Best Nissan Cars
Founded in the 1930s, Japanese manufacturer Nissan has produced some incredibly popular cars over the years.
However, it has really upped its production and model choice in the last couple of decades, which has seen some of its models rocket in popularity. It comes as no surprise when Nissan models are often chosen for their reliability and dependability but their models also offer cutting-edge technology, along with some interestingly quirky and iconic designs for good measure.
Discover our 'Top 10 Best Nissan Cars' below.
Best Nissan SUVs
We kick off with one of Nissan's best ever sellers - the Qashqai. In recent years the Qashqai has topped the best-selling crossover/SUV category as it gave customers a sought-after high driving position and chunky SUV styling, but still kept a relatively low 1.3-litre petrol engine that made it inexpensive to run.
The small engine gave a it a 0 to 62mph time of around 10 seconds dependent upon the spec you choose. This isn't rapid, but the Qashqai didn't feel slow either. Despite the 4x4 looks, nearly all variants of Qashqai tend to be front-wheel drive, again keeping costs low and ensuring the Qashqai felt car-like. You can find all-wheel drive versions if you need that extra grip and stability, however.
Updated in recent times, the Qashqai is much more sleek and sophisticated, using a mild-hybrid system to ensure the car is still an excellent and affordable family SUV.
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The quirky Juke was first seen on British roads in 2010, offering a uniquely-styled SUV that was full of Japanese charm and character. The styling was like nothing else on the road and was perhaps one of the Juke's biggest strengths, as it was a compact SUV for those who liked to stand out.
It sold really well and has been refreshed in recent years with a much more sophisticated style. It's also been fitted with hybrid technology without the need for plugging in. This helps retain its peppy nature and low running costs, which all add in to the overall appeal. With 56mpg possible, this compact SUV is not going to be expensive to run, despite its chunky and funky looks.
As stated, the later version is a much classier affair, but if you're looking for more value, the previous generation will still appeal.
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Having been around since the 1980s, the Navara had showcased to the world that Nissan could produce a tough, practical, and dependable pick-up/SUV.
No longer available to buy new, the Nissan Navara is still sought-after used, thanks to its large payload and impressive towing capabilities. Unlike the more conventional SUVs mentioned previously, the Navara is a proper workhorse.
Many pick-up SUVs can be a little uncomfortable and rather agricultural, yet you don't have this problem with the Navara. It's comfortable, and although it has a workhorse reputation, it's quite good-looking for what's essentially a work truck.
The Navara is pretty decent off-road too, making it great for lugging things about when the terrain gets tricky.
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With the Qashqai and Juke showcasing just how good Nissan are at creating compact yet practical SUVs, the X-Trail demonstrates the other end of the scale, offering 7-seat practicality.
Sitting above the Qashqai and more compact Juke, the X-Trail is the largest SUV in the Nissan range. Park the X-Trail next to the Qashqai, and it pretty much looks like a larger version, which is no bad thing as they're both easy on the eye – perhaps why they sell so many of them.
There's a big boot, which is reduced if you opt for a 7-seat version, but that's always going to be the case. Comfort is very good, and despite its large proportions, nearly 50mpg is possible from some engines, ensuring this is a reliable and inexpensive to run family SUV.
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Best Nissan Hatchbacks
In the early 1980s Nissan gave the world the humble little Micra. Boxy and simple, the Micra gained more popularity in the '90s when it was renown for being an ultra-reliable hatchback with properly low running costs.
It gained a reputation for being a sort of go-to car for older drivers, especially in 2010 with the fourth generation. In 2016 though, the humble little Micra was given an injection of youth, with a fresh new design offering more cutting-edge styling, much needed updated technology and just a different vibe to the generations gone before.
Despite its new lease of life, the Micra hasn't forgotten its roots and still offers economy in excess of 50mpg and entry-level specifications that offer kit normally seen on more expensive trim levels.
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With electric cars being the future of the automobile, Nissan were miles ahead of the game in 2010 with the all-electric LEAF. The trouble was, back then electric cars were rather expensive, and it was only really a small number of buyers who got behind the technology and electric car novelty.
However, with the second generation LEAF coming along in 2017, electric cars had become much more affordable and less daunting. The only problem now is that electric technology is becoming more mainstream, and so the LEAF has many more competitors.
You'll get between 168 and 239 miles from a LEAF depending on spec, and the LEAF doesn't exactly hang around with a 0 to 62mph time of around 7 seconds which will feel rather brisk for most.
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Best Nissan Sports Cars
We've mentioned everyone's favourite SUVs, and the more every day Nissan cars, but now we get to the spicier stuff, the sports cars.
First seen in the late 1960s, Nissan Z cars (Datsun back then) showcase the sporty offerings from the Japanese brand.
Since 2003, it was the 350Z that continued the legacy of the legendary Nissan Z cars, with the updated 370Z succeeding it in 2009. Made famous by films like The Fast and Furious franchise, especially Tokyo Drift, the 350Z was a car that was ripe for tuning and personalisation. Its rich 3.5-litre V6 sounded great too, packing 276bhp, which was pumped up slightly with updated versions. This meant it was good for 0 to 62mph in around 5.7 seconds.
The updated 370Z came along in 2009 with a bigger 3.7-litre V6 engine and 323bhp. The performance was marginally better, with 0 to 62mph happening in 5.2 seconds. Slightly more polished looks gave the Z a cleaner look, but both cars are still very much sought after today.
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You have to go back to the 1960s to discover the very first iteration of the Silvia, only it was called a Datsun 1600. Here we will focus on the S13 which came along in the early 1990s and the S14 which came along in the late 1990s.
Often also called the 200SX, the Silvia was a sleek sports car with typical 90s styling. The 'S14' version came typically with a 2.0-litre 200bhp, good for 0 to 62mph in around 7 seconds. The S15 came after, and in the sought-after Spec R guise, it offered 247bhp, which was good for 0 to 62mph in just over 5 seconds – not bad at all for a late 90s sports car.
The Silvia's calling came with the rise of the drifting scene. This is a form of motorsport that essentially has drivers trying to get their cars as sideways as possible. The Silvia's rear-wheel drive nature, ability to tune, and relative affordability meant they were the textbook choice for drifting. Finding a standard Silvia is getting much harder because of this.
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Nissan Skyline GT-R
Dating back to the 1960s, the Nissan Skyline GT-R is the range-topping performance Nissan, and the most sought after versions of the Nissan Skyline. Although there's the legendary C10 and C110 Skyline GT-R versions, we will start here with the original 'Godzilla', the R32 Skyline GT-R.
Using a legendary 2.6-litre twin-turbo straight six, featuring all-wheel drive, the RB26 was a beast of an engine for 1989 – the year the R32 Skyline GT-R was introduced. The year before, a 'gentleman's agreement' was implemented, stating that Japanese manufacturers would not give their cars more than the 276bhp. And so the R32 had 'exactly' that, only it was more like 310bhp...
It gained the nickname 'Godzilla' due to its dominance in Touring Car racing. A legend was born. 1995 saw the R33 GT-R come along, again with its '276bhp' – yeah right. The R33 GT-R was the first production car to crack the sub 8 minute mark around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife. Finally, in 1999, the last Skyline GT-R was introduced in the form of the R34.
Again, like the R32 and R33, the R34 used the legendary RB26 engine with supposedly '276bhp', nudge nudge, wink wink. The R34 would complete the 0 to 62mph time in around 5 seconds, whilst the R33 would be a little more than 5 seconds, and the R32 just under 6 seconds.
Today, any Skyline GT-R is a serious collector's car with a massive cult following, made famous by the legendary racing game Gran Turismo, making it arguably the most famous Japanese car of all time.
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In 2009 the legendary GT-R name was back, only this time on its own rather than alongside that of a Skyline.
The Nissan GT-R is often billed as the ultimate PlayStation car, due to its mind-boggling performance. Fitted with a 3.8-litre twin turbocharged VR38DETT V6 engine, the GT-R produced 471bhp. This ensured a 0 to 62mph time of a supercar-embarrassing 3.4 seconds.
A new 'Godzilla' was born. With supercars offering more power, the GT-R quite easily humiliated most of them on track and in drag races, proving the 'R35', as some people dubbed it, as a high performance hero that could be had for much less than a supercar.
Updated versions dropped the 0 to 62mph even further to a hypercar-matching 2.6 seconds.
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Find your Nissan with Evans Halshaw
It's clear to see just how popular the Nissan brand has become, and the sheer range of fantastic cars they've offered over the years.
We're pleased to represent the Nissan brand via our portfolio of official Nissan retailers. To learn more about Nissan, or to book a test drive, contact your local Evans Halshaw Nissan today.
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