Nissan makes a splash in 2014 with complete redesigns of the Rogue and Versa hatchback, which is now named the Versa Note.
The Versa sedan, the smallest car in Nissan's lineup, starts at just under $12,000. Combine that with 30/37 mpg city/highway and a roomy interior and you can see why the Versa represents one of the best bargains around. Hatchback versions of the Versa were redesigned in 2014 and get a new name, the Versa Note. Nissan has made the Versa Note more upscale than the entry-level Versa, with better styling and some premium features including an available 360-degree camera system that helps guide the Versa Note in tight spots. It also gets 40 mpg on the highway, saving money at the pump.
Getting a welcome makeover in 2013, the Sentra compact sedan added a new engine that improved fuel economy and update styling. The redesign also added an FE+ (fuel economy) edition that will get over 40 mpg highway.
The midsize Altima also got a redesign last year and now offers best-in-class fuel economy, topping out at 38 mpg highway. Coupe versions of the Altima have been discontinued.
Rounding out Nissan’s lineup of conventionally powered passenger cars is the flagship Maxima, which is actually slightly smaller inside than the Altima but comes with more premium materials and features, as well as a more powerful engine (290-hp vs. a maximum of 270-hp for the Altima).
The all-electric Leaf returns for 2014, with an estimated 75 miles of gas free range and seating for five. A backup camera is now standard, joining Bluetooth connectivity and front/rear heated seats.
For sports car enthusiasts, Nissan has two offerings: the 370Z and the world-beating GT-R. The 370Z is the latest incarnation of Nissan/Datsun’s long line of Z sports cars and is also available as a convertible. Nicknamed “Godzilla,” the GT-R is one of the fastest cars in the world and hands-down the best performance car you can buy under six-figures. For 2014, it gets chassis and suspension upgrades, as well as a Premium Interior Package option.
Nissan also makes two cars which defy categorization – the Juke crossover and the quirky Cube. The Juke features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and sporty handling for a very engaging drive, while the Cube with its boxy shape and wraparound rear window will turn heads while offering extra cargo room.
Getting a complete redesign for 2014 is the Rogue, which ditches its old styling for a modern look that is more attractive and aggressive. The interior has upgraded materials, and the new model is also wider and taller than the outgoing one so a third row of seats is now optional which expands seating capacity to seven.
The second of Nissan’s two-row crossovers is the Murano and its convertible (you read that right) variant, the Murano Cross Cabriolet.
Last year, Nissan gave the Pathfinder a complete redesign and in 2014 adds a new model in the Pathfinder Hybrid, which combines V-6 power with electricity to improve fuel economy.
The most off-road capable of Nissan’s models is the Xterra SUV, which has a rugged appearance and plenty of ground clearance, alongside mechanical components like a double-wishbone front suspension and a solid rear axle. A part-time four-wheel drive system is also available.
Rounding out the SUV offerings is the full-size Armada, which seats eight.
Nissan’s other people mover is the Quest minivan, which has bold styling and a well-outfitted interior full of standard features.
A pair of pickup trucks wraps up the consumer portion of Nissan’s lineup. First up is the midsize Frontier which offers four-cylinder or V-6 power and is more than capable to handle most jobs. If you do need more, then the full-size Titan and its standard V-8 takes the Frontier to the next level, and offers two cab and three different bed configurations.
Nissan also debuted a series of work vans in 2012, the NV 1500, NV 2500, and NV 3500. These vans look very different than most work vans out there with an elongated nose and a boxy appearance. Joining them for 2014 is the smaller NV200, which offers small business owners a less than full-size van option.