The Nissan Aries: A Forgotten Classic

Hello and welcome to the world of classic cars! In this article, we’re going to talk about a car that doesn’t get as much mention as it deserves: the Nissan Aries. This car was produced in the 1980s and was a mid-sized sedan that offered a lot of features for its time. Despite its impressive features and capabilities, it wasn’t a huge hit at the time, and has since become somewhat forgotten. We’re going to explore why that is, and why the Nissan Aries is a car worth remembering.

The Nissan Aries was produced in 1981 and was the North American version of the Nissan Bluebird. It was initially manufactured at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, and was marketed as a high-end family car. One of the standout features of the Aries was its fuel efficiency. At the time, the car was able to get up to 50 miles per gallon. This was quite a feat, especially since fuel-efficient cars weren’t yet a priority for many car manufacturers. The car was also spacious, comfortable, and had a sleek and modern design that made it perfect for families and professionals alike.

The History of Nissan Aries

Introduction to Nissan Aries

Nissan Aries, also known as the Nissan Sentra in some parts of the world, is a compact car that was introduced by the Japanese automaker Nissan in 1982. The car is renowned as a reliable and affordable option for drivers seeking a fuel-efficient car in the automobile industry. It quickly gained popularity in the market due to its impressive features and functionality.

Origins of Nissan Aries

The initial plan for the Nissan Aries was to introduce it as a replacement for the Datsun 210, an older model of Nissan. However, the Aries took on a life of its own and emerged as a completely new car altogether. It was initially designed for the Japanese market, but due to its positive market response, Nissan began exporting the car globally.

The first generation of Nissan Aries was sold from 1982 to 1986. It was offered in two and four-door sedan body styles. The car featured a 1.5-liter engine that was capable of producing 69 horsepower. The car’s fuel efficiency was a highlight, with drivers reported getting an average of 28 mpg on both city and high-speed driving.

In 1986, Nissan introduced the second-generation of Aries, which had received a significant upgrade in terms of design, engine capacity, and overall performance. The car was a pure hit for the company, with its popularity continuing to increase in the automobile industry. It was a more refined and sportier version of its predecessor and was offered in higher trims, including SE, XE, and GXE.

From thereon, the Nissan Aries evolved rapidly with every new model release. The newer models featured better fuel efficiency, advanced safety features, and improved cabin space over the years. The Aries was exported globally, contributing to Nissan’s global automotive dominance. The vehicle was especially prevalent in the United States, where it held a significant market share throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

The Features of Nissan Aries

The Nissan Aries has been continually appreciated for its fuel efficiency, affordability, and low maintenance costs. One of the most significant highlights of the car has always been its fuel efficiency. The car comes with a fuel-efficient engine and lightweight design, contributing to its high fuel economy. The engine’s capacity usually ranges from 1.6 to 2.0 liters, offering decent power and torque output.

Apart from fuel efficiency, the Nissan Aries is reputed for its longevity and durability. The car’s build quality is generally reliable, and its parts are easy to find. The vehicles are known to be easy to maintain, even with the most basic mechanical knowledge. The Aries is generally favored as a commuter car due to its low operating costs and outstanding reliability.

The Aries has also included advanced safety features over the years, such as multiple airbags, anti-lock brake systems, and electronic stability control. The car’s interior is spacious, comfortable, and designed to cater to the convenience of the driver and passengers. Moreover, the Aries’s sleek and elegant design has made it a popular choice among automobile enthusiasts, who still favor the car’s retro aesthetic.

In conclusion, the Nissan Aries has been a significant player in the automotive industry since its inception. Its fuel efficiency, affordability, durability, and low maintenance costs have made it an iconic vehicle globally. The vehicle continues to attract a wide range of buyers who seek long-term, cost-efficient and reliable automobiles.

The Popularity of Nissan Aries in the 80s

Introduction to the 80s Auto Industry

During the 80s, the automobile industry in the United States experienced tremendous growth and change. With the introduction of advanced technologies and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient vehicles, American consumers were spending more on cars than ever before. The high demand for automobiles during this era allowed car manufacturers to experiment with innovative designs and features.

Nissan, a Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer, recognized an opportunity to break into the American market with their new car model, the Nissan Aries. The Nissan Aries was marketed as a mid-sized, affordable, and fuel-efficient car that could compete with the popular American-made cars of the time.

Marketing and Advertisements

To promote the Nissan Aries, Nissan utilized various marketing and advertising techniques to attract the attention of consumers. One of the most effective methods employed was the use of endorsements by famous personalities. Nissan collaborated with popular celebrities at the time, such as Michael Jordan and Dolly Parton, to appear in their commercials. These endorsements helped to reinforce the image of Nissan Aries as a reliable and trustworthy car model.

Another successful marketing tactic used by Nissan was the emphasis on fuel efficiency. During a time of increasing gas prices, the Nissan Aries was marketed as a car that could help consumers save money on gas expenses. Additionally, Nissan highlighted the car’s comfortable and spacious interior, making it an attractive option for families.

Nissan also focused on creating visually striking advertisements to catch the attention of potential customers. The company’s ads were often colorful and featured eye-catching designs that stood out from the average car ad. Nissan also invested in sponsoring various sports events, thereby increasing the car model’s exposure to a broader audience.

Legacy of Nissan Aries in the Auto Industry

The Nissan Aries had a lasting impact on the auto industry, particularly in terms of fuel efficiency. The focus on this feature during the marketing campaign highlighted the importance of gas savings for consumers, leading other car manufacturers to do the same with their models.

Additionally, Nissan Aries demonstrated that a foreign car manufacturer could compete with American-made cars in the United States market. The success of Nissan Aries motivated other Japanese car manufacturers to try their luck in the American market. The Aries also paved the way for Nissan to continue producing successful car models, such as the popular Nissan Sentra, which is still in production today.

In conclusion, the Nissan Aries was a game-changer in the automotive industry during the 80s, pushing the boundaries of what foreign-made vehicles could offer American consumers. The success of its marketing campaign and its innovative features continued to influence the car industry for years to come. Today, it is regarded as a classic car and an essential piece of automotive history.

Buying a Used Nissan Aries

Introduction to Buying Used Cars

Buying a used car can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time. There are a lot of things to consider before making a purchase. It’s important to research the car’s reliability, condition, and overall cost to ensure you’re making a smart investment. One good option to consider is the Nissan Aries.

Shopping for a Used Nissan Aries

When shopping for a used Nissan Aries, it’s important to do your homework. Start by researching the car’s history, including whether it has been in any accidents or has a salvaged title. This information can be found through services like Carfax or AutoCheck.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, take the time to inspect the car thoroughly. Look for any obvious signs of wear and tear, such as dents or scratches. Check the tires for wear and ensure they are properly inflated. Test the brakes and make sure they are in good working condition.

It’s also a good idea to take the car for a test drive. This will give you a better idea of the car’s overall condition and how it handles on the road. Pay attention to how the car shifts gears and listen for any strange noises.

The Maintenance of Used Nissan Aries

Regular maintenance is important for keeping a used Nissan Aries in good condition. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. It’s also important to have the car inspected by a mechanic on a regular basis to check for any potential issues.

One common issue with the Nissan Aries is transmission failure. This can be costly to repair, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of transmission issues, such as slipping gears or delayed shifting. If you do notice any potential issues, it’s best to have them addressed as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

In addition to regular maintenance, it’s also a good idea to keep the car clean and well-maintained. This includes washing it regularly, waxing the exterior, and keeping the interior clean and free of debris.

Overall, a used Nissan Aries can be a great investment for those looking for a reliable, affordable, and practical vehicle. By doing your research and taking the necessary steps to maintain the car, you can enjoy many years of trouble-free driving.

Thank You for Taking a Ride Down Memory Lane

The Nissan Aries may have been forgotten by some, but it’s still a classic worth remembering. With its unique design, reliable performance, and affordable price, the Aries was a car that made a lasting impression. Its popularity may have faded, but its legacy lives on, and it will always be remembered as a car that helped define a generation. Thank you for taking the time to discover, or rediscover this forgotten classic.

Don’t forget to visit us again soon, as we’ll have more articles on other classic cars that deserve a trip down memory lane.


1. What years was the Nissan Aries manufactured?
– The Nissan Aries was manufactured from 1981-1987.
2. What type of engine did the Aries have?
– The Aries was available with either a 1.5-liter or 1.6-liter engine.
3. Was the Aries a reliable car?
– Yes, the Aries was known for its reliability and durability.
4. How many doors did the Aries have?
– The Aries was available in both 2-door and 4-door models.
5. Did the Aries have air conditioning?
– Air conditioning was available as an option on the Aries.
6. What other models were similar to the Aries?
– The Aries was sold under different names in other markets, such as the Nissan Sentra and the Nissan Pulsar.
7. Was the Aries popular in the United States?
– Yes, the Aries was popular in the United States, especially during the 1980s.
8. What was the price range of the Aries when it was first released?
– The price range of the Aries when it was first released was around $5,000 to $7,000.
9. Was the Aries fuel-efficient?
– Yes, the Aries was known for its good fuel economy.
10. Are there any Nissan Aries clubs or organizations?
– Yes, there are several clubs and organizations dedicated to the Nissan Aries, such as the Nissan Aries Enthusiast Club and the Nissan Pulsar NX Club.

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About the Author: Eibar Schmidt

Eibar is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. Also He is a casual autocrosser and occasional track day participant who believes everybody should drive cars that make them happy.

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