explained, their current sales mix is about 70 percent trucks, a figure that includes utility vehicles, and 30 percent cars. “It’s probably a limit that we are attaining here, right?” he said, adding that over the next couple years they do not see this ratio changing much in the U.S.

Still, going forward several factors could conspire to maintain this balance between trucks and cars or possibly even tip things in the sedan’s favor. One of the most important of which is the younger demographic of drivers.

“When you ask millennials, for instance, their aspiration in terms of cars, they would go to sedans,” noted Le Vot. “Because the crossover is for grandma.” He also said these young motorists want more and more electronics in their vehicles.

ALSO SEE: Nissan Rogue vs Murano: Which SUV is Right for You?

2019 Nissan Altima

Nissan is also happy to meet this demand, to provide cutting-edge technology in a wide range of products. ProPILOT Assist, for instance, the company’s adaptive cruise control system with lane centering, is a brilliant bit of kit and one such feature that’s being offered practically across their model range.

“ProPILOT Assist is [in] 30 percent of the Altimas so far. On the Leaf, it’s 57. And if you take the Rogue, it’s already 41,” explained Le Vot. “This is growing every day, which means that this is not [some] $10,000 super high-tech 3 percent [take] rate, you know… this is massive.” Features like ProPILOT Assist underscore their drive to democratize technology.

Le Vot says they’re trying to do the same thing with Nissan Safety Shield 360, the company’s suite of advanced driver-assistance technology. It includes things like automatic high beams, rear cross-traffic alert and reverse emergency braking.

SEE ALSO: Nissan Altima vs Maxima: Which Sedan is Right For You?

“And our intention is that 80 percent… of the cars by 2021 will have it,” said Le Vot. “So, again, you’re going to have that on Versa,” which is Nissan’s most affordable model in the U.S. “This is what Nissan calls tech for all.”

Aside from millennials preferring traditional cars to crossovers, added versatility could also save the sedan. For 2019, Nissan’s redesigned Altima midsize four-door is now offered with all-wheel drive. Le Vot says this should dramatically increase its appeal to customers living in Northern parts of the country.

But no matter which direction the market moves, whether utility vehicles continue to gain momentum or sedans come fighting back, Nissan is ready. “So, the thing is we are making trucks, we are making crossovers, we are making cars and we are offering electric solutions,” said Le Vot. “And we are going to offer more and more,” he added, meaning they’re well prepared for the road ahead, wherever it may lead.

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What Does Nissan Gain From its Alliance with Mitsubishi? Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:30:19 +0000 What Does Nissan Gain From its Alliance with Mitsubishi? What Does Nissan Gain From its Alliance with Mitsubishi?
Mitsubishi is doing pretty well in other markets. more]]>

Mitsubishi, a once-renowned Japanese automaker is but a shell of its former self, at least in North America. Why would Nissan ever ally itself with such a troubled rival?

“The combination of Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Renault will create a new force in global car-making,” Carlos Ghosn, the former Chairman of Nissan is reported in a press release to have said while announcing the automotive alliance in October 2016. He continued, heralding the economies of scale, technology sharing potential and manufacturing benefits of the tie-up.

Nissan’s 34 percent equity stake made it Mitsubishi’s largest shareholder, but Ghosn was not blind troubles its new partner faced. “We are committed to assisting Mitsubishi Motors as it rebuilds customer trust,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made?

And that’s still proving to be a hard row to hoe. The three-diamond brand’s U.S. lineup is sparse, including a subcompact hatchback and sedan plus three middling crossovers. There are gaping holes in the range as it no longer competes in the midsize sedan segment, there’s no pickup truck and with the Lancer Evolution’s discontinuation, they have nothing sporty with which to woo enthusiasts.

It should be no surprise Mitsubishi’s sales are minuscule. Even though the automaker’s North American deliveries were up nearly 14 percent year-over-year in 2018, they moved just 118,074 vehicles. Nissan sold nearly 3.5 times more Rogue crossovers during the same time period.

2018 mitsubishi eclipse cross

ALSO SEE: Nissan Rogue vs Murano: Which SUV is Right for You?

In spite of Mitsubishi’s feeble performance in America, there are still significant benefits to reap from this grand Franco-Japanese coalition. Ivan Espinosa said, “The alliance is a great tool that’s massive for us because together with Renault and Mitsubishi we jointly develop many of the assets that then underpin the vehicles that we develop for Nissan.” He’s the corporate vice president of global product strategy and planning at Nissan. This three-way corporate partnership is a major part of his daily life.

Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi cooperate on vehicle platforms, technologies and even powertrains. “[But] the important thing here is that we share a lot of what the customers don’t see and don’t perceive,” said Espinosa. “And then we leave some room for us to tailor and give our own taste and experience so that the customer perceives, ‘Oh, this is a Nissan.’” Synergies like this can save each automaker boatloads of money during product development because they can share up-front costs and get better parts prices from suppliers thanks to increased volume.

Nissan Rogue

Making Mitsubishi a far more appealing partner than one would ever think based on its North American performance is how well it does in world markets. Espinosa said “globally they are very strong,” adding, “If you look at them from a regional-coverage perspective, Southeast Asia is a market that they dominate very strongly.” The three-diamond brand’s pickup and SUV offerings are extremely popular in this corner of the world. Mitsubishi also does well in South America.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Nissan Altima Review – VIDEO

“And in terms of technology they (Mitsubishi) have very competitive plug-in hybrid technology,” added Espinosa. Nissan is focusing on building pure-electric vehicles, “But… if ever we need a plug-in hybrid solution, which is not in our priorities at Nissan, but as part of the alliance we have access to these technologies should we need it.”

Clearly, there’s more to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi book than is printed on its cover. “At a time of unprecedented change in the global auto industry, this strategy will build on our existing strengths and management capabilities,” said Ghosn, “To ensure increased competitiveness, better products for our customers and attractive returns for shareholders.”

ALSO SEE: Nissan Altima vs Maxima: Which Sedan is Right For You?

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Diesels a Thing of the Past’ for Nissan, Even in Europe Fri, 08 Mar 2019 16:50:01 +0000 Diesels a ‘Thing of the Past’ for Nissan, Even in Europe Diesels a ‘Thing of the Past’ for Nissan, Even in Europe
Nissan is pushing forward with EVs. more]]>

In Europe, diesel has been the dominant automotive fuel for decades because it’s more energy dense and often cheaper than gasoline. But this paradigm is rapidly shifting.

“I mean, for us, diesels are a thing of the past,” said Ivan Espinosa, corporate vice president of global product strategy and planning at Nissan. The automaker is pushing electrification in a big way, “And Europe will be one of the key markets in which this will start taking off very fast,” he added.

The globally popular Leaf electric hatchback has taken off with old-world drivers. “As an example… in Norway, the Nissan Leaf was the best-selling car last year, beating the Volkswagen Golf just to give you a sense of it,” said Espinosa. And that’s the entire Golf range, not just VW’s battery-powered model. “Honestly, we were surprised.”

SEE ALSO: 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus Review

This Scandinavian country has generous incentives for electric vehicles, which are spurring sales in a big way, though it’s still surprising the mainstream Leaf is outperforming trendier nameplates like the Tesla Model 3.

Similarly, in Nissan’s home market their Note e-Power small car topped the sales charts in 2018, beating some “hardcore competitors” as Espinosa put it. This model features a hybrid drivetrain with a gasoline engine and electric motor, similar to the propulsion system offered in the now-discontinued Chevrolet Volt.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Best Diesel Cars You Can Buy in the US

ALSO SEE: Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made?

Back in Europe, the sun is clearly setting on diesels, at least for Nissan. “Probably you will see for the next year and a half, two years still some diesels coming, but the focus is not on diesel anymore,” said Espinosa. “We will be moving much more aggressively on electrification,” which he said includes the introduction of more pure-EVs and e-Power models.

Espinosa said they’re making this dramatic shift because, “The take-rate of diesel is going dramatically down, much faster than what we anticipated.” Adding insult to injury, the resale value of these vehicles is falling well. He attributes this left-right punch to governments restricting vehicle access to major cities, plus the latest European emissions regulations are making compression-ignition engines even more expensive to build and ultimately buy.

Even though the humble diesel’s days appear to be waning, “I think gasoline will remain a significant part of the market,” said Espinosa, at least until electric models become more mainstream, which they are, slowly but surely.

SEE ALSO: Nissan Altima vs Maxima: Which Sedan is Right For You?

China is an unexpectedly strong market for EVs. Espinosa estimates they account for around 8 or 9 percent of the market, spurred on by various government programs aimed helping clean up the Asian nation’s infamously smoggy air.

Electric vehicles will undoubtedly become more and more popular in the coming years, but not just because of cash incentives or government meddling. “One of the reasons why EVs are probably gradually taking off is not all the customers have been exposed to this technology,” Espinosa said. “And what we are seeing with Leaf is that the retention rate is the biggest we have in the brand, with over 90 percent of the customers (globally) that bought a Leaf staying with a Leaf.” That’s a huge figure and one that seems to indicate electric vehicles are winning.

ALSO SEE: Nissan Rogue vs Murano: Which SUV is Right for You?


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Nissan Hasn’t Forgotten About its Trucks: New Frontier Coming Soon Mon, 04 Mar 2019 13:12:47 +0000 Nissan Hasn’t Forgotten About its Trucks: New Frontier Coming Soon Nissan Hasn’t Forgotten About its Trucks: New Frontier Coming Soon
A new Nissan Frontier is going to debut soon. more]]>

“We want to sell more of everything,” exclaimed Denis Le Vot, laughing out loud.

As senior vice president and chairman of the management committee at Nissan North America, it’s obvious he wants to move the metal, ensure dealers are cranking out as many vehicles as possible.

Counting its Infiniti luxury division, the Japanese automaker delivered nearly 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, legions of Altimas and Rogues, Maximas and Sentras. But the pickup-truck portion its North American business is perhaps not as strong as it could be.

ALSO SEE: Nissan Rogue vs Murano: Which SUV is Right for You?

2018 nissan titan

Unquestionably, this is one of the most important segments in the automotive industry today, a linchpin of profits, particularly for the Detroit Three automakers. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Nissan introduced a completely redesigned version of its Titan full-size pickup a few short years ago, though, unfortunately, this hard-working rig has never really rocked the sales charts.

SEE ALSO: Why Aren’t Nissan Trucks as Popular Here as They Are Around the World?

In 2018, Nissan sold fewer than 50,500 Titans in the U.S., a year-over-year decrease of nearly 5 percent. Compared to Ford’s imperious F-Series range or the pickup portfolio proffered by GM, Nissan’s sales are comparatively tiny.

But the truck business isn’t a zero-sum game. Nissan can still be successful even if it doesn’t beat rival companies in the annual delivery derby. “I would like to double [Titan sales],” admitted Le Vot, “But we are very happy.”

He pointed out Titan performs well in the central portion of the United States “just like the trucks in general.” It seems the smaller Frontier is popular in this region, too. Compared to its big brother, deliveries of this midsize pickup hit nearly 80,000 units last year, an increase of more than 7 percent compared to 2017.

As ancient as it is, in automotive years the Frontier is practically a fossil, it’s still a cornerstone of the automaker’s lineup. “Believe it or not,” said Le Vot, “You ask the people, ‘What is Nissan?’ [And] behind, let’s say, Altima and Rogue, the third name that would come would be, ‘Oh, Frontier.’”

Undoubtedly, part of this midsize pickup’s showroom success is attractive pricing. The base model with a four-cylinder engine and manual gearbox can be had for roughly $20,000, including delivery fees.

SEE ALSO: Nissan Titan vs. Nissan Titan XD Review

But there’s only so long a product this old can remain relevant, even if it’s super affordable. Nissan will eventually have to introduce a redesigned model if it wants to maintain its share of the midsize-pickup market.

“As you know, we don’t speak about that, but we are renovating our range,” Le Vot said. “Every brand has a cycle… we are a bit old today and we are going to be very new in the coming years, say even two years.”

“Between now and, say, 2020, which is the… coming fiscal year, we’re going to have renewed 70 percent… of our range. This is very important,” noted Le Vot. Asked specifically about when an all-new Frontier might debut he said, “Soon.”

ALSO SEE: Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made?

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Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made? Wed, 27 Feb 2019 14:25:12 +0000 Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made? Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made?
Nissan has plants in the US, Japan, Mexico and elsewhere. more]]>
Have you ever wondered where Nissan originated, how it came to be, or where it makes its cars?

You’re not alone! In this post, we’ll provide a brief backgrounder on the origins and history of Nissan, where it was incorporated and where it builds its cars today.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus Review

Like many automakers, Nissan is an international corporation, so it builds cars in many different places for many different markets. For simplicity, this post will focus on the Nissan plants that serve the North American market.

Where is Nissan From?

Nissan has been renamed a few different times, but the company’s roots can be traced back to Kaishinsha Motor Car Works, which was founded in Tokyo in July of 1911 by Masujiro Hashimoto. In 1928, a holding company called Nihon Sangyo was formed, which owned a casting company that eventually partnered with Kaishinsha Motor Car Works, making the automaker a Nihon Sangyo-owned company. The name ‘Nissan’ is a shortened version of Nihon Sangyo.

SEE ALSO: Proof that Honda, Toyota and Nissan Are 100% Cooler in Japan

Nissan vehicles were initially sold under the ‘Datsun’ banner, which was derived from an acronym of the Kaishinsha Motor Car Works investors’ surnames, which together spelt ‘DAT’. ‘Datsun’ was originally spelt ‘Datson’, a reference to the cars being the ‘Son of DAT’, but was later restyled to Datsun after Nissan Group took control of the company in the 1930s.

Nissan’s headquarters are located in Yokohama, Japan, today.

ALSO SEE: Where Is Subaru From and Where Are Subarus Made?

Where Are Nissans Made?

Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant – Smyrna, TN, USA

  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Nissan Frontier

Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant – Canton, MS, USA

  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Murano
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Nissan Titan
  • Nissan NV

Nissan Aguascalientes – Aguascalientes, Mexico

  • Nissan Sentra
  • Nissan Versa
  • Nissan Versa Note
  • Nissan Micra (March)
  • Nissan NV

Nissan Tochigi Plant – Kaminokawa, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

  • Nissan 370Z
  • Nissan GT-R

Nissan Shatai Kyushu Plant – Yukuhashi, Fukoka Prefecture, Japan

  • Nissan Armada

Nissan Cuernavaca Assembly – Jiutepec, Mexico

  • Nissan NV200

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