Changes to 2021 Nissan Models Include Redesigned Rogue, All-New Ariya Electric SUV

Jeff Youngs | Dec 18, 2020

The big news for Nissan in 2021 is the introduction of an all-new Rogue crossover SUV, the brand’s best-selling and, arguably, most important model. Almost equally important, the Nissan Ariya electric SUV makes its debut, joining the Leaf in Nissan’s electric vehicle (EV) ranks. The full-size Armada SUV gets a welcome refresh for 2021, and, of note to driving enthusiasts, the Nissan Z Proto concept car foreshadows the next-generation 2022 Nissan Z sports car.

2021 Nissan Ariya Copper Color Front Quarter View

2021 Nissan Altima Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

The popular Nissan Altima midsize sedan sees only minor changes for 2021. For starters, Nissan repositions the sporty Altima SR above the SV, which brings the Altima in line with other Nissan sedans in terms of the trim level hierarchy. Also, a new Driver Assist Package is available on the entry-level Altima S, and there’s an optional Premium Package for the SV that includes a power sunroof, heated front seats, and lane-departure prevention. Finally, Nissan reserves its variable-compression turbocharged 4-cylinder engine solely for SR trim this year.

2021 Nissan Ariya Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Building on the Leaf EV’s sales success, Nissan launches an all-new, all-electric crossover SUV for 2021 – the Ariya (pronounced ar-ee-a). A midsize 5-passenger vehicle, the 2021 Nissan Ariya has a spacious interior, can travel up to 300 miles on a full battery charge, and offers a choice of 2-wheel or all-wheel drive. Two battery sizes are available: 63 kWh and 87 kWh. The 2021 Ariya also features Nissan’s e-Pedal, a one-pedal driving system that allows the driver to accelerate, decelerate, and stop using only the accelerator pedal.

The new Ariya EV comes standard with a host of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). These include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic reverse braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. Nissan’s ProPilot Assist 2.0 technology, a Level 2 ADAS, is also available.

2021 Nissan Armada Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

The large-and-in-charge Armada full-size SUV gets a makeover for the 2021 model year, featuring a rugged new front end that also debuts Nissan’s new brand logo, front and center. Changes to the interior are less obvious, limited to a simplified and redesigned center stack. The new 2021 Nissan Armada is available in three trim levels – SV, SL, and Platinum – and later in the model year, an entry-level S grade will join the lineup. A 400-horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8 engine continues to power the Armada’s rear or all four wheels.

2021 Nissan Frontier Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Rumors of an all-new Nissan Frontier midsize truck have been circulating for years, but a 2021 arrival looks less likely with each passing day. That said, when the new Frontier does make its debut, it should be significantly improved, as the current design dates back to the truck’s introduction for the 2005 model year. Nissan introduced its more powerful 3.8-liter V-6 engine in the otherwise ancient 2020 Frontier.

2021 Nissan GT-R Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Make no mistake: While the GT-R may have a Nissan badge on its hood, it is a legitimate supercar, rivaling the performance and swagger of the world’s fastest, most exotic automotive machines. A 565-horsepower, 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine mated to a sequential 6-speed dual-clutch transmission ensures the GT-R Premium can keep up with the Lamborghinis and Ferraris on its way to the racetrack. And, thanks to an advanced all-wheel-drive system that provides thrilling off-the-line traction and acceleration, the GT-R typically gets there first.

The GT-R is essentially carryover for 2021, the addition of Bayside Blue to the GT-R Premium’s exterior paint palette being the only change of note.

2021 Nissan Kicks Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

The Nissan Kicks small crossover SUV enters its fourth model year with updated exterior styling, new wheel designs, and fresh paint colors. Inside, the 2021 Nissan Kicks has standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a newly available 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Nissan also adds new seat materials, upgraded trim, and a new available center console with an armrest.

2021 Nissan Leaf Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Nissan recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its groundbreaking Leaf EV. The original, funky looking Leaf was the first mass-produced EV and changed the way the world looked at electric cars. A redesign for the 2018 model year brought more mainstream styling, a nicer interior, and increases in power and driving range. The Nissan Leaf offers a choice between a 40- or 62-kWh battery, and it can travel approximately 150-225 miles, depending on the battery size, before requiring a recharge. The only notable change for the 2021 Nissan Leaf is that the SL trim level is no longer available with the 40-kWh battery.

2021 Nissan Maxima Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Nissan’s “4-Door Sports Car” turns 40 years old in 2021, and to commemorate the occasion, the automaker offers a new Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition, which sits atop the trim level ladder. Nissan also cancels the base Maxima trim level to distance the car from the Altima sedan and eliminates the SL trim level. That leaves the Nissan Maxima lineup with SV, SR, Platinum, and the 40th Anniversary Edition.

2021 Nissan Murano Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Nissan’s stylish 2021 Murano sees a handful of minor changes for the model year. For starters, Nissan Safety Shield 360 – the automaker’s suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies – is now standard across the board. Also, a new Special Edition package replaces the previous SV Premium package. Highlights of the new Special Edition package include a dual-panel moonroof, surround-view camera, heated front seats, and unique 20-inch alloy wheels. Three new exterior paint colors debut for the Nissan Murano: Magnetic Black Pearl, Boulder Gray Pearl, and Scarlet Ember Tintcoat.

2021 Nissan NV Van Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Nissan’s full-size van is made primarily for contractors and fleet customers, and it comes in Cargo and Passenger configurations. The Cargo Van lineup includes the NV1500, NV2500 HD, and NV3500 HD, while the Passenger Van comes only in NV3500 HD specification with 12-passenger seating. For 2021, the NV Cargo is available with a 4.0-liter V-6 or 5.6-liter V-8 engine, depending on the model, and two roof configurations. The NV Passenger uses the V-8. For 2021, top versions of the NV Cargo gain a standard NissanConnect infotainment system with navigation and Mobile Partner tech.

2021 Nissan Pathfinder Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Like several other Nissan models, the 3-row Pathfinder SUV was supposed to get a redesign for 2021. However, it looks like that has been pushed to the 2022 model year, likely resulting from complications from the coronavirus pandemic. When the all-new Pathfinder SUV does emerge, expect new exterior and interior styling, improved safety and driver-assistance technologies, updated infotainment, and a revised powertrain that might even include a new 9-speed automatic transmission to replace the currently loathed continuously variable transmission (CVT). For now, however, the 2021 Pathfinder soldiers on with no changes.

2021 Nissan Rogue Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

A top seller for the brand, the 2021 Nissan Rogue gets a clean-sheet redesign on a new platform. In the process, the automaker enhances the Rogue’s driving dynamics, improves passenger comfort and utility, and further upgrades an already impressive suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies. It comes in four trim levels: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. They’re all equipped with a more powerful 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a CVT sending power to the front or all four wheels.

2021 Nissan Rogue Sport Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

An all-new Rogue Sport is expected for the 2022 model year as Nissan continues a revamp of nearly its entire crossover and SUV lineup. That said, the current version of the Rogue Sport soldiers on for another year with no significant changes. The base Rogue S gets standard 17-inch alloy wheels, and the mid-grade SV gains additional standard equipment.

2021 Nissan Sentra Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

The popular Sentra compact sedan carries over virtually unchanged for 2021, one year after a complete redesign. Changes to the 2021 Sentra include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for all trim levels, while the SR trim gains available NissanConnect Services and a Wi-Fi hotspot. There’s also a new two-tone paint combination available on the SR: Electric Blue Metallic with Black roof.

2021 Nissan Titan/Titan XD Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

It has been tough sledding for the full-size Nissan Titan pickup ever since its introduction for the 2004 model year. When your competition includes the three best-selling models on the market – the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and Ram 1500 – it’s an uphill battle. Nevertheless, Nissan rolled out a heavily revised 2020 Titan last year, providing an option for those seeking an alternative to the Detroit Three full-size pickups.

For 2021, the Titan continues with no significant changes. Still, Nissan is quick to point out that its truck has the most standard power, safety, and technology in the full-size pickup segment, along with the best bumper-to-bumper warranty. And for those needing extra capability, the pseudo-heavy duty Titan XD is also available, equipped with a tougher frame, upgraded brakes and suspension, and an integrated gooseneck/fifth-wheel hitch for towing heavy loads.

2021 Nissan Versa Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Fresh off a redesign for the 2020 model year, marked by new exterior and interior styling, a more powerful engine, and new safety and driver-assistance technologies, the Nissan Versa small sedan rolls into 2021 with no significant changes.

2021 Nissan Z Changes - Find the best Nissan deals!

Ever since it arrived in the U.S. for the 1970 model year, the iconic Nissan Z has built a reputation for offering affordable sports car performance in a sleek 2-door coupe/convertible design. Fast forward 50 years, and the same is true. The current 370Z, with a 332-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine, and choice between a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed automatic transmission, still has an unmistakable profile and a relatively affordable $31,015 (including $925 destination charge) sticker price.

Recently, Nissan unveiled the Z Proto, previewing the upcoming, next-generation Nissan Z sports car. While specific details on the next Nissan Z car are still scarce, the Z Proto does showcase very clearly the exterior and interior design of the soon-to-be-launched model. And while there’s no guarantee the production version of the new 2022 Nissan Z will share specific features with the concept car, it’s a pretty safe bet.

Nissan is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on December 17, 2020, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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