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Nissan is generally recognized as one of the world’s fastest growing full-line automotive brands. Nissan is widely reputed for building Japanese quality, reliable vehicles with great value, good performance, and modern styling. Nissan’s GT-Rs, SXs, and Z cars are some of the good sport car models virtually anyone who knows anything about the world of automobiles should know about. For some decades now, This Japanese brand has been in the business of making great performance and family cars. But here is a list of top 10 best Nissan models of all time.
Top 10 Best Nissan Cars After 150 Million Vehicles
28th Sep 2017
Japanese manufacturer Nissan was founded in 1933. The automotive giant has given the world some incredibly popular cars, yet it took 73 years to produce its first 100 million vehicles. The rate of progress in recent years has been unbelievable, as it only took a further 11 years to produce another 50 million vehicles, bringing it past the recently hit 150 million vehicles worldwide mark. We take a look at our favourite models which were available for sale in the UK, which include a mix of popular best-selling models, along with some rare models which have been established as automotive legends.
10. Nissan X-Trail
First introduced in 2000, the X-Trail is a rugged SUV offering lots of kit and space as standard. It drives well and is available as both 2WD and 4WD, making it an excellent performer off-road. It became more handsome when the MK2 launched in 2007, with sharper looks and even better refinement. The latest offering made available from 2017 is sleeker than the previous generations, and offers a more stylish approach to SUV design, similar to that of its popular Qashqai sibling. It still offers fantastic build quality and generous kit levels, and would suit anyone looking for a dependable 7-seat crossover, with more than 3.7 million sold worldwide.New Nissan X-Trail Offers
9. Nissan Leaf
In a growing age where more and more alternative powertrains are being explored, Nissan were already ahead of the game back in 2010 when the fully electric Leaf was produced and sold in the US and Japan. The UK first saw the Leaf in 2011, and it was the first ‘proper’ fully electric car which sold in large numbers, partially due to a driving experience that was like any other normal car – without the noise. The Leaf also emits zero CO2. Instead of an engine, the leaf is powered by an electric motor with energy supplied by a set of lithium batteries and has a range of just over 120miles. It is an important car in Nissan’s history and shows the forward-thinking nature of the Japanese manufacturer.New Nissan Leaf Offers
8. Nissan 200SX/Silvia
The Nissan 200SX was first seen in Europe in the late eighties. But it’s the version from 1994 which put it on the map in the UK. The 200SX is a sleek coupe which was a popular choice with the keen driver, and even today, low mileage well cared for examples are very sought after and are popular in drift competitions, due the rear-wheel-drive set-up. They are a modifier’s dream too, thanks to a very tuneable engine and stylish looks. The 200SX was called the Silvia in the US and Japan, and the 200SX name was first seen in the seventies, under the Nissan’s ‘Datsun’ name.
7. Nissan Navara
The Nissan Navara is a tough, well-built ‘work horse’ pick-up truck, which can do the job Monday to Friday, and become family friendly come the weekend. Unlike many pick-up trucks, the Navara is pretty similar in its driving style to a regular car, along with decent comfort and features often reserved for other vehicles, and not necessarily found in a truck. This makes the Navara a firm favourite for those looking for a dependable and useful multipurpose vehicle. Looks wise, the latest generation of the Navara is a handsome truck and continues to feature excellent build quality, generous kit levels, enhanced technology and is a popular choice all over the globe.
6. Nissan Juke
In the ever-changing world of automotive, Nissan are excellent at releasing models ahead of the game and competition. The Nissan Juke is a popular small SUV which looks very much like a bold 4×4, yet it’s the size of the more commonly found five-door hatchback. Available in a range of petrol and diesel engines it offers something for everyone, including stand-out styling, decent performance and efficiency as well as generous kit levels. For those wanting more performance and a more striking appearance, there is even a hot ‘Nismo’ (standing for Nissan Motorsport) version with enhanced sports styling and up to 214 bhp.New Nissan Juke Offers
5. Nissan 350Z/370Z
Nissan has a history of producing legendary ‘Z’ cars, such as the Datsun/Nissan 240Z and 300ZX. These sleek sports cars have a worldwide following and were very popular when launched, due to their sleek, exotic lines and high performance. Nissan launched the 350Z back in 2002. It featured concept-car looks and fantastic performance from its 3.5-litre V6 engine delivering circa 276bhp, with later models offering over 300bhp, just like its predecessors. 2009 saw the updated 370Z launched with a slightly larger engine (3.7-litres) and an increase in horsepower. The standard 370Z has just over 320bhp, with a range-topping Nismo version coming with 350bhp. Both the 350Z and 370Z come in Coupe and Roadster body styles.Browse Used Nissan Cars
4. Nissan Skyline GT-R
Perhaps the most celebrated name in Nissan’s history: GT-R. Before the current Nissan GT-R was introduced, the Skyline GT-R was the flagship Nissan performance model. The R32 Skyline from the late eighties was sold in the UK in small numbers, as most of the Skyline GT-R models were Japanese imports. The R33 GT-R shot to fame for its performance around the infamous Nurburgring, achieving a sub 8-minute lap time which, which back in 1996 was blisteringly quick – it still is even by today’s standards. The R34 GT-R has even more of a cult status, helped by its appearance in Hollywood blockbusters such as the Fast and Furious Films and its popularity with major car tuning companies. All variations of the Skyline GT-R were also made famous in the hit computer game; Gran Turismo.Browse Used Nissan Cars
3. Nissan Qashqai
Produced since 2006, the British-built Nissan Qashqai is widely credited with inventing what we now know as the “Crossover” segment of the market, and offered a more practical take on the family hatchback. Well-built, spacious, well-equipped and good-looking, the Qashqai was an instant hit and has only bettered with age. Being aimed at families, the Qashqai was also decent on fuel thanks to a choice of efficient engines offering a blend of performance and economy. All of these characteristics have meant the Qashqai has won various awards over its reign including best small SUV and Car of the Year.
2. Nissan Micra
The Micra is a much-loved supermini, and was first introduced way back in 1982. Now in its fifth generation, the Micra now showcases a bold new look bringing the design and appeal right up-to-date. The first generation Micra was a slightly boxy affair, with the following iterations introducing more bubble-like features. Engines are always small, with excellent economy. The Micra has also established itself as an incredibly reliable car thanks to great build quality and effective design. The all-new Micra has been totally modernised with striking design and impressive technology as standard.New Nissan Micra Offers
1. Nissan GT-R
Introduced in Japan in 2007, it wasn’t until 2009 before the GT-R was sold in Europe and the UK. The Nissan GT-R was the successor to the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R, only Nissan decided to drop the Skyline name. The GT-R is a technological masterpiece and is often referred to as the ‘supercar for the PlayStation generation’, following on from the Skyline generations, due to the cars unbelievable technology and performance. It is powered by a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine with circa 550BHP depending on which variant you go for. 60mph is dealt with in an awe-inspiring sub 3 seconds. This has given the GT-R somewhat of a hero status and the reintroduction of the ‘Godzilla’ nickname. It is a car popular with tuners and modification companies, and its commonplace to see GT-Rs with over 1000bhp!
Which is your favourite?
Top 15 Best Nissan Sports Cars of All Time
Nissan has always had a good sports car or two in production to satisfy that automotive enthusiast itch. Pretty much anyone who knows anything about the world of automobiles knows about Nissan’s Z cars, SXs and GT-Rs.
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This has led to a long history of fun-to-drive machinery that is pretty much impossible to shrink down to a Top 10 list. So I won’t. Instead, I ranked the Top 15 Nissan sports cars of all time. Let us know what your favorite Nissan of all time is in the comments below.
15. Nissan Micra Superturbo
The Micra is and always has been a subcompact commuter car. But in 1989, Nissan unleashed the Micra Superturbo. As the name suggests, the Micra received a turbocharger on its 0.9-liter four-cylinder engine. But nestled under the hood was even more forced induction. Alongside the turbo, there was also a supercharger.
Yup, the Micra Superturbo was twin-charged to produce 108 hp. With a five-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential up front, the roughly 1,500-lb Superturbo was a blast to drive.
The Micra isn’t sold in the U.S., but it is still available in Canada. Nissan currently runs a Micra Cup race series in Canada, proving that there’s something to be said for a cheap, light car with no power being a ton of fun.
14. Datsun Sports
Before the legendary Nissan/Datsun Z cars, there were the Sports models. Prominent during the 1960s, the Sports (Fairlady in Japan) were a series of roadsters that began with the Sports 1000, using a 38-hp 1.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It would be followed by the Sports 1200, Sports 1500, Sports 1600 and, finally, the Sports 2000.
By the time the 2000 arrived, power was up to 133 hp from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which was quite a bit in a 2,000-lb vehicle. More than just performance, the Sports were also good-looking roadsters with a lot of British influence in their design.
13. Nissan Silvia 240RS
In 1983, Nissan wanted a new car to go rally racing, so the company looked at the S110 Silvia (known as the 200SX in America) as a basis. With wider bodywork, upgraded mechanics and a special 2.4-liter version of the FJ four-cylinder engine, the 240RS made 237 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque.
As a race car, it achieved moderate success in world rally racing but never did live up to the potential Nissan had hoped for.
12. Nissan Pulsar GTI-R
Another car created to appease World Rally Championship homologation requirements, the 1990-1994 Nissan Pulsar GTI-R came equipped with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 227 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Japanese Sports Cars of the ’90s
A big wing, hood scoop, and lower body work distinguished the GTI-R apart from regular Pulsar models. Weight was way up in GTI-R models, some 600 lbs, but at 2,690 lbs, the car was still relatively light for the amount of power it had.
11. Nissan Silvia NISMO 270R
Like the 240RS, the 270R was a one-off special based on the Silvia platform. But unlike the 240RS, the 270R wasn’t meant for rally racing — it was a designed for the track. Based on the S14 Silvia, known as the 240SX in America, the 1994 270R was actually created by Nissan’s tuning arm NISMO.
The 270 refers to the amount of horsepower coming from the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, a healthy increase over regular Silvias. Other enhancements included an aerokit and a two-way limited slip differential in the rear.
10. Nissan 350Z/370Z
After a brief hiatus, the Nissan Z car returned in 2002 as the 350Z. Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 making 287 hp, the Z was a two-seat sports car wearing sexy, modern styling for its time. By 2008, the 350Z made 306 hp, better matching its competition at the time.
In 2009, the next generation of modern Z cars came out, called the 370Z. The 370 referred to the increase in engine displacement for the V6 engine, now measuring 3.7 liters. Power was up to 332 hp and the car was actually smaller and lighter than the 350Z. And for even more performance, the is the 350-hp Nissan 370Z NISMO.
9. Nissan Silvia Spec R Aero
For the final version of the Silvia (aka the 240SX), Nissan saved the company’s best special edition for last. Called the Spec-R, this hot-rod version of the Silvia may have used the same 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as some other Silvias at the time, but a lot of other components were changed.
The body and chassis structures were reinforced, the five-speed manual was ditched in favor of the six-speed manual, the brakes were upgraded and four-wheel steering was available. Also available was an Aero package that included a massive rear wing.
8. Nissan Juke-R
How do you make the oddball Nissan Juke crossover a supercar killer? Simply install the GT-R’s mechanics underneath. With a 545-hp 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 powering all four wheels through a dual-clutch transmission, the Juke-R was as nutty as a car concept can get. But this one was actually built.
In 2015, Nissan has introduced the Juke-R 2.0 utilizing the GT-R NISMO’s mechanics, which are good for 600 hp and 481 lb-ft. That should propel the subcompact crossover from zero to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds.
7. 1969-1973 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R
These are the cars that started it all, the original Skyline GT-Rs. They would set forth decades of incredible sports cars produced by Nissan and make the Skyline and GT-R automotive icons.
First arriving in 1969, the Skyline GT-R came equipped with a 160-hp 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. In 1973, a second generation of the Skyline GT-R would arrive powered by the same 2.0-liter six-cylinder, but only last a single year before being discontinued.
6. Nissan 280ZX/300ZX Turbo
The Nissan ZX cars would replace the original Z cars in 1978. The first model was the 280ZX that came with a 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine making 145 hp. In 1981, a turbocharger would be added as an option, increasing power to 180 hp.
In 1983, a second-generation ZX arrived, now offering a 3.0-liter V6 in naturally aspirated or turbocharged form. By the end of this model’s run, the turbo engine made anywhere from 200 to 227 hp depending on the market.
In 1989, the final 300ZX would enter production. A two-seat or 2+2 configuration was available as well as a 300-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. It was one of the iconic Japanese sports cars of the 1990s, a period of time in which many consider the golden age for Japan’s auto industry.
5. Nissan Stagea Autech 260RS
Similar to the thinking behind the Juke-R, in the 1990s, Nissan took the Skyline GT-R’s mechanics and stuffed them under a grocery-getting wagon. Called the Stagea Autech 260RS, this conversion was a lot more seamless and more affordable than the Juke-R Frankenstiening.
Just like the R33 Skyline GT-R, the top-of-the-line Stagea included the legendary 2.6-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that produced a highly underrated 276 hp. A manual, all-wheel drive, turbocharged super-wagon sounds like the stuff enthusiast dreams are made of, and it was.
4. Nissan 240Z/260Z/280Z
Nissan’s Z cars have an iconic status that few other sports cars have achieved. When the 1970 240Z (Fairlady Z in Japan) came on the market, it was instantly heralded as a poor man’s Jaguar, which had a lot to do with its similar styling.
Powered by a 2.4-liter six-cylinder engine, the original Z weighed just more than 2,300 lbs and made 151 hp. In 1974, the engine was enlarged to 2.6-liters and thus the car’s name changed to 260Z. Just one year later, an even larger engine became available in the 280Z. Although the car’s weight had increased, power was now up to 170 hp.
To this day, many consider these original Z cars some of the best-looking sports cars ever produced.
3. Nissan GT-R
After the discontinuation of the Skyline GT-R, there was a gap left at the top of the Nissan performance hierarchy. To fill the void, Nissan would create a purpose-built, no-nonsense sports car called the GT-R. Powered by a turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine, the GT-R has earned a reputation for destroying more powerful, far pricier competition.
Originally making 478 hp in 2008, the GT-R can now produce over 600 hp in the crazy-quick NISMO form. But power is just one aspect of the GT-R’s incredible performance. The dual-clutch transmission and advanced all-wheel-drive system make sure laps around the track are completed as quickly as possible.
2. Nissan Skyline GT-R R32-R34
There would be no modern GT-R if it weren’t for the R32, R33 and R34 Skyline GT-Rs. The R32, R33 and R34 codes signify the three generations of Skyline GT-Rs that were sold from 1989 until 2002. Based on the Skyline coupe and sedan, these unsuspecting all-wheel-drive cars could beat a lot of impressive machinery on the street and the track.
With the exception of a few one-off specials like the 400R, all versions of the Skyline GT-R used a turbocharged 2.6-liter six-cylinder engine. Adhering to the self-imposed horsepower limit of 276 ponies, the underrated GT-R continued to increase torque over its 14 year run, hinting that power really was increasing as well.
1. Nissan R390 GT1
In the mid-1990s, if a manufacturer wanted to race in the top tier at the 24 hours of Le Mans, the racecar had to be based on a road going vehicle. This led to crazy one off creations like the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, Porsche 911 GT1 and the Nissan R390 GT1.
With a 3.5-liter V8 hooked up to a sequential six-speed transmission sending power to the rear wheels, the R390 GT1 looked like a Le Mans prototype for the streets because, well, it was. Only two cars were ever built, but one is in the hands of a private owner.
With a top speed of 220 mph and the ability to dispatch the quarter mile in just over 11 seconds, the R390 GT1 was one of the fastest cars of its time.
In 2002, the Nissan Z resurfaced after a brief hiatus, but this time, it came as a rebranded 250Z model. The two-seat sports car was re-designed with a 287-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine and a sexy, modern styling. The next generation of modern Z cars – 370z – were not released until 2009 with a 3.7-liter V6 making 332 hp. But this time, they were made lighter and smaller than the 350Z.
Nissan Silvia Spec R
Like other Silvias at the time, the wondrous Spec-R may have employed similar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produced 250 hp. Also known as the 240SX, the company saved its best special edition for last when it released the final version of the Silvia with newly installed components. An aero package that included a massive rear wing was made available with upgraded brakes, six-speed manual, four-wheel steering and a reinforced body and chassis structures.
As nutty as a car concept can get, the subcompact crossover came on board to become an amazing supercar killer. No doubt, this one was actually built. Thanks to the GT-R’s mechanics installed beneath this oddball Nissan Juke crossover .Through a dual-clutch transmission, its 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 making 545-hp powered all 4 wheels.
1969-1973 Skyline 2000GT-R
These are the first Skyline GT-Rs. Although they never lasted that long before being discontinued, they should be complimented for starting it all. They would not only make the GT-R and Skyline automotive icons, they would also set forth decades of incredible sports cars manufactured by Nissan. The Skyline GT-R arrived very handy with a five-speed manual transmission and a 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produced 160 hp when it first arrived in 1969. A second generation of Skyline GT-R with the same configuration later arrived in 1973.
Nissan 280ZX/300ZX Turbo
This car made waves during the golden age of the Japanese auto industry. In 1978, the original Z cars were faced out, paving way for the Nissan ZX cars. The 280ZX was the first model to be introduced. Its 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine produced 145 hp. However, it later increased to 180 hp when a turbocharger powering option was included in 1981. A second-generation ZX did not arrive until 1983. This came with a 200 to 227-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine.
Nissan Stagea Autech 260RS
The grocery-getting wagon was designed with the mechanics of the Skyline GT-R while sharing a similar design with the Juke-R of the 90s. However, the conversion of the Stagea Autech 260RS was a lot more affordable and more seamless than the Juke-R Frankenstiening. While producing a highly underrated 276 hp, the legendary 2.6-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine was fit into the top-of-the-line Stagea, just like the R33 Skyline GT-R.
Only a handful of other sports cars can match up with the achievements of Nissan’s Z cars. The original Z made 151 hp, weighed just more than 2,300 lbs and was powered by a 2.4-liter six-cylinder engine. The car shared similar styling with the Jaguar and was instantly heralded as a poor man’s Jaguar when it first came on the market. By 1975, significant improvements were made on the car with an increased weight and a larger engine as portrayed by the 280Z.
The Nissan performance hierarchy was left void after the discontinuation of the Skyline GT-R, but Nissan would build a purposeful, no-nonsense sports car to fill the void. This was nothing else than the GT-R. Even more power, far pricier competition products were unable to withstand this turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine powered model. When it comes to power, the latest GT-R can produce more than 600 hp within the fastest NISMO form. But this is one part of its incredible performance.
Nissan Skyline GT-R R32-R34
Over its 14 year run, the underrated GT-R continued to hint that power was really increasing with an increased torque that also adhered to the self-imposing horsepower limit of 276 ponies. All versions of the Skyline GT-R featured a turbocharged 2.6-liter six-cylinder engine but for a few one-off specials like the 400R. No doubt, it was the R34, R33, and R32Skyline GT-Rs that paved way for the modern GT-R. These were the 3 models of Skyline GT-Rs that made sales from the late 80s to 2002.
Nissan R390 GT1
The Nissan R390 GT1 was a Le Mans prototype for the streets. It was one of the craziest creations that surfaced in the mid-1990s – an era when race cars were based on road going vehicles to race in the top tier at the 24 hours of Le Mans. Amazingly, it became the fastest car of its time. The R390 GT1 is capable of dispatching the quarter mile in just over 11 seconds at a top speed of 220 mph. While one is in the hands of a private owner, only 2 of this car were ever built.