Archive for the ‘nissan’ Tag

Nissan Juke Vs. Jeep Renegade: Compare Cars

Believe it or not, the Jeep Renegade and Nissan Juke are in the same category of small SUVs. But they could hardly be more different. The Renegade is Jeep’s littlest SUV, with square-cut styling and genuine off-road prowess. The Juke, on the other hand, is a style-first urban warrior whose all-wheel-drive option is more for on-road traction than anything even in the neighborhood of rocky trails or mountain climbing.

New in 2015, the Renegade is the first vehicle developed from the ground up for global sale by the combined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. While it’ll likely sell well in North America, its minimal dimensions make it best-suited to bring the Jeep brand to more crowded and less affluent markets in Europe, Asia, and South America. Its design is every inch classic SUV, with oversize lights and other details for visual interest.
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The interior is straightforward, modern, and contains a number of Jeep-brand reminders in the form of “Easter Egg” design elements. The Renegade’s front seats are comfortable, but there’s not that much room in the rear unless rear-seat riders bargain aggressively with those in the front. The seats are comfortable and nicely bolstered, and the Renegade is clearly wider than other AWD entries, meaning the shoulders of the two front-seat riders are suitably separated.

The Juke, on the other hand, has been with us since the 2011 model year. Its wild-style design is polarizing: You either love for it for its in-your-face, tall, haunched, bug-eyed appearance or hate it for the same reasons. A light restyle for 2015 has made it, if anything, even more mean-looking. The Juke’s layout and switchgear are straightforward even if the motorcycle-inspired gauges, shiny nylon upholstery, and colorful inserts give it far more design edge.

Interior space is adequate in the front, with a somewhat upright seating position, but quite cramped in the rear–and the Juke has less cargo space to boot, just 36 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down (which is how we expect most Jukes will be driven), against 51 cubic feet for the Renegade. In the end, the Jeep is simply far better at the utility jobs that many people need: hauling people and stuff.

The Jeep Renegade comes with two powertrain options. The base model is propelled by a 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. If you don’t want to shift for yourself, you’ll move up to the 180-hp 2.4-liter four, which uses the new nine-speed automatic transmission that’s increasingly common in new Chrysler, Jeep, and Fiat products. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional for both engines.

The Nissan Juke is powered by a 188-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with either front- or all-wheel drive, and a continuously variable (CVT) transmission. The CVT makes it somewhat sluggish around town unless you drive it hard, when it tightens up and offers more fun. Performance fans, however, will go for the Juke NISMO or NISMO RS—both offering a manual gearbox. The NISMO RS gets a top-performance version of the same engine, boosted to 215 hp. The NISMO versions also get more than 100 upgrades to suit their hot-hatch personae.

While the NISMOs are in a separate category–they’re smaller competitors to cars like the Subaru WRX and VW Golf GTI–the conventional Juke powertrain just isn’t as direct or enjoyable to drive as the Jeep’s pair. Not to mention that the AWD Juke gave us truly atrocious fuel economy during a test several years ago–only slightly more than 20 mpg.

The Juke’s safety ratings are mixed–not unexpected for an older design–while the Renegade hasn’t yet been rated for crash safety by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2015 Renegade comes in four trim levels: the base Sport (starting at $18,990 for the base 2WD version), the mid-level Latitude ($22,290), and the top-of-the-line Limited ($25,790). All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option. Then there’s the Trailhawk model ($26,990) with its greater off-road capability, which only comes with all-wheel drive and the larger 2.4-liter engine with the nine-speed automatic. All prices above include the mandatory $995 delivery fee.

The 2015 Juke starts at $21,705 and rises to more than $30,000 for a top-spec NISMO model. Even the base Juke S includes Intelligent Key with push-button start, a backup camera, and the NissanConnect system with Mobile Apps and a text message assistant. The mid-range Juke SV adds a moonroof; a rearview camera system; push-button start; satellite radio; the I-CON system; automatic temperature control; and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The top-trim Juke (other than NISMO models) is the SL, which layers on navigation; leather-trimmed seats; and an 8-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofer with six upgraded speakers.

Overall, the Jeep Renegade easily gets the nod here. When the Juke was the sole hot-hatch SUV on the market, it was a new and interesting way to get that capability in a smaller size than the usual compact crossover. But now that we have entries from not only Jeep but also Chevy, Fiat, and even Buick, the Juke comes up short: It’s too small and cramped, and doesn’t offer the sturdy off-roading ability of the littlest Jeep.

Read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1098188_nissan-juke-vs-jeep-renegade-compare-cars?fbfanpage

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Join us at Dick Scott Nissan for our Annual Car Show THIS Saturday, Aug. 1st!

The Great Lakes Z Club and Dick Scott Nissan have teamed up to host our annual car show!

Join us THIS Saturday, August 1

at 11:00am – 3:00pm

At Dick Scott Nissan

42175 Michigan Ave, Canton, Michigan 48188

We will have food on the grill open to participants and spectators.

Judging will start at 12:30 with Trophies sponsored by Dick Scott awarded at 2pm.

18 Trophies will be awarded for the following classes:

People’s Choice Best of Show

GT-R 1st and 2nd Place

370Z / G37 1st and 2nd Place

350Z / G35 1st and 2nd Place

300ZX Z32 1st and 2nd Place

300ZX Z31 1st and 2nd Place

280ZX S130 1st Place

240 / 260 / 280Z S30 1st and 2nd Place

Other Nissan 1st and 2nd Place

Non-Nissan 1st and 2nd Place

Click HERE to check out our Facebook Event for more details and updates!

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

2016 Nissan Maxima First Test Review

The 2016 Nissan Maxima is NOT a four-door Miata, so join me in ignoring the car’s 4DSC (four-door sports car) marketing references straight away. Once you do, you’re left with a damned good SPMS—a semi-premium midsize sedan. For a front-drive car with a $30,000-$40,000 price range, the quick 2016 Maxima is a high-quality package that should find favor with drivers who prioritize fun over the superior rear-seat and trunk space of Nissan’s competitors. The CVT helps the Maxima stand out in a good way, an interesting turnaround considering we deemed the CVT in our long-term 2009 Maxima a “major killjoy.”

So what’s changed? Perhaps even more than our readiness to accept CVTs is the tuning of the 2016 Maxima’s transmission. It’s responsive in Normal and Sport modes (the latter of which ramps up steering weight a lot), and as we found in our First Drive review, getting the car to emit that dreaded CVT whine isn’t easy to do. The CVT is ready for your inputs at least as often as conventional six-speed automatics. The standard-in-every-Maxima Active Sound Enhancement system also adds to the experience by enhancing the strong engine note heard inside the cabin and increasing the driver’s subjective sense of speed.

The 2016 Maxima is objectively quick, too. Every 2016 Maxima is powered by a 300-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with 261 lb-ft of torque, and on the track, the sportier SR and upscale Platinum models both hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Six-cylinder versions of the Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Avalon can keep up with the 2016 Maximas to 50 mph, but those semi-premium midsize/full-size sedans fall back by 60, at 6.2 and 6.3 seconds, respectively. We’ve tested a 2013 Altima 3.5 SL that kept pace with the two 2016 Maximas, clocking a 5.9-second 0-60 time. Although most Maxima buyers won’t seriously consider the BMW 3 Series, those few who do should know they’ll lose streetlight drag races in the Nissan: A 2015 328i Sport Line model we recently tested with an eight-speed automatic accelerated to 60 in 5.4 seconds. Yes, the Maxima exhibits a little torque steer, but only if you’re really looking for it — for example, simultaneously changing lanes and stabbing the throttle from a stop. Whether or not the car is in motion, you’ll turn heads. Nissan has dressed the new Maxima with styling that’s as bold as the car is quick. The Maxima shares a 109.3-inch wheelbase with the Altima, but the flagship sedan is just a bit longer, wider, and lower than the more mainstream four-door. We’d suggest avoiding black or other dark exterior colors to make the most of the Maxima’s wild-for-a-sedan C-pillar design. After all, if you’re going to go Maxima over an Impala, Avalon, Charger, or even Altima, why not maximize the black line that slices through the C-pillar?

That design feature distinguishes every 2016 Maxima, but only the sporty SR trim will add 19-inch wheels with 245/40R19 all-season tires (summer tires are available on the SR), an upgraded suspension, and technology that aims to make the suspension more compliant than you’d expect for the Maxima’s sportiest trim. The SR also eschews the dual panel moonroof on the SL and Platinum trims to lower the center of gravity and increase torsional rigidity. On the highway, associate online editor Stefan Ogbac and I each found that although the Maxima SR does have more tire noise, it’s not so bad that you’d want to take a different car on a road trip. On the track, the Maxima SR’s more sporting credentials helped it turn in a figure-eight performance of 26.0 seconds at 0.72g average, better than the 2014 Chevrolet Impala (27.1 seconds at 0.68g average), the 2013 Toyota Avalon (27.2 seconds at 0.66g average), and 2013 Altima 3.5 SL (27.1 seconds at 0.66g average). The 2016 Maxima SR proved an even match for the lighter but less powerful 2015 BMW 328i we recently tested that completed the figure-eight course in 26.0 seconds at 0.73g average. The more luxury-focused 2016 Maxima Platinum model, which is still fun to drive, was good for a respectable time of 27.0 seconds at 0.69g average. We Real MPG tested the 2016 Maxima SR at 22.4/30.2 R-MPG city/highway, just about even with its 22/30 mpg EPA ratings.

Although testing director Kim Reynolds wasn’t a fan of the Maxima SR’s long steering-column-mounted paddle shifters, overall, he appreciated its track performance. “The car has nice grip, a good turn-in when the transmission is behaving, and solid power,” Reynolds said. “[This is] a well-developed platform that ought to be attractive to buyers who’d prefer German sedan driving attributes.” So the 2016 Maxima is entertaining, but it’s not as capacious inside as you might think. The car is definitely comfortable if you consider it as a midsize sedan, but similarly priced but less sporty cars such as the Impala and Avalon have it beat in terms of rear-seat space and trunk capacity.

Then there’s the potential issue of insurance costs. IntelliChoice says the last-generation Maxima had higher-than-average insurance costs, and although the new 2016 Maxima could eliminate this problem, it’s too early to tell one way or the other. Still, the 2016 Maxima offers a great mix of style and driving fun not found on too many four-doors less than $40,000, other than the comparison-test-winning Mazda6. Unless you’re absolutely set on the sportier SR trim, consider the mid-level $37,715 SL. The 2016 Maxima SL lacks the quilted seat inserts of the SR and Platinum (finished in Alcantara on the SR) and the Platinum’s power-operated steering column and Around View Monitor multi-camera parking system, but you still get plenty of content. The Maxima SL features include navigation on an 8-inch touchscreen, hands-free keyless access, leather seats, an 11-speaker Bose sound system, front and rear sonar sensors, the dual-panel moonroof, and Nissan’s suite of active safety tech. It includes an adaptive cruise control system that works well but deactivates when you come to a stop. Buyers who want more than the average midsize sedan can offer but know how quickly the MSRP adds up on German luxury sport sedans should definitely add the 2016 Nissan Maxima to their shopping list. As long as expectations are kept in check in terms of interior and cargo space, the Maxima is one of the better semi-premium midsize sedans around.

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1507_2016_nissan_maxima_first_test_review/viewall.html#ixzz3fESzOTyj

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

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/

SUV Review: 2015 Nissan Juke SL

The crossover, or CUV, is the evolution of large utility platforms to the compact runabouts we see everywhere today.

These small SUV and hatchback designs represent the current trend in automotive design due to their compact size, nimble handling, and relatively good fuel economy.

Nissan should be given credit for initiating this movement, as when the Juke first arrived in 2011, it became the cornerstone for this niche market.

The Nissan Juke is a diminutive vehicle with a big personality, and has been a real success in Europe. However, it has taken a while for the unique-looking runabout to establish a solid fan base here in North America.

One such Juke-ite is my good friend Joanna Dougan, who purchased a second-hand 2011 demo unit with 4,000 kilometres on the clock back in 2012. I turned to Joanna to point out what had been changed for the 2015 model year, as the Juke has undergone a mid-cycle refresh to help maintain sales momentum.

“I didn’t buy the Juke for mileage, as I have a Nissan Versa for that purpose and I don’t drive all that much, as my daily commute is quite short,” Dougan said. “I bought it for the all-wheel-drive as I live in a rather remote area and the roads can be a challenge at the best of times. It handles these roads with ease, and has proven to be a lot of fun to drive.”

After slipping behind the new Juke’s wheel she was quick to point out that very little, if anything has been changed with regards to the car’s interior.

“I don’t see any real changes on the inside, but I must say that I am not thrilled with the white trim on this vehicle.”

The trim in question is part of a new optional styling package called Colour Studio. Buyers can order up to 12 different accessory pieces in one of eight different colours to add some extra flair to the vehicle and help enhance its unique appearance. These pieces can be ordered piecemeal and added on to the vehicle after purchase at the dealership, or you can order them with the car prior to delivery. Our test car featured this package in bright white, and the contrast seemed to detract from the Juke’s visual appeal.

“I like that you have the ability to raise the seat with ease, as visibility can be an issue. The oversized side mirrors also help. My car doesn’t have the rear-view camera like this one, but I am quite tall so I can see out better than shorter drivers,” Joanna said.

The 360-degree camera system is really neat however, and I like how the indicators follow the direction of travel when I put it in reverse.

“The controls are all the same, although I don’t have the navigation unit, just a CD audio system. I see these tech devices as a distraction. I use a navigation application on my phone instead.”

The car itself has a revised front fascia that incorporates a new grille design, complete with a larger and much more prominent chrome nose piece. Advanced projector headlamps are also new, as are the boomerang shaped LED signature lamps. The latter derive their shape from the lighting featured on Nissan’s iconic 370Z sports car.

At the rear of the Juke the vehicle now sports a more aggressive bumper design and fascia, and the high intensity tail lights are also sculpted in the boomerang shape. Further accessory elements can be added to either fascia as part of the Colour Studio option program.

Surprisingly the 17-inch light alloy wheels are a carryover design identical to those on Joanna’s 2011 model.

Under the hood resides the second generation of Nissan’s 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This peppy little powerplant features direct injection and Nissan’s engineers have incorporated some changes to help reduce internal mechanical friction to help enhance fuel economy.

The engine now has a broader torque curve due to a higher compression ratio and some modifications made to the turbo. This has made the Juke’s driving experience more spirited, lowered emissions, and improved overall fuel economy.

The engine produces 188 horsepower and 177 foot-pounds of torque, and power delivery is very consistent. The unit tested was the top-of-the-line SL model with all-wheel-drive. Base models are front-wheel-drive and fitted with a six-speed manual transmission.

Our test vehicle featured the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This is the choice for the majority of units sold in Canada. Initial acceleration can be a chore as the CVT hunts a bit at first, but once the car gets up to speed, it will inspire confidence.

The Nissan Juke is most in its element when the road gets twisty and you operate it in Sport mode. At about 3,000 rpm, the car comes to life and is very adept at getting power smoothly to the ground.

“Handling feels the same, and the turning radius is unmatched. It feels very composed on the highway despite its short wheelbase, and holds the line I choose with ease when I am cornering at speed.”

“It is so easy to get around in and very comfortable to drive. The Juke has more than enough power, especially when you roar around in Sport mode. My husband loves the power.”

“I really like having the ability to shift gears on my own and to select a drive mode at the touch of a button. I use the Sport mode when we go to the mountains to shoot up the hills and zoom through corners. It is great to have the extra power!” Joanna said.

The Juke is a rather odd vehicle, as it appears to have been designed more for form than actual function. As a result, you either like the look or are quick to dismiss it. This is unfortunate, as the car really reveals its true self when you get behind the wheel. It is a lot of fun to drive.

Joanna has her own unique sense of style, so the Juke seems like a natural fit for the active career woman. “I get a lot of weird looks from people due to the Juke’s odd styling, but I like to be a little different.”

If she had one complaint it is a common one with critics of the Juke’s design.

“The rear seats aren’t overly comfortable and the rear cabin is lacking legroom. However, as it is just me and my husband most of the time, this isn’t a huge issue,” she says.

“It has enough utility for my needs and it has just enough room for what I need to carry. The Versa had more room, especially in the rear compartment, but this works for our current situation.”

Joanna’s experience with her own Juke has had its hiccups, but she still seems to feel that she made the right choice for her needs.

“I have has a few problems, especially with windshield wipers. It seems like the motor is too weak to propel the extra-large wiper blade. I also had to have the transmission replaced. It was a warranty repair, and the technicians said it was the first one they ever had to do. Despite these problems, the car runs great and I really like how it drives.”

In fact, Joanna is so smitten with her Juke that she says that if she ever decides to get rid of it, she would consider buying another one.

The Juke was made to navigate through the tight confines of the urban environment, but wants a little more utility and the availability of all-wheel-drive.  The car’s funky look continues to evolve and will appeal to those individuals who like to stand out for having their own unique style.

Read more at: http://driving.ca/nissan/juke/reviews/road-test/suv-review-2015-nissan-juke-sl

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

The 2015 Nissan Murano goes head-to-head with the Ford Edge

If you decide that you want a stylish, roomy mid-size utility vehicle—one that drives like a car—and you don’t need a third row, or any rugged pretense, then the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano are two of the better picks on the market. And if you narrow your priorities to vehicles that look conceived for adults—not just as rolling cribs and diaper bins—then the Murano and Edge stand atop an even smaller list.

Both models are indeed stylish, mature, and sophisticated, but in very different ways. The Murano wears an especially bold face, with the new corporate ‘V-motion’ grille and boomerang headlights and taillights that frame some especially handsome contouring. Inside, the Murano has a swoopy, V-shaped design that’s equally radical, and distinct trims verge away from the woodgrain, piano-black plastic, and excessive brightwork that’s so common in premium interiors. The Edge, on the other side, looks sporty and athletic, with its contours and details feeling carefully calculated to fit right in with Ford’s existing lineup. On the inside, the Ford hits all the right cues for sporty and premium, although we think the Murano’s distinct look inside and out gives it a solid advantage in styling.

Performance-wise, these two models are polar opposites as well. While the Ford Edge now relies mostly on turbocharged, so-called EcoBoost engines and six-speed automatic transmissions—a non-turbo V-6 is there as more of a token offering—the Murano goes a more traditional route underhood, with a naturally aspirated V-6 the sole engine for the lineup. In the Murano, it’s paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that does its job in keeping engine revs under control while all you notice is plenty of acceleration on tap when you need it—with little of the rubber-band responses that plagued former CVTs. On the other hand, you’re much more aware of the powertrain in the Edge, as it has crisp, well-coordinated shifts. And hold on before you think you’re getting a much more fuel-efficient vehicle with the EcoBoost Edge; it’s a virtual tie against the V-6 Murano.

Ride and handling is very different between these two, with the Edge offering a rather firm but muted feel—more in line with German luxury crossovers, really—while the Murano has an equally quiet yet more plush ride that makes it a closer counterpoint to the Lexus RX. The Edge has a serious edge in handling, we think, as its precise steering and well-tuned suspension allow it to feel like a lower vehicle than it is when the road gets twisty. But considering the Murano’s strong, unobtrusive powertrain, we give the Edge only a slight edge here.

One note: The Ford Edge is offered in a performance-oriented Edge Sport model, which adds a twin-turbo, 2.7-liter V-6, making 315 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. With suspension and steering changes that bring a firmer, more communicated, plus serious appearance changes on the outside—most notably, brightwork replaced with a blacked-out look.

Inside is where the Edge and Murano compare most easily in an A-to-B sense. While the two feel (and are) a virtual tie when it comes to cargo space, versatility, and general usability, we have to give the Edge demerits here for its flat, unsupportive seats. The Murano’s back seats especially shame those in the Edge, with their excellent contouring in outboard positions, while in the Ford the frame of the Vista Roof can interfere with headroom for taller occupants.

Full crash-test results aren’t yet available for either of these recently redesigned models. Both of these models save some of their best active-safety technology—like Predictive Forward Collision Warning on the Pathfinder, or Lane Keep Assist and inflatable rear seatbelts on the Edge—for option packages on top-of-the-line models.

Feature-wise, both of these models are presented with a sort of two-pronged approach: with tantalizing value-oriented base models that offer an interesting alternative to smaller, more mass-market models, as well as fully-kitted-out top-trim models that match up against luxury-brand models in all but the badge. At the base level, the base Murano S comes with a bit more than the Edge—with dual-zone climate control and a decent apps-compatible infotainment system standard—but at the top end we’ll call the Edge the winner in the features race by a slight bit, as it can be equipped with things like an Active Park Assist system that will let the Edge park itself, even into a perpendicular spot, as you manage the accelerator and brake pedals.

Who’s the winner here? The Edge only has it if you place more weight on handling, and a more European feel (especially with the Edge Sport), or if you really must have the edge on technology features. Otherwise it’s the Murano, as its like-no-other styling, plush ride, confident performance, and very comfortable seating add up to something that’s quite compelling.

As read on: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1097256_nissan-murano-vs-ford-edge-compare-cars