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If you Want a Stylish Midsize Sedan, Skip the Camry or Accord and Go with the 2019 Nissan Altima

If you Want a Stylish Midsize Sedan, Skip the Camry or Accord and Go with the 2019 Nissan Altima

You can even have AWD if you want it

Remember that VMotion 2.0 Concept from the 2017 Detroit Auto Show? Well, it wasn’t just a preview of Nissan’s future styling language – it previewed the sixth-gen Altima as well. The best part of that is that the six-gen Altima carries over at least 80-percent of the VMotion 2.0’s exterior styling and is even available with all-wheel drive. It is offered with Nissan’s 248-horsepower VC-Turbo four or a new 2.5-liter four-banger that’s good for 188 horsepower. But, even if it does fall just a hair short on power compared to the competition, it could put quite a damper on Toyota and Honda’s sales figures in the midsize sedan segment based on looks alone.

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2019 Nissan Altima

2019 Nissan Altima

The sixth-generation sedan is here to take on the Camry and Accord

The Altima name goes back to the mid-1980s when it was used on a top-trim line of the Nissan Leopard and the Central American version of the Laurel. It became a stand-alone marque in 1992 when it replaced the Stanza in the U.S. Built in Tennessee starting with the 1993 model year; the Altima became one of the brand’s most successful vehicles in North America. To meet the high demand, Nissan is now building the sedan in two U.S. plants. With annual sales of more than 250,000 units during the past seven years, the fifth-generation is by far the most successful version of the Altima. But the existing sedan is being phased for the 2019 model year, replaced with a new model that broke cover at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

Redesigned from the ground up, the sixth-generation Altima employs a new design language based on the Vmotion 2.0 concept car from 2017. The redesign also introduced a new interior with more premium features, new technology, and, for the first time in this segment, semi-autonomous drive. Things get even better under the hood, where the Altima gained not only a revised version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder but also a brand-new, turbocharged four-banger. The latter replaces the old 3.5-liter V-6. Surprisingly enough, the new turbo-four is the variable compression ratio unit that Nissan debuted under the Infiniti brand. Overall, the sixth-generation Altima is the most advanced sedan in this market, but we will find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Altima.

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Nissan Teases the Next-Gen Altima Before it Debuts at the New York Auto Show

Nissan Teases the Next-Gen Altima Before it Debuts at the New York Auto Show

We’ll see what the Nissan Altima is all about at the end of the month

The Nissan Altima is going to make its debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show. We already know that much after Nissan released a teaser video a month ago. The Japanese automaker isn’t just stopping there, though. It also unveiled a sketch of the new model, complete with exaggerated design cues that suggest that the Altima will receive its share of stylistic updates.

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Nissan Will Debut an All-New Altima at the 2018 New York Auto Show

Nissan Will Debut an All-New Altima at the 2018 New York Auto Show

Automaker’s popular sedan is in its sixth generation

In case you didn’t know, Nissan is bringing a new Altima sedan to the 2018 New York Auto Show. The automaker made that abundantly clear when it released a new teaser video featuring the Empire State Building. So that’s happening. What’s less certain is our expectation of what the new Altima is going to be. Either way, save the date for March 28. The new Nissan Altima is on its way.

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2018 Nissan Maxima - Driven

2018 Nissan Maxima - Driven

The Nissan Maxima is something of an oddity in the automotive landscape. It used to be that the Max was the biggest car in Nissan’s lineup — hence its maximum name. But for the last couple of generations, the Maxima’s size has been matched by its cheaper sister, the Nissan Altima.

This creates all sorts of confusion for some consumers. A friend saw me comparing a Camry to an Altima and said, “Shouldn’t you compare Camry to Maxima?”

No, no you should not. The Maxima is much more of a driver’s car than any Camry, though I admit the new-for-2018 Camry closes the gap a little (more on that in a minute.)

As for anyone else who may be confused by Maxima’s place in the family sedan world, let me put it this way: It punches well above its weight — so much so that, if I were considering spending my money on an entry-level luxury car like a Mercedes CLA or Lexus ES, I’d honestly consider the Maxima in that same pack.

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Watch Nissan's Door-Slamming Robot Torture a Pathfinder with 45,000 slams

Watch Nissan’s Door-Slamming Robot Torture a Pathfinder with 45,000 slams

It only takes three days to replicate a decade of consumer use

Ever think about how many time your car door is opened and closed in its lifetime? Well, Nissan estimates a door will experience 45,000 closing shoved in only ten years. That’s a lot of abrupt stops for the sensitive components inside a door to withstand. To help with quality control, Nissan just installed a robot inside its technical center in Farmington Hills, Michigan. They even gave it a catchy name: Mrs. Doorboto. That’s a clear reference to the classic 1980s song by the Styx, “Mr. Roboto.” For short, though, Nissan folks just call it Rosie.

Rosie only needs three days to subject a car door to 45,000 repetitions of opening and closing. It cycles through every six seconds by using its aluminum “hand” to grab the door handle. Rosie swings the door through its full range before giving it a shove closed. Rinse and repeat… over and over again.

The process helps Nissan pinpoint any parts on or within the door that might prematurely fail. Remember, modern doors have backlit switches that control electric motors that operate a pane of glass raised and lowered by cables through a plastic track. There’s also sound system components like speakers and small plastic clips that hold everything together. It might be a boring three days for Rosie and turn a new Pathfinder into a used crossover, but it’s nice to know Nissan is looking out for long-term durability.

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Scoop: Is the Nissan Xterra in for a resurgence?

Scoop: Is the Nissan Xterra in for a resurgence?

It certainly seems that way...

After running for a decade and a half, Nissan stopped the Xterra’s production in 2015; the obvious reason being dwindling sales. While this mid-size SUV came with a body-on-frame design and impressive off-road skills, it all came at the cost of good city and highway driving. But, rumor has it that the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance is planning to revive the Xterra again at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show.

While the 4Runner is not precisely a new model, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler sure is. With one veteran being too long in the tooth, the Xterra would try to foil the Wrangler’s monopoly in the mid-sized SUV segment. Ford has thrown its hat in as well with the Bronco, but its planned 2020 launch is still far away.

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2017 Nissan Murano Midnight Edition

2017 Nissan Murano Midnight Edition

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

This year’s Chicago Auto Show is shaping up to be a bonanza of special edition models, with every other debut being some sort of tweaked and tuned car, truck, or crossover. Nissan is no different, announcing that no less than five models will now enjoy the Midnight Edition special trimmings. Originally slated solely for the Maxima SR trim grade, the Midnight Edition package now makes its way to the Murano mid-size crossover, bearing visual updates like blacked-out wheels, trim pieces, and aero, as well as offering optional special edition floor mats.

In addition to the Murano, the Midnight Edition package can also be had with the Sentra, Altima, Rogue, and Pathfinder, not to mention the original Maxima as well. The move makes sense for a number of reasons – not only are blacked-out special editions particularly popular right now, but Nissan has divulged that the original Midnight Edition package was included in an impressive 85 percent of sales when it was originally just for the Maxima SR. As such, it makes sense to extend the styling tweaks to the models that make up the majority of Nissan’s U.S. sales.

For the Murano, the Midnight Edition package was made available for the Platinum trim level, the highest in the range. Like the other Midnight Edition models, the Murano Midnight Edition gets new wheels, a black spoiler, black side-view mirrors, and optional special edition floor mats.

The Murano’s exclusive wheels come with a 20-inch diameter and are made from aluminum alloy. The Murano’s roof rails were also painted black for the package, as are the splash guards behind the wheels. The unique floor mats get Midnight Edition badging and a dark coloring.

Speaking of hue, the Midnight Package was originally only offered with black for the exterior body panels, but now it can be added to models painted in Pearl White Cayenne Red, Gun Metallic, and Magnetic Black.

Interestingly, Nissan says adding the package will actually save a few bucks when compared to optioning in all the extras piece by piece. The package is on sale now and retails for $1,195, while the Murano Platinum trim level (sans-Midnight Edition) starts at $39,610.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Murano Midnight Edition.

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2016 Nissan Altima – Driven

2016 Nissan Altima – Driven

A nose job keeps Nissan’s aging sedan looking young(ish)

The fifth-generation Altima debuted for the 2013 model year and Nissan didn’t let it simmer too long before introducing a mid-cycle refresh for the 2016 model year. The refresh is mild at best, consisting of a revised front fascia with Nissan’s V-motion corporate face and swoopy curves that mimic the Maxima’s. The greasy bits and interior remain basically untouched. But are these changes enough to keep the Altima selling at its record pace?

To find out, I spent a week with the 2016 Altima. Granted, the model year is currently rolling towards 2017, but Nissan isn’t making any changes. That makes the 2016 just as good to review.

The Altima is dug in hard against some fearsome competitors. There’s the hot-selling Honda Accord, the surprisingly upscale Volkswagen Passat, and the venerable Toyota Camry. As you might expect, the Toyota leads the segment in sales by a long shot, moving a whopping 429,355 Camries in 2015. Honda follows, having sold 355,557 Accords. Nissan isn’t too far behind, with 333.398 Altimas finding homes in 2015. Year over year, the Altima is maintaining is monthly sales goals in 2016, putting it on track to sell the same number as before.

Numbers aside, the Altima has a lot to offer. Leading headlines is fuel economy. The 2.5-liter Altima gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined. Those are compact sedan numbers. In fact, only the Mazda 6 with its i-Eloop energy recovery system scores better, offering 40 mpg highway.

Despite is frugality, the Altima’s four-cylinder isn’t a complete penalty box. In fact, with its 182 horsepower, the 2.5-liter and CVT combination are surprisingly peppy. Yes, I normally complain about Continuously Variable Transmissions, but Nissan has been building them longer than just about anybody. It seems it has finally eliminated the rubber-banding effect that plagued CVTs of the past.

So, the 2016 Altima has a new face and some impressive fuel economy numbers. But what else does Nissan’s mid-level sedan have to offer? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder

2017 Nissan Pathfinder

The 2017 Pathfinder is better looking than ever with more horsepower and a decent list of updates

In the past, Nissan has had a bad habit of letting the Pathfinder get old, with generations lasting eight to 10 years with a few minor facelifts in between. The fourth generation model made its debut for the 2013 model year and went through an update just a year later. There have been little changes since the last update, but nothing excessively serious. Now, Nissan has announced the 2017 model and, believe it or not, it’s a pretty big deal. As part of the facelift, the Pathfinder finds itself with a new 3.5-liter engine under the hood that offers more power, new front and rear fascias, new and updated technology, and there is even a bump up in towing capacity.

When speaking about the new engine, Michael Bunce – the Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan North America – said, “Like every area of a vehicle, engines evolve. The key in doing so successfully is in understanding where you are going with the changes. With the new Pathfinder, the goal wasn’t to add raw power, it was to enhance driving feel and confidence across the entire rpm range – whether merging on a freeway on-ramp or pulling a trailer full of watercraft up to a mountain lake.”

There really is more to talk about that just that new engine, so let’s take a good look at the 2017 Pathfinder and talk about all the changes that come with the new model year.

Update 08/24/2016: Nissan has finally announced pricing for the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder. Check out the Prices section below for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder.

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2016 Nissan Murano Hybrid

2016 Nissan Murano Hybrid

Nissan quietly adds two hybrid variants to the Murano lineup

Nissan updated the Murano with its new design language when it ushered in the crossovers third-generation model for the 2015 model year. This brought about a redesigned exterior and interior as well as some new technology that helped to bring the crossover up to par with the rest of its respective segment. It may have done so under the radar, but Nissan actually introduced a hybrid version of the Murano for the 2016 model year, which brings a bump in fuel economy. And, despite the fact that hybridization brings about an electric motor, lithium-ion battery back, and a few other components, the Murano Hybrid has the same passenger and cargo room as all of the non-hybrid models.

The Murano Hybrid is offered in mid-level SL trim or as a range-topping Platinum model. Be that as it may, there are actually very few differences between the two that include different wheels, different headlights, and a few other minor differences. That being the case, the Platinum Hybrid is only $2,050 more that the SL Hybrid – a reasonable premium considering the minor differences, but more on that later. For now, let’s dive on into the hybrid version of Nissan halo vehicle in the crossover segment and see what it brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Murano Hybrid.

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2016 Nissan Maxima SR Midnight Edition

2016 Nissan Maxima SR Midnight Edition

Nissan adds a Midnight Edition Package as an option for the Maxima SR

Last year, Nissan offered a limited run of its Midnight Accessories package. The demand for the package was so strong, Nissan decided to one-up its previous production run and start offering the Midnight Edition Package as a factory option for the Nissan Maxima. The downside to the package is that it’s only available on the Maxima in SR trim, so if you’re looking to get your hands on a “dark” Maxima, you’ll have to go with the Sportiest trim available.

The best part about the whole package as a factory installed option is that it comes at a considerable discount. Dan Mohnke – Vice President, Chief Marketing Manager and Marketing Operations – said, “Customer response to our limited production Maxima ’Midnight’ accessories package last summer was so strong, we’ve now made it a factory installed option – and we’re launching it at a $1,000 discount versus what it would cost to order and install the features individually. This special edition combines a more aggressive look with an affordable price, taking the popular SR grade level to an even higher level as enthusiasts’ favorite Maxima.”

An overall discount of $1,000 doesn’t sound too bad at all, does it? The package consists of several different body color options, as well as several exterior modifications. There are a few modifications to the interior, but this package is mainly designed for exterior gratification, so don’t expect much. So, without wasting anymore time, let’s look at what comes on the Maxima SR Midnight Edition.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Nissan Maxima SR Midnight Edition.

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