• Several updated Nissan vehicles
  • Shoppers responding positively
  • Popularity of a car may impact resale value

If you believe the old saying "there's safety in numbers," Nissan should be on your new car shopping list. Fueled by several all-new vehicles, Nissan sales are up, and they set a new U.S. record for May.

This is significant because it shows that shoppers like you are responding positively to Nissan's all-new vehicles. There often can be a sales spike when a company is about to discontinue a model or shut down altogether, but those buyers are primarily bargain hunters looking for once-in-a-lifetime deals.

Redesigned Pathfinder

Many of Nissan's cars are all-new or recently redesigned. If an all-new or redesigned car shows up and fewer people buy that car than before, there might be a problem. Maybe it's ugly or doesn't have the right features.

However, if an all-new car has more buyers, it might be worth a visit to your local dealer to see what all the fuss is about. Here's just one example. At this time last year, Nissan sold about 2,300 Pathfinders. In May 2013, they sold more than 9,300 -- that's nearly a 300 percent increase. Is it just clever marketing? No, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is a completely redesigned SUV.

The previous Pathfinder was built more like a truck. It looked boxy and could go off-road like crazy. The new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is more like a car. It has less off-road ability than before but has a more spacious interior, a smoother ride and more upscale look overall.

Sentra and Altima

The same is true for the Nissan Sentra. In the past, most compact sedan shoppers looked at the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla and just picked one of those. The previous Sentra wasn't much to get excited about, but the 2013 Sentra looks and feels more luxurious than other compact cars. Shoppers are responding to the changes: Sentra sales are up 64 percent.

More people are also buying the Nissan Altima; it too was reworked for 2013. Midsize sedan shoppers are picky, and rightfully so. For years, midsize sedans with a low base price and incredible longevity have spoiled them. We think both Nissan Altima and Honda Accord are the best of the bunch. Shoppers seem to agree, as well, because 40 percent more bought an Altima in May 2013 than in May 2012.

More people are also buying the all-electric Nissan Leaf compared to this time last year.

On the other hand, fewer people are buying Nissan's too-cute Cube. If you're shopping for a compact SUV such as the Scion xB or Kia Soul, you may get a really good deal on a Cube. Nissan only sold 459 of them in May 2013. This could be a sign that people are over the trendy look, or that other cars (such as the Soul) are simply better.

What it means to you: Nissan sales are up, but does that mean you should buy one? When shopping for a new car, look for all-new or recently redesigned models. The popularity of a given car may indicate how much your new car will be worth in a few years. Dwindling sales also may hurt your car's resale value when you decide to replace it in a few years, it could also mean there's a problem with that car you're not aware of. At the very least, cars that don't sell well could mean a little more research on your part.

author photo

Brian Moody heads up the AutoTrader.com editorial team. An automotive writer and presenter for more than 12 years, he's contributed to such media outlets as CNBC, Edmunds.com, Fox Business, Speed TV and The Today Show.

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