Nissan welcomes 2013 with a bang, offering completely redesigned versions of the Sentra, Altima, and Pathfinder.
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.
Getting a welcome makeover for 2013 is the Sentra compact sedan which includes a new engine that improves fuel economy. There is also an FE+ (fuel economy) edition that will get over 40 mpg highway.
The midsize Altima also gets a redesign for 2013 to keep up with many of its competitors in a segment that looks completely different than it did just a few years ago. For the new model year, the Altima is a little wider and longer and excitingly offers best-in-class fuel economy, topping out at 38 mpg highway. Coupe versions of the Altima were not redesigned and continue on with last year's design.
Rounding out Nissan’s lineup of 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).
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 hands-down the best performance car you can buy under six-figures and for 2013 its engine adds 15 extra horses bumping horsepower all the way up to 545.
The Quest minivan offers unique styling and an upscale cabin for families on the go.
Unique is also the operative word for the next pair of cars from Nissan 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.
Nissan features a pair of two-row crossover SUVs, the Rogue and the larger Murano. The Rogue can now be outfitted with Nissan’s Around View monitor which offers a top down view of the car while parking, while the Murano offers more power with its larger V-6 and both are available with all-wheel drive. Nissan also offers a convertible version of the Murano (you read that right) called the Murano CrossCabriolet. Truly like nothing else on the road today, this touring, convertible crossover comes essentially fully loaded with luxurious features and only has two doors.
If you’re looking to get off-road, the rugged Xterra SUV is one of the most capable vehicles around with a double-wishbone front suspension and a solid rear axle. A part-time four-wheel drive system is also available.
For those who need to carry more passengers and cargo, Nissan offers two three-row SUVs: the seven-passenger Pathfinder and the full-size, eight-passenger Armada which packs in the luxury features and a cabin that feels more Infiniti than Nissan.
The Pathfinder makes a shift to crossoverland in 2013, moving from a truck chassis to a car wheelbase which offers benefits when it comes to fuel economy and ride comfort. There is no more V-8 option, leaving only the 260-hp V-6, but fuel economy has jumped up by 25-percent and for those who still demand some ruggedness, the Pathfinder tows up to 5,000 pounds.
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.
The all-electric Leaf returns offering emissions-free motoring and a range of up 100 miles.