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2017 Nissan Titan XD Single Cab

2017 Nissan Titan XD Single Cab

Nissan’s first single-cab Titan aims for the workin’ man

The second-generation Nissan Titan and its heavy-duty counterpart, the Titan XD are the newest members of the full-size pickup segment. The “heavier-duty” Titan XD arrived in dealers for the 2016 model year, while the half-ton Titan will hit showrooms for 2017. Missing until now was a single cab version. Now as both the Titan and Titan XD roll out for 2017, both trucks can be had in a regular cab, long bed configuration.

Nissan’s obvious target is the fleet and commercial segment where regular cab, work trucks offer all the capability of their extended and crew cab counterparts, but with less buy-in cost. Sure, there’s only room for three, but until the late 1990s, that was normal for most pickups.

"Once we complete the roll-out of all Titan cab, bed, powertrain, and grade level configurations, our all-new Titan family will cover about 85 percent of the total light pickup marketplace," said Rich Miller, the chief product specials for Titan and Titan XD. "More importantly, “ he continues, “the Titan XD and Titan single cabs will have the power, torque, heavy duty chassis, and durability demanded by today’s demanding worksites – including the highest towing capacities and payloads in the lineup."

Did you catch that? The regular cab versions of the Titan trucks will have the highest payload and towing specs of the trucks’ lineups.

The addition of a regular cab also means Titan XD customers can choose from the three traditional cab sizes with three bed lengths. Like all trucks in the industry, the available wheelbase lengths limit the number of cab and bed configuration. You can’t get a regular cab, short bed Titan XD even if you wanted it. Nissan could potentially make that combination available on the half-ton Titan in the future.

Both the Titan and Titan XD regular cabs will be available the S and SV trims, giving fleet managers a choice between the base and mid-grade levels. In the Titan XD, two engine options and two drivetrain options are given. This includes the heavily revised 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 and the new 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 turbodiesel, along with the choice of 2WD or 4WD with either engine.

So let’s dive into the Titan XD regular cab for all the details.

Continue reading for more information.

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Follow the Pathfinder's 30-Years Evolution

Follow the Pathfinder’s 30-Years Evolution

How did the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder become what it is?

Nissan’s heavily revised Pathfinder has broke cover and making the rounds on the interwebz. The 2017 model marks the first major update for the fourth-generation Pathfinder and brings the further adoption of the latest driver assistance features and tech equipment. A lower drag coefficient, a new V-6 with direct injection, an updated Around View monitor system – all showing the Pathfinder has grown up to become a quasi-luxury crossover ready for the masses.

But that’s not how the Pathfinder got its start.

Nope, it was back in 1987 that Nissan debuted the original Pathfinder. It basically boiled down to a Nissan Hardbody pickup truck with a permanent camper shell attached to its bed and a second row of seats between the rear fender wells. In other words, it was like every other body-on-frame SUV at the time – a derivative of a pickup truck.

But like most every other SUV, time made the Pathfinder soft. The second generation debuted for the 1996 model year and brought a unibody design into the picture. The Pathfinder still had respectable off-road chops, but it was somewhat more limited than its predecessor. Unconventionally, however, the Pathfinder returned to a body-on-frame design for its third generation in 2005. It shared plenty of components with the more rugged Xterra SUV, as well.

Things got really different in 2013. The fourth generation Pathfinder abandoned its boxy shape and frame rails for an unquestionably softer and more rounded appearance. The unibody architecture returned, making its ride more car-like, though its interior became more functional.

Now for 2017, the Pathfinder adopts new technology that makes it more efficient, more powerful, a better tow vehicle, and safer for its passengers and those around it. The times, they are a changin’ – as one musician put it. While we certainly miss the rugged nature of the original Pathfinder, it’s impossible to doubt Nissan’s aim at the masses with this versatile crossover.

Let’s have a look at the Pathfinder’s history in detail.

Continue reading for the full run-down.

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2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

Winners and losers from CAS 2016, plus what went missing

The gates are open at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and with those pesky journalists finally out of the way, the public can now enjoy all the vehicular goodness that North America’s “largest” auto show can muster. Special editions, refreshes, and brand-new models all dropped cover this year, with crossovers and SUVs served up as the main course, and new sedans and sports cars added as a tasty side dish. Picking winners and losers here is not exactly easy, but hey, this isn’t some elementary school talent show. Time to be ruthless.

There were a few clear standouts for Best In Show right from the start, but cutthroat competition to fill the remaining slots quickly followed. Picking vehicles for Worst In Show was also pretty tricky, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks.

So, without further ado…

Continue reading for the Best and Worst In Show at CAS 2016.

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2017 Nissan Armada Unveiled

2017 Nissan Armada Unveiled

A new look, more equipment, and extra horsepower for the next generation

We’re still a day away from the official launch of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, but Nissan is getting an early start with the unveiling of the new 2017 Armada. Now entering its second generation, the flagship full-size SUV receives significant updates to the exterior, interior, and drivetrain, all of which fall in line with additional refreshes seen across Nissan’s crossover/SUV lineup.

Let’s start with the exterior, which gets a new look upfront with a chromed-out V-motion grille. The headlights are fitted with LEDs for the low beams and daytime running lights as standard, and you’ll find LEDs used in the taillights as well.

Customers will have three trim levels to choose from: SV, SL, and Platinum.

The spacious, eight-passenger interior was also redesigned, and Nissan claims a “library level” of interior noise at idle thanks to new acoustic glass and additional sound deadening material. Standard features include the Nissan Navigation system with NavTraffic and NavWeather, as well as an 8.0-inch display screen, heated front seats, and a 13-speaker Bose sound system. There’s fresh safety tech as well, such as Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Backup Collision Intervention, Around View Monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Warning.

Both two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive are available. Power comes from an updated 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 engine, which now comes equipped with a new fuel injection system and variable valve system for even more output – up to 390 horsepower, besting the outgoing model’s 317 by a whopping 73 ponies. A new seven-speed automatic gearbox replaces the outgoing five-speed automatic. Standard towing capacity is rated at 8,500 pounds.

Expect the 2017 Armada to go on sale this summer, but you can see it now at the Chicago Auto Show. We’ll be bringing you all the latest from CAS, so stay tuned!

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2016 Nissan Sentra – Driving Impression And Review

2016 Nissan Sentra – Driving Impression And Review

A strong showing from Nissan’s levelheaded compact four-door

U.S. auto sales continue to march forward, and while growth is strongest in the SUV/crossover segment, the sedan remains steadfast as a core passenger vehicle platform. Simply put, the appeal of the sedan is enduring and undeniable, combining versatility and a sleek body style with high fuel efficiency and an affordable price point. Nissan knows this, and has deemed 2016 “The Year Of The Sedan,” first ushering in the new Maxima, followed by the updated Altima. Now, it’s the Sentra’s turn, and as such, the compact four-door arrives with fresh exterior styling, a variety of new technology for safety and comfort, and a few tweaks to the ride and handling.

Nissan claims 20 percent of the Sentra is new for 2016, and while not necessarily revolutionary, the update is definitely a breath of fresh air, bringing the compact inline with its competitors without outgrowing its original affordable positioning.

I got a chance to test the new car in Southern California, and overall, I was pleased with what it brought to the table. That said, the Sentra is still up against some very heavy-hitting competition, so how does it stack up? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Nissan Sentra.

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2020 Nissan Z

2020 Nissan Z

Not a lot is known about Nissan’s next Z-car. Early in December of 2014, Nissan’s vice president and global head of marketing, Roel de Vries, hinted that the 370 Z’s successor could have a variety of engines, depending on a given market. Then, a week later, word spread that the next Z-Car would be launched as a convertible (they were calling it “The Z”) and would probably have a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, hybrid engine.

Once that news hit the world, things went stagnant for a while – until June of 2015, when Shiro Nakamoa, Nissan’s senior vice president, and chief creative officer, came out and admitted that the Z-car idea needed to be “rethought.” He also strongly hinted that the upcoming car would be smaller and lighter, potentially looking back to the roots of the original Datsun 240Z. Once that news broke, the information trail went cold, and we’ve been left waiting.

Well, at TopSpeed, we’re tired of waiting, so we went ahead and rendered up what the next Z-car could look like. Of course, it is a bit smaller and low slung, but it also shares some design cues with the current Nissan Sentra and Nissan Murano. The hole rendering is speculation based on what we’ve heard in the past and Nissan’s current design styles, but we think we have nailed it pretty well. We’re hoping to see the official debut of the next Z by 2018, but until then let’s take a look at our rendering and what we hope to see when it makes an official debut in the coming years.

Click past the jump to read our full, and constantly growing, review on the upcoming Z-car.

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2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven

2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven

The Titan made its debut back in 2004 and hasn’t changed much since. Sure, there was a mild refresh back in 2008, but the bones remained unchanged. Nissan only offered two cab and bed configurations, one engine, and the choice of two- or four-wheel drive. That’s all changing for the 2016 model year.

Nissan has decided to expand the Titan into a pair of pickups – the regular Titan carrying the half-ton designation, and the Titan XD, a sort of go-between for customers who need the extra towing and hauling capabilities of a heavy-duty, but who don’t want to pay for 900 pound-feet of torque and a 30,000-pound tow rating. When asked to describe the new Titan XD, Richard Miller, Director of Product Planning for the truck, says to think of the Titan XD as a three-quarter ton truck from 2003. It has 500-plus pound-feet of torque and can tow roughly 12,000 pounds. That’s exactly where mainstream 2500-series trucks were at in the mid-2000s.

Miller and his design team know they’re marketing the Titan XD to a niche customer. Still, their research apparently shows there’s profit to be made in this middle ground. Helping expand the Titan’s marketability is an increased number of build configurations, trim levels, and (coming soon) engine options. No longer will the Titan be a one-size-fits-all truck. Single cabs, base trim levels, and eight-foot beds are part of the mix, as well as the range-topping Platinum Reserve trim with all the proper luxury trimmings. The combinations won’t be as extensive as those from Ford, Chevy, or Ram, but are said to cater to a much wider audience than before.

In order to find out more about the Titan XD, I took a trip to the Arizona desert just outside Scottsdale. These roads are very familiar to the Titan XD. Nissan’s R&D testing center is a two hours’ drive south and engineers spend many hours tuning the Titan XD on the six-percent grades found in the mountains outside of town.

So how’d the Titan XD stack up? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven

2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven

The Titan made its debut back in 2004 and hasn’t changed much since. Sure, there was a mild refresh back in 2008, but the bones remained unchanged. Nissan only offered two cab and bed configurations, one engine, and the choice of two- or four-wheel drive. That’s all changing for the 2016 model year.

Nissan has decided to expand the Titan into a pair of pickups – the regular Titan carrying the half-ton designation, and the Titan XD, a sort of go-between for customers who need the extra towing and hauling capabilities of a heavy-duty, but who don’t want to pay for 900 pound-feet of torque and a 30,000-pound tow rating. When asked to describe the new Titan XD, Richard Miller, Director of Product Planning for the truck, says to think of the Titan XD as a three-quarter ton truck from 2003. It has 500-plus pound-feet of torque and can tow roughly 12,000 pounds. That’s exactly where mainstream 2500-series trucks were at in the mid-2000s.

Miller and his design team know they’re marketing the Titan XD to a niche customer. Still, their research apparently shows there’s profit to be made in this middle ground. Helping expand the Titan’s marketability is an increased number of build configurations, trim levels, and (coming soon) engine options. No longer will the Titan be a one-size-fits-all truck. Single cabs, base trim levels, and eight-foot beds are part of the mix, as well as the range-topping Platinum Reserve trim with all the proper luxury trimmings. The combinations won’t be as extensive as those from Ford, Chevy, or Ram, but are said to cater to a much wider audience than before.

In order to find out more about the Titan XD, I took a trip to the Arizona desert just outside Scottsdale. These roads are very familiar to the Titan XD. Nissan’s R&D testing center is a two hours’ drive south and engineers spend many hours tuning the Titan XD on the six-percent grades found in the mountains outside of town.

So how’d the Titan XD stack up? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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2014 - 2016 Nissan 370Z Roadster

2014 - 2016 Nissan 370Z Roadster

It isn’t as hardcore as a Nissan GT-R, but it certainly is very sporty. The Nissan Z-cars have been around for a long time and the 2014 370Z is the latest iteration of a long line of Z-cars that have come and gone.

Last year, Nissan updated the 370Z Roadster with new features like daytime running lights, an updated front fascia without compromising on the looks. The coupe has nice high shoulder and confident looks. Chopping off the roof hasn’t ruined the handsome exterior of the 370Z either.

For 2014, the Nissan 370Z Roadster employs a 3.7-liter V-6 naturally aspirated engine with 332 horsepower on tap. The engine is capable of churning out 270 pound-feet of torque @ 5200 rpm. For driving enthusiasts, Nissan offers a 6-speed manual gearbox which comes with Nissan’s SynchroRev Match system, while a 7-speed automatic with paddle-shift is also on the list.

The 2014 370Z is capable of delivering similar performance as the 2013 model. Combined fuel economy figures released by Nissan confirm that the 2014 model is rated at 20 mpg and 21 mpg for manual and automatic version respectively.

Updated 04/09/2015: Nissan announced prices for the 2016 370Z, which is now on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide unchanged from the previous year. The model is priced from $41,820, and the only update is a new Deep Blue Pearl exterior color.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan 370Z Roadster.

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2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

2014 Nissan Juke NISMO - Driven

The Juke NISMO is a hilarious riot to drive. If you take one thing away from this full review, that should be it.

Highway fast lanes clear rapidly when any hint of GT-R or NISMO is coming up from behind.

As the second NISMO-tuned effort after the incredibly transformed 370Z Nismo, the Juke is the perfect combination of economy-car basics, but with the highest-tech racing components outside, inside and under the hood.

A similar upgrade in a past Nissan phase would have been the Nissan Sentra SE-R. Nismo isthe new hotness.

There are amazing details all over the Juke Nismo, especially with its very fun and entertaining persona on the roads. This car loves to be floored in AWD V-spec and Sport modes, slamming through seven virtual - and seriously sporty — upshifts at the red-line. In a CVT!

It is true. A huge part of the NISMO magic in the Juke is the reprogrammed ECU that makes sport mode a mandatory button push - right after lighting up the push-button ignition.

TopSpeed’s Juke Nismo press loaner is the $25,000 AWD automatic with the navigation system upgrade, but all the joy and fun cornering stance is also on offer in the manual-transmission, front-drive Juke Nismo from just $22,990.

The Nissan Juke NISMO is an incredible machine for sports-car fans and hooning boy-racers alike.

Click past the jump to hear all the reasons why this might be the smartest Fiesta ST alternative on the market.

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2014 Nissan Pathfinder - Driven

2014 Nissan Pathfinder - Driven

The new Pathfinder is lighting up the sales charts with its seven seats and a newly luxurious, efficient and smooth driving experience. Far from going soft, the Pathfinder is still able to do all the truck-like things that made its previous body-on-frame models so memorable.

The TopSpeed Garage is much classier with the 2014 Pathfinder Platinum in "valet 1st position" out front.

Have kid-friendly features totally stomped out the lenedary toughness of the chiseled hardbody Nissan SUV’s from the 1980s? The irrelevance of this question is pretty clear. This is a business, and Nissan knows it.

We’re thrilled to report that the Pathfinder has not lost its way.

Guiding the trails like it did as one of the first semi-premium, imported SUVs in the 1980s, the Pathfinder is on a new trail now — a much smoother trail. One that has dual video monitors in back, a sliding/reclining second row to stretch out with the wireless headphones, and even a heated rear seats for the ultimate in couch potato lounge amenities in back.

But what about the irritating and non-premium character of most previous CVT automatics?

As confessed CVT haters and without rug-rats (yet), our expectations were quite mixed before the 2014 Pathfinder Platinum rolled into the TopSpeed Garage. The latest CVT automatic is standard and truly is a new breed of lightweight and economical transmissions, and we took a quick video of a brake torque launch to show how snappy this new Xtronic box is.

Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Garage review of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4x4, by far one of the most impressive seven-seat crossovers on the market.

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2014 Nissan Rogue

2014 Nissan Rogue

The all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue crossover broke cover today ahead of its arrival in U.S. showrooms this November.

The biggest news for the Rogue is a hugely revamped interior layout and level of tech integration. Now offering a third row of seats, for a total of seven seats, the Rogue also offers a longer wheelbase and wider-opening rear doors to provide easier access to the second and third rows.

The second row is now limousine-comfortable, with nine inches of fore and aft sliding capability, and a deep recline adjuster. A third row in a crossover and a starting price of just $22,490 is quite an achievement.

The exterior style is also virtually unrecognizable versus the last Rogue, which started strong as one of the first compact crossover launches. The current Rogue’s styling is not quite distinctive enough in the face of huge competition from all over the automotive world: so this redesign will inject some concept-car emotion into the surfaces and high-tech options to the exterior, including available LED headlights.

Standard automatic transmissions and a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive puts the Rogue right at the cool bull’s-eye of the crossover market. It is also much more distinctive than the RAV4or CR-V, and is the first Nissan to wear the company’s new V-bar grille — a look that will be soon be rolling out across the globe on Nissan cars and trucks.

Click past the jump for all the details on the brand new, seven-passenger 2014 Nissan Rogue, including its pricing, features and options information.

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