One of my favourite past times is to go to the websites of car makers from other countries and see what sort of interesting vehicles they sell. I love seeing what old models they continue to sell new in other places. Personally seeing every single new model they sell compiled into one list is quite satisfying.
Nissan has become the enemy of the enthusiast over the past decade or so, with its infamous CVTs, certain dated products, lukewarm styling, a focus on high volume, low quality products and a general lack of of direction. Apparently Nissan will be seriously cutting models soon, so there lineup may never be as big as this again.
Lukewarm Take: I really like their V-motion grille. It’s distinctive, and the U-shape is loose enough that it can easily be played with without every model looking identical, which Infiniti suffers from.
Their smallest car is a kei car, a rebadged Mitsubishi eK. The thing about JDM cars is that they are available in alot of different styling variants, such as Highway Star, which appears to be a bolder look compared to the more conservative regular version.
Another is Bolero, which appears to give the car a more cutesy look.
Hey the Micra is actually good looking now! Seems to have learned their lesson from the dreadful Indian built previous model, this one is made in France at a Renault factory.
March / Micra / Micra Active
Yet the new K14 Micra seems to be European only, with the rest of the world continuing to get the old K13 model, even Japan. An exception is South Africa, which sells the new Micra alongside the older version, where it’s named the old one is named Micra Active.
Interestingly in India, the Micra Active is the name for a slightly cheaper alternative of the K13, with different styling (aka a slightly restyled version of the pre-facelift bumper).
And in Japan, you can get the Bolero version. In the past, I guess Bolero wasn’t necessary the “cute” version, but more like the British pastiche version. I guess Mitsuoka has filled that gap in the market.
The old Versa was the one of the cheapest, most miserable cars ever, while this new one looks decent, as essentially a Micra 4 door.
Oh shit is it still here? Um, hey Versa! Looking good! What was known as it’s original name Latio in Japan, it soaked up the nameplates in various markets of many different, separate model lines: the Versa, Almera, and Sunny, into one. Oh and in Mexico, it will be sold alongside the new Versa, where the old one is renamed the V-Drive, which is a name so bad, I don’t wanna make fun of it.
For a bit bigger size, you can get the new Sentra, which looks decent now.
The old Sentra is still sold elsewhere around the world though.
The Japanese never got the facelift though.
And China has an electric version, looking very much like a Leaf with a trunk.
This is essentially a weird looking, budget alternative to the Slyphy for China.
The 2nd gen Tiida is a Slyphy-based hatchback, used to be sold in alot of other places as the Pulsar, but now is a Taiwanese exclusive. The 1st gen Tiida was also sold as the original Versa.
It may not look like it, but this is a different car from the other Tiida, despite their painstaking efforts to make them look identical. It uses the CMF platform also used for the Qashqai, X-Trail and pretty much any Renault bigger than a Mégane, compared to the Slyphy base of the other. Originally sold in Europe as the Pulsar, it is now a Chinese exclusive, in fact this Tiida replaced the one above in China.
No longer looks like a frog, but I’m more dissapointed about that unfortunate charging door placement. Also has a Nismo version.
There’s also the Autech styling package, which I guess gives a more premium look.
The Infiniti G-Series/Q50 have been rebadged Skylines for the past few generations, except the current gen Skyline confusingly had Infiniti badging in Japan (except for the rear for the first models), yet weren’t directly referred to as Infinitis or Nissans, but just Skylines? I’ve heard they wanted to slowly introduce Infiniti to Japan, but were too chicken to jump fully in (Heck, the OG Q45 was sold as the Nissan Infiniti Q45 in Japan), and I don’t know if you heard, but apparently the Skyline name is a big deal. Anyways, its back to being a proper Nissan now.
Not a bad looking car, but I can’t tell the difference between it and the new Sentra.
AKA the last generation Altima, still sold outside America and China. Although discontinued in Japan, these functioned as the cheaper mainstream alternative to the upmarket RWD Skyline. But like the Slyphy, it was never facelifted in it’s home market.
The whole Skyline-Infiniti thing applies to the Nissan Fuga and the Infiniti M-Series/Infiniti Q70 as well, with a recent update bringing the Nissan badging again, although the rest of the styling is unchanged.
The crappy FWD North American counterpart to the Fuga.
The Cima was the name of one of Nissan’s old flagship saloons, but was discontinued, and indirectly replaced by the smaller 1st gen Fuga. However the name was brought back as the LWB version of the 2nd gen Fuga (aka the Infiniti Q70L). Unlike the Fuga, it never got the Infiniti badges in Japan, and always kept the Nissan badges. Apparently will be discontinued soon.
Something, something old......
Something, something old....
Something something..... Oh! This is a mini-minivan kei car that serves it’s role as a bigger version of the Dayz we saw earlier. It’s a rebadged Mitsubishi eK Space.
Once again the cute Bolero version, and the Rider trim, with it’s ballin’ fat chromed badgeless grille.
The Cube is still on sale in Japan only, completely unchanged when it left export markets, but will be finally be put to pasture in February 2020.
The Note was killed in Europe and America (as the Versa Note), but turns out it’s actually the best selling car in Japan. I always thought it was the Corolla, or some kei car, but nope. It’s gotten a new lease of life with a very popular series hybrid available, called the Note e-POWER, where it has a 1.3 litre petrol engine to solely generate power for the battery.
The Livina is a slightly better looking Mitsubishi Xpander (puke warning if you click that link). It’s like, trying to be an SUV, but is failing miserably.
The original Grand Livina was essentially a long wheelbase 7 seater 1st gen Note, and a shorter 5 seater version was offered as the Livina, which was different from the Note somehow? The new Livina is 7 seater only, yet ditches the Grand prefix. The old gen is still on sale in Taiwan, presumably as tooling has yet to be switched over to the new gen. Specifically, the Livina X-Gear, the plastic cladded crossover version, which has been renamed just Livina.
The original Serena was notable for being a front mid-engine, rear wheel drive van, but since then it has become a conventional front-engine, front wheel drive minivan.
Nissan’s big boi minivan, the Quest’s cooler brother, nemesis of the Toyota Alphard! It’s quite old now, introduced in 2010.
Well that’s it for part 1, please keep comments to how “making the Nissan IDx will single-handily save the company” to a minimum.