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2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition

Special features for a somewhat special car

While everyone is going stir crazy over the Nissan Z Proto’s arrival, Nissan has quietly unveiled a special edition model for one of its veteran nameplates. It’s called the Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition, and, as the name clearly indicates, it’s a celebratory model of the Maxima’s 40-year run in the U.S.

Yes, the Maxima has been in America that long. It’s the longest-running nameplate in the country, and to mark that occasion, Nissan went all-out in dressing the Maxima 40th Anniversary with all the bells and whistles.

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2020 Nissan Murano - Driven

2020 Nissan Murano - Driven

An SUV that covers all the bases well but doesn’t excel in any of them

The Nissan Murano has been around for quite some time now and is fairly popular in the market. It isn’t the best-selling SUV in the segment, but it rakes in decent sales numbers for the Japanese automaker.

Named after an Italian city, the Murano slots between the Rogue and the Pathfinder in Nissan’s lineup. The Murano’s last generation change came back in 2015, which means the next-gen is on the horizon. The company has given the SUV a few facelifts that make it look fresh, though. The Murano arrived at TopSpeed’s HQ recently, and here are our impressions about this SUV.

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2020 Nissan Altima - Driven

2020 Nissan Altima - Driven

Ultimately, an honest set of wheels

For the past two years, Nissan has been selling about 210,000 Altimas, the mid-size sedan that’s been lurking in the shadows behind its Japanese peers from Honda and Toyota since 2014. The introduction of the sixth-generation model in 2018 didn’t turn the tides in Nissan’s favor and we drove a range-topping Platinum with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine to see why more people and businesses choose an Accord or a Camry over the Altima.

Fresh-faced and with a variety of clever features such as semi-autonomous driving functions, the Altima is Nissan’s bid to regain the lead in the once-booming mid-size sedan segment. While people generally moved away from sedans in favor of MPVs and SUVs, the big players in the market still move in excess of 320,000 units a year of their best-selling models and Nissan hopes the Altima, a $24,000 proposition in its cheapest form, can keep the company’s otherwise leaking boat from sinking.

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2019 Nissan Rogue - Driven

2019 Nissan Rogue - Driven

In a world where SUVs and crossovers constantly evolve, the Nissan Rogue falls in the middle

The Nissan Rogue is in its second generation, but it has been soldiering on since it was introduced in 2014 with only a mild facelift in 2017 and a safety equipment update in 2018. With all of the wide selection of compact SUVs on the market, we thought it would be a good idea to see how the aging Rogue holds up on an oh-so-competitive market. Does the Rogue’s appearance, interior comfort, safety systems, and technology hold up against the ever-growing crop of small crossovers or is Nissan in dire need of majorly updating the Rogue? Well, we found that out for ourselves and more – this is our experience with the 2020 Nissan Rogue.

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2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition

Adds cool features to an old SUV

The Rock Creek Edition is a special-edition version of the Nissan Pathfinder that includes new accessories and a few extra features at no additional cost. Introduced at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, it freshens up the somewhat dated fourth-generation Pathfinder, which was launched in 2012 and went through a mid-cycle upgrade for the 2017 model year. Offered on SV and SL grades (no soup for you if you want the base model or the range-topping Platinum trim), it costs only $995. Nissan says it will save you $1,315 compared to a similar vehicle with all those features ordered separately, but is it worth it? Let’s find out in the review below.

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2019 Nissan Maxima

2019 Nissan Maxima

Nissan’s flagship sedan gets minor updates and loads of new safety and tech features

Nissan’s participation at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show included the introduction of the 2019 Nissan Maxima. An updated version of the eighth-generation A36 Maxima in L.A. for the 2019 model year with a subtle exterior refresh to go along with a suite of new safety technologies. Nissan hopes that the updates are enough to stem the tide of declining sales that has plagued not only the Maxima but the entire sedan market in the U.S. As Nissan’s longest-running nameplate — the Maxima has been around since 1981 — there’s a lot of pressure on the 2019 Maxima to live up to, or even exceed, the expectations that Nissan has for it. The 2019 model goes on sale in mid-December.

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2019 Nissan Altima Edition ONE

2019 Nissan Altima Edition ONE

Small styling upgrades and extra tech help to introduce the sixth-gen Altima

Nissan released the Altima as a compact four-door sedan back in the early ‘90s, updating it to a mid-size model in 2001. The latest sixth-generation vehicle debuted at the New York International Auto Show earlier in 2018, and now, the Japanese automaker is offering a limited-run variant dubbed the Edition ONE. Designed for “early adopters” who love their tech and “value exclusivity,” this Altima comes with a few nice touches to help it stand out from the crowd.

Continue reading to learn more about what makes the Nissan Altima Edition ONE special.

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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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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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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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