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Archive for the ‘Nissan’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Is Nissan Reviving the Xterra SUV?

Nissan is looking “very, very closely” at bringing the Xterra SUV back to life for a third generation. That news comes from Nissan’s own Michael Bunce, who serves as senior vice president-product planning for Nissan North America. In an interview with Wards Auto, Bunce said Nissan is watching the renaissance of the off-road utility segment with new vehicles like the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler and Ford’s upcoming Bronco due for 2020.

“[Xterra] is a great asset in terms of a name and a badge, “Bunce said. “It’s on the shelf right now, but it’s something we could utilize in the future.” He backed up Nissan’s reasoning with research the automaker has done on Millennial males. “Through devices they’re becoming more isolated and they want to reconnect with friends, family, outdoors. And a vehicle is an expression, a way to do that. We’re doing a lot of work in the space to understand that customer very well.”

Of course, Bunce made no official statements or promises about the Xterra’s revival were made. Interestingly, rumors of a body-on-frame SUV coming from the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance have surfaced and suggest something could debut at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show in April. Motor Trend, which published the rumors from its unnamed source, says it is possibly the third-generation Xterra. At this time, we’ve seen no spy shots of test vehicles or any other leaked information suggesting the Xterra will return.

Continue reading for more information.

Should Nissan Build the Xterra?


Is Nissan Reviving the Xterra SUV? - image 542024
“Like the first and second generation Xterras before, an upcoming iteration would likely be based on the Frontier mid-size pickup”

The SUV and crossover segment is exploding in popularity these days thanks to buying trends and lower fuel costs. In 2017 alone, we’ve seen the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and Infiniti QX80 have all undergone updates both big and small. Likewise, Fiat Chrysler has killed off its small car production (Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200) to build more SUVs and crossovers. Ford is rumored to be planning the same strategy.

Now, more than ever, seems like the right time to bring back the Xterra.

Like the first and second generation Xterras before, an upcoming iteration would likely be based on the Frontier mid-size pickup. Nissan has been working on the next-generation Frontier for some time now, though it’s not clear if the automaker will use its globally available Navara platform or develop a North America-specific chassis for the new pickup. The Navara chassis is already proven a successful and sharable platform. It underpins the Renault Alaskan and Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickups.


Is Nissan Reviving the Xterra SUV? - image 542028
“The last time Nissan built the Xterra, the calendar said 2015, however, the Frontier pickup on which it’s based is still in production”

Nissan is also rumored to be developing a new, small-displacement V-6 that’s possibly turbocharged for use in the next-generation Frontier and even the full-size Titan pickup. If true, expect this V-6 to be used in the Xterra, as well.

As for that next-gen Frontier, Nissan will likely debut the pickup sometime in 2018 as a 2019 model. Nissan will be fighting against its long-time rival, the Toyota Tacoma, along with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, not to mention Ford’s new Ranger pickup, which is also due in 2019.

The last time Nissan built the Xterra, the calendar said 2015, however, the Frontier pickup on which it’s based is still in production. The Xterra got its start during the 1999 model year. A mild facelift came in 2002 before the second-generation debuted in 2005. Another facelift came in 2009.

References

Nissan Xterra


Is Nissan Reviving the Xterra SUV? - image 542025

Read our full review on the 2014 Nissan Xterra.


maker logos - image 744955

Read more Nissan news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Announces Pricing For 2018 Titan, Titan XD

Nissan has announced pricing for its 2018 Titan and Titan XD models, along with the price for the pickups’ new Midnight Edition. Both trucks carry over unchanged from 2017, including cab, bed, trim, and engine configurations. As such, Nissan is only upping the price by $200 across the board. The monochromatic Midnight Edition, which brings several visual updates to the trucks, adds an extra $1,250 to the MSRP.

The Titan and Titan XD are slowing gaining steam in the highly competitive pickup market, selling 7,679 examples in November inside the U.S. That’s up from only 4,114 in October and 3,773 in September. While these numbers are far less than Ford, GM, and Ram’s monthly truck sales, Nissan is playing out a strategy. Titan sales have been targeted to certain truck-centric markets like Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. This allows the automaker to focus its marketing dollars while allowing its Canton, Mississippi assembly plant to ramp up production.

Nissan’s overall truck strategy has the half-ton Titan competing against stalwarts like the Silverado, F-150, Ram 1500, and Tundra, while the Titan XD carves out its own niche market in between the half-ton and three-quarter ton weight classes. Nissan is also betting big with its association to Cummins, which provides the optional 5.0-liter V-8 turbodiesel offered in the XD.

For our opinions and driving impressions, check out our review of the 2017 Titan and 2016 Titan XD.

Continue reading for the full pricing information.

2018 Titan Pricing


Nissan Announces Pricing For 2018 Titan, Titan XD - image 754150

These prices don’t include Nissan’s $1,295 destination and deliver fee

2018 Titan

Single Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $29,780
Single Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $33,110
King Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $32,750
King Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $36,130
Crew Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $35,430
Crew Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $38,570
Crew Cab SL V8 Gas 4×2 $47,030
Crew Cab Platinum Reserve V8 Gas 4×2 $52,960

2018 Titan XD

Single Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $31,790
Single Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $35,690
King Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $33,860
King Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $38,160
Crew Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $36,990
Crew Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $41,150
Crew Cab SL V8 Gas 4×2 $49,160
Crew Cab Platinum Reserve V8 Gas 4×2 $54,530

2017 Titan Pricing


Nissan Announces Pricing For 2018 Titan, Titan XD - image 754149

2017 Titan

Single Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $29,580
Single Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $32,910
King Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $32,550
King Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $35,930
Crew Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $35,230
Crew Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $38,370
Crew Cab SL V8 Gas 4×2 $46,830
Crew Cab Platinum Reserve V8 Gas 4×2 $52,760

2017 Titan XD

Single Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $31,590
Single Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $35,490
King Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $33,560
King Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $37,960
Crew Cab S V8 Gas 4×2 $36,790
Crew Cab SV V8 Gas 4×2 $40,950
Crew Cab SL V8 Gas 4×2 $48,960
Crew Cab Platinum Reserve V8 Gas 4×2 $54,330

References

Nissan Titan


2017 Nissan Titan - image 665129

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan.


2016 Nissan Titan XD - image 610121

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan XD.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Silvia S16

Between the 370Z and the GT-R, you could make the argument that Nissan already has a pretty solid lineup of sports cars. However, the more discerning enthusiasts out there will be quick to point out just how much more could be done. After all, the current Z car is practically ancient by modern standards given its introduction dates all the back to 2009, and at six figures, the current GT-R is just way too expensive for the average speed lover. That said, there’s one nameplate that desperately needs to be brought back into the discussion – the Silvia. The last time we saw this two-door beauty was in 2002 with the S15, and we think the time is right for a follow-up S16 generation to round out the Japanese automaker’s performance offerings. We know we’re certainly not alone in that respect, and indeed, the next-gen Silvia was expected to show in concept form at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Alas, such a creation never surfaced, but fear not, because we did a little chin scratching, drew up the above-featured rendering, and wrote up the following speculative review to help bridge the gap.

It’s been over 15 years since the S15 bit the dust, so any follow-up has a bit of catching up to do. However, we think Nissan has the right stuff to make it work. Read on for our take on it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Nissan Silvia S16.

Exterior

  • Includes current Nissan styling
  • V-Motion grille in the nose
  • Raked stance
  • Large 18-inch wheels right from the factory
  • Cab-back profile
  • Optional aero packages
  • LED lighting
  • “S” lightning bolt badge
  • Relatively compact dimensions
  • Two-door coupe, although convertible also a possibility

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 747360
“The S16 Silvia gets Nissan’s latest design language cues, the most obvious of which is the large V-Motion grille in the fascia”

One of the things that made the Nissan Silvia so darn appealing was the way it looked, with a wide, low stance that managed to add assertive sportiness to the retrained refinement of a relatively extended wheelbase. We went with the popular two-door coupe body style for our rendering, but a convertible option would also certainly be within the realm of possibility for a new-gen Silvia. Inspiration for our rendering included the brand’s current crop of production vehicles, such as the Sentra, Altima, and GT-R, as well as concepts like the Sports Sedan study from 2014.

Starting in front, we find the S16 Silvia gets Nissan’s latest design language cues, the most obvious of which is the large V-Motion grille in the fascia. This is a common characteristic amongst all of Nissan’s latest models, and in the case of our rendered Silvia, it helps to extend the character lines in the hood deep into the front bumper with brushed metal surrounds. The grille’s fine mesh insert gets a black finish, matched by a black connecting “Vee” between the headlights.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754138
“The S16’s headlights are slim and curvaceous, and look as though they evolved from the S15’s front end. Don’t forget the requisite “S” lightning bolt badge on the nose.”

Speaking of headlights, the S16 gets slim curvaceous units that look as though they are evolved from the S15’s headlights. LEDs are the technology of choice here, from the primary forward illumination, to the signature daytime running lights. Lower in the bumper, you’ll find fog lights nestled into the aero blade cutouts, complemented by a prominent lower splitter element. Don’t forget the requisite “S” lightning bolt badge on the nose.

Moving to the side, we see prominent front fenders that drop down to a hard-angle character line leading into the stretched-out side skirts. Above the side skirts is a pair of complementary character lines that are aimed down towards the front fenders to add visual rake to the car’s stance. The wheels are big, 18 inches from the factory, and come wrapped in wide, sticky summer rubber as a no-cost option. The greenhouse is placed towards the rear of the body, emphasizing the car’s hood line and the coupe-cut to the roof.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754139
“We’d expect Nissan to offer the S16 with a variety of enhanced aero packages for those enthusiasts looking for a little more visual punch.”

In the rear, we would expect a small trunk space, most likely with a subtle trailing edge spoiler. A sizable lower diffuser will aid aero as well, and come with a duo of polished exhaust tips. The taillights will be slim and triangular in shape.

We’d also expect Nissan to offer the S16 with a variety of enhanced aero packages for those enthusiasts looking for a little more visual punch. Finally, we’d expect somewhat compact exterior dimensions, measuring in a little larger than the current 370Z, but not so large it ranks as a full mid-size offering.

Interior

  • Layout will take inspiration from the GT-R
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • Carbon fiber, aluminum, and Alcantara
  • Advanced infotainment features
  • Optional leather

2017 Nissan GT-R - image 670425

Note: Nissan GT-R pictured here.

While it’s uncertain what direction Nissan will take when it comes time to design the S16’s interior layout, we think it’s a pretty safe bet to look at the GT-R when searching for clues. We also think Nissan will tweak it a bit on the Silvia S16, giving it more of a comfortable, GT-style vibe compared to the tech-laden Godzilla.

We think a 2+2 seating arrangement is a distinct possibility, with the front boasting highly bolstered sports seats to keep passengers in place while putting the coupe through its paces. Carbon fiber, brushed aluminum, and Alcantara will undoubtedly make the materials list, while options will include leather.

“We think the S16 will get a more comfortable, GT-style vibe compared to the tech-laden Godzilla, plus a 2+2 seating arrangement.”

The infotainment gear will be impressive. In the dash will be an upgraded infotainment readout with a host of data on all sorts of performance parameters, including a g-meter, boost levels, a lap timer, and more. This touchscreen should also come with navigation options and Bluetooth support.

Drivetrain

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant
  • Front engine, RWD
  • Possible variable compression
  • Upwards of 300 horsepower
  • Both manual and automatic gearboxes

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754146

Note: older Nissan SR20DET engine pictured here.

“We’d expect a four-cylinder engine with a sizable amount of boost added through the use of a turbocharger.”

First and foremost, the S16 Silvia will be front engine and RWD. This is the essential drivetrain layout for the nameplate, and Nissan would be foolish to change it up. Beyond that, we’d expect a four-cylinder engine with a sizable amount of boost added through the use of a turbocharger. Engine displacement should slot in at the 2.0-liter mark, although a base model with a more economical 1.8-liter engine would make sense to help bolster the lineup.

The last few years also saw the Internet rumor mill churn out reports that the new Nissan Silvia would come with a variable compression VC-T engine, similar to what Infiniti is using for its latest QX crossover models. This would also be a viable option to the Silvia, just so long as it produced the right amount of motivation when you put your foot down.

“Engine displacement should slot in at the 2.0-liter mark, although a base model with a more economical 1.8-liter engine would make sense as well.”

Speaking of which, we think around 275 to 300 horsepower for the top-trim model would feel right, and 175 horsepower for the lower trim level if that turns out to be a thing. Routing it all to the rear axle will be both a manual and automatic transmission option, while an advanced limited slip differential will come as standard.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the Silvia could very well be a hybrid. After all, rumor has it the next Z might be a hybrid, so perhaps the Silvia is in the same boat. If we had our choice, we’d love to see Nissan stuff the engine bay with the fire-breathing six out of the GT-R, but that’s highly unlikely.

Chassis And Handling

  • Lightweight through the use of aluminum
  • New sports car platform?
  • Possible Nismo version as well

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754140

The original Silvia was built on Nissan’s “S” chassis, a RWD sports platform first used in 1976 and discontinued in 2002 alongside the S15. With that in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised if the new Silvia introduced a fresh architecture for the brand, something that would also be used for the revamped next-gen Z.

The focus here will obviously be on keeping things as lightweight as possible, while still keeping it all comfortable in the interior as well. Aluminum will pervade throughout, with additional stiffening components offered by way of carbon composites where possible. We also wouldn’t mind it if Nissan added a Nismo version with stiffer, more hardcore gear for the suspension and handling to coincide with a more aggressive exterior aero set-up.

Prices


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754147

This might ruffle a few feathers, but we’re gonna speculate the new Silvia will cost somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.

“But wait,” you might say, “won’t that put it in the same price bracket as the Nissan 370Z?”

Indeed it would, which is why we wanna follow that statement by saying the Z will most likely become smaller, lighter, and less expensive with the next iteration, possibly even adopting a four-cylinder powerplant compared to the historical six-cylinder. In that case, the Silvia would be billed as the more premium (and faster) option between the two.

Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 645703

The Bow Tie brand just dropped a sixth generation for its iconic muscle car, bringing the traditionally straight-line-oriented Camaro into the modern era with new stuff to help it turn and stop, not to mention am interior with a little extra fanciness as well. Under the hood, the Camaro SS is packing all the firepower you’d expect from the nameplate, with as much as 455 horses and 455 pound-feet made by a 6.2-liter V-8. If head-snapping acceleration is what you’re after, the Camaro has the goods.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Next-Gen Mazda RX Sports Car


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654568

While not yet confirmed, a next-gen Mazda RX sports car would make for a fantastic competitor to the next-gen Silvia. Like Mazda RXs of old, the new one would come proper with a low center of gravity, 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, very little curb weight, and top-notch suspension tuning, creating a RWD sports car that could hang with the best of ‘em, given enough corners. Don’t forget the triangular Wankel engine and drop-dead gorgeous Mazda styling, as well.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mazda RX-7.

Conclusion


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 747361

Based on what came before it, we think now is a fantastic time for Nissan to revive the Silvia nameplate. The brand already has the right mix of commuter sedans and crossovers, and the GT-R is a good halo vehicle to back its performance claims. However, what Nissan really needs is a fresh face that’s accessible to more enthusiasts, especially considering the success of lightweight RWD coupes like the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86.

Granted, the BRZ/86 twins are lower on the pricing pyramid than what we’ve laid out here, but that’s where a new, less expensive Z comes into play. We already know Nissan is in that right frame of mind, considering concepts like the recent IDx. The point is this – we think the demand is there. Nissan just needs to bring the goods.

  • Leave it
    • * More expensive than previous iterations
    • * Likely a bit underpowered compared to the domestic competition

History And Background


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754143

The Silvia is known as Nissan’s line of sporty coupes, with a long history and several generations attached to the nameplate. As a lightweight, front-engine, RWD two-door with a ton of power potential, the Silvia is well suited to a variety of motorsport activities. Chief among these is drifting, but touge racing and circuit racing are also high on the list. The car also appeared in the popular Initial D animated show, which helped it grow awareness and desirability among enthusiasts.

The Nissan Silvia was produced between 1964 and 1968, followed by a lengthier second run between 1974 and 2002. Nissan first pulled the sheets on the model in 1964, introducing it as the Datsun Coupe 1500 at the Tokyo Motor Show. The popular name “Silvia,” however, was taken from Sylvia, which is a scientific genus classification for a kind of bird, most likely used as a continuation from previous Nissan naming structures like the Nissan Bluebird. At the time, the Datsun 1500 Coupe came equipped with a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder making upwards of 96 horsepower.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754144
“Nissan brought the S10 to the North American market with a larger 2.0-liter engine. Stateside, the Silvia was dubbed the 200SX, a designation it would carry for decades afterwards.”

As a follow up to the first-generation vehicle, Nissan introduced the next Silvia, also known as the S10, in the mid-‘70s. Offered with a two-door fastback body style, the S10 was originally only sold in Japan, equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, the same lump used in the Datsun 610 and Bluebird 180B. Later, Nissan brought the S10 to the North American market, gracing it with a larger 2.0-liter engine. Stateside, the Silvia was dubbed the Datsun 200SX, a designation it would carry for decades afterwards.

Following the S10 was the S110, introduced in the late ‘70s with both a two-door coupe and three-door hatchback body style. Interestingly, the S110 was originally designed to accommodate a rotary powerplant, but was revamped afterwards with a traditional piston engine after reliability of the Wankel option became a concern.

Once again, the S110 was sold as the 200SX in North America at this time, and came with the Z20 inline four-cylinder for buyers in California, and a separate 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder throughout the rest of the country. Peak output was rated at 100 horsepower, which was routed through either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic gearbox.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754142
“With the arrival of the ‘80s came the S12, made between 1983 and 1988 and offered as either a two-door coupe or three-door hatchback configuration.”

With the arrival of the ‘80s came the S12, made between 1983 and 1988 and offered as either a two-door coupe or three-door hatchback configuration. The 200SX nameplate continued on in the U.S., but engine options expanded to include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 1.8-liter turbo engine, and a 3.0-liter V-6.

Finally, in 1989, Nissan introduced the S13, a model that’s more easily recognized as a Silvia today. At the time, the S13 was sold as the 180SX and 240SX in North America, and was offered in a variety of body styles, including a two-door coupe, a two-door convertible, and a two-door hatchback.

The S13 was also one of the first models to get Nissan’s multi-link rear suspension, plus an advanced four-wheel steering system, otherwise known as HICAS-II. Some models even got a viscous-type limited slip differential for extra grip off the corners. Initially equipped with the naturally aspirated CA18DE and turbochargedCA18DET, both engines plucked from the S12, the S13 later got the venerable SR20DE and SR20DET powerplants so often associated with the nameplate.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754141
“As a replacement for the S13, Nissan introduced the S14 in 1994 for the U.S. market.”

As a replacement for the S13, Nissan introduced the S14 in 1994 for the U.S. market. With a longer wheelbase and wider track, the S14 offered incremental improvements in terms of handling, while the SR20 engine got more power thanks to new cam timing and a bigger turbo. The styling was updated as well, with more angles as compared to the boxier S13.

It was around this time that enthusiasts began creating an amalgamation of the S13 180SX and Silvia, a mash-up that came to be known as the “Sileighty.”

The final Sivlia was the S15, introduced in 1999. Power got a sizable increase, with up to 250 horsepower made thanks to a ball-bearing turbo and new engine tuning. Meanwhile, the non-turbo S15 made 165 horsepower. The Silvia also got a good number of styling updates as well, giving it a much more sleek-looking appearance.

References


2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept - image 538262

Read our full review on the 2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept.


maker logos - image 744955

Read more Nissan news.

PostHeaderIcon WheelsAndMore Nissan GT-R “Crankzilla”

Yep, that’s what they’re calling it. The latest WheelsAndMore Nissan GT-R is dubbed Crankzilla. The aging Samurai has been treated by the Germans to a number of refinements that make it better at what it is supposed to do, which is tickle your senses and astonish you with its awesome performance. 

Looks-wise, WheelsAndMore Nissan GT-R steers clear of showy body kit, but makes up for it in orange wheels and graphics. The rims WaM has picked for the Crankzilla are a set of 3-piece F.I.W.E models measuring 9.5×21 inches on the front and 11.0×21 inches out back, wrapped with Continental  tires in sizes 255/35/21 and 295/30/21 respectively. The wheels’ contribution to the car’s style is further enhanced by height-adjustable lowering springs from KW which drop the ‘Zilla by as much as 30mm.

WheelsAndMore Nissan GT-R also sounds a lot better than the standard model thanks to a valve flap exhaust system. It can optionally be ordered with catalytic converters. The extremely loud exhaust system is part of a performance package for the GT-R which is offered in five different settings to suit every need and budget:









Stage I: Through optimized software and a F1 air filter kit Wheelsandmore generates 605hp and 700nm out of the 2017 GTR engine
Stage 2: In combination with sports catalysts, the tuner achieves 630hp and 800Nm of torque
Stage 3: Combined with modified exhaust system and catalyst replacement pipes the tuner measured 650hp and tight 830Nm of torque
Stage 4: In addition to Stage3, the turbochargers are replaced, other wastegate cans and more powerful gasoline pumps were installed. With sports catalysts and adaptation of the transmission control approximately 700hp and 850Nm were measured
Stage 5 – CrankZilla – As in Stage 4 but with catalyst replacement tubes and with the appropriate software finally 740hp and 900nm were gained.

The post WheelsAndMore Nissan GT-R “Crankzilla” appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Kicks – U.S. Spec

More subdued styling versus the Juke

Without a doubt, the SUV and crossover market is still running strong, prompting every automaker under the sun to fill their lineups to capacity with fresh tall-riding hatches in a bid to satisfy the public’s seemingly never-ending demand. Nissan is no different, offering U.S buyers no less than six different models in the segment, including the Juke, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada. Unfortunately, lovers of the funky and fun Juke won’t see the compact on the roster for much longer, as rumor has it Nissan is showing it the door in 2018. However, in its stead, Nissan will offer something fresh – enter the Kicks. The Kicks is Nissan’s very first new nameplate in 8 years, arriving as a new entry-level model in the Japanese automaker’s lineup with more room and a lower price tag than the Juke. It’s also got some nice technology, both for entertainment and for safety purposes.

The Kicks is already on sale in South America, but arrives stateside more or less unchanged in the hopes of enticing urban consumers, or as Nissan puts it, “singles or couples looking for unique styling, roominess, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features at an affordable price.” So – how does it stack up?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Nissan Kicks.

Exterior

  • More subdued styling versus the Juke
  • Still stylish with two-tone paint options
  • Standard V-Motion grille
  • Floating roof design
  • Available 17-inch wheels higher in trim line
  • Optional LED headlights
  • Larger exterior dimensions versus the Juke

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 748286
“In terms of design, the Kicks is a bit more subdued than the Juke, with more of the traditional compact crossover cues”

In terms of design, the Kicks is a bit more subdued than the Juke, with more of the traditional compact crossover cues compared to the outgoing model’s rather, eh, “unique” style. Nissan calls it “Brazil-inspired design,” as its based on the Kicks Concept that dropped in 2014 at the Sao Paulo Motor Show. What’s more, Nissan Design America – Rio provided its expertise during the design process, with further collaboration coming from the California-based Nissan Design America and the Nissan Global Design Center in Japan.

Standout features include a “wheel-oriented stance” with crisp lines and an angular structure. In front, the Kicks gets the traditional V-Motion grille, which is an ever-present feature for a modern Nissan vehicle, while both the headlights and taillights get a sharp Boomerang shape, seen most prominently in the rear end.

Moving to the sides, the Kick’s floating roof becomes apparent, adding a dash of visual height to the machine thanks to blacked-out pillars and window surrounds. Complementing this is a “wrap-around visor” for the windshield, giving the greenhouse a more projecting presence. The C-pillars get a wide shape and a black finish to help them blend in with the rear hatch, while the wheel arches are plumped up a bit to give the Kicks a more muscular stance. The high waistline rises towards the tail, offering a distinctive rake to the car’s flanks and a pinched look underneath the roof line. Darker lower body trim is added as a nod to traditional crossover styling. Finally, wheel options include 16-inch steel units as standard on the base-level trim, as well as 17-inch aluminum alloy units on the SV and SR trim levels.


2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 748285
“Moving to the sides, the Kick’s floating roof becomes apparent, adding a dash of visual height to the machine thanks to blacked-out pillars and window surrounds”

Nissan also says it developed the car’s exterior to reduce overall wind noise, which should definitely be a benefit to those inside. Given the styling differences between the Kicks and Juke, we’re not altogether surprised the former is more slippery than the latter.

Getting the technology right is a big factor for success in this segment, and the Kicks comes proper with standard Intelligent Auto Headlights that offer an adjustable sensitivity level and a timing feature. It’s also got automatic twilight and wiper activation, as well as a standard rear wiper and roof rails. Extra equipment includes optional LED low-beams for the headlights with LED signature accents, optional fog lights, optional heated side view mirrors with integrated turn signals, and an optional rear roof spoiler, all of which can be had depending on your trim level of choice.


2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 748314
“There’s also seven exterior colors to choose from, plus as many as five two-tone combos if you wanna make it extra spicy”

There’s also seven exterior colors to choose from, plus as many as five two-tone combos if you wanna make it extra spicy. Three of those two-tones include a black roof with either white, orange, or red applied to the body, but you can also get the double tone with orange on the roof and gray for the body panels, or white on the roof with blue for the body panels.

Finally, the Kicks is a little larger than the Juke, which should help substantially with interior cargo room.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 103.1
Length (Inches) 169.1
Width (Inches) 69.3
Height (Inches) 62.4
Track front/rear (Inches) 59.8/60.4

Interior

  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Gliding Wing dashboard
  • Available leather for the steering wheel and shift knob
  • Available front seat heating
  • Available underseat heater ducts for rear bench
  • Nice selection of safety technology features
  • Mid-grade gets 7.0-inch infotainment screen
  • Bluetooth and three USB ports
  • Available premium Bose sound system
  • Flat rear-floor design for enhanced practicality

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 750830
“Drivers get to grips with a sporty-looking flat-bottom steering wheel, while a Gliding Wing dashboard design gives the cabin a more interesting appearance”

Step inside the Nissan kicks, and you’ll find seating for up to five passengers. Drivers get to grips with a sporty-looking flat-bottom steering wheel, while a Gliding Wing dashboard design gives the cabin a more interesting appearance. If you’re looking for an extra premium touch, available upgrades include leather for the steering wheel and shift knob, a tonneau cover, and Automatic Temperature Control. The SV trim levels also adds underseat heater ducts for rear-seated passengers. Go for the SR Premium Package and you’ll enjoy the heated feature for the front seats, as well as a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and a 4-way adjustable front passenger seat.

High on the Kick’s list of equipment is a slew of safety and convenience features. For example, there’s Automatic Emergency Braking and a RearView monitor as standard, plus Forward Collision Warning on higher trim levels. Grab the SR model, and you’ll get a standard Intelligent Around View Monitor, with four cameras providing a bird’s-eye view around the car, thus enabling easier maneuvers in tight spaces. Both the SR and SV add in Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, while seven air bags are standard across the range.


2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 748302
“The focus on technology continues with a 7.0-inch color display added to the dash of mid-grade and top-grade trims, plus Remote Engine Start and smartphone support via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.”

Complementing the safety and convenience stuff is a nice selection of infotainment features, such as Bluetooth connectivity and three USB connection ports. The focus on technology continues with a 7.0-inch color display added to the dash of mid-grade and top-grade trims, providing info on the mpg returns, the chassis dynamic control, radio and playlist info, and more. There’s also Remote Engine Start. Mid-grade gear also throws in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone support, while the NissanConnect system rounds out the platform options.

Grab the Kicks SR Premium Package, and you’ll get a Bose Personal Plus stereo, which offers enhanced sound thanks to 8 speakers, Bose signal processing, and a 360-degree sound feature. Part of the enhanced sound package is a duo of 2.5-inch Bose UltraNearfield neodymium speakers, which are mounted inside the driver’s seat headrest to get you up close and personal with the tunes. The package also adds in a 6.5-inch Bose Super65 speaker in each of the front doors and 1.0-inch tweeters in the A-pillar, plus 5.25-inch wide-range speakers in the rear doors. Adjusting the sound is a Bose PersonalSpace Control feature for more audiophile tweaks. Finally, the upgraded stereo stuff also throws in a digital amp, six-channel sound, and digital sound processing.


2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 748297
“Practicality was also a big concern for the Kicks, and as such, the rear bench gets a 60/40 split for easier access to the flat rear floor design”

As you might expect, practicality was also a big concern for the Kicks, and as such, the rear bench gets a 60/40 split for easier access to the flat rear floor design. Nissan also boasts that the Kicks offers one of the largest load areas in the segment. Getting stuff in and out of the trunk is made easier thanks to the high-lift hatch, which Nissan says allows individuals as tall as 6 feet to grab what they need without ducking down – a small detail that could pay big dividends depending on the buyer.

Interior Dimensions

Headroom front/rear (Inches) 40.7/38.5
Legroom front/rear (Inches) 43.7/33.2
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 50.9/49.1
Shoulder room front/rear (Inches) 53.0/53.2
Cargo behind 2nd row (cu ft) 25.3
Total cargo room (cu ft) 119.2

Drivetrain

  • NA 1.6-liter four-cylinder is only engine option
  • 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque
  • CVT and FWD for drivetrain
  • No available AWD
  • 33 mpg combined

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 748292
“The standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine comes equipped with double overhead cams, 16 valves, and Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System, all of which help it produce upwards of 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque.”

Providing the, well, kick (sorry not sorry) is a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. This standard gas unit comes equipped with double overhead cams, 16 valves, and Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System, all of which help it produce upwards of 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque.

Compared to the Juke, that’s quite a bit of a downgrade, as the former model made 188 horses from a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger. However, the all-atmosphere unit should be much more efficient, with Nissan predicting upwards of 33 mpg combined compared to the Juke’s 26 mpg city and 31 mph highway.

Helping to pad the Kicks’ fuel returns is an Xtronic CVT transmission and FWD as standard. Nissan is also declining to offer AWD, which is probably not a big deal for urban buyers, but certainly bears mentioning in a segment jam-packed with aspiring off-roaders.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS)
Horsepower 125 HP
Torque 115 LB-FT
Transmission Xtronic
Drive configuration Front-wheel drive, standard Traction Control System (TCS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA)

Chassis And Handling

  • 7.0 inches of ground clearance
  • Strut front suspension, twist-beam rear suspension
  • Electric power steering

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 748295
“The Kicks still gets the lifted suspension of a traditional crossover, providing a very decent 7.0 inches of extra ground clearance”

Despite the lack of AWD grip, the Kicks still gets the lifted suspension of a traditional crossover, providing a very decent 7.0 inches of extra ground clearance. And while it’s not really totally necessary for a model aimed at urban customers (unless, of course, you’ve got some seriously screwed-up streets in your town), the set-up works well with the compact crossover aesthetic we’re used to seeing. Not really needed, but a nice to have.

Speaking of suspension, the Kicks comes equipped with a strut set-up in front plus a stabilizer bar, while in back, there’s a twist-beam set-up with twin-tube shocks plus a stabilizer bar.

Helping it turn is an electric power steering set-up. Fully locked, the rack helps the Kicks perform with a 34.1-foot turning radius, which ain’t bad for those close-quarter maneuvers, especially when complemented by the around-view monitor system.

To round it out, the Kicks comes with standard traction control, vehicle dynamic control, hill start assist, and ABS. It also includes an Integrated Dynamic-Control Module with Active Engine Brake, Active Trace Control, and Active Ride Control. Providing the stick is a set of all-season tires, with 206/60 sizing on the SV and 205/55 sizing on the SR.

Prices


2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 748288

The 2018 Nissan Kicks will be released June of 2018, and will come in three individual trim levels – the base-model S, the mid-grade SV, and the top-trim SR.

There’s no exact pricing announced as of yet, but word has it the base-model will slot in under $19,000. And that’s a decent chunk of change less than the Juke’s $20,250 price tag.

Competition

Kia Soul


2017 Kia Soul Turbo - image 694702

If you’re looking to get into an affordable compact crossover, one of your best bets comes from Kia with the Soul five-door. Power is derived from a 1.6-liter four making 130 horsepower, which routes output to the front axle by way of a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic. There’s also 161 horsepower from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and automatic combo, and if you’re feeling frisky, 201 horsepower from a turbocharged 1.6-liter option. Go for the power, and it’ll reach the ground through a seven-speed automatic. Interior space is ample, while the boxy styling is a standout in the segment. If you miss the fun of the Juke, but wanted it with more space, this might be the one for you.

Read our
full review on the 2017 Kia Soul.

Jeep Renegade


2015 Jeep Renegade - image 544607

Take the proven Jeep formula and apply it to a compact utility vehicle, and this is what you get – the Jeep Renegade. Powered by a 160-horsepower turbo four-cylinder or optional 180-horsepower four-cylinder, the Renegade gets FWD as standard, but can add on AWD if extra grip is a necessity. You can even get yours in full Trailhawk trim if you really need a slice of that off-roading goodness. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard features, and as a bonus, the Renegade looks the part of a Jeep in front.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Renegade.

Conclusion


2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec - image 750816

On paper, the Nissan kicks has a lot to offer. The biggest draws have to be the impressive interior room, technology and equipment, efficiency, and most of all, affordable price tag, all qualities that new buyers in the segment are looking for. So that’s good.

However, the Kicks is certainly not without its faults, most of which stem from the lackluster powertrain and drivetrain. With just 125 horses on tap, the Kicks isn’t exactly quick, while the old-school suspension set-up will likely keep it from winning any awards in terms of handling or on-road refinement. Throw in the standard CVT and lack of optional AWD, and you can see what Nissan had to do to keep pricing under the $19K mark.

But for some buyers, that’s not a big deal. AWD isn’t a necessity for the target buyer on this thing, and if you’re looking for something that’s truly a hoot behind the wheel, the CUV segment probably isn’t the right spot to start.

The only question left is this – will the Kicks perform better than the Juke in terms of sales?

  • Leave it
    • * Quite slow
    • * No option for AWD
    • * CVT only

References

Nissan Kicks


2017 Nissan Kicks - image 674606

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Kicks – European version.

Nissan Juke


2011 Nissan Juke - image 347080

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Juke.


maker logos - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Prepares to Test Self-Driving Taxis In Japan in 2018

Another day, another development in the race to put autonomous driving technology on the road. The latest bit of news comes from Nissan, which announced plans to roll out an autonomous ride-sharing pilot program with tech partner DeNA. The public test will take place in the Minatomirai district in Yokohama, Japan.

“The program, called Easy Ride, is envisioned as a service that works similarly with the autonomous ride sharing programs Uber and Waymo are already doing”

The program, called Easy Ride, is envisioned as a service that works similarly with the autonomous ride sharing programs Uber and Waymo are already doing. But before diving into deep waters, Nissan and DeNA will take things slowly, beginning with a two-week test run that will take place between March 5 and 18, 2018. Modified Nissan Leaf electric cars will be used in the program. Nissan and DeNA have also created a dedicated website where volunteers can sign up to be part of the program.

Eventually, Nissan envisions the Easy Ride program to become a full-fledged service that will supplement the current transportation services we have today. Robo-Taxis will sit at the forefront of this program, all of which can be used by the general public. It’s not clear if Nissan plans to build unique models for these autonomous cars in the future, but given that the company is using modified Leafs for this trial run, it’s likely that the electric car will get the first shot at bringing the Easy Ride program to life.

References

Nissan Leaf


2018 Nissan Leaf - image 729749

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Leaf.



Read more Nissan news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker

Stars Wars: The Last Jedi is hitting theaters next week, and like in year’s past, Nissan is hitching its wagon on the monolithic movie franchise. We saw the fruits of that partnership last year with the launch of the Nissan Rogue One Edition. This year, Nissan and LucasFilms are upping the ante by launching a whole fleet of Stars Wars-inspired creations, including the vehicle you see here.

This is a Nissan Titan, or at least it was until it was redesigned to look more like one of those giant AT-M6 Walker bots that the First Order deployed against the Resistance in The Force Awakens. The overall look and the details that went into creating the Titan Star Wars is a feast for the senses. We should give credit to Vehicle Effects for making this transformation. The California-based company is famous in Hollywood circles for building some of the best cars to hit the silver screen, including all the vehicles in The Fast and Furious and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises. In addition to the Titan, Vehicle Effects also created the Nissan Altima Special Forces TIE Fighter, Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren, Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer, Nissan Maxima Captain Phasma, Nissan Rogue Poe Dameron’s X-Wing with BB8, and Nissan Rogue Sport A-Wing.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Nissan Star Wars Edition

What makes the Nissan Titan Star Wars special


2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker - image 750470
“The finished product looks incredible, particularly in the way some of its features are in sync with the actual parts from the AT-M6”

With respect to the other Star Wars-inspired Nissan vehicles, the Titan AT-M6 is, without question, the most elaborate creation of the fleet. According to Eric Shimp of Vehicle Effects, most of the materials that were used in this build are made from aluminum. There are also 3D-printed parts, most notably the circuit panels that we can see on the sides of the truck.

The finished product looks incredible, particularly in the way some of its features are in sync with the actual parts from the AT-M6. The hood of the truck features the top end of the walker’s head, right down to the red highlights that represent the windows of the walker. The front bumper of the Titan also gets a pair of proper blasters. Both are flanked by smaller protrusions that resemble the array of artillery that the actual AT-M6 has at its disposal. The rest of the pick-up gets wrapped in the same colors as the AT-M6, complete with black definitions that represent the natural wear-and-tear these walkers get when they’re on the battlefield.


2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker - image 750464
“The rest of the pick-up gets wrapped in the same colors as the AT-M6, complete with black definitions”

The other significant feature of the Titan AT-M6 is sitting at the back, prominently placed for the whole world to see. For those who don’t know, that part there is the body of the AT-M6, and that satellite dish-looking equipment is actually the megacaliber six cannon from which it gets its name.

As elaborate as the exterior is, the Titan’s interior remains largely in stock form. The only modification in this section is the sound equipment that was installed to help recreate the effects of a stomping AT-M6 Walker. Imagine driving in your neighborhood and seeing this in your rear-view mirror. It’s a cool sight, but also not a pleasant one.

No work was done to improve the Titan’s performance capabilities. I don’t see that as an issue though because if you watched The Force Awakens, you’ll know that these AT-M6 Walkers aren’t exactly known for being fleet-footed. The absence of any power upgrades isn’t a reflection of the kind of work that Vehicle Effects put into this build. In fact, the finished vehicle reportedly weighs around 6,500 pounds. That’s 1,500 pounds in added weight to a pickup that already weighs a little over 5,000 pounds, to begin with.


2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker - image 750473
“The finished vehicle reportedly weighs around 6,500 pounds”

Don’t expect the Nissan Titan AT-M6 to somehow find itself in the classifieds anytime soon. Like the rest of the The Last Jedi-inspired Nissan models, this creation will be making the rounds of other auto shows through the first quarter of 2018. Even if the movie itself runs its course at that time, there’s no doubt that these cars will still be major attractions.

References

Nissan Titan


2017 Nissan Titan - image 665129

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Nissan LEAF Production Begins in Tennessee

Good news for those looking to replace their petrol or diesel hatchback with an EV. You good-natured citizens may want to hold on a little longer as the all-new 2018 Nissan LEAF entered production today and will soon hit the market. And it’s a head and shoulders above the competition in pretty much every aspect. 

If we gloss over the glaring faults that plague all electric cars right now, the 2018 Nissan LEAF is a remarkable product. Not only does it address the biggest issue with its predecessor, which was the looks, if now has better performance, higher range, and a host of advanced new technologies to justify the price tag. This car is virtually autonomous-ready thanks to features such as ProPILOT Assist, Emergency Braking (AEB) and e-Pedal.

As for the more important facts and figures for the consumers, the 2018 Nissan LEAF will be available in all 50 states at launch at a starting price of $29,990 and its range will exceed 150 miles on a single charge. Production of the new LEAF is also a momentous event for Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant, a facility dating back to 1983 and responsible for production of more than 12 million Nissans, most of which are probably still on the road today. The plant’s range currently inlcudes Altima, LEAF, Maxima, Pathfinder, Rogue and the INFINITI QX60.

“We’re committed to vehicle electrification and manufacturing in the United States,” said Jeff Younginer, vice president, manufacturing, Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant, Nissan North America, Inc. “With the LEAF’s low starting price and latest suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features, we’re excited to ramp up production and bring the LEAF to market next month.”

The post 2018 Nissan LEAF Production Begins in Tennessee appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Nissan LEAF Production Begins in Tennessee

Good news for those looking to replace their petrol or diesel hatchback with an EV. You good-natured citizens may want to hold on a little longer as the all-new 2018 Nissan LEAF entered production today and will soon hit the market. And it’s a head and shoulders above the competition in pretty much every aspect. 

If we gloss over the glaring faults that plague all electric cars right now, the 2018 Nissan LEAF is a remarkable product. Not only does it address the biggest issue with its predecessor, which was the looks, if now has better performance, higher range, and a host of advanced new technologies to justify the price tag. This car is virtually autonomous-ready thanks to features such as ProPILOT Assist, Emergency Braking (AEB) and e-Pedal.

As for the more important facts and figures for the consumers, the 2018 Nissan LEAF will be available in all 50 states at launch at a starting price of $29,990 and its range will exceed 150 miles on a single charge. Production of the new LEAF is also a momentous event for Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant, a facility dating back to 1983 and responsible for production of more than 12 million Nissans, most of which are probably still on the road today. The plant’s range currently inlcudes Altima, LEAF, Maxima, Pathfinder, Rogue and the INFINITI QX60.

“We’re committed to vehicle electrification and manufacturing in the United States,” said Jeff Younginer, vice president, manufacturing, Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant, Nissan North America, Inc. “With the LEAF’s low starting price and latest suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features, we’re excited to ramp up production and bring the LEAF to market next month.”

The post 2018 Nissan LEAF Production Begins in Tennessee appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan to Shift Back to Sedans and Sports Cars

Crossovers and SUVs make up a big chunk of Nissan’s sales volume these days, but just because it’s the case now, it doesn’t mean the Japanese automaker is pushing its sedans and sports cars to the sidelines. On the contrary, Nissan has big plans for its sedan and sports car lineups. It hasn’t mentioned what those plans are, but the big part of the company’s focus will return to these models now that its lineup of crossovers and SUVs are all filled up with the arrival of the Kicks crossover.

<doc748292

“It’s smart for the company to think a few steps ahead and look at what the future might bring for the industry”

Nissan can only build so many crossovers and SUVs, right? I would think that’s the case because there aren’t enough segments to differentiate one from the other. So it’s smart for the company to think a few steps ahead and look at what the future might bring for the industry. Nissan North America VP of Product Planning Michael Bunce alluded to it in a conversation with Motor1 at the LA Auto Show. According to Bunce, the “reinvention of the sedan” could be the next big trend in the auto industry after the wave of popularity enjoyed by crossovers and SUVs die down.

The key is to not fall into the trap of reverting back to developing sedan types that the industry has seen before. In the same way that the designs of crossovers and SUVs have evolved in recent years, a natural evolution in the design of sedans could happen because of how the market evolves. Bunce touched on this when he alluded to the lack of appeal minivans had on millennials because “that’s what their parents drove.” In the same breath, “centennials” could be put off by SUVs because of how popular they are. Instead, they could look to a completely different body type to bring back to prominence. That could be the sedan’s meal ticket back to relevancy.

Nissan knows that this could happen, which is why a host of sedans, sports cars, and EVs are all in the pipeline. Even Nissan’s Nismo performance brand is due to get more love and affection now that Nissan has announced plans to “bring some excitement back to the division.”

All of this talk is music to my ears. I understand the business case of going overdrive on crossovers and SUVs. But at some point, sedans and sports cars need to get their time in the spotlight too. It’s nice to know that Nissan shares that sentiment.

References

Nissan Kicks


The 2018 Nissan Kicks Gives Americans a Taste Simplicity in the Modern World - image 748286

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Kicks.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 Nissan Kicks Gives Americans a Taste Simplicity in the Modern World

Nissan debuted an all-new compact crossover at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show – the 2018 Nissan Kicks. Its designed as a fun, visually appealing city run-about with good fuel economy, room for five people and their stuff, the most desired in-dash technology, and a price that starts “well under $19,000.”

Dan Mohnke, Nissan’s senior vice president of sales, marketing, and operations, says, “As the gateway to Nissan’s adventure-ready sport-utility portfolio – joining Rogue Sport, Rogue, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada – Kicks is designed to fit the needs of singles or couples looking for expressive styling, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features at an affordable price.”

Notice Mohnke didn’t mention the Nissan Juke. That’s because the Kicks will replace the Juke when it arrives in showrooms later this year – at least that’s the unofficial plan of action. The Kicks will compete with big players like the Jeep Renegade, Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, Kia Soul, and new 2018 Hyundai Kona.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Nissan Kicks.

Less frog-like, but more conventional


The 2018 Nissan Kicks Gives Americans a Taste Simplicity in the Modern World - image 748307
“It has all the popular design styling found on the competition”

The 2018 Nissan Kicks looks nothing like the Juke, that frog-faced crossover with big, round headlights and oddly shaped fenders. Rather, Nissan designers took a more conventional approach. That’s not to say the Kicks or boring, though. It has all the popular design styling found on the competition. Cues include the blacked-out, floating roof, sharp creases in the doors surrounded by bulgy, round fenders, and over exaggerated LED lighting.

Inside, the Kicks has an almost no-nonsense dash design. It doesn’t skimp on technology, though. There’s a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a large driver information screen in the gauge cluster, push-button starting, steering wheel controls, and plenty of USB ports. Nissan’s Around View Monitor system offers a 360-degree view of the outside and an interesting Bose audio system with a pair of small “Ultranearfield” speakers in the driver’s headrest. The range-topping Kicks SR trim is where the tech gadgets are added. The S and SV represent the bottom and mid-range trims.


The 2018 Nissan Kicks Gives Americans a Taste Simplicity in the Modern World - image 748284
“Power comes from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, and Nissan clearly intends the Kicks to be a fuel-sipper with only 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque”

Power comes from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, and Nissan clearly intends the Kicks to be a fuel-sipper with only 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. Nissan’s Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System is present on the dual overhead cams that control the four valves in each cylinder. A continuously variable transmission is the only gearbox choice, sadly, as is front-wheel drive. Yep, no AWD option here. Fuel economy is expected to be 33 mpg on the highway.

Official pricing hasn’t been announced, but Mohnke’s comment about the MSRP starting “well under $19,000” might mean anything from $17,000 to $18,500. Nissan will release pricing a bit closer to the Kicks’ arrival in showrooms in the spring of 2018.

References

Nissan Kicks


The 2018 Nissan Kicks Gives Americans a Taste Simplicity in the Modern World - image 748286

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Kicks.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Says a New Z-Car is on the Way, but a Few Years Out

Crossovers and SUVs have become integral parts of Nissan’s success in recent years, so much so that the Japanese automaker’s participation at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show revolved around the Kicks, a sub-compact crossover that costs under $20,000. But, just because these vehicle types have become the rage in the industry these days, that doesn’t mean that Nissan will veer away from building sedans, coupes, and all non-crossover, non-SUV types. On the contrary, these types of cars will continue to make up a significant part of Nissan’s portfolio, including a new Z-car that will finally take the reigns away from the dated 370Z sports coupe.


2009 - 2017 Nissan 370Z - image 437195
“There were even rumors that Nissan was bringing a concept to the Tokyo Motor Show last month that would serve as the foundation for the next-gen Z-car.”

For the record, the Nissan 370Z has been since 2009. That’s eight years if you’re counting. It’s no secret that the current sports coupe will be replaced at some point in the near future. The only question is “when” it’s going to happen. That speculation on the status of the next Z-car continues to be a hot-button issue for the Japanese automaker. There were even rumors that Nissan was bringing a concept to the Tokyo Motor Show last month that would serve as the foundation for the next-gen Z-car. Instead, we got more lip service of the company’s “plans” for the segment.

The recent comments made by Nissan’s North American VP of product planning, Michael Bunce, follows the same template. While he didn’t exactly come out with a specific timetable for the 370Z replacement, he did say that the company is “taking its time to make sure that the new car is more outrageous than before.” Basically, the “when” argument for the next-generation Z-car still holds true. But, it’s still coming and that’s good news. The only caveat is that it’s not coming anytime soon.

So prepare yourselves for more versions of a sports car that’s approaching ten years of activity in the auto industry. I don’t know if that’s cause for celebration or not, but, for better or worse, Nissan thinks it is because it’s no rush to put the car out to pasture.

References

Nissan Z


2018 Nissan Z - image 660951

Read our full speculative review on the next Nissan Z.

Nissan 370Z


2009 - 2017 Nissan 370Z - image 437174

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan 370Z.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Will the 2018 Nissan Kicks Replace the Nissan Juke?

The Nissan Kicks finally made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The crossover’s arrival likely means that the Juke crossover is on its last legs. Nissan has given no indication regarding the status of the Juke, but all signs seem to point in that direction. That’s not necessarily a bad thing given how polarizing the Juke has been in the seven years that it’s been around. It’s about time Nissan’s quirky crossover is put to pasture. It makes sense for Nissan to do it now that the Kicks is here with a package that’s admittedly more appealing to customers.


Will the 2018 Nissan Kicks Replace the Nissan Juke? - image 748307

I’d be surprised if Nissan keeps the Juke around even with the arrival of the Kicks. It’s not exactly a novel thought, but it is worth mentioning because of the possibility that Nissan goes the other way and decides to keep both models around.

The rationale for doing so has to do with the popularity of the crossover segment these days. I can see Nissan offering these two models because, despite the perceived overlap, the two models do offer plenty of distinct features that could help differentiate themselves in the eyes of the public. The Juke has that kind of cache, no matter what you think of it. There’s something inherently different about it that can help carry it in the market for a few more years before it’s permanently put the pasture.


Will the 2018 Nissan Kicks Replace the Nissan Juke? - image 748304

That’s one argument for keeping the Juke around. I think it’s possible, but ultimately, I do think the Nissan will decide to move on from the Juke so it can give the Kicks a bigger platform to showcase itself. As different as these two models are, they’re both still crossovers, so they’re still occupying the same space. It could be detrimental to the Kicks to have the Juke around because it’d be competing with a model from its own family, as opposed to being able to focus on the real competition from other automakers.

Everything about the Kicks’ presentation points to it being the future of Nissan’s crossover lineup. As such, it deserves to have its own platform as opposed to sharing it with a model that’s not only dated, but also wasn’t universally loved to begin with.

References

Nissan Kicks


Will the 2018 Nissan Kicks Replace the Nissan Juke? - image 748286

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Kicks.

Nissan Juke


2014 Nissan Juke - image 546025

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Juke.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Nissan Kicks Is the New King of Affordable Crossovers

With no much build up Nissan revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show last night the all-new 2018 Nissan Kicks. this compact crossover will hit the U.S. market in June next year with a starting price of well under $19,000. That, and what the Kicks has to offer, already puts it at the top of the crossover game. 

Unlike most of the other choices in this class, 2018 Nissan Kicks does not look like it’s been made out of reject parts from a hatchback project. The car has its own personality, and it looks quite cool and funky as well. Nissan has given this baby SUV design features usually reserved for much bigger cars – features such as V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights and taillights, and a floating roof with a “wrap-around visor” look. As befits a small urban crossover, the Kicks comes in lively and fun colors, including personalizable two-tone shades.

Inside the cabin the Kicks is designed to appeal to tech savvy customers, since most of its buyers are going to be young people with a social media fixation. 7.0-inch full color display housing a comprehensive infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bose Personal Plus sound system with a pair of lightweight 2.5-inch Bose UltraNearfield neodymium speakers (depending on the trim), and Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM) are among the main tech highlights.






Performance-wise, 2018 Nissan Kicks has only one engine option: a 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) rated at  125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque returning 33 mpg combined. It’s nothing to write home about, but as we said the people who will buy this car don’t really care about performance. As long as the car moves at a steady pace and has a socket for charging phones, they will be happy.

The post 2018 Nissan Kicks Is the New King of Affordable Crossovers appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars

The Los Angeles Auto Show is the perfect occasion for carmakers to launch their late-in-the-year models for the U.S. market, but Nissan decided to go with something different in 2017. Having signed a collaboration with Lucasfilm for the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” movie, the Japanese automaker unveiled no fewer than six Star Wars-themed concept cars. Each of them is based on characters and crafts from the upcoming film, set to debut on December 15, and are built around Nissan’s most popular models in the U.S., the Rogue, Rogue Sport, Altima, and Maxima.

The vehicles were developed at the Lucasfilm studios, where artists penned everything from the design, colors, textures, and graphics, all inspired by the Star Wars franchise. The sketches were then brought to life using hydro-dipped graphics and aged exterior design to show simulated use in battle. Don’t worry; you won’t be seeing any flying Nissans in the movie, but also don’t expect any of these concepts to make it into production. Let’s have a closer look at each of them below.

Continue reading for the full story.

Nissan Altima Special Forces TIE Fighter


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The first car on the list is based on the strike fighter used by the First Order’s elite pilots. It features a multi-paned windshield, special wheel covers, all sorts of weapons front and rear, and a custom paint job with an offset red stripe.

Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren


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This vehicle looks much more sinister than the previous one, and that’s because it was designed to mimic Kylo Ren’s black and silver face mark. The V-motion grille was rebuilt from a single block of milled aluminum, while the new lower spoiler appears to be taken off a full-fledged race car. The headlamps have red signature lighting that matches the underbody lighting. Both pulse at random to mimic Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber.

Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748031

Also inspired by Kylo Ren, this sedan is finished in black and equipped with red lighting in the bumper, as well as inside the cabin. It has two massive wings on each side, which are fitted with laser cannons and missile launchers. It also has sound effects pulled directly from the movie, but no video (or audio) is available yet.

Nissan Maxima Captain Phasma


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748041

The Captain Phasma sedan sports an interesting livery with a gloss-black upper half and a high-gloss silver lower half, separated by a red stripe. The front end was designed to mimic the mask of the female character and makes the sedan look like an armored vehicle. The six little vents on the lower front doors make for a particularly interesting detail that somewhat reminds me of GTE-spec race cars with side-exiting exhausts pipes.

Nissan Rogue Poe Dameron’s X-wing with BB-8


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748043

Moving over to crossovers, this Rogue recreates the X-wing that leads the New Republic Starfleet. It has four massive wings, illuminating thrusters, and four laser cannons. On the roof, Nissan added
BB-8 astromech droid with functioning lights, motion, and sound. A rugged tire and wheel package complete the look and turns the crossover into a vehicle ready for battle.

Nissan Rogue Sport A-wing


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748048

Not as aggressive as the X-wing, the A-wing is closer to the standard-spec Rogue Sport. Just ignore the dual thrusters and the roof-mounted fins, and it looks like a regular crossover with a two-tone paint job with battle scars. However, the illuminated thrusters and the laser cannons mounted on the rear fenders give it a proper Star Wars-inspired look.

References

Nissan Rogue


2017 Nissan Rogue Sport - image 700934

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Rogue.


2017 Nissan Rogue - image 687967

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport.

Nissan Altima


2014 - 2015 Nissan Altima - image 546926

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Altima.

Nissan Maxima


2016 - 2017 Nissan Maxima - image 625125

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Maxima.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Star Wars Vehicles Take L.A. Auto Show by Storm

You may be aware that Nissan has an ongoing partnership with the Star Wars franchise. Now at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show they take this relationship to a whole new level, unveiling a fleet of six Star Wars-themed vehicles. Nissan Star Wars Vehicles are dressed as characters from teh upcoming installment, The Last Jedi. 

Now, Nissan Star Wars Vehicles are not just silly wraps done by a third-rate tuner in Venice Beach. I know, they do look silly, but that’s the whole Star Wars thing. Each of these cars was designed by artists from Lucasfilm. They came up with the designs, guiding colors, textures and graphics, and they decided which car, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Altima and Maxima, should play which role. These design are also part of a virtual reality experience they have devised for the show.

Since we are not at all savvy in the nerd arts, we are not going to comment on the vehicles and their designs. We just leave you with the official description of each of the Nissan Star Wars Vehicles and let you form your own judgment.

2018 Nissan Altima – Special Forces TIE Fighter: The Special Forces TIE Fighter is a strike fighter used by the First Order’s elite Special Forces pilots. This is fittingly recreated using Nissan’s best-selling sedan, Altima. The show vehicle features custom body enhancements, bringing it in line with a member of the First Order’s fleet. The vehicle’s standout feature is the cockpit window that brings the multi-paned look of the Special Forces TIE fighter to the Altima’s windshield. Custom wheels and full-body wrap bring the dual-winged spacecraft to life. Speakers at each corner recreate the iconic TIE Fighter and blaster sounds, creating a true sense of motion. Each wheel features the centerpiece of a TIE Fighter wing applied through a hydro-dipping process.  

2018 Nissan Maxima – Kylo Ren: Drawing on the existing aggressive design language of the Maxima, this show vehicle is transformed into a truly sinister sedan. Designers merged Kylo Ren’s unmistakable black and silver facemask with the Maxima’s V-motion design language using a single block of milled aluminum for the front of the 4-Door Sports Car. A custom front lower spoiler, impactful hood and body are coated to exacting character color-matching specifications. The project is completed with a set of red signature headlights and underbody lighting that pulse at random – similar to Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber.

2018 Nissan Maxima – Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer: Engineered for speed and astute handling capability, the Nissan Maxima is the perfect car to replicate Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer – one of the new crafts to appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This one-off TIE Silencer is customized to Kylo’s specifications with laser cannons and missile launchers affixed to the vehicle’s distinct wings – stretching the entire length of the car. Crimson lighting in the grille and underneath give this concept an amazing true-to-life feel. Sound effects pulled directly from the movie take this one to the next level, truly blurring the lines between fantasy and reality.

2018 Nissan Maxima – Captain Phasma: Also joining the First Order ranks, the Captain Phasma Maxima is covered in high-gloss silver armor and bears an unmistakable mask of the strong female character in the film. Its fascia and hood are each hand-crafted from aluminum. A red accent line runs the length of the car, with ground effects to further its intimidating look. The Captain Phasma Maxima is also a celebration of female strength. Nissan’s Maxima team is led by a female engineer, the designer for this vehicle was a female from ILM, the vehicle’s brand director is a female and the vehicle was created to celebrate one of the toughest female warriors in the galaxy.

2018 Nissan Rogue – Poe Dameron’s X-wing with BB-8: Poe Dameron’s X-wing leads the New Republic starfleet, with massive fixed wings spanning either side of its Nissan Rogue foundation. Ready for action, the T-70 X-wing starfighter features a pair of illuminating thrusters, while quad laser cannons integrated into each wingtip make the craft ready for battle. Sitting atop the crossover is a full-size BB-8 astromech droid with functioning lights, motion and sound. A rugged tire and wheel package draws parallels to the rugged valor of the Resistance.

2018 Nissan Rogue Sport – A-wing: Quick and nimble, the A-wing is a perfect fit for the Rogue Sport it is built upon. Dual thrusters at the rear of the vehicle are illuminated, while top-mounted fins mimic the A-wing’s design. Its wheels are painted blue to match the craft’s accents with new tires fitted to provide a wide stance. Laser cannons flank the vehicle and a detailed wrap complete with battle damage prove it’s a vehicle ready for almost anything.

The post Nissan Star Wars Vehicles Take L.A. Auto Show by Storm appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Watch Nissan’s Door-Slamming Robot Torture a Pathfinder with 45,000 slams

Ever think about how many time your car door is opened and closed in its lifetime? Well, Nissan estimates a door will experience 45,000 closing shoved in only ten years. That’s a lot of abrupt stops for the sensitive components inside a door to withstand. To help with quality control, Nissan just installed a robot inside its technical center in Farmington Hills, Michigan. They even gave it a catchy name: Mrs. Doorboto. That’s a clear reference to the classic 1980s song by the Styx, “Mr. Roboto.” For short, though, Nissan folks just call it Rosie.

Rosie only needs three days to subject a car door to 45,000 repetitions of opening and closing. It cycles through every six seconds by using its aluminum “hand” to grab the door handle. Rosie swings the door through its full range before giving it a shove closed. Rinse and repeat… over and over again.

The process helps Nissan pinpoint any parts on or within the door that might prematurely fail. Remember, modern doors have backlit switches that control electric motors that operate a pane of glass raised and lowered by cables through a plastic track. There’s also sound system components like speakers and small plastic clips that hold everything together. It might be a boring three days for Rosie and turn a new Pathfinder into a used crossover, but it’s nice to know Nissan is looking out for long-term durability.

References

Nissan Pathfinder


2017 Nissan Pathfinder - image 681941

Read our full review on the 2017 NIssan Pathfinder.

PostHeaderIcon Donald Trump Giggles Inside as Nissan Considers New U.S. Production Facility

Nissan has been on such a roll in the U.S. that if it keeps it up, it may be forced to build a new production facility in the country. It’s a tremendous problem to have, one that could be born out of necessity as the automaker’s current facilities in Tennessee and Mississippi are maxed to capacity. Given the situation, the Japanese automaker may have no choice but to take the dive on building a new plant if it wants to meet its long-term goal of helping the mothership, Renault-Nissan, achieve its own goal of selling 14 million vehicles per year by the end of 2022.

When you’re a company like Nissan, and you’re faced with this dilemma, what do you do? It’s an issue that just about every automaker in the world would want to have. Don’t think for one second too that Nissan is sweating it because the returns have been that good for the Japanese automaker.

But the reality is Nissan’s two facilities in the U.S. don’t have the capacity to bring in new production volume at the rate the company is growing. That includes Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, regarded as the most productive auto production facility in the U.S. The Tennessee plant is where Nissan builds the Rogue SUV, now the most popular vehicle in the U.S. after usurping the Toyota Camry in that position.

The Trump factor


Donald Trump Giggles Inside as Nissan Considers New U.S. Production Facility - image 746842
“Toyota and Mazda have already announced plans to build a $1.6 billion joint facility at a yet-to-be-determined U.S. site, a move that drew praise from the president, who referred to the plan as “big stuff.””

It’s hard to tell what’s important and what’s not with the current U.S. administration, but it doesn’t hurt Nissan if it decides to build a new production plant. Certainly, U.S. president Donald Trump would welcome the development. The man has prodded Japanese automakers to build their cars in the US. He even raised the issue during a state visit to Japan, encouraging the car manufacturers to “try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over.”

Regardless if he knows that a lot of these same companies already have manufacturing facilities in the U.S., a lot of them, including Nissan, still import several models from Japan. Toyota and Mazda have already announced plans to build a $1.6 billion joint facility at a yet-to-be-determined U.S. site, a move that drew praise from the president, who referred to the plan as “big stuff.”

If Nissan goes a similar route, it could get the same pat in the back from the president, for what that’s worth.

Nissan execs are warm to the idea of a new production plant


Donald Trump Giggles Inside as Nissan Considers New U.S. Production Facility - image 746841
“Most of the company’s execs seem to think that a new plant is the right course of action.”

Ultimately, the decision to build a new production facility rests with the people who run Nissan.
To that end, most of the company’s execs seem to think that a new plant is the right course of action.

Nissan North America chairman Jose Munoz said that “at some point, we may need it,” referring to a new production facility.

Even Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and the final decision-maker, understands the necessity of a new plant in the U.S. if the conglomerate wants to meet its 2022 goal. “Local manufacturing depends on what size you’re aiming for,” Ghosn told Automotive News when asked about plans for Mitsubishi in the U.S.

“It’s possible to be a niche player in a large market without local manufacturing if you intend to be a full-fledged manufacturer, you need to decide to localize. For 100,000 cars a year in the United States, you don’t need to localize. If you say my goal is to sell 500,000 cars in the United States, local manufacturing is a must.”

He may be referring to Mitsubishi, but as far as sales volume goes, he may as well be talking about Nissan too.

References

3sp695507.Nissan $11.54 Billion

Read more Nissan news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Nissan Murano Pricing & Specs

Handsome, well-built, and value-packed. These words describe the 2018 Nissan Murano rather well. The unpretentious SUV is one of the sportiest and most fun to drive large-ish SUVs in the market today. It also has a wide range of models with lots of kit and reasonable prices. 

So if you are looking for a new SUV, or to upgrade to one, the 2018 Nissan Murano is an option you should seriously look at. The latest version receives a number of significant enhancements to enhance its value even more. All grades now get Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW) as standard. There is also revised center console and sharpened features on the exterior.

Speaking of the exterior, 2018 Nissan Murano has a distinct look about it, what with the V-motion front end, LED signature boomerang lights and the unique “floating” roof. The same goes for the interior where you get Zero Gravity front and outboard rear seating and enough light and air to give the cabin a lounge-like fee. Powering this unique family car us a  260-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC V6 connected to an advanced Xtronic transmission. All-wheel-drive is optional.

Pricing for the 2018 Murano start from $30,550 USD for a front-wheel-drive S model. It is recommended, however, that you spend a little more and get one of the higher trim levels as they come with some really desirable options – Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), NissanConnect with Navigation, Motion-Activated Power Liftgate, Dual Panel Moonroof, and Intelligent Around View Monitor, to name some . The MSRP for all trim levels is as follows:

MSRP for the 2018 Nissan Murano:

Murano S FWD $30,550 USD
Murano SV FWD $33,850 USD
Murano SL FWD $38,250 USD
Murano Platinum FWD $41,980 USD
Murano S AWD $32,150 USD
Murano SV AWD $35,450 USD
Murano SL AWD $39,850 USD
Murano Platinum AWD $43,580 USD

Destination and Handling $975.

 

The post 2018 Nissan Murano Pricing & Specs appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World

Ford F-150

Determining the value of a car brand can be a tricky exercise. There are so many variables to consider that ultimately, the results may differ from one study or another. What we do know is that, at the very least, the cream always rises to the top. The standings may be different depending on who the author of the study is, but it’s pretty much the same automakers making up a majority of the list.

In this exercise, we’re taking a look at the ten most valuable car brands, at least through the eyes of Interbrand, an independent agency that specializes in determining the world’s most valuable brands. Obviously, such a task involves creating a specific set of formulas and calculations using a variety of available information, including a company’s financial forecast and then using it with its own in-house-developed “role of brand” and “brand strength” calculations. If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is, especially in the current automotive climate where buzz words like “electrification,” “ride-sharing,” and “autonomous driving technology” have staked bigger pieces of influence among automakers of all shapes and sizes.

Even then, there are also certain requirements that each automaker has to meet to be eligible to be included in the list. These requirements include having a sales presence on at least three continents and having a third of a company’s revenue coming from its home market. Ultimately, it all boils down to a lot of tech jargon that’s a little above my head. What I can tell you, though, is that the final list that Interbrand came up with is both expected and revealing. A few notable names made it in predictable spots while a few surprise inclusions definitely raised our eyebrows.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

10. Porsche


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 644852

Brand value: $10.13 billion

Top-selling model: Porsche 911

It seems crazy to think that at one point in the last 20 years, Porsche was a struggling automaker that somehow couldn’t get out of its own way. Things have definitely changed since then, and a big part of that is tied into the German automaker’s decision to enter a market that it previously shied away from. Taking a risk, Porsche ultimately decided to build the Cayenne SUV, and the rest is history. Today, Porsche cracks the top 10 list of “most valuable auto brands in the world” for good reason. It’s arguably one of the most beloved automakers in the world, and it’s rounded its model lineup to include a performance saloon known as the Panamera to go with a steady diet of sports cars led by the Porsche 911 Turbo.

9. Volkswagen


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 569578

Brand value: $11.52 billion

Top-selling model: Volkswagen Beetle

If you’re surprised that Volkswagen is so far down on this list, don’t be. This is Volkswagen the automaker, not the auto conglomerate that owns three brands on this list. On the bright side, VW actually posted improvements in terms of its brand value compared to last year. It’s incremental growth of just one percent, but it’s growth compared to 2016 when it actually posted a drop of one percent in value. Still, it could’ve been a lot better for Volkswagen had it not gotten itself mixed into the Dieselgate scandal. Look for a better year ahead for the German automaker when the calendar flips to 2018.

8. Nissan


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 656181

Brand value: $11.54 billion

Top-selling model: Nissan Sentra

If there was an automaker that earned its place in this ranking, it has to be Nissan. That’s not an indictment on the automaker’s past, but a celebration of what it has achieved in recent years. Between launching models that have been positively received and maintaining a level-headed approach in an industry that’s continues to evolve like this one, Nissan has turned in one growth year after another, culminating in a four-percent growth for this year that was good enough to land it in the top 10 list of most valuable car brands in the world.

7. Audi


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 635406

Brand value: $12.02 billion

Top-selling model: Audi A4

The Nissan of Europe, or is Nissan the Audi of Japan? Either way, the comparison fits because Audi always seems to be third fiddle in Europe to BMW and Mercedes-Benz, just like Nissan plays the same role in Japan to Toyota and Honda. That’s not a slight towards either Audi or Nissan because both companies have thrived doing their own thing. In Audi’s case, it has managed to build up a brand that’s worth $12.02 billion, becoming the most valuable auto brand under the Volkswagen Group. This year, Audi even posted a two-percent growth that probably should be bigger had it not been weighed down by Dieselgate. Still, look for Audi to remain competitive to BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as it always has been in recent years.

6. Hyundai


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 533707

Brand Value: $13.2 billion

Top-selling model: Hyundai Elantra

It says a lot about Hyundai’s growth as an automaker that it finds itself on this list with some of the most established brands in the auto industry. This wasn’t always the case though, as the Korean automaker’s surge up to mainstream popularity didn’t happen until the last decade. But, thanks to an aggressive push towards relevancy and the introduction of popular models like the Elantra, Tucson, and Santa Fe, Hyundai’s ascension up the ranks is looking less fluky and more of a result of hard work and dedication. Don’t even be surprised if, by next year, Hyundai finds itself in going up the ladder into a more prominent spot on this list. That’s the kind of outlook we’re now expecting from a company that already increased its value year-on-year by at least five percent.

5. Ford


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 700456

Brand value: $13.64 billion

Top-selling model: Ford F-Series Trucks

Ford is the only American automaker on this list. It is a little bit embarrassing to see what’s become of General Motors and Chrysler, but at least Ford is representing the US here to a certain extent. The good news for the Blue Oval is that it posted a five-percent increase in its own value and getting it up to $13.64 billion. The bad news is that a lot of the automakers its ahead of have as good a chance as any to move up the rankings for next year’s list at the expense of Ford. I personally don’t think that’s going to happen because of the company’s strong foothold in one of the world’s biggest markets, but then again, stranger things have happened so it’s not a certainty that the automaker will retain its spot in the rankings. It is worth pointing out though that of the ten auto brands that made it on this list, only Ford can boast of having a pickup truck as its top-selling model. That counts for a win, right?

4. Honda


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 651046

Brand value: $22.70 billion

Top-selling model: Honda Civic

Barring the unlikely event of seeing something catastrophic come out of Honda, it looks like a certainty that Honda’s going to retain its status as the fourth most valuable auto brand in the world for the next few years. That’s because it’s brand value of $22.70 billion is on an island by itself. Ford needs to almost double its value to be able to even sniff Honda’s, and conversely, the Japanese automaker needs to double its own value in order to come close to competing against the company that sits third on this list. Still, a value of $22.7 billion is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it comes as a result of a three-percent growth compared to its value from the previous year. The timeless popularity of the Honda Civic has a lot to do with Honda being where it is, but so does the continuing presence of its robust crossover and SUV lineup that’s led by the CR-V. Look for Honda to remain one of the most valuable auto brands in the world for all the reasons I just mentioned.

3. BMW


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 629375

Brand value: $41.62 billion

Top-selling model: BMW 3 Series

Well, that was a huge leap, wasn’t it? From Honda’s $22.7 billion in brand value, we move up to BMW’s, which has a brand value of $41.62 billion. This is the power of what BMW has to offer and the niche it has carved for itself – sportier than an Audi, less uptight than a Mercedes – tells you exactly how the German automaker has built up its own brand to become a force to be reckoned with it in the industry. It still has a few miles to go before it can catch up to its biggest rival, but rest assured, the blueprint towards long-term success and sustainability is being put to good use. For one, a plethora of new models with more advanced tech features are scheduled to be released soon to complement some of Bimmer’s most popular model lines. Imagine what kind of cache it can gain with the release of the BMW 8 Series? For all of its success, it is quite ironic that BMW finds itself in this enviable position despite minimal movement on its brand value.

2. Mercedes-Benz


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 536045

Brand value: $47.83 billion

Top-selling model: Mercedes C-Class

The king of German automakers finds itself in the second spot, trailing only the king of Japanese automakers. It should be said that Mercedes’ ascension up the ranks didn’t happen by luck or sheer happenstance. It comes as a result of record-breaking sales that helped pave the way for the company to enjoy its highest profits and revenue in its entire history. Add that to its ever-increasing global popularity and the introduction of affordable models like the CLA-Class, and it becomes clearer and clearer as to why Mercedes-Benz actually increased its brand value by a whopping 10% year-on-year. At the very least, it created a big separation with BMW’s own brand value, something I’m sure the fine folks over at Mercedes are more than happy to point out.

1. Toyota


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 509693

Brand value: $50.30

Best-selling model: Toyota Corolla

Sitting pretty at the number one spot is Toyota, a position it has held for a few years now on the back of being the biggest automaker in the world. Toyota’s dominance as a carmaker can be best seen in the fact that it still holds a pretty good lead over Mercedes-Benz despite seeing its value take a dip by six percent. That tells you that there’s room for Toyota to have a down year and still reign supreme as the most valuable auto brand in the world. I don’t see the company’s status get challenged for at least a few more years, but that loss in value could become more worrisome if it starts becoming a trend. For now, the auto world still kneels at the feet of Toyota, as do companies like Netflix, Facebook, McDonalds and Disney for that matter.

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$3,050.00 (17 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 15:42:15 PST
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1965 Ford Mustang 2+2 1965 MUSTANG A CODE 289 4V 4 SPEED FAST BACK RAGOON RED
$6,100.00 (4 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Feb-22-2018 15:53:14 PST
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1951 Ford Convertible 2-Door 1951 Ford 2-Door Convertible, V8, Automatic Transmission, RWD
$10,200.00 (10 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 13:26:18 PST
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2017 Ford F-150 FX4 Crew Cab Lariat Sport FX4 4X4 Ecoboost Custom Lifted Truck New Wheels Tires Nav
$22,100.00 (31 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Feb-27-2018 13:31:20 PST
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1965 Ford Mustang 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350 Clone Built 289 Tremec 5 Speed Power RackPinon
$33,100.00 (10 Bids)
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 13:08:59 PST
Buy It Now for only: $64,995.00
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2014 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2014 FORD MUSTANG GT ROUSH RS3 STAGE 3 S/C 6-SPEED 23K #211181 Texas Direct Auto
$15,000.00 (19 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 9:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $32,730.00
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2014 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 700HP ROUSH SUPERCHARGED FULLY CUSTOM BUILD WITH SEVERAL UPGRADES INSIDE AND OUT
$39,000.00
End Date: Tuesday Mar-13-2018 17:06:56 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $39,000.00
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2018 Ford F-150 Lariat New 18 Ford F150 Lariat 5L V8 32V 4x4 Pickup Work Truck Tuscany White Leather
$32,600.00 (90 Bids)
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 15:43:59 PST
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2007 Ford F-150 2007 FORD F 150 4 DOOR PICKUP TRUCK 4.2L V6 MOTOR LOW MILES " NO RESERVE "
$4,050.00 (29 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Feb-27-2018 17:00:00 PST
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1965 Ford Mustang 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe 302 Automatic Power Brakes Air Condition Power Steering
$10,000.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 14:02:01 PST
Buy It Now for only: $21,995.00
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2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe 2-Door 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Kenne Bell Super Charger Less Than 400 Miles
$56,465.00 (49 Bids)
End Date: Friday Feb-23-2018 14:52:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $84,995.00
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2002 Chevrolet Corvette 2D Coupe 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
$11,100.00 (11 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 16:48:10 PST
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1991 Ford Mustang LX Coupe 1991 Mustang LX Coupe
$10,500.00 (29 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-25-2018 10:22:17 PST
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1967 Ford Mustang GT 1967 Mustang GT Fastback Project 390GT S-Code 4-Speed Dark Moss Green
$17,950.00
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 18:53:53 PST
Buy It Now for only: $17,950.00
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1967 Ford Mustang coupe 1967 ford mustang project
$2,025.00 (18 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-25-2018 17:38:58 PST
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2015 Ford F-150 LARIAT Ford Crew Cab Lariat 4X4 Ecoboost Custom New Lift Wheels Tires Grill Leather Nav
$36,000.00 (29 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Feb-22-2018 11:31:02 PST
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS Ex-GM Show Car untitled Callaway Camaro 630HP full GM warranty w/Special Options
$74,491.00
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 11:17:53 PST
Buy It Now for only: $74,491.00
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1972 Chevrolet Other Pickups Custom 1972 Chevrolet Pickup Truck
$5,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Feb-27-2018 18:48:56 PST
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1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 1970 mustang mach 1 all numbers matching
$13,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 9:59:15 PST
Buy It Now for only: $20,000.00
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1969 Ford Mustang 1969 custom Boss 302 Fastback tribute with 331 performance STROKER engine.
$8,100.01 (26 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-25-2018 9:30:00 PST
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1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1969 Camaro Rallye Green
$35,500.00
End Date: Saturday Mar-3-2018 9:36:51 PST
Buy It Now for only: $35,500.00
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2007 Ford Mustang GT 2007 Mustang GT premium coupe
$6,200.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 11:20:35 PST
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1969 Ford Mustang 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Q Code 428 Cobra Jet Build Sheet Marti Report
$41,600.00 (26 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Feb-27-2018 13:24:11 PST
Buy It Now for only: $52,999.00
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2016 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS 700HP Procharged 2016 Camaro SS 4k MILES
$32,900.00
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 11:58:23 PST
Buy It Now for only: $32,900.00
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2003 Ford Mustang GT 2003 Ford Mustang GT 4.6l V8
$2,550.00 (6 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 8:59:38 PST
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2017 Ford F-150 RAPTOR Ford Crew Cab Raptor SVT Supercharged Ecoboost 4X4 Leather Naviagtion Sunroof
$49,900.00 (57 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Feb-22-2018 11:31:23 PST
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1965 Chevrolet Other Pickups C10 1965 C10 Custom
$19,900.00
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 11:40:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $19,900.00
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT COUPE LT Z16 7SPD 5K MI #115918 Texas Direct
$59,630.00
End Date: Thursday Feb-22-2018 10:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $59,630.00
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS 1LE 6-SPD SUNROOF NAV 20'S 12K MI #212464 Texas Direct
$26,100.00 (19 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 9:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $28,980.00
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