|Nissan Cars & Trucks
Although Nissan is often seen as the third leg of Japan's 3-legged automotive stool, there is no hiding its aggressive swipes at Toyota and Honda market share. Setting up its U.S. headquarters at about the same time as Toyota (exports began to the U.S. in 1958, and Nissan's U.S. arm was formally established in 1960), the brand then known as Datsun took its first awkward steps into the U.S. marketplace. That momentum was helped immeasurably by the launch of the 510 sedan, Datsun's 2000 roadster and - at the end of the 1960s - Datsun's iconic 240Z. Of course, a racing program connected to Shelby alum Pete Brock, driver John Morton and - eventually - Paul Newman didn't hurt. Today Nissan, with U.S. headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, offers a wide range of sedans, crossovers, trucks and SUVs.
If shopping for the most accessible Nissan, the Versa sedan provides an under-$15K window sticker - and little else - in exchange for that entry-level price point. 'Ms. Popularity' is shared by the Altima midsize sedan and Rogue compact crossover, while fun-to-drive is best determined by how much fun you want to have. If it's $40K worth of fun, opt for the 370Z. And if it's six figures worth of fun, there are few bets better than Nissan's King Kong GT-R. The GT-R is also Nissan's most expensive, although we'll give points to its all-new Armada which, with options, can crest $50K.
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