Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips and Reviews

A black 2020 Nissan Kicks is driving away from the city.

The Top 4 Nissan SUVs

When it comes to SUVs, the market isn’t just stiff – it’s fierce. With each model year, every major automobile maker is trying to one-up the competition by adding some new features here, making some tweaks and adjustments there, and upgrading some core components in the hope of outdoing competitors. One particular car maker who has managed to find success in the SUV market is Nissan. If you are interested in Nissan SUVs or simply want a better idea of what is available in today’s SUV market, this piece is for you.

When looking at infotainment, safety, comfort, convenience, and price, Nissan SUVs offer a remarkable blend of capabilities that have allowed them to carve out a niche for themselves in a highly competitive segment. From the subcompact Nissan Kicks to the large Nissan Armada, there is a Nissan SUV that is the perfect fit for nearly any driver. So let’s take a look at what makes them special, what makes them popular, and how Nissan has managed to build a name for itself in the SUV market.

No. 4: Nissan Kicks

The Kicks is one of the more recent additions to the Nissan SUV lineup, only joining the family of five-door utility vehicles in 2018. But despite its youth, the subcompact Kicks has already made a name for itself as an affordable option for individuals and small families who do not need a full-size SUV. While the Kicks is currently the smallest SUV sold by Nissan, it is actually a larger and more refined replacement for the Nissan Juke, Nissan’s previous subcompact SUV entry. The Kicks offers more passenger room and cargo space in a highly affordable package. In fact, the MSRP starts at under $20,000, making it a great lease or buy for drivers on a budget.

While the Juke was offered with a sporty turbocharged engine producing an exciting 215 hp, the Kicks is a more mature model intended for economy and utility. Its only engine option is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder paired with a continuously variable transmission and generating 122 hp, which is a stark contrast to its spunkier predecessor, the Juke. Nevertheless, the Kicks is still a popular crossover SUV thanks to its reliability, large cargo area, and good fuel economy. Able to make 31 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway, it’s not hard to see why the adequately powered Nissan SUV has found a stable home in the hearts of budget-conscious drivers and those facing long commutes.

A popular Nissan SUV, a blue 2020 Nissan Armada is driving through the snow.

No. 3: Nissan Armada

Full-sized SUVs aren’t talked about as much in recent years as crossovers, subcompacts, and hybrids, but they still play a significant role in the overall SUV market; Nissan’s Armada is proof of that. Originally it was built on the same platform as the Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck, but in 2017 the Armada switched to a dedicated SUV platform. However, it remains a traditional body-on-frame design that can handle anything that you can throw at it. If you are looking for an SUV for an off-road adventure or to haul heavy loads, the Armada should be on your radar.

In another departure from the current trend towards smaller and more efficient, this large three-row SUV is one of the few vehicles that continues to stick with a full-size engine, maintaining the powerful 5.6-liter V8 from the first generation. However, the engine has been improved to pump out 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, which is what allows it to tow up to 8,500 lbs of cargo and offer solid acceleration for something of its size.

With the ability to seat up to eight people and decked out with a luxury interior, one might expect the starting MSRP to be north of $50,000. But it’s actually several thousand dollars under that figure, undercutting competitors such as the Chevy Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia. If you have a large family, need to take a boat on vacation, desire to venture into the wild, or simply want a bullet-proof traditional SUV at an affordable price, then the Nissan Armada is a choice worth considering.

No. 2: Nissan Pathfinder

One of the most ubiquitous names in successful SUV branding certainly belongs to Nissan’s Pathfinder. The seven-seat mid-size vehicle has been around since 1986, making it one of the oldest SUVs names on the market. However, the current Pathfinder is anything but old, as this model has gone through multiple generations, enduring through all sorts of changes, overhauls, platform modifications, facelifts, and redesigns to become a modern and capable vehicle.

The earlier iterations of the Pathfinder certainly had more of that sports-truck feel to them, which makes sense given that the model was originally designed as a body-on-frame alteration of Nissan’s popular pickup trucks. However, over the years, the Pathfinder has evolved into a modern crossover that offers a comfortable and efficient ride. This makes sense given that crossovers are all the rage right now, and Nissan has been wisely adapting its offerings to the ebb and flow of the market trends.

The sleek redesign that traded the traditional boxy look for angular curves and modern sensibilities has helped keep the Pathfinder in the sights of car shoppers and near the top of the charts for consumers. Available with either two-wheel or four-wheel drive, the current Pathfinder provides an excellent blend of fuel economy and handling. Despite being powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine capable of generating 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque, the Pathfinder is still quite efficient. In its two-wheel drive configuration, it can achieve 20 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway, which is quite good for a midsize SUV.

A grey 2020 Nissan Rogue is parked in the city shown in profile.

No. 1: Nissan Rogue

The bread and butter of Nissan’s SUV success certainly has a name, and that name is the Rogue. This crossover SUV first hit the market for 2008, and it has been a sales success for Nissan ever since. In 2017 and 2018, the Rogue was even the second best-selling SUV in America, right behind the Toyota RAV4. But despite this incredible popularity, Nissan has not rested on its laurels and the 2021 model year marks the introduction of an all-new third-generation Rogue. Incorporating modern styling, an upgraded engine, and a redesigned interior, the new Rogue is ready for the new decade.

With the new update, this five-door, seven-passenger compact crossover SUV continues doing what it does best – providing affordable, comfortable, and safe transportation. However, the latest generation brings a large number of improvements when it comes to modern technology and features. Available options now include Nissan ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system, a 9-inch central infotainment system, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 360-degree camera system. The new 2021 Rogue is a thoroughly modern vehicle, and it would not be surprising if it allows Nissan to claim the prized number one spot for SUV sales.

However, the new Rogue is just the beginning of Nissan’s renewed push to claim an even larger portion of the SUV market. The most exciting upcoming model is the 2021 Nissan Ariya, a brand-new all-electric crossover. Not only will the Ariya take Nissan’s already successful electric vehicles to the next level, but it introduces a futuristic aesthetic that is sure to catch the eye of anyone who sees one on the road.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *