Price Range (MSRP): $11,990 (Versa) to $101,770 (GT-R)
Nissan offers a lineup full of variety for 2015, led by the Versa, one of the most affordable cars on the market and topped by the high-performance GT-R, one of the fastest.
The Versa sedan, the smallest car in Nissan's lineup, starts at just under $12,000. Combine that with great fuel economy (up to 40 estimated mpg on the highway) and a roomy interior, and it’s easy to see why the Versa represents one of the best bargains around. For 2015, the Versa gets an updated interior and exterior styling has been tweaked to better match the rest of Nissan’s cars.
Hatchback versions of the Versa are called 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.
The Sentra compact sedan adds standard features for 2015, with a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity added to all models. An FE+ (fuel economy) edition of the Sentra stretches fuel economy to that returns (here’s that number again) 40 mpg on the highway.
The current generation of the midsize Altima is now in its third-year after a 2013 redesign. There are no major changes for 2015, some options have been reshuffled but V-6 models get better fuel economy thanks to engine tuning improvements.
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 offers an estimated 75 miles of gas free range and seating for five. A backup camera is standard, along with 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 around and for 2015 it adds a new NISMO version that offers even more performance. The NISMO bumps the volume to 11, offering 600-hp vs. the 545-hp found in regular versions of the GT-R. Nissan also says they’ve recalibrated the suspension tuning and added new LED headlights.
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. For 2015 it gets revised exterior styling and adds standard features. A new Color Studio program is also available which lets you choose the color of individual body pieces to customize the look of the Juke.
The Cube continues to turn heads with its unique boxy shape and wraparound rear window.
The Rogue got a full redesign last year, which ditched its old styling for a modern look that is more attractive and aggressive. 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 crossovers is the Murano and it gets a complete redesign for 2015 that adds aggressive, modern styling that we haven’t seen before in this segment. Bold styling isn’t something we normally associate with Nissan, but the Murano is proof that they can pull a rabbit out of the hat from time to time.
Last year, Nissan introduced a new variant of its Pathfinder, 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.
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 offers a series of work vans, 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. Nissan introduced the smaller NV200 in 2014, which offers small business owners who don't need a full-size van a different option.