Let’s say that you have a need for speed. You’re attracted to acceleration, and you have a penchant for punishing the pavement with power and burnt rubber. You live to hear the explosions of a classic combustion engine and dine on the sounds of an exciting exhaust. You’re a junkie for jalopies, muscle cars, imports, and performance sedans, but you find yourself in a bind: you need a new ride, it has to be fast (or at least fast-ish), and it has to be affordable. Oh, and you need some kind of guarantees, protections for your investment, so you’re thinking about Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, so you’re not burning money away on a lemon. What do you do? What…do…you…do? Well, if you need something cheap, reliable, used, fast, and tuner-worthy, Nissan has a pretty good line-up of vehicles for you.
There are a few options worth mentioning if you’re looking to buy something this year. In fact, there are a ton of options for you, but not all of those options will be available to you indefinitely. You see, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles have a limited shelf life. Nissan vehicles, in particular, can only be certified within six years of release, which means that some of the most affordable certified Nissans, particularly the 2016 model years, will no longer be certified come 2023.
That means you’re going to have to act fast to get your hands on those models before they become ineligible for certification, which means no limited powertrain warranty nor roadside assistance support, and you no longer have access to the buy-back guarantee. However, the good news is that this list here gives you a rundown of the top 6 Certified Pre-Owned Nissans for you thrill chasers out there. These vehicles are well worth buying before they lose their CPO status at the end of 2022. Of course, these vehicles won’t be available on the market as CPO forever, so you will have to act fast.
#1 – 2016 Nissan Juke NISMO RS
You probably forgot all about the Nissan Juke, which was later replaced in North America with the Nissan Kicks in 2018. However, the Nissan Juke was the perfect little subcompact crossover SUV that was a driver’s dream. The good part about it is that you didn’t have to look to the aftermarket sector to make the Juke performance-tuned for high-speed hijinks. In fact, the Juke was available as a performance-tuned subcompact thanks to Nissan’s performance NISMO brand.
If you wanted the extra power and performance on the street with slick 18-inch wheels and a performance-tuned 1.4-liter inline 4-cylinder that outputs 215 horsepower at 210 pound-feet of torque in the front-wheel drive configuration, then the 2016 Nissan Juke NISMO RS is going to be your preferred subcompact SUV. And even though the Juke may be discontinued in North America, you can still get a CPO 2016 model by shopping around at the right dealership.
#2 – 2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X
Designed to be an easy-to-handle, easy-on-the-eyes, convenient, dependable midsize pickup, the 2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X may not seem like a performance enthusiast’s dream come true, but it’s more than capable in a number of ways. From the four-wheel drive to the standard 4.0-liter V6 that outputs 261 horsepower at 281 pound-feet of torque, you have a truck that can get moving quickly enough. And with the off-road-tuned suspension and handling of the PRO-4X trim, it opens up a lot of versatility when it comes to customization if that’s your thing. However, getting a CPO version means that if you decide to do some off-road racing or really push the limits on the Frontier PRO-4X, you at least have some confidence in the vehicle being covered by the warranties.
#3 – 2016 Nissan Altima 3.5 SR
Now we’re getting into the more high-end, high-performance Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, and the Nissan Altima makes for a great pick. Specifically, the 2016 Nissan Altima 3.5 is a real specimen because it comes with a 3.5-liter V6. Technically you can go with either the 3.5 SR or 3.5 SL trims to get the V6, which delivers 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. The added luxury elements will make the ride comfortable, and the fact that it’s a 2016 model means you can get it––even Certified Pre-Owned––for practically dirt cheap if you shop around. The V6 versions are obviously going to go quick at most places, so you might want to act fast if you can find one at a Nissan dealer.
#4 – 2016 Nissan Maxima SR
The 2016 Nissan Maxima SR is an even better pick for performance enthusiasts than the Altima. Why? Because it comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that’s fine-tuned to output 300 hp at 261 lb-ft of torque. This gives you more power and performance than the Altima, and you also have a sedan that’s aerodynamically designed to take advantage of its sportier powertrain. In fact, if you wanted a sleek-looking four-door sedan, the Nissan Maxima SR is definitely the way to go. The wavy motion lines that accentuate the vehicle’s exterior curves are complimented by the SR’s 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, which give you that extra edge in getting more grip on the ground. As a cost-effective, performance-driven option among Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, you really can’t go wrong with the 2016 Nissan Maxima SR.
#5 – 2016 Nissan 370Z Coupe
With a 3.7-liter V6 that outputs up to 350 hp and 276 lb-ft of torque, there’s nothing this car can’t quench when it comes to those thirsting for speed. The 2016 Nissan 370Z Coupe is the hard-top iteration of the popular roadster, configured as a fast off-the-line rear-wheel drive monster that doesn’t know what the word “yield” means. The awesome part about a 370Z is that you don’t have to tune anything. No need for more powerful intakes, no need for performance camshafts or exhaust manifolds. No need to replace the headers, tweak the pipes, or swap the transmission. The car is already designed to give you all the speed you need right out of the gate, making it one of the best buys you can opt for when it comes to a CPO performance Nissan. There’s really only one thing better than a Nissan 370Z Coupe, and that’s a…
#6 – 2016 Nissan 370Z Convertible
That’s right. If driving the Fairlady Z with the hard-top over your head just doesn’t do anything for you, perhaps the ultimate showcase of high-performance and refined tastes is a Nissan 370Z Convertible. Maybe you always wanted a nice summer car you could drive with the top down without spending an arm and a leg, but you also wanted post-purchase guarantees and a little bit of wiggle room in case you needed to trade the car in? Well, buy CPO. That’s the benefit of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles; even the convertible sports cars are covered.
While the 370Z isn’t going to win you any favors at the gas pump, it will certainly get heads turning on the sidewalk. That’s not to mention the wife will want to talk to you again, your kids will respect you, and if dogs could smile, your dog would be smiling at you every time you pull up in the driveway in your certified 370Z. Heck, it might even make you the envy of your neighbors…assuming they don’t rush out to a Nissan dealer and grab a certified 2016 model before you do.