As far as Japanese vehicles go Nissan have always played a close second to Toyota, though in some ways they are superior... especially when it comes to producing sporty, fun vehicles.
For the most part they are very well built vehicles and epitomize the high standards that we’ve come to expect from Japanese vehicles. Nissan has created several alliances with other manufacturers over the years.
While Renault has acquired a huge stake in Nissan, their most memorable arrangement in this part of the world was a joint venture with Ford for the Villager and Quest minivans. This lasted for 9 years from 1993 to 2002 and produced some excellent vehicles. Lately Nissan has been getting into the large light truck market with the Titan Pickup and NV Cargo Van.
Over the years we’ve worked on a huge variety of Nissan vehicles from the sporty SX models and Z cars to the simpler but reliable Sentra and Versa. Nissan has smartly blended sports and performance in the Altima. The Maxima has always been a great car and proven very reliable.
Recently we’ve worked on several early 2000 models with over 200,000 kilometers and not a drop of engine oil leaking: this is really a remarkable achievement.
The model that we’ve worked on the most is the Pathfinder: a very popular sport utility vehicle. While these are great vehicles they definitely have more concerns than their main Japanese competitor, the Toyota 4 Runner.
Some common things that we encounter are rusted out exhaust systems, rear suspension bushing wear along with shock and strut wear. Otherwise the Pathfinder is very reliable with the major components like engine, transmission and differentials lasting a long time. While the earlier models had timing belts, the camshafts are now chain driven eliminating one major maintenance service.
A particularly memorable Nissan is the 1971 Datsun 240Z. When these were new they were a gorgeous and inexpensive sports car. Unfortunately it is difficult to find a nice one around anymore as they rusted out very badly. Japanese cars had very poor sheet metal in the 70s. Getting back to modern times Nissan makes great vehicles which combine reliability with practicality, luxury and fun.
Nissan has an impressive lineup of new vehicles to choose from.