Nissan Previews New Compact Crossover for Dealers

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Despite bringing the electric Leaf to market while the rest of the industry was still scratching its head over how to handle EVs, Nissan has since lost its lead. Eager to get back into the race, the automaker is putting together what it hopes will be a market-friendly model utilizing battery power. It previewed a pre-production concept to U.S. dealers last month.

While the clandestine nature of its debut leaves a lot up in the air, it’s clearly aimed at besting the latest and greatest coming from rival manufacturers. Range will be in the neighborhood of 300 miles, with room for five and sprightly acceleration. The shape? Crossover, obviously.

Nissan’s Leaf now has an E+ variant with a range of 226 miles. It’s an improvement but is still trailing long-range variants of Tesla’s Model 3 and remains a smidgen behind Chevrolet’s Bolt. The Leaf also happens to be a car, resulting in a profile that encourages greater efficiency but is at odds with consumer tastes. While the idea of adding mass to a vehicle that’s supposed to be eco friendly is undeniably backwards, premium automakers have begun pushing electrified crossovers into the marketplace. The logic here is that people tend to prefer crossovers and going with a bigger platform leaves extra space for a bigger battery (more range) and people (more sales).

Nameless at present, Nissan’s new EV is supposed to be based upon the IMx concept (above) that debuted in 2017 and will be the first model to utilize the automaker’s new electric vehicle platform. According to Automotive News, the concept crossover is currently being tweaked into a more production-ready format and will be arriving in the U.S. during the second half of 2021. Dealers claimed it was roughly the size of Nissan’s Rogue with a bit more interior space. The unit’s rush to 60 mph was suggested to take about 5 seconds.

From Automotive News:

One dealer who saw the vehicle told Automotive News that it has a roomy passenger cabin, with a “futuristic” look that is “like nothing on the market.”

The cockpit features a digital dashboard that stays hidden until the vehicle is turned on.

“When you get in the car, all you see is a pulsating start button,” a dealer said. Pushing the start button brings the high-resolution display to life.

The design reflects an industry trend to use touch-sensitive buttons in place of traditional dials and knobs. Like the new Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model 3, the Nissan crossover has a dashboard devoid of physical buttons.

The production version of the crossover has a shorter hood than the IMx concept, dealers said.

As the mystery model currently requires a bit of surgery before a production-ready version graces us with its presence, we’re not banking on any of those inclusions staying. But the vehicle is supposed to receive the latest version of Nissan’s ProPilot driving suite. Version 2.0 is already available in Japan and is supposed to offer hands-free driving on expressways. Motorists will still be required to maintain control when exiting/entering those areas, however. While we’ve heard the system doesn’t function seamlessly, it’s a cut above the old version of ProPilot and is supposed to function similarly to Cadillac’s SuperCruise. However, there are some regulatory and mapping issues that need to be address before the system can be deployed in the United States.

[Images: Nissan]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Sep 09, 2019

    Maybe *this* will be the Nissan EV that finally uses a water-cooled battery.

  • Kyree Kyree on Sep 10, 2019

    They need to also redesign the Rogue. I just bought a new compact CUV, and the Rogue wasn't anywhere in consideration range.

  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
  • Lou_BC "That’s expensive for a midsize pickup" All of the "offroad" midsize trucks fall in that 65k USD range. The ZR2 is probably the cheapest ( without Bison option).
  • Lou_BC There are a few in my town. They come out on sunny days. I'd rather spend $29k on a square body Chevy
  • Lou_BC I had a 2010 Ford F150 and 2010 Toyota Sienna. The F150 went through 3 sets of brakes and Sienna 2 sets. Similar mileage and 10 year span.4 sets tires on F150. Truck needed a set of rear shocks and front axle seals. The solenoid in the T-case was replaced under warranty. I replaced a "blend door motor" on heater. Sienna needed a water pump and heater blower both on warranty. One TSB then recall on spare tire cable. Has a limp mode due to an engine sensor failure. At 11 years old I had to replace clutch pack in rear diff F150. My ZR2 diesel at 55,000 km. Needs new tires. Duratrac's worn and chewed up. Needed front end alignment (1st time ever on any truck I've owned).Rear brakes worn out. Left pads were to metal. Chevy rear brakes don't like offroad. Weird "inside out" dents in a few spots rear fenders. Typically GM can't really build an offroad truck issue. They won't warranty. Has fender-well liners. Tore off one rear shock protector. Was cheaper to order from GM warehouse through parts supplier than through Chevy dealer. Lots of squeaks and rattles. Infotainment has crashed a few times. Seat heater modual was on recall. One of those post sale retrofit.Local dealer is horrific. If my son can't service or repair it, I'll drive 120 km to the next town. 1st and last Chevy. Love the drivetrain and suspension. Fit and finish mediocre. Dealer sucks.
  • MaintenanceCosts You expect everything on Amazon and eBay to be fake, but it's a shame to see fake stuff on Summit Racing. Glad they pulled it.
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