The Japanese manufacturer Nissan is well known for producing quality cars, and pushing technology with its concepts and electric cars. Today, in its alliance with Renault, it is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, and continues to grow.
Nissan Car Reviews
The Nissan name was first used in the 1930s as an abbreviation of the holding company Nippon Sangyo, founded by Yoshisuke Aikawa. It controlled foundries and auto-parts businesses but initially did not manufacture cars themselves. Aikawa purchased the controlling interest in DAT motors in 1930, merging it with another subsidiary he owned, Tobata Casting’s auto department, in 1933. The expansion of these two merged departments founded Nissan Motors in 1934.
In 1952 Nissan entered into an agreement with Austin, producing and marketing them for 7 years, manufacturing over 20,000 vehicles. They used technology developed during this time with Austin to refine their own line of Datsun cars.
In 1966 Nissan merged with the Prince Motor Company who produced a number of premium vehicles, the most famous of which were the Skyline and Gloria. Nissan cars were a major force behind the rapid growth of the small car market in Japan in the sixties. Two energy crises in the 1970s brought them to the attention of the world, rapidly increasing exports because of their amazing fuel economy.
In more recent years they have formed alliances. First with Ford, for their Nissan Quest and Terrano, which both share all the same mechanical parts as two ford models, however this partnership ended in 2002. Then in 1999, due to financial difficulties, they formed an alliance with Renault, with whom they share the same CEO. Renault own 43.4% of Nissan shares, whilst Nissan own 15% of Renault.
The Nissan Leaf is an electric 5-door hatchback. Available since 2011 it is Nissans first offering of a fully electric car and has a cruising range of 109 miles according to the company. It offers enough room for a family and due to the electric motor, it’s very cheap to run. In addition to this it has won the 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating.
The Note is a small MPV, with a surprisingly spacious, well thought interior. The ability to fold the rear seats flat increases the practicality of the car for carrying larger cargo. It was built to compete with the Renault Modus, with which it shares its underpinnings. The 1.5 litre diesel is the most efficient engine choice, obtaining a combined mpg close to 70.
This small family car is now in its 4th generation, and has been around since 1982. The most up to date model, released in 2010, comes with a 1.2 litre petrol engine capable of achieving 65.7 combined mpg, on the Acenta version, so it’s relatively cheap to run.
This city car is smaller than the Micra. It competes with other city cars such as the Peugeot 106 and Toyota Aygo, so is priced very competitively. It is the sister car to the Suzuki Alto, which was also developed and built in India. The modest 1.0 litre engine is efficient, making this not only a cheap car to buy but also to run.
The Juke is a medium family car, released towards the end of 2010 as a replacement for the Nissan Terrano II. Its crossover style is very distinctive, and may not be to everyone’s tastes, however will be sure to turn heads. There is plenty of space in the front, but the sloping roof may make it slightly less practical for a larger family.
The Qashqai is a medium sized 4x4 crossover that has been around since 2007. There are two variations, the Qashqai and the Qashqai +2 (made available later), which is a 7-seat model. It replaced the Mistral and was built on an all-new platform, which be used for forthcoming Nissan crossovers. It is roomy and comfortable, with the +2 model offering additional seating, making it an ideal family car.
First released in 2001, the X-Trail is now in its 2nd generation, which was introduced in 2007, receiving a facelift in 2010. It is a large 4x4, which was increased in size from the previous version. It is equipped with a 2.0 litre diesel engine capable of a combined 44.1 mpg, which is reasonable for a vehicle of its size.
The pathfinder is the largest 4x4 offered by Nissan and is a capable off road vehicle. Now in its third generation, the Pathfinder has been around since 1986. It offers an incredibly roomy interior, and comes with 7 seats, making it incredibly practical for a large family.
The 370Z is the 6th generation of Nissans Z line, and is the successor to the 350Z. It was introduced in 2007 as a coupe, with a roadster coming in 2010. Both models feature a 3.7 Litre V6 capable of producing 322bhp. This, coupled with its sleek design makes it a really competitive option in the sports market.
The Nissan GT-R is the newest in the line of Skyline GT-R’s that Nissan produced between 1969 and 1973, and again between 1989 and 2002. It features a 3.8 litre V6 engine, which give all the power you could ever need, with a blistering 0-62mph time of 3.0 seconds. Given the price, this is a superb supercar that gives its more expensive competitors a run for their money.