The Nissan 350Z debuted for the 2002 model year and from 02-09 it was unchanged. When it switched to 370z, it got a bigger engine and what was essentially a refresh. Other than the redesign in 09 and the bigger engine, the car on sale right now at your local Nissan dealership is the same car that’s been around since 2002. Its essentially a 15 year old sports car.
It seems that Nissan is content with letting their cars sit for long periods of time without any major updates aside from a refresh. Why is that? They aren’t cash strapped. And them doing this includes Infiniti too. Lets look at some of their past and present models that have been sitting past their expiration dates.
The Frontier is rugged is hell, and I applaud it for being one of the few trucks, hell one of the few vehicles that offers a manual trans with its V6. But its old. It sits on the F-Alpha platform and has been around literally unchanged since its second gen debut in 2004. And it shows in its interior:
Look at how dated it is. Even them attempting to make it modern with that small ass smart phone sized nav screen doesn’t help. Maybe they dont touch it because its tried and true? Who knows?
The Xterra, which was pretty much an SUV version of the Frontier, was even older having been introduced at the turn of the century in 99'. It got a refresh in 05 and stayed the same until Nissan pulled the plug 2 years ago.
The just recently introduced Armada is a nice change, but it isn’t really new. Its new to the US as the Armada, but the rest of the world knows it as the Nissan Patrol. Whats confusing about this is that the rest of the world has had this vehicle in its current form since 2010. The US in actuality has had it since then as well but as the second gen Infiniti QX80. Meanwhile over at Nissan the Armada (which was called Pathfinder Armada when it was first released) went unchanged from 04-15'. Why didn’t we get the redesigned Armada/Patrol when Infiniti got the QX80?
The Titan as well is well known for having soldiered on for over 10 years without a redesign. All the while the rest of the truck segment left it behind. And when the redesigned Titan appeared last year, Nissan was struggling to play catch up.
Over at Infiniti things don’t look much better. The Q70 or the M before the renaming, debuted in its current irritation back in 09. The only changes its had are to its model name, and the introduction of a pointless long wheelbase version here in the US. The QX50 or EX has been the same since it debuted in 07. The only changes I can see are the addition of tacked on LED running lights to “get with the times”. Lastly the QX70 or the FX/Shark Nose has been around since 03 in reality. The redesign that gave it the looks it has now happened in 08. But its same basic shape has been around hasn’t changed.
Honestly I think this is not a good road for Nissan to go down and I really don’t understand why they let models sit so long before doing anything with them. They cant possibly stay competitive doing this. Look at what happened with the Titan that I mentioned before: the model stays around for 10-12 years, by the time the new model comes out, they are playing catch up and trying to push features they have that other competitive models have had for years. And they loose sales. Sadly it looks like the GT-R is going to be going down this road. Its been around since 07. And while it has seen power increases, its getting long in the tooth and its price has gone higher and higher. Nissan needs to do something quick to remedy their model development times, or they wont be competitive at all.