Archive for the ‘nissan usa’ Tag

Next Nissan Z could be more like original 240

The current Nissan 370Z is six years old, meaning a replacement is on the horizon. But what will the next Z car be? In an interview at last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nissan Chief Creative Office Shiro Nakamura revealed that one idea for the next-generation Z could see it move down market, closer to the original 240Z or the 1999 Concept Z.

“We are studying a couple of different concepts. Because the sports car market is becoming smaller globally,” said Nakamura, “We would like to do something, I personally think, is more [in the] original concept of Z, which is … more practical and appealing to younger customers.” The original 1969 240Z, sold under the Datsun nameplate, became an icon thanks to a combination of attractive styling, reasonable performance, and affordable price. In 1970, a new 240Z went for less than $3,600 at the dealer, although high demand resulted in early resale values above retail.

In the US, the 240Z begat the 280Z in 1975. Subsequent versions grew in numerical name and performance, but that trend has an end point. The future path may be to reverse course, jokes Nakamura. “We are questioning ourselves in repeating the 350, 370. We don’t want to create 390Z, right?”

While Nissan is working on the next Z, the bad news is that the IDx is confirmed dead. First shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, the IDx concept was a vision of an affordable, four-seat sports car like original Nissan/Datsun 510. “I think IDx will not be produced,” said Nakamura, before continuing to say that the Z could fill that role.

Don’t expect a Mazda MX-5 Miata or Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S clone. When asked specifically about the MX-5, the Nissan designer stated “We may not necessarily go into the same category. Personally I see other options that are very interesting. We want to do something the same as this, unique,” he said, referencing a picture of the GTR-LM racecar on the wall.

As for timing, we couldn’t get any specifics. And the chances of the Z moving down market aren’t even certain. “We still need time to finalize this,” said the Nissan chief designer, “I mean, we have a couple of ideas.”

Read more at: http://www.autoblog.com/2015/06/17/next-nissan-z-more-like-original-240z/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016

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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 Titan XD makes world debut at North American International Auto Show

– Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn unveils 2016 TITAN-XD, marking Nissan’s aggressive return to the full-size pickup battlefield

– All-new TITAN-XD design, anchored by powerful Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, carves out “new class” of full-size truck between current heavy-duty and light-duty offerings

– Bold TITAN-XD exterior and interior designs follow “powerful precision tool” theme – topped with new Warrior-inspired TITAN badging

– Created for American buyers – with core planning, design and engineering conducted in Tennessee, California, Michigan and Arizona – new Nissan TITAN will be assembled in Mississippi, with engines from Tennessee and Indiana

DETROIT – Nissan today debuted the all-new Nissan TITAN full-size pickup to a standing room-only crowd of international media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. Presiding over the dramatic reveal was Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn, who stated, “With the 2016 Nissan TITAN-XD, we weren’t just going for ‘best-in-class.’ Instead, we are offering the ‘Best New Class.'”

The new TITAN-XD, the first of the new generation of Nissan TITAN models, creates a new segment of the American market. It offers the effortless towing and hauling of the larger, more expensive heavy-duty trucks – yet has the fuel-efficiency and affordability of half-ton pickups. It is projected to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in late 2015.

Powered by a new Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel rated at 310 horsepower and hefty 555 lb-ft of torque, the 2016 TITAN-XD will offer an available maximum towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds (when properly equipped), along with available cutting-edge towing features such as an integrated gooseneck hitch engineered into the frame.

Additional available TITAN-XD utility features and convenience aids include RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides, Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD) and a Trailer Light Check system that allows one-person hook-up operation – including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights from outside the vehicle. Also available are Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and a Front and Rear Sonar System.

The wide range of available interior features includes front and rear NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats and a large center console designed to serve as a mobile workstation.

“The new TITAN will deliver toughness, capability and quality,” added Ghosn. “In addition to a range of cab configurations, the TITAN lineup will ultimately encompass multiple powertrain choices. These include an all-new workhorse gasoline V8, as well as our first V6 offering in this class.”

More details on the full Nissan TITAN lineup will be announced at a later date.

The all-new TITAN, like the first-generation Titan, was developed with core Nissan planning, design, engineering and manufacturing teams contributing from Tennessee, California, Michigan, Arizona and Mississippi.

The all-new TITAN also underscores Nissan’s commitment to localized production. Nissan has invested more than $5 billion in the United States in the past five years and has moved manufacturing for several models from overseas to its North American plants.

“Our growing U.S. presence is bolstering our performance and helped to make 2014 a year of significant growth for Nissan in the U.S.,” said Ghosn. “Our operations, our network of partners, and – most importantly – our products are stronger than ever. Nissan is targeting 10 percent market share in the U.S. And the all-new TITAN is a key part of our growth strategy.”

The new TITAN-XD Crew Cab is the first of three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three powertrain offerings and five grade levels to be available later in the Nissan TITAN lineup. More information on the full lineup will be available at a later date.

For photography and additional information about the 2016 Nissan TITAN-XD, along with the complete lineup of 2015 Nissan vehicles, please visit NissanNews.com.

Read the complete article at: http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/2016-nissan-titan-xd-makes-world-debut-at-north-american-international-auto-show

New York City sets start date of April 20 for Taxi of Tomorrow with Nissan

NEW YORK – New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) has set April 20, 2015, as the program start date for the Taxi of Tomorrow program, which calls for most retiring taxis to be replaced with the Nissan NV200 and will significantly increase the number of wheelchair-accessible taxis in the fleet.

Based on the TLC Taxi of Tomorrow guidelines, Nissan NV200 Taxi will be the sole option for Manhattan yellow taxis not being replaced by a hybrid or an alternate wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) where additional choice among competitors is maintained. Nissan is working with BraunAbility, the global leader in automotive mobility, to provide WAV Nissan NV200 Taxis, which now are available for purchase.

More than 500 Nissan NV200 Taxis already are in service in New York City. The Nissan NV200 Taxi has more content specifically tailored to use as a New York City cab than any vehicle prior to it including important safety features.

The Nissan NV200 taxi is the only taxi that leaves the factory with the installed partition, which has been specifically designed to ensure that no safety features are compromised by after-market installations. In fact, the Nissan NV200 Taxi was crash-tested with the partition and meets Federal safety standards, an attribute no other automaker provides for taxis. After-market installations in some taxis can render safety features such as airbags non-functional.

The Nissan NV200 also meets global pedestrian-protection standards aimed at softening the impact to a pedestrian if struck by a vehicle.

Following its selection as the exclusive Taxi of Tomorrow provider, Nissan engaged with organizations long at the forefront of the Taxi of Tomorrow program, including the Design Trust for Public Space, Smart Design and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Nissan created its own “New York Ave.” at its Arizona proving grounds to replicate harsh conditions of NYC streets to rigorously test the Nissan NV200 taxi to tune the suspension specifically to NYC road conditions. Additionally, Nissan hired New York City cab drivers to test vehicles around the city, collecting data that was used to refine the vehicle. In total, these drivers logged enough miles to cover every street in Manhattan more than 300 times.

The Nissan NV200 taxi also offers passengers a variety of amenities to make their trip more pleasant, including ample cargo room for transporting luggage and USB charging ports in addition to a 12-volt electrical outlet.

The Nissan NV200 Taxi offers a functional and spacious interior housed in a compact exterior footprint; in fact, when the Nissan NV200 Taxi is deployed across the entire taxi fleet, the equivalent of five square-acres of space will be freed up on city streets.

Key safety features include:

– Front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags specifically designed to deploy around the integrated partition and seat-mounted airbags for the front row

– Standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control

– Sliding doors to lessen risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck by doors opening unexpectedly

– Lights that alert other road users that taxi doors are opening

About Nissan NV200 Taxi

Drawing on insight from New York taxi drivers, medallion holders, fleets and passengers, the Nissan NV200 taxi features more content tailored specifically to the unique needs of metropolitan cab service than ever before. In addition to stunning views of the city, other new features include:

– Ample room for four passengers and their luggage, offering substantial improvements over current and recently-unveiled taxi models

– Breathable, antimicrobial, environment-friendly, durable and easy-to-clean seat fabric

– Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles, providing easy entry and exit

– Mobile charging ports for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports

– Flat “no hump” passenger floor area for more comfortable ride and easy entry and exit

– Independently-controlled, rear air conditioning

– Active carbon-lined headliner to help neutralize interior odors

– Overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting to help locate belongings

– Opening side windows

Other notable NV200 taxi features focus on driver comfort, customer satisfaction and the environment:

– A low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, so the horn is used less frequently

– Hearing Loop System for the hearing impaired

– Driver and passenger intercom system

– A 6-way adjustable driver’s seat featuring both recline and lumbar adjustments, even with a partition installed

– Proven 2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, engineered to enhance the emission performance and fuel efficiency of the taxi fleet

– 150,000-mile powertrain warranty

– Unique driver’s seat material and stitching to promote improved airflow

– USB auxiliary audio input and charge port for driver

– Standard navigation system with integrated rearview backup monitor

– All necessary wiring and installation provisions

The NV200 taxi is now on sale at select Nissan dealerships in the greater New York City area. Total manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the vehicle is approximately $29,700.

As read on: http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/new-york-city-sets-start-date-of-april-20-for-taxi-of-tomorrow-with-nissan

2015 Nissan Juke

I didn’t always like the Nissan Juke. When it launched in 2010, I just couldn’t get over the way it looked – it came across as super weird, and kind of hideous at first blush. But I slowly warmed up to the funky little crossover/hatchback/thing, and after spending some time behind the wheel, I really learned to love Nissan’s small wonder. It’s a genuine hoot to drive, offering hot hatch-like thrills in a package that doesn’t look like anything else on the road. The Nismo and RS models that followed only increased my ardor for the turbocharged Juke, and now, I find myself smiling whenever I see one of these little guys bombing down the road.

Going into 2015, Nissan hasn’t really made major changes, but there are a host of smaller improvements on hand to make it a more well-rounded vehicle than ever before. And to up the funk factor for the new year, there are a slew of customization options now available to customers through the Juke Color Studio – for better or worse

Following my first drive of the third-generation Nissan Murano in Napa Valley, I took the refreshed Juke for a spin to see if the 2015 model year improvements still make for a car that’s good to drive and easy to use, while bursting with the same personality that slowly won me over in the first place.

Drive Notes
– Powering the Juke is the same turbocharged, 1.6-liter inline-four as last year, with 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque on tap. I’ve always liked this engine – it’s punchy and feels good when being worked via the 2014 model’s six-speed manual transmission. There’s lots of power down low, with a nice bit of boost mid-range through each gear. Altering the drive modes between Normal and Sport heighten this, and honestly, the turbo/manual setup in this front-wheel-drive Juke was kind of hilarious – a real treat.

– Sadly, Nissan will no longer offer the manual transmission on non-Nismo Juke models for 2015, so you’re stuck with the continuously variable transmission. Bummer. In sport mode, the usually good Xtronic CVT tends to rev high and hold itself there – a tendency of older such transmissions that’s seriously off-putting, especially for enthusiasts.

– Still, the Juke is available with a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive. The FWD Juke is fun, offering decent amounts of grip with a hint of predictable understeer. But I’ve always liked the four-season factor of the AWD Juke. I’ve never driven the high-riding hatch in the snow, but I imagine with the proper tires, this thing would be excellent.

– The rest of the driving aspects haven’t changed since the last time I left the Juke. The steering is nicely weighted and direct, the brakes feel a little mushy on first application but offer plenty of pedal feel after that, and the whole thing blasts down the road with a sort of fun that not many other small crossovers can match.

– What has changed about the Juke for 2015 is its styling, though I won’t fault you for not being able to immediately spot the differences. Up front, the already busy schnoz has been slightly redesigned, with reshaped turn signals (the top tier of lights), and new projector-beam headlamps worked into their middle-tier housings. The side indicators have moved to the mirrors, where they have an angular shape to mimic the lamps out front and the swoopy taillamps around back. And finally, some new colors are available, including the Solar Yellow you see here, not to mention all of the odd choices on tap in the aforementioned Color Studio.

– Inside, it’s more of the same – no big change here, aside from the addition of some NissanConnect tech and the inclusion of the company’s excellent Around View Monitor. Cloth and leather seating surfaces are available, with glossy silver or red trim on the doors and transmission tunnel. (Side note: the red gloss on this test car matched with the yellow exterior paint created a sort of ketchup and mustard theme that I wouldn’t recommend unless you’re a hot dog enthusiast.)

Nissan’s pricing for the 2015 Juke remains competitive, with the front-wheel-drive S starting at $20,250, not including $825 for destination. This represents an increase of $1,080 versus the 2014 model (the destination charge has increased by $15, too), but Nissan points out that the ’15 Juke comes standard with a lot more kit, including a backup camera, Intelligent Key with pushbutton start, Bluetooth and more. Given its tiny size, the Juke has never felt inexpensive, but the price increase for such popular equipment seems fair to me, and with the new customization options on deck for 2015, it feels like Nissan’s funky hatch is getting even more so – and judging by the model’s continued strong sales, that’s no bad thing.

As read on: http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/10/2015-nissan-juke-quick-spin-review/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016

2015 Nissan Murano: First Drive

As we’re getting acquainted with the 2015 Nissan Murano for the first time, it’s eye-opening to note all that this mid-size crossover doesn’t have: There are no multiple drive modes here, no variable steering assist settings, and no steering-wheel shift paddles, no low range or towing mode either.

This is a vehicle that’s easy to figure out. You get in, and the driving interface is what most people are used to, yet with just the right gloss, gleam, blanketing, and buffeting.

And yet on the outside, it’s gloriously complex. It’s as much a rolling sculpture as some sports cars, and you’re turning heads, every step of the way. The Murano really is that good-looking—and something refreshingly different next to the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Edge, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

That aside, for the moment, the 2015 Nissan Murano feels like it was cleverly reverse-engineered to be exactly what it needed to be—stylish, comfortable, quiet transportation for empty-nesters, with plenty of capability to bring friends along.

There’s a lot more than a grain of truth to that. The second-generation Murano, which made its debut in 2009, never lived up to the sales numbers of the first-gen model—although in all fairness, the recession may have been more to blame.

Nevertheless, Nissan reached out to existing owners of the Murano and asked them what they wanted a future Murano to be. From that, “Provocative, Premium, Optimistic,” was the theme used to sum up the feedback. Owners wanted, above all, a vehicle that was visually striking yet sophisticated.

Straightforward in its mission, stunning in its presentation

And they sure did get it with the 2015 Nissan Murano. What makes this one of the most noteworthy new vehicles of the year from an otherwise straightforward, predictable template is the absolutely stunning exterior of this crossover.

In profile, in stance, and in the exterior details, the Murano follows very closely in the steps of the Resonance Concept that was shown at the Detroit Auto Show less than two years ago. And we can actually say we like the production car better, for its synergies in some of the design details, in the ‘boomerang’ design of the headlights and taillights, the ‘V-motion’ grille and hood sculpting, and in how the arched flare above its front wheelwell is echoed over the rear wheels, where the beltline pinches upward toward the ‘floating’ roofline in one of the most distinctive design cues.

The overall result is a vehicle that plays a multitude of visual tricks—appearing lower and far more sport-wagon-like than its predecessor. It’s unlike any other crossover, whether with a luxury badge or a mainstream one.

Murano owners wanted a vehicle that was even more daring in appearance, without giving up comfort. And they wanted even more refinement and features inside—with an interior that they could happily use to take other couples out on a date, or for a weekend-afternoon trip to Wine Country, for instance.

‘Jet Age’ interior inspiration—and no woodgrain, thank you

So Nissan reached out for something new, and sculpted the interior after the early jet age of the 1960s, “when travelers were pampered with luxury and flew with style,” elucidated Ken Lee, the senior creative manager with Nissan Design America, where the Murano was designed.

In short, we love the result. The wraparound look doesn’t limit interior space, and there are plenty of fresh details. For instance, there’s no woodgrain anywhere inside—no fake woodgrain either. Instead, there’s a brushed-metal style trim used for the interior beltline and door and console inserts; but even better, we’d choose the light-colored material that looks a bit like Mid Century Modern linoleum.

All the while, there’s a simple layout to the interior. Nissan has reduced the number of physical buttons from 25 down to 10, but used them where they make sense—like for the climate control—and there’s a straightforward infotainment system that responds well to navigation and infotainment needs.

In California’s Napa Valley region, during the #rainpocalypse this past week, we piloted several different front- and all-wheel drive versions of the Murano, finding it confident and surefooted—and perhaps more notably, finding the interior sublimely quiet and isolated from the gales and pouring rain.

Familiar goods under the hood

The Murano doesn’t have anything groundbreaking under the hood, but its familiar 3.5-liter V-6, making 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, feels quick, smooth, and relatively responsive with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which is essentially a version of what’s used in the Pathfinder.

The Murano also doesn’t have the issue that affects a lot of its other CVT-equipped vehicles—sluggishness at lower speeds when you need a quick burst of power. Thanks to plentiful low-rev torque from this engine, it gathers speed quickly as the CVT lowers the ratio. And if you accelerate at more than half throttle (but not quite full throttle) you’ll find the transmission now follows some pronounced ‘gears’ along the way—as part of a so-called ‘D-step’ strategy.

The way the Murano rides and handles is very carlike, and much like that of a large sedan—albeit maybe with a little more body lean. The electrohydraulic rack-and-pinion steering has a good, relaxed feel on center, and it loads up nicely. One thing to keep in mind is that models with the 18-inch wheels handle just as well as those with the 20-inch wheels—except for a slight bit more precision in quick transitions. With the larger wheels, you do introduce more road harshness as well.

Composed ride, comfortable seats, conversation alley

In any case, the ride is composed and very comfortable. So is the seating, which has been conceived to be just as accommodating to those in back as in front. The so-called Zero Gravity design—for more back support—not only applies to the front seats but to the outboard seats in back. And while the front seats didn’t entirely win us over, those back seats we’d venture to say are best-in-class.

With a wide center console and those impressive seats, Nissan terms the middle area of the vehicle conversation alley; considering the quiet interior, you should have no problem catching up with back-seat passengers while cruising along.

Thanks to reduced weight and improved aerodynamics, the Murano is about 20 percent more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model, Nissan says. That leads to new EPA ratings of 20 mpg city, 28 highway for the entire model line—and our 24-mpg average over a mix of road conditions suggests you might see about that or better in real-world driving.

The Murano has always fit into a different place in the market than most of Nissan’s other vehicles. Like the Maxima, it’s more of a gateway to luxury-brand models; and in its best-equipped models, it’s a full-fledged luxury vehicle in all but the badge.

Top-of-the-line Platinum breaks into luxury territory

This year that’s underscored with the introduction of a new, top-of-the-line Platinum model that adds things like ventilated front seats, heated back seats, LED headlamps, and power-folding rear seatbacks. Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert is included, and on the Platinum and the next-highest SL you can opt for a Tech Package that adds Blind Spot Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, and Predictive Forward Collision Warning.

How does the Murano add up for value? That’s one we’re still pondering. In all, the top Murano SL and Platinum models feel like true rivals to the Lexus RX 350 or Acura MDX. But at about $46k for a loaded Platinum they’re not priced much higher.

We tend to think that the Murano S and SV models, with their low-to-mid-30s price tags, offer the strongest value of the lineup. That’s where you can actually stop focusing on what the Murano doesn’t have and instead relish what it does have: stunning good looks, an ease about the driving experience, and a true four-adult interior that might just remind you how much fun road-tripping can be.

As read on: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1095800_2015-nissan-murano-first-drive

Can You Really Drive a Nissan GT-R Every Day?

That’s the million – err, $100,000 question isn’t it? Can you really drive a Nissan GT-R every day? You know, to the grocery store, to pick up the kids from school, to grab a burrito? I wanted to find out, so Nissan gave me a brand-new, 2015 GT-R to drive around every day for a week.

With any GT-R, the initial impression is pretty clear — it’s big, it’s comfortable, and it will give you neck problems if you push on the gas hard enough. The thing is blisteringly fast from a standstill. Even at higher speeds, the 3.8-liter V6 pushes it more than I was even willing to.

But forget that impressive power. Forget the 0-60 time. Forget the torque meter and the lap timer. Is the Nissan GT-R really an “everyday supercar” as most people claim? I wanted to find out for myself.

Acquiring Socks

I had to go buy socks. Normally that’s a pretty easy thing to do. Go to the store. Park as close as possible. Acquire socks. Exit quickly. But I’m driving a $100,000 supercar. That means I had to park pretty darn far for these socks.

It’s not so much that the GT-R won’t fit in normal parking spots, or navigate through parking lots. Even when parked out of every possible human being’s way you still expect to walk out and see a giant scratch or dent. Or some a-hole leaning up against it taking pictures. So much anxiety.

And then the gym. I watched it through the window in-between sets.

Mission: Fast Food

Americans love getting fast food. So for the sake of science, I planned to make a quick drive-thru run in the Nissan. But as I pulled up to the entrance, those daunting curbs, that sharp corner, that tall window; I gave up. I went to Chipotle down the street instead.

I felt ashamed. Mostly because of the idea of fast food, but also because I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to make it into that tight space. I just didn’t want to risk a scratch or ding to the rim. Mission: Failed.

To the Park

My initial plan was to get my 17-pound shitzu, and strap her in the passenger seat. Then I remembered that I don’t want Nissan to hate me, so I didn’t do that. Instead, I drove the park sans shitzu to meditate on the spirit of the GT-R/play on the playground. It was quite lovely, actually.

Lo and behold, the GT-R doesn’t have a problem parking in some grassy areas. Again, as long as your park it as far away as humanly possible. I didn’t hoon it, Nissan, I promise.

Junk in the Trunk

The GT-R is a big car, which is sort of weird when you look at the rest of Japanese car culture. It’s got American-sized, comfy leather seats, a back seat fit for amputees, and a ginormous trunk. Ginormagantuan.

I managed to fit a fold up tent, a fold up chair, and a pack of beer in the back with some room to spare. I mean, it took some finagling, but they all fit pretty snuggly. Not bad considering most other supercars in this price range don’t have that much room to boot.

Tongue-in-cheek review aside, I sincerely think you can drive a Nissan GT-R every day. To an extent. Unlike Jalopnik’s Doug DeMuro – who did a similar review with his Ferrari 360 – the GT-R is actually a more practical choice, for about the same price. Go figure. It drives easy, it gets decent enough mpg (16 city/23 highway), and if you take some Xanax you should be fine with leaving it out in public. Just make sure to take her out to her natural habitat – a track – every once in a while.

8/10, would drive every day again.

As read on: http://news.boldride.com/2014/11/nissan-gt-r-review/63113/

Nissan Group becomes No. 1 full-line manufacturer in EPA’s annual fuel economy review

– Nissan Group takes lead as most fuel efficient full-line automaker with largest year-over-year improvement among any automotive manufacturer

– Lightweight engineering strategy, improved aerodynamics and efficient transmissions drive fuel economy improvements

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Group is the most fuel efficient full-line automaker in the United States, according to the 2014 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Trends” Report. Nissan’s fleet-wide fuel economy rating of 26.2 combined1 mpg was highest among all full-line automakers in the annual report, which is the authoritative reference on new light-duty vehicle carbon dioxide emissions, fuel economy and powertrain technology trends in the United States.

Nissan’s 26.2 combined mpg rating, based on 2013 model-year Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, marks a 2.1 combined mpg (8.7 percent) improvement over 2012 model-year Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, the largest year-over-year gain among all manufacturers. The 26.2 combined mpg mark is 4.4 percent more efficient than the No. 2 spot and exceeds the full-line automaker industry average (manufacturers offering vehicles for sale in every product segment) of 23.3 combined mpg by 12.4 percent.

As a full-line automobile manufacturer, Nissan sells passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs, mid-size and full-size pickup trucks, compact and full-size vans, a taxi, vehicles with V-8 engines, a 545-horsepower supercar, luxury hybrid vehicles, and a zero-emissions plug-in battery electric vehicle – a range of products to meet consumer needs across the full spectrum of product segments.2

“Reaching this point is a direct result of a dedicated company-wide effort to scrutinize every aspect of each new model to extract the most fuel efficiency possible,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America. “Our engineers and designers have worked hard to get us here, and we look to continuously improve fuel efficiency of our models to face the challenges of future regulations while surpassing customer expectations.”

The realization of this accomplishment came in part due to the introduction of three all-new fuel-efficient models for the 2013 model year – Altima, Pathfinder and Sentra.  These models each brought a significant improvement in fuel efficiency to the marketplace compared to their predecessors. Average combined fuel economy for the 2013 Altima sedan improved 4 mpg or 14.8 percent. The most fuel-efficient 2013 Sentra model improved from 30 mpg to 34 mpg combined, or just over 13 percent compared to the model it replaced. The 2013 Pathfinder SUV saw the largest gains, with an almost 30-percent year-over-year improvement and a combined fuel economy of 22 mpg4.

Fuel economy improvements are attributed to several key engineering advancements such as reduced powertrain friction, improved aerodynamics and the use of efficient Xtronic transmissions. Nissan also employs an engineering lightweight strategy to all new models to significantly reduce vehicle curb weight – a key factor to improving fleet fuel economy. Nissan reduced the weight of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder by 500 pounds, the 2013 Nissan Sentra by 150 pounds and 80 pounds for the 2013 Nissan Altima.

Nissan expects continued improvements in future model years. Next year’s report will include the Rogue, which was completely redesigned for model year 2014 and achieves a capable combined average of 28 mpg – 3 mpg better than the model it replaced5. The trend will continue with future models like the all-new 2015 Murano and next-generation Maxima, as well as the upcoming all-new Titan full-size pickup truck. Murano features an ultra-low, sports-car-like .31 coefficient of drag, lower curb weight and efficiency improvements in its powertrain. Maxima and Titan will also feature improved efficiency without compromise to the customer.

For more on Nissan’s fuel efficient vehicle line-up, visit NissanNews.com/FuelEconomy. To view the entire EPA Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends Report, please visit http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/fetrends/1975-2014/420s14001.pdf.

2015 Nissan Versa Note is smartly packaged hatchback

The 2015 Nissan Versa Note five-door hatchback is one of the lowest-priced new cars in the U.S. market and is affordable at the gas pump, too.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, for a base, front-wheel drive, 2015 Versa Note with five-speed manual transmission: just $14,990. This makes it one of the lowest-priced new cars in the U.S. market.

A 2015 Versa Note with continuously variable transmission (CVT) that a driver operates like an automatic is $16,240. But even at that price, you could buy two Versa Notes for the price of an average new vehicle these days.

Gasoline mileage is another reward for budget-conscious shoppers. The top federal government fuel economy ratings for the 2015 Versa Note are a noteworthy 31 miles per gallon in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway, for an average of 35 mpg — the third-best figures for any non-hybrid and non-electric hatchback.

This is for the 2015 Versa Note with CVT and standard, active grille shutters that improve aerodynamics by automatically closing off some grille openings once the car is moving at more than 20 miles per hour.

In fact, filling the car’s 10.8-gallon tank costs only $37 at today’s prices, and a full tank can take you an estimated 378 miles.

And this is no cramped compact. The extremely roomy back seat’ can easily accommodate adults. Indeed, the 38.3 inches and 38 inches of back-seat legroom and headroom, respectively, in the compact Versa Note are more than that of the back seat of the larger, 2015 Chevrolet Malibu sedan.

Competitors to the Versa Note include low-priced, five-door hatchbacks such as the 2015 Honda Fit, which starts at $16,315 with six-speed manual and $17,115 with CVT. There’s also the 2015 Kia Rio 5-Door with a starting MSRP, including destination charge of $14,790 with five-speed manual and $17,900 with automatic transmission.

Don’t confuse the Versa Note with the plainer-looking Nissan Versa sedan that has a starting retail price of $12,800. The Versa Note’s tall hatchback body style is more attractive and makes for more practical interior space. But the 15-inch base wheels look small on the 5-foot-tall Versa Note.

Not much has changed for the 2015 model year, which is only the model’s second year.

Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is now a standard feature on all models, and there are two new trim levels — SR and SV — that have more features.

The test car was an SR, which included stylish, suede seats, rear spoiler, fog lamps, sport grille and front and rear fascias, rearview camera and 16-inch, alloy wheels. Yet despite the sporty add-ons, the SR had the fuel-saving CVT and the same, 109-horsepower four cylinder that’s in all Versa Notes.

Acceleration was not quick, but it was steady and was accompanied by droning sounds from the CVT. Drivers who are accustomed to regular automatics, which have defined shift points that drop the engine revs, will wait and wait for the Versa Note’s high rev sounds to die down.

Torque from the Versa Note’s 1.6-liter, double overhead cam four cylinder peaks at a meager 109 foot-pounds at 4,400 rpm. This is less than the 114 foot-pounds of torque at 4,600 rpm that the 130-horsepower four cylinder in the Honda Fit generates. It’s also less than the 123 foot-pounds at 4,850 rpm that the Kia Rio’s 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter four cylinder generates.

The power difference — and the Versa Note’s light weight of just 2,414 pounds to 2,543 pounds — pays off in fuel mileage.

The test Versa Note SR averaged nearly 32 mpg in driving that was a majority city travel, and that was without the driver trying to maximize fuel economy.

Seats are perched a good bit from the car floor. But cushioning felt cheap and could be improved.

Front-seat passengers have good views out. There are good driver views out, too, while making right-hand turns, thanks to a small triangular window that’s built into the base of each windshield pillar — a feature not found in some other cars with upright body styles and thick window pillars.

The Versa Note SR, riding on 16-inch, rather than 15-inch, all-season tires, communicated a good amount of road noise to the passenger cabin, partly because all Versa Note tires are the low rolling resistance kind that are designed to maximize fuel economy.

The car was a nimble handler and easy to maneuver and park, especially in tight parking garages.

And with a car this inexpensive and devoid of flash, a driver doesn’t worry much about leaving it parked on a street, either.

The liftgate at the back opens wide, and a low floor in the Versa Note makes loading easier than in some car trunks.

Total cargo room behind the rear seats is greater than in many car trunks — 18.8 cubic feet. Cargo space expands to 38.3 cubic feet when back seats are folded down.

There is a lot of hard, utilitarian plastic inside the Versa Note on the dashboard and interior doors. It’s not rich-looking.

The 2015 Versa Note earned four out of five stars in federal government crash tests. The car did best in side crash testing, where it garnered a full five stars. The overall average was pulled down, however, by frontal crash testing that rated only three out of five stars for passenger protection.

As read on: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/273759501.html

Nissan Frontier Prototype Powered by Cummins Diesel

When Nissan dropped the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept with a 2.8-liter Cummins diesel four-cylinder under its transparent hood at the 2014 Chicago auto show, it was like a bomb had exploded at McCormick Place. A diesel engine in a compact pickup! (Or something like that, given the Windy City show’s sleepy reputation.) Where have you been all of our lives? Besides every other country, of course.

Indeed, as with driver-side sliding doors on minivans and express-open windows, a diesel-powered compact seemed (and still seems) like a why-haven’t-we-had-this-all-along kind of idea. After all, with prodigious torque and considerable fuel economy advantages over large-displacement gasoline-powered engines, diesels are natural fits for larger pickups, so why not small trucks?

So we were first in line to sample a modestly equipped, Cummins-powered Frontier Crew Cab prototype that Nissan provided for evaluation. And while the powertrain itself was rough and in need of a heavy dose of refinement, what we experienced made us that much more convinced that the diesel compact truck has a future here.

The diesel engine itself is a new, 2.8-liter mill that produces approximately 200 horsepower and a hearty 350 lb-ft of torque, according to Nissan. Being careful not to overstate its claims about the diesel’s capability, Nissan instead is emphasizing the mill’s fuel efficiency, which it says should increase by about 35 percent compared with the gas-powered V-6 in the 2014 Frontier. It will do so while also roughly matching the six-holer’s towing and payload capacities (which can reach up to 6500 and 1480 pounds, respectively). So you don’t have to look it up, the Frontier Crew Cab V-6 achieves an EPA estimated 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway, so we figure that a diesel-powered version would jump into the 22-mpg city/30-mpg highway neighborhood. But compare the power figures to the 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft produced by the V-6 and the 152 horses and 171 lb-ft of the inline-four in the current Frontier, and one can see how anybody who regularly tows a trailer or fills the bed might be attracted to such a machine.

How’s it drive? Well, without balance shafts, optimized engine mounts, and other refinements, the Cummins engine’s current state means it isn’t close to ready for production, even mated as it is to ZF’s versatile 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine vibrates considerably, and is none too discreet with its industrial-sounding, spoon-in-a-blender diesel clatter. And there is “intentional” turbo lag, according to Cummins marketing communications manager Steve Sanders, who rode along with us for the test drive. “You’ll see why.”

Alas, we did, upon our first full-throttle start. The engine roared and we traveled a sluggish initial 30 to 40 feet, then the rear wheels began to spin wildly, prompting us to back off the throttle to regain our grip. Of course, we repeated this procedure at every subsequent opportunity—delayed-reaction burnouts are fun, don’t ya know. Yet, the diesel is eminently drivable when operated with some judiciousness. It’s hardly quick off the line, but the copious reserves of grunt are truly satisfying. We would have loved to load up the bed with a half-ton of stuff and see how it performed, but that will have to wait for another time.

So it works. We had no doubts that it would. Moving forward, we will be interested to see how refined this powertrain becomes as it nudges toward something salable. Truck diesels don’t need to be as whisper-quiet and smooth as those found in modern luxury sedans, but the shaking and valvetrain noise will nonetheless have to be tamed, and the turbo lag will need to be smoothed out before anyone would choose it over a gas V-6. Anything is possible, said Sanders, but to what extent that will happen “depends on how much Nissan wants to spend.” ZF, at least, is a willing partner, although the eight-speed’s electronic shifter design will likely change from the prototype’s current T-shaped handle lifted from the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

So, what are its chances for production? Quite good, at least for the next-generation Frontier, which is still two or three years away. By then, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups will be on the streets with their own 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel. This Frontier would give Nissan a compression-ignition answer to those trucks, one brandishing the Cummins name, no less. Hey, it worked wonders for Dodge and Ram trucks.

It’s too early to nail down a price for the Cummins-powered Frontier, but expect to pay a decent premium over a comparably equipped gas V-6 version. Based on the $25K currently charged for a Frontier S 2WD short-wheelbase Crew Cab V-6 automatic, the Cummins diesel version would likely push $30,000.

Certainly, if enthusiasm among the Nissan and Cummins people dictated the decision, a production Frontier diesel would be here tomorrow. “I hope Nissan goes for it,” said Sanders. “At this point, it would almost be cruel if it didn’t.” We agree.

As read on: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/nissan-frontier-cummins-diesel-prototype-drive-review