Archive for the ‘altima’ Tag

Old Versus New: The Nissan Murano

We asked the owner of a 2009 Nissan Murano to take a spin in the all-new 2015 version of the dramatically styled crossover SUV. Is newer always better?

While we’d all like to have a McLaren, Porsche, or Lamborghini parked in our garage, that pesky thing called “reality” forces us to buy cars that are reasonably priced, convenient to drive every day, and—if there are kids involved—friendly to the sticky-handed set. One of the most popular models for families around the world since it made its debut in 2003 is the Nissan Murano. Named after the islands in Venice known for producing beautiful blown glass, this mid-size crossover SUV has always stood apart from the pack thanks to its dramatic design, great ergonomics, and car-like handling.

My sister, Lucy, is the happy owner of a 2009 Murano. She likes the modern styling, the comfort, the utility—she has two kids—and the fact that it drives more like a car than a hulking SUV. (Don’t even ask her what she thinks about her husband’s Toyota Sienna minivan.) So when I got to test the latest version, which is totally new for 2015, I knew she was the one who could give the best assessment. The third generation of Nissan’s flagship crossover delivers even bolder styling, a more luxurious interior, and a standard 3.5-liter V6 that ups both power and efficiency. Check out what the folks from Nissan were trying to accomplish with the new Murano, followed by Lucy’s thoughts. (Thanks, sis!)

Exterior

“One of the central constructs for both the exterior and interior of the new Murano was to ‘elevate your experience,’ which is counterintuitive to the heaviness and chunkiness of the traditional sport utility vehicle,” says Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “This helped inspire the push for leading-edge aerodynamics and three key elements of our designs—the V-Motion front end, signature lighting, and the ‘floating’ roofline.”

Lucy immediately sees the difference: “I really like how it looks. This one is more modern than mine, more streamlined. It has more of an aquatic look, if that makes any sense. I especially like the dark panels on the sides in the back—even though it’s not a window, it looks like window as opposed to car. Very sleek.”

Interior

“Beyond the sense of elegant style and premium features, owners of the first two generations often tell us about the ‘effortlessness of Murano’—the great front view, the low instrument panel, the comfort and ease of operation. These are all things we kept and exaggerated in the new model,” says Nakamura.

“This is like the fancy version!” Lucy exclaims as she gets inside. “Does it have a USB? A charger? Yup! It’s got a familiar feel to it, but it seems more spacious. This sunroof is great; it expands all the way into the back. The kids don’t normally get the light back there. Yeah, this sunroof is awesome, there’s a lot more natural light. Wow, is this a top-down camera? I definitely don’t have one of those.”

“I have no complaints about my seats,” says Lucy as she takes her spot in the driver’s seat, “but this is more comfortable—the headrest and the back support feel a lot better. Mine doesn’t have leather on the dashboard, that I could take or leave. The cup holders look smaller and are in a different place, I think I like mine better…I prefer them horizontal, not vertical. Overall it’s totally familiar, but there are certain little nuances that are improved. Plus, it smells very nice.”

Driving

“With advanced, purposeful technology designed to help keep you safe and connected, along with its refined everyday driving experience, this all-new Murano adds the solid substance to go with its unmatched emotional style,” says Pierre Loing, vice president, Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.

“I love driving my Murano,” says Lucy. “It’s just big enough to feel like you’re not the smallest car on the road, but it doesn’t seem cumbersome. It’s a good size; it doesn’t feel like you’re driving a truck. The gear shift on this one is a little stiffer, and the steering definitely feels stiffer. I like it; it gives it that ‘premium-car’ feeling, very responsive. It’s got great visibility, which is also one of the things I really like about my car. The driving position is very similar…it doesn’t really feel like I’m driving a different car. Actually, it feels like I’m driving my car, but faster. This definitely has enough power to do what you need to do.”

Overall Impression

“I originally bought my Murano because I liked that it was bigger than a sedan but wasn’t as big as a minivan,” says Lucy. “I liked how it drove, I liked the style of it, the amenities, and, for the price, it just seemed like the right car. My kids like it too, because they feel like I’m not too far away from them. I have about 66,000 miles on mine, and I wasn’t thinking of getting a new car, but this new one really is great. It’s everything I like about my car, only better!”

Or, as Loing puts it, “Murano resets the standard in class once again.”

Read more at: http://www.scout.com/story/1554398-old-versus-new-the-nissan-murano

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First Look: 2016 Nissan Maxima

The Nissan Maxima has seen little change since the current generation debuted for the 2009 model year. Now, Nissan is introducing a next-generation model that promises better fuel economy, a more athletic road demeanor, and a driver-focused interior.

Nissan calls the new Maxima a “virtual clone” of the Sport Sedan Concept that came out in January, and although we don’t think the two models look exactly alike, we definitely see the inspiration. The 2016 Maxima features a V-Motion grille flanked by boomerang-style headlights with standard LED DRLs. Thanks to its blacked-out A-pillars, the Maxima adopts a floating roof appearance that creates a wraparound canopy. In back there are strong character lines and LED rear parking lights. Overall, the new Maxima is 1.3 inches lower and 2.2 inches longer than the seventh-generation Maxima.

Under the hood, look for a heartier 3.5-liter V-6 with 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque. This engine has been redesigned with more than 60 percent new parts and should help increase fuel economy for an unofficial target EPA rating of 22/30 mpg. A new Xtronic transmission with a wider gear ratio range and new shifting logic should improve acceleration from a start and while exiting a corner. Perhaps even more important is a completely new chassis that sheds 82 pounds from the previous model, helping to boost performance further.

The Maxima also benefits from a Drive Mode Selector that adjusts the ride experience to the driver’s command. In Sport mode, steering weight and throttle response increase, and new active sound enhancement amplifies the engine note to the driver’s ear. Normally, however, the new Maxima is supposed to run quietly thanks to laminated glass and active noise cancellation that drown out road Peek inside the cabin, and you’ll see a new ergonomically designed cockpit. The center stack is pointed 7 degrees toward the driver, and a floating console sits higher than in the old Maxima and puts important controls such as push-button start within easy reach. Padded materials give the Maxima a premium feel, and a flat-bottom steering wheel adds sporty appeal.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima will be available in five trims, including a new performance-oriented SR trim. Even the base Maxima S is well-equipped; it now comes standard with NissanConnect navigation and an 8-inch display. Other standard features include remote engine start via Intelligent Key, online search with Google, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a four-way power passenger’s seat, dual-zone climate control, HomeLink, and Sirius XM satellite radio. Stepping up to the SV nets leather-appointed seating, heated front seats, driver lumbar support, parking sensors, and more. The SL brings a dual panoramic moonroof, 11-speaker Bose sound system, and a number of safety features such as forward emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, and blind-spot monitor.

The SR joins the upper trim levels. It brings a sport-tuned suspension, front chassis performance damper, Ascot leather seats with diamond-quilted Alcantara inserts, paddle shifters, aluminum sport pedals, and upgraded 19-inch wheels. At the top of the lineup sits the Platinum, which comes with driver memory, power tilting and telescoping steering column with easy access feature, Around View Monitor with moving object detection, mahogany wood-tone finish accents, and other premium extras. No optional packages are offered on the Maxima; instead, buyers can add accessories such as splash guards, spoilers, unique tires, and a few other extras.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima goes on sale this summer and starts at $33,235, including an $825 destination fee. This makes it more than $1,000 more expensive than the 2014 Maxima, which is expected given all the radical changes the new model has in store. In its new generation, the Maxima now has a chance to transform itself from an also-ran model to a uniquely athletic competitor in the large-sedan category.

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1504_2016_nissan_maxima_first_look/#ixzz3bRhz5vNB

Nissan Rogue Hybrid Might Migrate to the U.S.

A Nissan Rogue hybrid? Sounds like a vehicle that would win the blessing of Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is known to be very bullish on battery electric cars taking over the industry. Lending more specific credence to the rumor, a Japanese engineer just told Automotive News that Nissan may give us a Rogue hybrid. Are your electrons getting excited, crossover buyers?

The suggestion comes from Nobusuke Toukura, chief engineer for the new X-Trail Hybrid, the overseas Rogue built on the same platform, which was just introduced in Japan last week. When we asked Nissan USA about the prospect, the company wouldn’t confirm Toukura’s claim outright, but did say that it would like to add more hybrids beyond the Pathfinder Hybrid to its lineup. Since the Rogue is Nissan’s second best-selling model and Toyota has just unwrapped the RAV4 Hybrid, a Rogue hybrid seems like a no-brainer. From a production standpoint, a Rogue hybrid would be easy to add to the Smyrna, Tennessee line that already rolls out Rogues and Pathfinders.

Like the Pathfinder Hybrid, the X-Trail Hybrid eschews the typical two-motor setup—a generator to charge its lithium-ion battery and a traction motor to put down the power—and instead employs two electronic clutches that perform both duties, with one separating the engine and the motor. On the X-Trail Hybrid, Nissan pairs a 40-hp electric motor with a 2.0-liter 145-hp four-cylinder, optional all-wheel drive, and claims 47 mpg on Japan’s highly unrealistic JC08 cycle. It’s hard to say how that combo would do in EPA testing but at the very least we could expect a significantly higher rating than the Pathfinder Hybrid’s 25/27 mpg city/highway.

Even with gas prices in a welcome lull, Nissan needs volume to become noticed in this space, and the future hybridized GT-R is not going to do it. The last-gen Altima Hybrid, which used a Toyota-licensed powertrain, was short-lived, relatively inefficient, and only available in 10 states. And while the Nissan Leaf leads the plug-in market, the automaker sells the fewest hybrids of all its competitors. Combined with its three Infiniti models (Q50, QX60, and Q70), Nissan sold fewer than 8000 hybrids in 2014. Ford shipped more than 9.5 times that number. Even Subaru, which offers only the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, managed to outsell Nissan and Infiniti in its very first year. Get to it, Ghosn.

Read more at: http://blog.caranddriver.com/nissan-rogue-hybrid-might-migrate-to-the-u-s/

2016 Nissan Maxima Video Preview

For the past decade, the Nissan Maxima has been having an identity crisis. Originally it was Nissan’s family sedan, then it became its so-called “four-door sports car.” Today it shares most of its running gear with the less expensive Altima.

So how does the Maxima move forward? It’s all about style.

Nissan says the new Maxima looks like nothing else on the road today, and we have to agree. It’s dramatically styled along the lines of the Murano crossover. The distinctive profile looks edgy and exciting, and the floating-roof design is about as far from the Altima as you can get.

Inside the Maxima has a driver-focused cockpit with a center stack canted towards the driver. The interior makes big strides over the current car, with a padded console and genuine stitching on the instrument panel, doors, and console. There’s a flat-bottom steering wheel and some models features Alcantara suede trim. Heavily bolstered sports seats are standard.

The new Maxima’s loaded with standard tech including standard navigation, an eight-inch color touchscreen, and a seven-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display within the instrument cluster.

Powering the Maxima is a 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. There’s a new Drive Mode Selector with Sport and Normal modes to adjust throttle response, transmission tuning, and steering feel. A new SR model ups the performance ante with a stiffer suspension setup.

On a more practical front, Nissan estimates the Maxima will have EPA ratings of 30 mpg highway and 22 mpg city. Safety gear will include a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a forward-collision warning system with automatic braking, intelligent cruise control, and blind-spot monitors. A surround-view camera system is an option.

The Maxima hits showrooms this summer starting from about $33,000.

Read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1097567_2016-nissan-maxima-video-preview?fbfanpage

2014 Nissan Altima named “Most Affordable Midsize Sedan” by Cars.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As Nissan celebrates record-breaking Altima sales in April, potential buyers have another great reason to consider Nissan’s top-selling vehicle. Citing its “great” gas mileage and “very good” crash test results, Cars.com has named the 2014 Nissan Altima the “Most Affordable Midsize Sedan.”

To be considered for the Cars.com’s most affordable midsize sedan challenge, contending vehicles were required to have an automatic transmission, cruise control, a USB connection, Bluetooth®, power windows, power driver’s seat and a backup camera. These features, coupled with a favorable five-year estimated fuel cost, resulted in the 2014 Altima’s top ranking in the popular online shopping website’s annual survey of midsize sedans.

“The 2014 Nissan Altima is equipped with an abundance of features that meet the growing expectations of our consumers, while still remaining a cost-effective vehicle to own,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations. “Year-over-year sales growth and an expanding list of accolades like this recognition from Cars.com demonstrate why Altima continues to be a leader in the midsize segment.”

The 2014 Nissan Altima, a Nissan core model and one of the top selling cars in the U.S., offers a premium exterior and interior and driver-focused technology. Its many attributes include outstanding fuel economy of 38 mpg highway (2.5-liter engine only) and an excellent balance of ride comfort and stability with a fun-to-drive demeanor. Altima is offered in seven well-equipped models to meet a range of needs and budgets – and with a choice of a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine or a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Both engines are matched with a smooth, efficient Xtronic transmission.

Read more at: http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/2014-nissan-altima-named-most-affordable-midsize-sedan-by-cars-com?linkId=8338336

Nissan Altima named a “Top Rated Vehicle” by Edmunds.com

Nissan Altima sales continued to soar in March, achieving the best sales month since March 2013, and now potential buyers have yet another reason to select Nissan’s top-selling vehicle. Today, Edmunds.com named the 2014 Nissan Altima a “Top Rated Vehicle” following a road and test-track evaluation by the publication. This honor is only given by Edmunds.com to vehicles earning an “A” – equivalent to an “Excellent” rating.

The Edmunds.com Testing Team evaluates about 200 vehicles a year.  Each one is driven on a standardized road-test loop and undergoes instrumented testing in controlled conditions at the Edmunds.com’s test track. Time behind the wheel is used to develop ratings to grade how each vehicle stacks up against its direct rivals in a particular size and price class. Following Edmunds.com’s assessment, the 2014 Nissan Altima was among the top in its class.

“Coming off the successful launch of the redesigned Altima in the 2013 model year, we were determined to keep momentum going for the 2014 model,” said Dan Mohnke, vice president, Nissan Chief Marketing Manager & Marketing Operations. “A number of enhancements, such as the addition of Mobile Apps to the NissanConnectSM connected car services and enhanced noise isolation, position the 2014 Altima to compete well among the best midsize sedans on the market. Year-over-year sales gains in February and March, coupled with awards like this top rating from Edmunds.com, show why consumers continue to pick Altima when in the market for a new car.”

The 2014 Nissan Altima, the centerpiece of the Nissan lineup and one of the top selling cars in the U.S., offers a premium exterior and interior and driver-focused technology. Its many attributes include outstanding fuel economy of 38 mpg highway (2.5-liter engine only) and an outstanding balance of ride comfort, handling and a fun-to-drive demeanor. Altima is offered in seven well-equipped models to meet a range of needs and budgets – and with a choice of a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine or 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Both engines are matched to a smooth, efficient Xtronic transmission.

To view Edmunds.com’s full list of Top Rated Vehicles of 2014, please visit edmunds.com/car-reviews/car-awards.html.

Nissan News!

J.D. Power and Associates has just awarded Nissan with some of its highest honors. The 2009 Altima has earned “Highest Ranked Midsize Car in Initial Quality,”1 while our iconic sports coupe, the Z®, was named “Highest Ranked Compact Premium Sporty Car in Initial Quality.”

Come in to Dick Scott Nissan and see all the great deals we have to offer!

Don’t forget that Dick Scott Nissan is a participating dealer for “Cash for Clunkers!”