Nissan is a multinational car company based in Japan and is part of the Nissan-Renault Alliance. They sell a full line of cars in the United States, from the subcompact Versa, to the Titan XD pickup, to the technological powerhouse GT-R sports car. They also sell a line of commercial vehicles.
According to U.S. News & World Report’s rankings, several Nissan models stand out of the pack, with high ratings in their respective categories. We will look at a few of them on the following slides, but before you head to the dealer, you’ll want to use our Best Price Program to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck.
2016 Nissan Murano
The Nissan Murano is the sort of finely appointed crossover SUV that will make people rethink spending more for a luxury badge. Its upscale interior, roominess, and exterior design make it a good choice for those who put a premium on style but are shopping on a budget.
The 2016 Nissan Murano starts at just under $30,000.
Fuel economy is good for a V6 SUV of this size, coming in at 28 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in the city. The standard 3.5-liter engine makes 260-horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, which is about average for the class. It’s mated to a continuously variable transmission.
The Murano’s interior is so upscale it might be mistaken for a model from Nissan’s Infiniti brand. In addition to the soft surfaces and premium materials, the Murano has an acoustic laminated windshield and sound-dampening insulation throughout the cabin.
However, reviewers point out that what the Murano provides in quiet smoothness and sleek design, it lacks in interior storage.
2016 Nissan Maxima
The Nissan Maxima starts at $32,510 and has a 300-horsepower engine and the interior of a luxury car. It also has standard satellite radio, HD radio, Bluetooth telephone connectivity, and two display screens – an 8-inch touch screen in the center of the dash and a 7-inch display in the gauge cluster.
All this makes the Maxima difficult to classify; in some ways it feels more like a luxury car than a sports sedan.
If you sign up for a Maxima, you’re getting a continuously variable transmission that operates like a traditional automatic transmission but has no actual gears. Though they’re great for fuel efficiency, their driving dynamics might not be for everybody.
However, Nissan has drastically improved the feel of its new CVTs, all but eliminating the rubber-band feeling typically associated with CVTs by configuring them to imitate the shift points of a traditional automatic.
The 300-horsepower V6 and CVT combine to haul around the Maxima at 30 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city, respectable numbers for a car this fast. Nissan bills the Maxima as a “four-door sports car.”
While many disagree with that classification – for one thing, it’s front-wheel drive – they do note that the Maxima offers an engaging driving experience inside a luxurious package. Bottom line, it’s not really a sports car, but it is a sporty sedan.
2016 Nissan Rogue
In terms of sheer practicality, the Nissan Rogue is a success. It has excellent cargo capacity for the class and respectable fuel economy, earning EPA estimates of 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The Rogue is a comfortable and useful people-and-stuff mover.
The Rogue’s biggest weaknesses are its punchless engine, soft suspension, and numb steering. Its 170-horsepower four-cylinder is underpowered for the class. That's a sacrifice you have to make if you’re attracted by the Rogue’s relatively low sticker price of $23,290. The word “adequate” comes up a lot in reviews.
Once you’re sitting inside the Rogue’s plush interior, you may not care much about its sluggish acceleration. Reviewers love the instrumentation, the easy-to-use infotainment system, the soft-touch surfaces, and the upscale materials. An optional Around View camera provides a bird’s eye, 360-degree view around the Rogue, making parking a breeze.
2016 Nissan Juke
The Nissan Juke distinguishes itself from the rest of its class by having a fun driving personality to match its buoyant styling. The Juke is praised for its nimble steering and surprising acceleration, which comes thanks to a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 188-horsepower.
The exterior flair carries into the Juke’s cabin. Here you will find a round, colorful center console inspired by a motorcycle gas tank. Although that’s the centerpiece, the remainder of the interior is filled with all manner of slick accents, and the audio, navigation, and infotainment systems are top-notch.
Cargo space is the Juke’s Achilles’ heel – 10 cubic feet is not much, even for a subcompact SUV. Adults won’t find the Juke’s back seats very comfortable, either. The Juke is about fun more than function, and with a starting MSRP of $20,250, it’s attainable.
2016 Nissan Altima
Like its sibling, the Murano, the Nissan Altima gets a lot of critical praise for its comfortable, luxurious, and well-built interior. The Altima’s tech features are intuitive, and the four-cylinder variant will get 39 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city, which are excellent numbers for a midsize sedan.
Buyers who want to have a little fun can order their Altima with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 270-horsepower. Enthusiasts will be happy to know the continuously variable transmission has been reprogrammed to behave more like a traditional automatic, reducing the engine drone that plagued previous Altimas.
Options include an infotainment system with a 5- or 7-inch screen, a nine-speaker Bose stereo, proximity key entry, adaptive cruise control, a predictive forward collision warning system, automatic pre-collision braking, and Siri Eyes Free iPhone integration. You’ll spend between $22,500 and $32,690 for an Altima, depending on the options.