The New Nissan

April 16th, 2021 by

A pale orange 2021 Nissan Ariya is parked on a wet lot in front of trees near a Gallatin Nissan dealership.

Nissan is in the process of metamorphosis. What this means for the near future of the cars at your local Gallatin Nissan Dealership is very positive. After a leadership change, the company is planning to once again make more upscale vehicles, no longer focusing on simply producing the most affordable cars. Nissan certainly never lost the ability to build high-end machines – the continual upgrading of the Nissan GT-R is proof of that – but the everyday vehicles the company is planning on producing in this new decade will have a brand new premium focus.

This new mandate to reintroduce premium cars and crossovers will likely carry Nissan into the coming decade, putting the manufacturer in a stronger position than it has been in decades by going back to some of the company’s greatest strengths. Technology, innovation, and performance.

Ariya

When Nissan first made a splash on the American market at the beginning of the 1970s, what made them stand out was how their cars were built, more than the technology involved. That said, Nissan’s capabilities in extracting the full potential out of the best technology of the time allowed for the Nissans you see in showrooms today to exist.

The technology behind the current electric revolution taking the auto industry by storm isn’t all new. Most of it was around, in its infancy at leat, in the mid-1990s. What started the electric revolution were fresh companies putting the pieces together in ways they hadn’t been before. Nissan hopes to capitalize on its longstanding ability to produce quality vehicles to take this new technology and make it available to the mass market through the new Ariya crossover.

The Ariya provides up to 300 miles of range thanks to an available 87-kWh battery pack. This battery pack is a significant step up from many other legacy automaker’s lithium-ion power cells, the specs of which prove the Ariya is a viable competitor to other premium electric crossovers entering the market.

All that technology is wrapped in a stylish minimalist aesthetic, inside and out. The Ariya’s sleek exterior design manages to be hyper-modern without fuss and without flamboyance, maximizing both aerodynamics and aesthetics. On the inside, the Ariya continues the minimalist theme, with few visible controls and businesslike yet warm simple contours. Despite few controls being immediately visible, the Ariya’s large touchscreen and instrument cluster screen provide the driver with all the information they need.

A blue 2021 Nissan Versa is shown from the front on a suburban street.

Versa

The relationship between technology and cost is normally a direct one. The same could be said for style, but the Versa manages to achieve a lot of both while remaining a very affordable car. First off, the Versa doesn’t look like any other compact car on the market. In some ways, it looks like an upscale midsize car, not an affordable compact. The Nissan design language has been applied to it in a stunning fashion, allowing for those who want a compact car the choice of having something that looks avant-garde instead of just cute.

In terms of technology, the Versa now comes standard with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and a further array of sensors and semi-autonomous capabilities are available. Some of these other abilities include blind-spot detection and alerts, as well as lane-keeping and rear view sensors. The Versa also continues to impress by being larger than it seems on the inside, not just the outside. The Versa has a significant amount of interior space for a compact car, and as such, is one of the best choices in the segment for those looking for legroom, headroom, and comfort in general.

Z Proto

Nissan’s prowess can be seen in cars like the current generation Versa and the brand new Ariya crossover, but the primary showcase of Nissan’s technical ability will always be its sportscars. The Z Proto is the first new Nissan Z sports car in well over a decade and promises to be the new face of the brand to many enthusiasts.

The Z has always been a pivotal car for Nissan and was one of the primary reasons the Japanese company became so successful here in the United States. The original 240Z was lightweight, nimble, and eminently affordable, not to mention far more economical than the American muscle cars of the era. It struck a perfect balance that catapulted it to success and provided a foothold for the Nissan brand in America.

Nissan understands the Z’s immense importance to the Nissan brand, especially outside of Japan. The Z Proto has been designed as both a homage to the past and a bridge to the future. It has a powerful V6 backed up by twin turbochargers, making for what will almost certainly be the most powerful Z car to ever come out of the factory. Enthusiasts also rejoiced when the Z Proto was unveiled with a slick six-speed manual transmission, which has become something of a dying art form among increasingly automatic-only sports cars.

The new Z promises to catapult Nissan back to the top of the affordable sports car market by offering a mix of power, poise, aesthetics, and cost that no other manufacturer can match. That has been the Nissan Z ethos for almost half a century now, and each successive generation of Nissan’s sports car has brought smiles to millions of faces. Now, once again, the Z will join sports car royalty when it goes on sale in the coming year.

A white 2021 Nissan LEAF is driving in front of rock formations in a park.

LEAF

While the Ariya is an awesome example of Nissan’s new push towards efficient and extremely economical electric cars, it is not the first. The Nissan LEAF was indeed the first mass-market electric car, even beating the Tesla to the punch. But the LEAF was not designed to be a high-end luxury car that few could afford; rather, it was built to be the ultimate commuter vehicle.

That is only more true of the LEAF’s massively updated second generation, with far superior battery technology, better motors, better control systems, and sharper styling to boot. Perhaps as would be expected from what was the best selling electric car of all time, the LEAF follows the standard Nissan paradigm of offering high innovation for a low cost. The current second-generation LEAF packs up to 226 miles of range from a 215 horsepower synchronous motor, but it also has a base model starting at just over $30,000.

The LEAF also has instant electric torque, which means it feels even faster than 215 horsepower normally would. Additionally, even the shortest range LEAF has several times more range than the average person drives daily, meaning their LEAF would never have to make a charging stop. For everyday driving, you can just charge it overnight at home. Now one of the least expensive yet still capable electric vehicles on the American market, the Nissan LEAF delivers a value proposition like nothing else.

Get Ready For A New Nissan

Nissan is going upscale while still remaining affordable and accessible to all. With a slate of freshly updated vehicles, the brand is returning to its roots and preparing for the future. From offering more value for your money in the compact market, putting smiles on faces with more power than ever in the still-manual Z Proto, and making the electric future the electric present with the technically impressive Ariya and LEAF, Nissan is writing a new chapter in its storied history.

Nissan has always built both practical cars and passionate cars. They’ve developed some of the most technologically complex and advanced performance vehicles ever built, as well as some of the best vehicles for efficiency and economy. But above all, Nissan continues to build advanced vehicles for exceptional prices.