2016 Nissan Altima – Driven
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.
2016 Nissan Murano – Driven
Nissan’s third generation Murano launched for the 2015 model year bringing a new level of luxury and comfort to the brand’s high-volume, midsize, two-row crossover segment. Much of that refinement is thanks to the parts sharing between the Murano and the latest generation Maxima sedan. Ample passenger room, loads of cargo space, and the familiar 3.5-liter V-6 are all instantly recognizable in this crossover.
Nothing changes for 2016, including the Murano’s bold, futuristic styling and plush interior. Nissan gives its customers four trim choices to choose from – six if you count the two trim levels with the hybrid powertrain option. The base S, at $29,740, might rank at the bottom of the Murano list, but it still offers a ton of modern convenience features. Most folks will opt for the mid-range SV and SL trim packages – with the SL offering slightly more standard equipment and available options than the SV. And ranking one step below the Infiniti brand, the Murano Platinum offers all the fine fixin’s like heated and cooled leather seats, LED headlights, 20-inch wheels, and a panoramic moonroof – all for a starting price of $39,180.
I recently had the chance to sample a 2016 Murano decked out in the Platinum trim and fitted with the optional AWD system. The long list of features and standard amenities was astounding, even making the Jaguar F-Pace I drove the week before seem almost basic.
So what’s it like to live with the Nissan Murano? Surprisingly pleasant. Find out why below.
Continue reading for the full review.
2016 Nissan Maxima – Driven
The Maxima has been around since 1981, but never has it been so focused on performance and driver engagement. All new for 2016, the eighth generation Maxima pushes the limits of what Nissan has ever done with its family sedan, making it far more appealing to those who refuse to sacrifice driving pleasure with the addition of kids. It might not be a four-door GT-R, but the Maxima has its sights squarely on the being BMW 5 Series for the everyman.
Much of that spunk comes from the 3.5-liter V-6. Naturally aspirated, the all-aluminum engine kicks out 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. Ironically, a CVT sends power to the front wheels, though Nissan says it tirelessly worked to make the CVT behave less like a rubber band gun. The attention pays off, though nobody will mistake the gearbox for a traditional automatic.
Of course, power and performance are only half the story. The overall design screams to be looked at – the long nose, aggressive grille, sweeping beltline, and coupe-like rear roof make the Maxima one of the best-looking sedans on the market. Or at least one of the most stylized. The story continues inside. Out Platinum tester packed quilted leather atop Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats, contrast stitching along the center console and dash, and modern in-dash technology.
So how does all this translate into the real world? We spent a week with the Maxima to find out. Keep reading for the full run-down.
Continue reading for the full driven review
The 2015 Nissan Juke is as funky and odd as they come – there’s no denying that. Stares, pointing, and in at least one case, laughter, followed this car wherever I drove it. But this isn’t an ordinary Juke. No, this is the Juke Nismo RS – Nissan’s second-hottest Juke available. Only the 2016 Nissan Juke-R Nismo is faster, though by quite a margin thanks to its 2016 Nissan GT-R powertrain.
Nevertheless, this four-cylinder, turbocharged, hot-hatch on stilts scoots down the road with plenty of speed. That’s thanks to an extra 27 horsepower, a sport-tuned suspension, summer performance tires, and some fancy electronic wizardry. But even with the extra ponies, the main focus tends to return to its styling. None of the folks I showed it to cared that it had extra power or electronic torque vectoring. It was all about that “frog face.”
While the looks garner the majority of attention, there’s plenty more about the Juke Nismo RS that’s worth talking about. Nissan has fitted this bug-eyed monster with Recaro seats, a suede steering wheel with an on-center marker, and a host of aerodynamic upgrades.
The Nismo RS might not be the fastest crossover/hot-hatch on the market, but it does pack plenty of fun. Plus, it offers three pedals and a stick – allowing drivers to get the most out of the experience.
Continue reading for the full driven review
One of the best parts about my job is the ability to try out cars and trucks of all different shapes and sizes. I get to experience fast and rare machines like Lamborghinis and Nissan GT-Rs, but I also get to test things like the Toyota Prius and Nissan Versa. Nothing could have really prepared me for what showed in my driveway the other day though; the new 2015 Nissan NV200 cargo van.
With just two seats, a rubber floor, and no headliner, this was a true workman’s van that was created to make the lives of small business owners across the world easier. I’m never one to shy away from testing a car though, so over the following week I spent as much time as possible beating the Nissan NV200 as hard as I could. I drove it through muddy fields and rough gravel trails, I filled it with hay and horse feed, and I even tried to put some random things inside of it like a motorcycle.
Despite everything I threw at it, the little panel van just begged for more. It’s a smartly designed machine with solid fuel economy, intelligent details, and a face only a mother could love.
Click past the jump for the full review
Just when you thought that the Nissan GT-R couldn’t be more awesome, British tuner Garage D built a program that really turns Godzilla into a full-blown mega monster.
It’s arguably one of the most impressive programs for the GT-R and that might even be a safe assessment. Don’t be fooled by the seeming absence of aero upgrades because Garage D’s work is solely devoted to turning the Nissan supercar’s engine into a mind-blowing piece of performance engineering.
It was a comprehensive program and its numbers really do back it up. After Garage D was done with it, this GT-R was capable of hitting 1,200 horsepower, which allowed it to cross the quarter-mile mark in an astonishing 9.450 seconds while blasting along at speeds in excess of 164 mph.
Even more impressive, the GT-R can cover one mile in 22.528 seconds at a top speed of 230 mph. Totally bonkers, we tell ya.
But here’s the most impressive part: this 1,200-horsepower GT-R is completely street legal, which means that you can run around the roads, flex your muscles, and blast off leaving everyone eating your dust.
That’s what a 1,200-horsepower GT-R is capable of doing. And we should all thank Garage D for making it possible.
Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Nissan GT-R
The Tokyo Motor Show opens its doors for the public in two weeks time. As we know, Nissan will make an exciting announcement at the show. Yes, it is the Nissan GT-R Nismo that debuts on November 19th, 2013. The company will also disclose the Nurburgring lap time set by the Nismo GT-R. But that’s not all, as Nissan will also showcase the Bladeglider concept.
Along with the concept car, Nissan will also reveal a concept prototype based on the Bladeglider, but toned down for actual production. The production version will have its sights set on attacking rival cars, like the Toyota GT 86 and Subaru BRZ. Andy Palmer- VP at Nissan told Motortrend that the Bladeglider will be the car for the young generation.
The origins of the Bladeglider concept can be traced back to the Nissan ZEOD RC racer, and that’s where the unconventionality begins. The designers of the Bladeglider concept describe it as "an extreme interpretation" of what a car can be. The thought behind the concept is to offer an affordable and appealing sports car to young people, according to Andy Palmer of Nissan.
Click past the jump for more on the Nissan Bladeglider Concept
The popularity of the Nissan Juke came as a surprise to a lot of people. We’d like to think that Nissan knew what it had from the very beginning, but it’s hard to argue that even it couldn’t have expected the kind of traction the funky crossover has achieved in the short time that it’s been around.
The Juke’s popularity has even translated to a number of special edition models, including the Juke-R, the Juke Nismo, and arguably most peculiar, the Juke Dark Knight Rises Edition.
The Dark Knight Rises Edition, in particular, ushered in a new approach that Nissan is once again taking advantage of with another unique movie franchise collaboration.
Set to be unveiled on the 26th of August, Nissan went ahead and teased the Juke Star Wars Edition.
Mercifully, the automaker didn’t use Jar Jar Binks in the teaser, opting for the far cooler Storm Troopers to drop hints on what we can expect when the Juke Star Wars Edition breaks cover tomorrow.
As somebody who grew up loving the franchise, this is one car that I’m getting giddy just imagining what it’d look like. Fortunately, the wait won’t be that long of a wait.
Click past the jump to watch the teaser video of the Nissan Juke Star Wars Edition
Well that didn’t take long.
A few days after it was reported that Nissan’s in-house tuning firm, NISMO, was preparing a more powerful version of the NISMO Juke, the fine folks over at Sport Auto released a video of the said crossover during a recent test run of the prototype model in Spain.
As was earlier reported, this prototype model, which could take the name of Juke NISMO RC, is set to produce an output of 221 horsepower, a significant uptick from the 197-horsepower output of the NISMO Juke. More importantly, it’ll come with a host of other modifications, including a more aggressive body kit, a more in-tune suspension system, and a drivetrain option of either front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual transmission or all-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission.
As far as the video goes, the prototypes - we saw at least three of them in there - were all being subjected to numerous testing activities, including handling, cornering, and straightaway speeds.
It’ll be interesting to see how NISMO offers the final package for the Juke NISMO RC. But the early returns seem to suggest that it’s going to make the Juke that much more of an attractive crossover. It still looks a little quirky, but if it runs the way it’s been hyped, then we’ll take the quirkiness as part of the overall package.
We’ll keep you updated.
One of Japan’s greatest sports cars, the Nissan GT-R, has been the subject of countless aftermarket programs. That being said, it shouldn’t be surprising that one more company is preparing arguably the most powerful GT-R project we’ve seen in recent time.
AMS Performance is no stranger to working with Godzilla, having most recently produced the insane Alpha 10 program that netted the GT-R with 1,100 horsepower. This time, the company’s upping the ante once again with the new Alpha 12 program that takes the GT-R’s output from 1,100 ponies all the way up 1,318 horsepower and 1,014 lb/ft of torque. Horses gone wild!
To make the car produce that much juice, AMS Performance took the GT-R’s 3.8-liter, twin-turbo engine and modified the system while also increasing its boost pressure. On top of that, AMS also went out and reinforced the block to ensure that the car’s engine could handle all the horses galloping underneath the hood.
The result is a car that can blast off from 60 mph to 130 mph in just 3.46 seconds while breaking a quarter-mile in just nine seconds at speeds in excess of 166 mph.
The full details of the car have yet to be revealed, but the company has released a couple of videos of the car hitting the track and performing some dyno tests to ensure that it makes the most out of its 1,318 horses.
UPDATE 08/02/2011: The Nissan GT-R Alpha 12 has just posted the fastest GT-R quarter mile in history, posting a time of 8.97 second a astonishing 169 miles an hour. Check out the video of this record breaking quarter mile run by clicking on the image above.
UPDATE 11/04/2011:: The new AMS Alpha 12 has just become the fastest R35 GT-R at the 2011 Texs Mile where it hit a top speed of 216.9mph. Check out the video by clicking on the image above.
Nissan has just unveiled their GT1 spec R35 GT-R that is scheduled to compete in the full 2010 FIA GT1 season. Debuting at the FIA’s media days at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, the race spec GT-R was a joined effort between Nissan’s in house motor sport division Nismo and the Essex based GT1 racers Gigawave Motorsports.
Updated 14/01/10: Nissan today unveiled new images of the GT-R GT1 which will race this year in the the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship.
Continued with more video after the jump.