New Model News

Nissan reveals what features, equipment the refreshed 2021 Kicks will bring to the U.S.

The 2021 Nissan Kicks will go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of next year.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2021 Nissan Kicks debuted in Thailand earlier this year and now North American customers are getting a chance to find out what will be available on the version of the model bound for U.S. dealerships. It's one of 12 new products Nissan has been rapidly rolling out.

The new front end of the subcompact SUV features a Double V-motion grille, bumper, LED headlights, and LED fog lights. Out back are a new rear bumper and LED taillights. Nissan has given the model fresh wheel designs as well.

The 2021 Kicks will come in seven paint color options including three new offerings. Three new two-tone paint schemes will also be available bringing the total number of Nissan color combinations up to 100 million.

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Dealerships will sell the Kicks in three grades: Kicks S, Kicks SV, and Kicks SR.

Nissan equips the Kicks with a 122-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in the U.S. market. It is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that helps it earn a best-in-class 31 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 33 mpg combined.

It also has a new rear disc brake system, adaptive cruise control, and an electronic parking brake that frees up some center console space. The brake offers auto hold capability for Kicks SV and SR grades.

Nissan has upped the quality of the car's interior offering new seat materials and premium finishers. A new center console with armrest is available.

Kicks has an available 8-inch touch screen at its center that has a customizable screen display. An additional USB Type-C port has been added.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard on the SUV. NissanConnect Services - a suite of convenience and security features that includes available Wi-Fi with over-the-air updating remote vehicle commands like keyless entry, and safety features like Automatic Collision Notification - is available. The Bose Personal Plus audio system will continue to be available.

The new Kicks will feature Nissan Safety Shield 360, which the company recently made more available on a larger number of vehicles in its lineup. The class-exclusive Intelligent Around View Monitor is also available.

The 2021 Nissan Kicks goes on sale in February.

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The new Z starts at under $40,000.

Nissan

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan ZThe Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan ZThe 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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