With most of its small and high-volume models redesigned, Nissan will begin rolling out freshened and re-engineered versions of its larger models and trucks. In addition, over the next two years, Nissan will bring its lower-volume products up to date and take another step into hybrid-electric models.
Nissan will deliver a new-generation Murano crossover, Maxima sedan and Titan and Frontier pickups. It will also offer a hybrid version of the Rogue crossover for the first time. Nissan faces decisions on whether to bring a trio of proposed vehicles to market. The company remains uncertain about whether its long-discussed e-NV200 electric compact commercial van, on sale in Europe, makes sense for U.S. dealerships.
Also far from certain is the future of the IDx concept small car, unveiled in late 2013 with assurances that it will be commercialized. And Nissan has vowed to bring its BladeGlider electric sports car concept to market, with a nontraditional arrow shape that features a narrower front end than rear.
Murano: The redesigned third-generation Murano will reach showrooms at the end of this year as a 2015 model. In a bid to give the new version the same visual impact it had when it debuted in 2002, Nissan’s San Diego design studio emphasized the crossover’s curvaceous body lines with pronounced creases and created a sharper, floating roofline over concealed D-pillars.
Murano CrossCabriolet: Nissan will drop the high-end convertible Murano at the end of the 2014 model year, with no plan to resurrect it.
Maxima: The redesigned Nissan flagship will arrive in the second half of 2016. Its “show car” styling will closely adhere to the Sport Sedan Concept that was unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January, featuring a low, sloping roof and downward curving hood line. Nissan executives say the 2016 Maxima will retain the concept car’s long curving body side creases, in addition to picking up 5 mpg.
Titan: The next Titan pickup will be unveiled at next year’s Detroit auto show and go on sale later next year as a 2016. Nissan has lavished attention on improving the styling, configuration and performance of the underperforming pickup in hopes of making it a more serious full-sized segment contender.
Armada: Changes in door trim will be the only notable difference on the 2015 Armada when it arrives in September. But a new generation of the full-sized SUV will follow the Titan’s redesign next year. The 2016 will see fuel economy improvements and reduced body weight, without surrendering towing strength, a key selling point.
Rogue: Nissan’s fast-rising cross-over was redesigned for an early 2014 market launch and continues as a 2015 in September with no significant change. Rogue Select, the nameplate for the previous-generation Rogue, will continue selling as a 2015 model starting next January. A hybrid-electric version of the Rogue will appear in late 2015 or early 2016.
Frontier: The Frontier’s overseas twin — the mid-sized Navara pickup — already has been revealed in Thailand and South American markets. The Navara indicates that the next Frontier will be redesigned with a new body, altered roofline, higher ground clearance, enlarged cargo space, improved fuel efficiency, and styling that links it to Nissan’s brand look.
Juke: The Juke will appear in October with freshened styling, flash-ier front and rear lights and more body cladding. Nissan will also begin marketing more color customization on the model, allowing customers to mix and match interior and exterior, seat and trim colors. In the Juke’s next iteration, later in this decade, Nissan will aim for a still more polarizing design.
Versa Note, sedan: The Versa sedan received a freshened front and rear for 2015, and two new trims, the SR and SL, were added to the Versa Note.
IDx: The rear-wheel IDx compact sports sedan concept presented to audiences at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show is designed to recall the Datsun 510 sedan. “DX” is even the Roman numeral for 510. Global product planning chief Andy Palmer said at the time that the model would fit into Nissan’s portfolio as a lower-end sports car — an affordable option below the 370Z, arriving on the market as early as 2017. However, the company continues to debate the investment, which would require the creation of a low-volume rear-wheel platform not shared by other models.
370Z: The 2015 Z models reached showrooms in July with only minor trim and technology package changes. The rear-wheel-drive sports car is not due for a redesign before 2017. Look for the next version to offer a smaller turbocharged engine option, and to be slimmed down, addressing criticism that its current body is too bulky.
GT-R: The GT-R was freshened for 2015, with new headlights and suspension, steering and brake enhancements. The model will carry over into 2016. A GT-R Nismo performance version arrives in August.
BladeGlider: If Nissan greenlights the program, the arrow-shaped hybrid-electric BladeGlider sports car concept could appear before 2018. But public reaction to the late-2013 concept unveil was more curious than enthusiastic. Nissan wants to challenge world racing circuits with the concept of EV race cars; the BladeGlider’s racing twin, the ZEOD, ran at 24 Hours of Le Mans in June with mixed results. But it is still far from clear whether Nissan will commercialize the concept for U.S. showrooms.