Arguably the car that put Datsun on the map was the 1968 Fairlady Z, introduced to the United States in 1969 as the Datsun 240Z.
Capturing the basic concept of the Jaguar XK-E in an affordable package, the 240Z was a sleekly styled rear-drive sports car, powered by a 2.4-liter overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine. It was good looking, fast, fun to drive, and it was also exceptionally reliable—a claim the European sports cars of the period could not make.
Also in the 1970’s, the energy crisis of 1973 turned Americans toward the smaller more fuel-efficient cars built in Japan. With the Z out front attracting shoppers into Datsun showrooms, the ‘70s were a very good decade for the company.
In 1981, the decision was made to do away with the Datsun name and market the automobiles under the Nissan nameplate.
After briefly losing its way, Nissan came back in a strong way going into the 21st century on the strength of two memorable sedans in both the Altima and Maxima. Then, after a thirteen-year hiatus, the Nissan Z was reintroduced as the 2003 Nissan 350Z. The Nissan GT-R was brought to the U.S. as the brand’s halo model as a 2008 model. The company also became the first mainstream manufacturer to introduce a series production mass-market electric car in 2010, with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF.
Autobytel's Nissan reviews examine each product closely to provide thorough, well-considered, unbiased expert analysis by a group of knowledgeable and dedicated professional automotive reviewers who drive every new car each model year. Further, our Nissan reviews are designed to provide you with the most accurate information available to assist your car buying process.