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

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 2022 Frontier gets a brand-new face and updated tech.

Nissan

After 16 years on sale in its current form, the Nissan Frontier is a familiar face on our roads. The truck, which is technically old enough to get a driver's license and drive itself, is being totally overhauled for 2022, and the new look is a big departure from the ute we've seen for so many years. Nissan announced that production has started, so we don't have much longer to wait to see it in action for ourselves.

The new truck's 3.8-liter V6 has already been in action powering the 2021 Frontier. It produces a class-leading 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, and sends its power to either the rear or all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.


2022 Nissan Frontier Production is underway in Mississippi.Nissan


This is the first new Frontier we've seen in over a decade, so the upgrade in technology is steep over the previous truck. The 2022 Frontier can be optioned with a surround-view camera system with off-road mode that automatically displays terrain around the truck when it's shifted into 4LO. The system displays guidelines and can help the driver navigate tough obstacles on the trail. A host of safety features will be available that includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, high beam assist, and more.

Other than its age, there was nothing particularly wrong with the previous Frontier's interior, but the new truck looks to be considerably more upscale and modern. Various trims come with interesting contrasting color schemes and the truck gets Nissan's excellent Zero Gravity seats as standard. New hydraulic cab mounts should help quell vibrations inside, and traditional hydraulic power steering will provide excellent steering feel and feedback.

Nissan is building the new frontier in its Canton, MS facility, while the truck's engine is being built at the automaker's powertrain plant in Tennessee. We'll start seeing the new model on dealers' lots sometime in late summer 2021, and you can find a first drive review of the truck right here in a few weeks.


2022 Nissan Frontier The new trucks will arrive on dealers' lots later this summer.Nissan

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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