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    Infiniti Gives 2016 Q50 Big Updates, While 2016 QX60 Gets Small Updates


    • Infiniti Previews Some Of Their 2016 Vehicles Before Detroit (The Q60 Coupe Isn't One of Them)


    Infiniti decided to give us an early Christmas present by revealing a couple of vehicles that will be debuting at the Detroit Auto Show next month. Sadly, neither vehicle was the upcoming Q60 coupe. They are the refreshed versions of the Q50 and QX60.

     

    We'll begin with the 2016 Q50 since it has a fair amount of major changes. First is a new engine lineup. The 3.7L V6 that has been with the Q50 since launch is kicked out and three new engines take its place. The base will be a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder from Mercedes-Benz. This engine found in the CLA and GLA250 produces 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Next is a turbocharged 3.0L V6 in two states of tune; a 300 horsepower version and a 400 horsepower version. The Q50 Hybrid will soldier into 2016. All engines will come paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

     

    Another major change for the Q50 is a revised version of Infiniti's Direct Adaptive Steer system. Infiniti says enginners "optimized the control logic to improve feedback from the road". In other words, Infiniti hopes this system will begin to feel like a mechanical system.

     


    2016 Infiniti QX60 2


    Next is the 2016 Infiniti QX60 crossover which gets minor changes. Outside are new headlights, reshaped grille, and a new rear bumper. Mechanical changes include new shocks and springs to improve the ride. Interestingly, the QX60 Hybrid will continue on for 2016. Earlier in the year, we had reported that Nissan had killed off both the Pathfinder Hybrid and Infiniti QX60 Hybrid. It seems we were only half-right on that report.

     

    The QX60 Hybrid uses a 2.5L inline-four paired with an electric motor to produce a total output of 250 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. The 3.5L V6 with 265 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque continues on into 2016.

     

    Source: Infiniti

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    2016 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan: New engines and chassis technologies deliver empowering performance and a more rewarding driving experience

    • 2016 Q50 adds trio of new powerful and efficient turbocharged engines, including a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6
    • Next-generation Direct Adaptive Steering™ (DAS) leads technology enhancements
    • New Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) offers engaging ride and handing options
    • New 400-horsepower Q50 Red Sport 400 heads line of five models in North America


    NASHVILLE – The new 2016 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan is being launched with a number of performance and dynamic upgrades that deliver a more empowering and rewarding drive experience. The comprehensive updates include a trio of all-new advanced turbocharged engines, along with next-generation ride and handling technologies.

     


    The Q50 – Infiniti's top-selling model in North America – was developed from the outset to showcase Infiniti's daring design, dynamic performance and class-leading technologies within the sports sedan segment. Now in its third year, Q50 global sales between January and October 2015 reached almost 50,000 models – representing a 65 percent increase compared to the same period in 2014.

     

    Four advanced powertrain options are offered with the 2016 Infiniti Q50, including an all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo gasoline engine with direct injection. This new "VR30" engine is available in two states of tune: 400 horsepower or 300 horsepower – both developed to provide an ideal mix of drivability, efficiency and performance.

     

    Also available on the Q50 is a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 208 horsepower, and a 360-horsepower hybrid powertrain, which combines a 3.5-liter V6 and a compact laminated lithium-ion battery with an innovative one-motor, two-clutch control.

     

    Also making its debut on the 2016 Infiniti Q50 is the Infiniti's industry leading Direct Adaptive Steering, comprehensively modified from the groundbreaking first-generation system. Infiniti has enhanced the Direct Adaptive Steering after gathering customer feedback from around the world and completing 625,000 miles of real-world testing. The standard steering mode now offers advanced levels of steering feel and feedback – more akin to that of a conventional steering system. In addition, the upgraded system offers even more options to personalize and tailor the steering system's levels of response and feel to suit the driver's preferences.

     

    The new Q50 also features Infiniti's Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) for the first time, which gives the new Q50 sports sedan an optimal blend of ride comfort and class-leading response and agility. For drivers looking for a blend of dynamic settings tailored to their own particular requirements and tastes, the Q50's Drive Mode Selector (DMS) can be augmented with "Personal" mode, which permits a tailored mix of engine, suspension and steering characteristics.

     

    "The new Infiniti Q50 takes the core elements that have driven its global appeal to date, and now we have made it even better by offering a number of new and stand-out technologies. With the upgraded Q50, we are furthering Infiniti's position on innovation."

     

    Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President Product Strategy

     

    Infiniti's most advanced V6 leads the refreshed engine line up
    The all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, from the new and exclusive "VR-series" powertrain family, has been developed to deliver optimal power and torque, alongside greater fuel efficiency. The high-output version of the power unit delivers 400 horsepower (298 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) maximum torque at 1,600-5,200 rpm. The standard output version produces 300 horsepower (224 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm (295) torque at 1,600-5,200 rpm.

     

    These outputs have been achieved while ensuring an expected improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 6.7 percent, representing a high power-to-efficiency ratio for the 400 horsepower power unit. This power-to-efficiency performance was made possible thanks to a combination of newly developed powertrain features.

     

    An advanced new twin-turbo system contributes to the smooth and immediate power delivery while promoting gains in efficiency. The combination of a new turbine speed sensor and an optimized turbine blade design realize greater performance with more immediate response. The turbine speed sensor allows a 10 percent increase in turbine speeds, enabling the turbocharger to revolve at up to 220,000 rpm. With greater capacity for faster revolutions, the twin turbochargers enable the engine to deliver greater power and torque.

     

    Advanced valve timing control incorporating a new electric motor mounted to the valve timing system delivers quicker reactions to driver inputs. Along with improved response, more immediate valve timing also helps the engine operate more efficiently, precisely controlling fuel and air quantities entering the combustion chamber.

     

    A new high-pressure direct injection gasoline (DIG) system, introduced for the first time, allows for precise control of fuel injection into the combustion chamber depending on throttle position and current engine speed. DIG contributes significantly to making the new engine the cleanest and most efficient V6 that Infiniti has ever offered.

     

    2.0-liter turbo and hybrid powertrains blend performance and efficiency
    Complementing the new 3.0-liter V6 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged unit, producing 208 horsepower at 5,500 rpm with peak torque of 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) available from 1,500 rpm. This 1,991 cc unit has been engineered to achieve the same goals as the 3.0-liter V6 unit, blending response and performance with efficiency.

     

    Direct injection and a high-efficiency compact turbocharger combine to achieve high levels of torque from low engine speeds for an enhanced driving experience. The high-pressure direct injection system with 200 bar piezoelectric injectors, multi-spark ignition and lean-burn combustion technologies also contributes significantly to efficiency. This is complemented by a variable camshaft design on the intake side, which enables a switchover from a standard cam for higher loads and engine speeds where increased power is required, to a "small" cam for partial engine loads.

     

    In addition, to minimize friction losses on the small cam a maximum valve lift of 3.8 mm has been specified. The main advantage is a reduction of charge exchange losses and a nearly throttle-free operation in a relatively broad range of scenarios for exceptional efficiency.

     

    A lightweight aluminum block and cylinder head with chain-driven dual-overhead camshafts, die-cast aluminum cylinder crankcase and optimized crank assembly promote further weight savings, reduce friction and improve efficiency. For the first time, the Q50 will offer an idle stop-start system (ISS) in combination with a 2.0- liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine.

     

    The Q50's advanced hybrid powertrain remains unchanged, featuring the Direct Response Hybrid® system with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. It combines a 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy V6 and a compact laminated lithium-ion battery with an innovative one-motor, two-clutch control. The system's V6 is rated at 302 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the advanced 50 kW electric motor is rated at 67 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system net power is 360 horsepower, providing strong acceleration and lean fuel economy.

     

    The hybrid powertrain is designed to put performance first, while bringing significant benefits for fuel efficiency. It takes full advantage of the electric motor's instant torque for exceptional acceleration and, in combination with the 3.5-liter V6, provides an energetic feel under all driving conditions.

     

    Smooth shifts from seven-speed automatic transmission
    All 2016 Q50 powertrains are matched to an advanced seven-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode and steering column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters.

     

    Adaptive Shift Control enhances gear selection by using a lateral acceleration sensor to detect changes in the road, such as hills and turns. Sport mode allows the driver to select a more aggressive shift pattern with automatic up- and down-shifting at higher rpm. The combined effect is for any driver to enjoy quick, smooth shifts and gear choices that are appropriate to both the road and the desired driving style.

     

    The new Q50 can be configured by the customer with one of two driveline options – rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Both are available with any of the four engines.

     

    Dynamic performance from innovative technology
    A range of new and innovative ride and handling technologies deliver on the promise of the Q50’s daring design and instill confidence in all driving conditions.

     

    Infiniti Q50 models equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, or the hybrid powertrain, are available with the second-generation Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering. The system has undergone significant re-tuning to enhance steering feel and feedback.

     

    The changes to Direct Adaptive Steering – the world’s first digital steering system – have been made following extensive consultation with existing Q50 customers around the world and over 625,000 miles of testing.

     

    For the new second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering, engineers have optimized the control logic to improve feedback from the road. They have fine-tuned parameters so that the default setting better mimics the feeling drivers are used to from conventional systems.

     

    The new system also provides more customization options, fully utilizing the potential that Direct Adaptive Steering offers, giving drivers’ flexibility to choose the level of steering assistance and feedback according to personal preferences.

     

    Direct Adaptive Steering actively adjusts the steering ratio and effort according to vehicle speed and scene. In slow-moving situations, such as city driving or parking, the system is tuned for ease of maneuverability.

     

    In order to further enhance the steering feel in sporty driving conditions, the steering effort on the second generation Direct Adaptive Steering gradually saturates with high lateral G-force and acceleration in line with the overall vehicle behavior.

     

    Direct Adaptive Steering is able to transmit the driver’s input to the wheels faster than a mechanical system while requiring fewer steering corrections and is able to make 1,000 steering adjustments per second. The new system enhances the steering feel by quickly and intelligently communicating to the driver feedback about road surface and chassis behavior. This gives the driver a secure and confident feeling at the wheel, free from unnecessary steering kickbacks or vibrations. The elimination of unwanted feedback has the further benefit of reducing driver fatigue.

     

    The expanded selection of steering modes within Direct Adaptive Steering is accessed through the Drive Mode Selector (DMS). Located via menus displayed in the center console, Drive Mode Selector allows the steering response to be selected from six available options: Personal, Standard, Snow, Eco, Sport, and – new for the 2016 Q50 model – Sport+.

     

    The Q50’s Personal steering mode allows for a high degree of fine-tuning. Drivers first select one of three core modes (Standard, Sport and Sport+) and then specify their preferred level of response (Default, Dynamic and Dynamic+). For a slower steering response and conventional feel, the driver would select a combination of Standard mode and Default response. For the highest level of assistance, the driver would choose Sport+ mode with Dynamic+ response – making best use of Direct Adaptive Steering technology.

     

    The Sport mode of the Drive Mode Selector enhances the response of Direct Adaptive Steering, elevating the steering effort required while reducing the required steering movement from lock to lock. In the new Sport+ mode, steering effort remains the same as Sport mode, but the response of the steering is further increased, with an even quicker gear ratio for an enhanced performance feel. With both the Sport and Sport+ modes the result is an even greater sense of connection and control when the car is being put through its paces.

     

    The new version of Direct Adaptive Steering works with Active Lane Control to maintain lane positioning against crosswinds and uneven road surfaces. This semi-autonomous capability is a precursor to future steering systems that will form a key building block on the way to achieving fully autonomous driving.

     

    As standard, Q50 models equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine feature Infiniti’s Rack Electronic Power Steering. This all-new system provides a linear and in-control driving experience that can be tuned through the Drive Mode Selector.

     

    When making a steering input or returning the steering wheel following an input, traditional steering systems can create an unnatural feeling through imprecise control of the power assistance, reducing the feeling of linearity. To counter this, Infiniti’s Rack Electronic Power Steering precisely increases the steering effort required as the vehicle’s yaw rate changes, before adjusting to provide more assistance when the wheel returns towards on-center.

     

    Infiniti Q50 2.0-liter models are equipped with a speed-sensitive hydraulic electronic rack-and-pinion power steering system as standard. This increases assistance at low speeds and reduces assistance for enhanced feel and response at higher speeds.

     

    The Q50 features independent multi-link suspension and, for the 2016 model, revised suspension settings now provide an improved balance between confident handling and a comfortable ride. The front suspension is a double-wishbone design, while the revised rear suspension utilizes a multi-link design with coil springs and Dual Flow Path® shock absorbers. Extensive use of aluminum components for the suspension keeps weight down.

     

    The Q50 now benefits from revised front and rear stabilizer bars. The result is heightening resistance to unwanted adjustments in the lateral movement of the suspension, affording a flatter ride and greater agility during cornering. The revised system is also better able to maintain contact between the tires and road.

     

    All 2016 Q50 Sport models are upgraded with Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) for the first time, which offers enhanced ride comfort with class-leading response and agility. The shift from a comfort-biased ride to enhanced dynamic response can be made when the driver places the electronically adjustable shock absorbers in either Sport or Sport+ modes (adjusted via the Drive Mode Selector), providing firmer damping control for more agile handling. While in these modes, the suspension is constantly adjust¬ing to provide ideal performance and a flat ride.

     

    In all modes, Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) also constantly adjusts the shock absorber valve within a wide range of damping force to control body motion when cornering. It monitors body roll, pitch and bounce rate to restrain body motion for a comfortable, confident and insulated ride in all conditions, ensuring that bumps and undulat¬ing road conditions are absorbed to maintain flat body posture.

     

    Daring, expressive design
    The Infiniti Q50 adds a new dimension of premium style to the sports sedan segment, thanks to its sleek proportions and athletic stance.

     

    A strong first impression is created by Infiniti’s signature “double arch” grille. The grille's three-dimensional, textural quality is provided by elaborate detailing of the waved mesh pattern surface and chrome surround, while the distinctive LED headlights and daytime running lights suggest an expressive form, almost like the human eye.

     

    Rising from the double arch grille is a smooth yet commanding character line, which flows energetically through the body-side like a wave and merges with the rear, creating a highly fluid profile – a trademark Infiniti look.

     

    Infiniti Q50 models equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo 400 hp engine are designated as the Q50 Red Sport 400 and feature unique staggered 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/40R19 front/265/35R19 rear summer performance run-flat tires, as well as unique exhaust tips. These changes help to assert the car’s performance credentials and add to its aggressive, confident aura.

     

    New safety features
    The new Infiniti Q50 builds on the long list of safety and security technologies already found in other Infiniti models, maintaining the car’s class-leading position.

     

    The Technology Package adds Front Seat Driver/Passenger Pre-Crash Seatbelts; Blind-Spot Intervention (BSI); Lane Departure Warning (LDW); and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) with Active Lane Control.

     

    The new Driver Assistance Package includes features such as Forward Emergency Braking (EB); Blind-Spot Warning (BSW); Back Collision Intervention (BCI) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA); Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW); and Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD).

     

    Comfort and convenience features, customizable for a personal touch
    Infiniti InTouch™ telematics system brings the future of in-car connectivity to the Q50 interior. Unlike conventional interfaces, the Q50 has not one but two touch-capacitive color screens (LCD/VGA 8-inch upper and 7-inch lower), with intuitive hand-gesture screen operation for easy changing of settings.

     

    Along with the large dual screens, the Infiniti InTouch™ system is designed to effortlessly synchronize car and driver. Content and functions directed to the upper screen include the most frequently used applications, such as navigation maps. Other content is directed to the lower display screen.

     

    In North America, the 2016 Infiniti Q50 is offered in a range of trim levels, each in a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive – Q20 2.0t, Q50 2.0t Premium, Q50 3.0t Premium, Q50 Hybrid Premium, Q50 Sport and Q50 Red Sport 400.

     

    New for Q50 in 2016 is the feature-rich Premium Plus Package, available on all engine options and including: auto dimming exterior mirrors; electric memory exterior mirrors; electrically adjustable steering wheel with memory and easy entry functions; Infiniti InTouch with navigation and one year of InTouch services; navigation-synchronized adaptive shift control; SiriusXM® Traffic; voice recognition; 60/40 split-fold rear seat with center armrest; electric lumbar support and position memory for the driver’s seat; heated steering wheel and heated front seats. For 3.0-liter Sport models, the Premium Plus Package also adds remote engine start.

     

    The Technology Package has been revised to now include: Auto-leveling Adaptive Front Lighting System; High Beam Assist; Intelligent Cruise Control with full speed range; Distance Control Assist; Eco pedal; Advanced Climate Control System with Plasmacluster™ and Grape Polyphenol filter; as well as a range of safety features.

     

    The new Infiniti Q50 goes on sale in selected markets later in 2016.

     

    Infiniti QX60 premium crossover offers enhanced design, dynamics, comfort and convenience for 2016

    • Refreshed exterior design adds to premium look and feel
    • Chassis dynamics retuned for a more engaging, comfortable drive
    • Interior revisions bring enhanced luxury for up to seven occupants
    • Augmented suite of assistive and intuitive technologies


    NASHVILLE – Infiniti has comprehensively enhanced its versatile QX60 premium crossover for 2016, introducing a wide range of changes that improve the seven-seater’s exterior design and its driving dynamics, while showcasing new features and technologies that improve comfort, convenience and safety.

     


    Reflecting an evolution of Infiniti’s stand-out artistic design, the 2016 QX60’s revised form accentuates its powerful elegance and craftsmanship. This is a premium crossover that continues to defy segment expectations by providing flexible and accessible seating for up to seven, while at the same time delivering superior standards of comfort and luxury.

     

    The 2016 QX60’s new suspension components and settings combine to deliver superior levels of both comfort and agility, while a revised steering system delivers greater feedback for a more rewarding drive. Available in both front-wheel drive and optional Intelligent All-Wheel Drive versions, the QX60 is offered with a choice of powerful and efficient powertrains – 3.5-liter V6 gasoline or Hybrid.

     

    Whichever engine is chosen, upgraded cabin sound insulation and revised engine mounts for the 2016 model reduce the ingress of noise, vibration and harshness, enabling occupants to better appreciate the uprated cabin materials and the feature-rich audio and connectivity systems.

     

    Seven new equipment packages and a new range of exterior colors for 2016 allows customers to take a truly tailored approach in specifying the QX60 premium crossover to meet their individual needs and preferences. The personal touch is reinforced with thoughtful new assistive and intuitive technology features, such as the Infiniti Personal Assistant™, a 24-hour personal concierge service.

     

    Global sales of the QX60 during the first eleven months of 2015 reached 48,684, year-on-year, representing a growth of 24 percent. The U.S. market alone posted a 32 percent increase compared to the same period in 2014. Infiniti expects the new 2016 model to attract even more premium buyers to the brand.

     

    “The new QX60 will become an important part of Infiniti’s global growth strategy as the global premium crossover market continues to grow. The new model builds on the characteristics that have made QX60 an increasingly popular choice with premium buyers, offering enhanced design, driving dynamics and best-in-class levels of interior comfort and convenience.”
    Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President Product Strategy

     

    Refreshed exterior conveys a premium look
    The exterior of the QX60 reflects Infiniti’s design-led approach to product development, and a desire to craft vehicle forms which combine power and confident artistry through taut, muscular shapes and flowing lines. The look is unmistakably Infiniti and the new QX60 features familiar signature brand design cues such as the dramatic double-arch front grille, double-wave hood and crescent-cut D-pillar.

     

    At the front, the redesigned double-arch grille is flanked by standard-fit bi-xenon headlamps. There is greater use of LED lighting, including new LED daytime running lights. Complementing the revised headlamps are front fog lamps, which feature LED lighting and chrome finishers.

     

    The lighting extends to the side and rear of the vehicle, with side indicators and taillights sitting flush to body and incorporating the turn signal in red. The rear hatch has also received attention, featuring a new chrome finisher, while retaining its power lift function. Above the rear hatch a new roof-mounted and body color “shark fin” antenna has been added, working in-conjunction with the in-glass antenna.

     

    Incorporated into both front and rear bumpers are new, flush-mounted sonar sensors. Except for two additions at the center of the front bumper, these body-colored sensors no longer have a surrounding bezel, adding to the premium appearance.

     

    The 2016 QX60 is available in seven exterior colors: Liquid Platinum, Black Obsidian, Hermosa Blue, Majestic White, Graphite Shadow, plus new Hagane Blue and Jade Green.

     

    The smooth and aerodynamic shape of the QX60 achieves an unchanged drag coefficient of 0.34. The new model manages airflow over, under and around the exterior to promote road holding and high-speed stability. A front underbody spoiler, integrated rear spoiler and rear tire deflectors contribute to achieving zero lift across both front and rear axles.

     

    A significant enhancement for the 2016 QX60 is the addition of acoustic glass for better insulation from high frequency noise. Constructed of three layers, the acoustic side glass minimizes the intrusion of wind noise into the cabin, while also reducing the effects of tire noise. The result is class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels at a constant speed.

     

    Retuned dynamics for a more engaging drive
    The focus for Infiniti’s QX60 engineers was to provide an even more assured and confidence-inspiring driving experience. This has been achieved through the introduction of new chassis technologies and revised settings for components carried over from the previous model.

     

    The independent-strut front and multi-link rear suspension feature new shock absorbers and spring units, which result in smoother ride control with a reduction in body movement when cornering. New 235/65 R18 T-rated all-season tires are standard, selected to provide improvements in grip and balance. Completing the dynamic changes, a retuned vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering system, now requiring just 2.9 turns lock-to-lock, offers the driver increased response to steering inputs and enhanced feedback.

     

    The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector (DMS) allows the driver to vary throttle response and gearshift patterns to optimize performance for the conditions and their own preferences. The driver can select from four drive modes – Standard, Sport, Eco and Snow – using a rotary dial mounted in the center console.

     

    To enhance stability and feel through the controls when cornering, the Active Trace Control system links with the QX60’s standard Vehicle Dynamic Control system (upgraded for 2016), to automatically apply the brakes in a specific pattern and then smooth engine torque characteristics while accelerating.

     

    The new QX60 is available in four models, QX60, QX60 AWD, QX60 Hybrid and QX60 Hybrid AWD. All variants provide the responsive performance and fuel efficiency increasingly demanded by premium crossover buyers.

     

    The standard 3.5-liter V6 is mated to a sport-tuned, electronically controlled continuously variable transmission with D-Step Logic that provides high levels of response and a seamless, efficient shift feel. The transmission’s logic mimics the shift pattern of a more traditional step transmission. Included is a manual shift mode, allowing the driver to manually select from the pre-set gear ratios, if preferred.

     

    The 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 265 horsepower at 6,400 rpm with peak torque of 248 lb-ft (336 Nm) available at 4,400 rpm. The engine includes a variable induction control system to improve volumetric efficiency at low and middle speed ranges, while an efficient belt layout reduces maintenance requirements and aids fuel efficiency. Revised engine mounts reduce the vibration transmitted to the cabin and controls engine movement during cornering for enhanced stability and response.

     

    The 2016 QX60 is also offered with a hybrid drivetrain, featuring a supercharged 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine and an electric motor powered by a compact Lithium-ion battery pack. The system produces a combined 250 horsepower and 243 lb-ft (329 Nm) of torque. For 2016, the engine is mounted using new electric-active controlled liquid-filled engine mounts for reduced vibration in the cabin and enhanced cornering.

     

    Premium comfort and convenience for seven occupants
    The QX60 utilizes a flat platform floor, which not only allows for a more dramatic design approach but also enhances interior space and flexibility. The second-row seating features almost six inches (150 mm) travel, adjustable either to the benefit of passenger leg room or rear cargo space, as required.

     

    Traditionally a compromised area, the third-row seating is able to accommodate children or adults with practical head- and knee room. Access to the third row of seats is facilitated by wide door openings and the long forward travel of the second-row seating. The second-row seating’s unique forward movement function also negates the need to remove any child seat fitted to the second row when accessing the third-row seating. In addition, both second- and third-row seating incorporate a split folding function, 60/40 for the second row and 50/50 for the third row, to further increase versatility and practicality. Both rows also recline for greater occupant comfort.

     

    As well as being truly versatile, the interior of the QX60 offers elegance and fine craftsmanship. Key design features include Infiniti’s signature driver-oriented cockpit, highlighted by thin chrome accents. Boosting the premium feel of the interior, for 2016 the upper instrument panel has been wrapped in soft-touch material with contrast stitching, while the gearshift knob and surround feature a new design and finish.

     

    “Graphite Weave” is the standard interior leather trim, with a quilted seat base and maple accents available with the Deluxe Technology Package. All models benefit from contrast stitching to the upper instrument and door panels available in three colors, Graphite, Java and Wheat. As an additional convenience for front seat occupants, the memory seat button has been relocated to the upper door trim.

     

    The tri-zone automatic temperature control system with microfilter has been revised for the 2016 QX60, offering improved performance for the first- and second-row occupants. A power sliding moonroof with tinted glass, one-touch open/close, tilt feature and sliding sunshade is standard on all models.

     

    Available as part of the Deluxe Technology Package is an Advanced Climate Control System with Plasmacluster® air purifier, grape polyphenol filter and auto recirculation. Also included within the Deluxe Technology Package is a panoramic moonroof with power rear sunshade, which provides a light, airy environment for rear passengers.

     

    Standard connectivity and entertainment features include Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, separately available), and USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices. For 3.5-liter models, three additional USB charging ports have been added to the cabin, one convenient for the second-row seating and two for the third-row seating.

     

    High levels of connectivity, convenience and safety
    For 2016, the QX60 continues to deliver a high level of assistive and intuitive technology features, aimed at enhancing the premium crossover experience for all occupants.

     

    Infiniti Connection™ services include 24-hour automatic crash notification, emergency call, enhanced roadside assistance, stolen vehicle reporting, remote door lock/unlock, alarm notification, maintenance alert and scheduled maintenance notification. The “My Schedule” function can automatically synch a user’s schedule through Google Calendar™ and provide navigation guidance to appointments.

     

    The 2016 QX60 features Infiniti Personal Assistant™, Infiniti’s personal concierge service with 24 hour access to a live team of professional assistants. The service allows owners to make reservations, get directions, find points of interest, make dinner reservations, access gift services and receive a wide variety of other services at the touch of a button from inside the vehicle or through the owner’s mobile or home phone. In vehicles equipped with Infiniti Connection™, owners can have their Infiniti Personal Assistant™ find a restaurant, make the reservation, and have directions sent directly to their QX60’s Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System.

     

    Safeguarding occupants is a top priority for Infiniti, and several new safety technologies are available through 2016 QX60’s revised options packages.

     

    Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) utilizes advanced technology to calculate the distance between QX60 and the vehicle in front, as well as the speed of both vehicles, to detect the possibility of a collision and help mitigate or prevent it. The system operates in two stages, risk detection and collision detection. On detecting a risk, the system initially alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings and forcibly backs off the throttle. If the driver releases the accelerator, the system will apply partial braking. In the event that the system detects a collision may occur and there is no action taken by the driver, the system provides an additional set of warnings and applies harder braking to help avoid a collision, or mitigate the consequences should one occur. The Pedestrian Detection function within the FEB system applies this technology to avoid or mitigate collisions with pedestrians.

     

    Forward Collision Warning (FCW) alerts the driver of hazards in the road ahead – taking automatic action to help avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision.

     

    Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) alerts the driver to crossing vehicles and other large stationary objects to the rear when the transmission is in reverse. If necessary, the system is able to automatically to engage the brakes to help avoid or mitigate a collision.

     

    Parking is made easy with the addition of a new Around View® Monitor (AVM), with Moving Object Detection (MOD), using four wide-angle lenses – one on each side of the vehicle – to create a “birds-eye” view on the center console and give drivers a clear picture of nearby hazards during low-speed maneuvers.

     

    In addition to the long list of standard equipment, seven option packages, newly introduced for 2016, provide a means of personalization that reflects Infiniti’s versatile and passenger-minded approach to the new QX60.

     

    The new Infiniti QX60 goes on sale in selected markets later in 2016.

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      G. David Felt
      Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com
       
      2016 J.D. Powers VDS SUVs

      JD powers has their 2016 vehicle dependability study out. VDS Study
       You can review it for all other segments, but being a dedicated SUV / CUV buyer, I was curious to know after 3 years who was top dog.
      Small SUV - Buick Encore Compact SUV - Chevrolet Equinox Compact Premium SUV - Mercedes-Benz GLK Midsize SUV - Nissan Murano Midsize Premium SUV - Lexus GX Large SUV - GMC Yukon I have to say that having 3 of the 6 segments covered by a GM product is pretty damn impressive!
    • By William Maley
      Summertime means something different for everyone. For some, it’s time to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. For others, it is the time to take that trip you have been thinking about for awhile. If you’re an automotive writer like myself, summertime means convertible season. The feeling of having the roof down and enjoying the expanded view of the sky is something quite special. This summer saw two of GM’s latest convertibles roll into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit garage, the new Buick Cascada and recently redesigned Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible. How did these two droptops fare in the summer heat?
      Exterior:
      There is no denying the Opel/Vauxhall roots of the Buick Cascada as it is just basically the Cascada sold in Europe with Buick basing. But that isn’t a bad thing since the Cascada is handsome for the most part. The front features a new grille design and headlights with LED accents. The side profile reveals short overhangs for the front and rear. These overhangs make the side look somewhat oddly proportioned. A set 20-inch wheels come standard. Around back, a long chrome bar runs along the trunk lid into the taillights. 
      On the opposite end is the Chevrolet Camaro. If you’re looking for something quiet and doesn’t bring attention, then maybe you should pass on it. Redesigned last year, Chevrolet retained the Camaro’s basic profile with its sharp lines and rounded corners. But major work was done on the front and rear ends. The front features a narrow top grille and slim headlights. A massive grille sits underneath between a set of deep cuts into the front bumper. The back has been cleaned up with a new trunk lid design, rectangular headlights, and quad-exhaust tips. 
      One item both the Cascada and Camaro share is a fabric top. Putting the top down or up takes under 20 seconds for both vehicles. With the tops down, both vehicles look quite good. But put the tops up and the Cascada is the better looking of the two. I can’t put my finger as to why, but I think it deals with how the Cascada has a little bit more glass than the Camaro. 
      Interior:
      Unfortunately, both the Cascada and Camaro fall on their face when it comes to the interior for different reasons.
      In the case of the Cascada, it features the dash from the outgoing Verano and Encore. This reveals that the Cascada is older despite what Buick may have you think. For example, the center stack is laden with buttons and it will take you a few moments to find the specific one you’re looking for. Not helping is the Cascada using GM’s last-generation infotainment system. While the system is easy to use, the interface is looking very dated. It would have been nice if Buick could have slipped in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascade, but that would have likely introduced more problems than solutions.
      On the upside, the Cascada’s interior is well-built and features decent quality materials. A fair amount of dash and door panels feature some soft touch material. The front seats are comfortable for short and long distance trips. Power adjustments for the driver’s seat make it easy to find a position that works. One touch Buick deserves applause for is the seat belt presenter. The front seat belts are nestled away when the Cascada is turned off to make it easier to get in and out of the back seat. But when you start it up, the presenter extends for both the driver and passenger to buckle in. The back seat provides enough space for kids or small adults. Taller folks like myself will find minimal legroom. With the top up, anyone sitting back here will feel very confined. With the top down, this feeling goes away. 
      Step into the 2016 Camaro Convertible’s interior and you’ll find the same retro ideas from the previous model such as the shape of the dash and circular vents. But Chevrolet improved the overall usability of the Camaro’s interior. For example, the retro-inspired engine information gauges that were placed ahead of the shifter in the previous generation are gone. In its place are a set of air vents that also control the temperature of the climate control system. 
      Our tester featured the optional Chevrolet MyLink system with navigation. We know we’re beating a dead horse with our complaints with MyLink such as a slow response when going from various screens and recognizing devices plugged into the USB ports. But you would think that GM would maybe issue an update or something by now to fix some of these issues? Like other Chevrolet models we have driven this year, the Camaro’s MyLink system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We tried CarPlay and found it to be easier to use than most automaker’s infotainment systems. But, we had issues with apps crashing and the system not always recognizing our phone.
      The front bucket seats are quite comfortable and will hold you in if you decide to tackle that special road aggressively. A set of power adjustments makes it easy for anyone to find a comfortable position. The back seat is best reserved for small kids or extra storage as legroom is nonexistent. You would think that the Camaro Convertible wouldn’t feel as claustrophobic as the coupe since you can put the top down, but it isn’t. Sitting in the Camaro convertible with the top down, I felt like I was being contained in a small box. Blame the high belt line for this.
      Powertrain:
      Power for the Buick Cascada comes from a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. The figures are impressive for this engine. But drop it into the Cascada and it is quite disappointing. Performance is very lethargic as the engine has to overcome the nearly two tons of Cascada. It feels like an eternity getting up to speed and you’ll find yourself putting the pedal to the floor to get the vehicle moving at a sufficient rate. EPA figures for the Cascada stand at 20 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week landed at 21 mpg. 
      The Camaro’s engine lineup includes a 3.6L V6, turbocharged 2.0L four, and our SS tester’s 6.2L V8. The V8 pumps out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. We had the optional eight-speed automatic, but you can get a six-speed manual. The V8 makes the Camaro Convertible stupidly fun. I found myself wanting to roll down the window at a stop light to tell the vehicle next to me “let me play you the song of my people” before stomping on the accelerator and having the V8 roar into life as the light turns green. The engine will pin you in your seat if you floor it and there is a never-ending stream of power throughout the rev range. A nice touch is the optional dual-mode exhaust system that only amplifies the noises of the V8. The eight-speed automatic is ofine around town and on the highway but stumbles somewhat in enthusiastic driving where it takes a moment to downshift when slowing down. Fuel economy for the Camaro SS Convertible stands at 17 City/28 Highway/20 Combined. I got about 19 mpg during my week-long test.
      Ride & Handling:
      Describing the ride and handling characteristics of the Cascada can be summed up in one word; smooth. Buick’s engineers tuned the Cascada’s suspension to deliver an almost magic carpet ride. Even with a set of twenty-inch wheels as standard equipment, the Cascada is able to deal with rough roads with no issues. Around corners, the Cascada feels planted and body roll is kept in check. But don’t plan on doing anything enthusiastic with it. The steering is a little bit too light for it. Drive it like a relaxed cruiser and you’ll enjoy it. Wind buffeting is minimal with either the windows rolled up or down.
      The Camaro Convertible is shocking as to how well it handles. Part of this comes down to optional Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system which limits body roll. Chevrolet engineers also worked on improving the structural rigidity of the Camaro. The combination makes the convertible just as good as the coupe in corners. Direction change is fast and there is plenty of grip coming from the meaty tires. Where the Camaro Convertible falters is the ride quality. The SS comes with a set of twenty-inch wheels. While they do look sharp, it makes for a somewhat unbearable ride. Bumps of any size are clearly transmitted to those sitting inside. MRC does its best to provide a comfortable ride, but it might be worth considering going down to a smaller wheel to improve the ride. Wind buffeting is kept in check with the windows up or down.
      Price:
      The 2016 Buick Cascada starts at $33,065 for the base model. Our up-level Premium starts at $36,065 and comes to an as-tested price of $37,385 thanks to the vehicle being finished in an optional blue color. You really don’t get much in terms of additional features when compared to the base Cascada aside from some additional safety features - front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert - and automatic wipers. Also for that amount of cash, you could with the Audi A3 cabriolet which offers a slightly more premium interior. But you would lose out on the larger back seat of the Cascada. You would be better off with the base Cascada.
      If you have your heart set on a Camaro Convertible, be ready to shell out the cash. The 2016 Camaro 2SS Convertible carries a base sticker of $48,300 - $6,005 more expensive than the coupe. Add on the list of options fitted to our tester such as the eight-speed automatic, magnetic ride control, and dual-mode exhaust system and you’ll end up with an as-tested price of $54,075. I’ll give you a moment to pick yourself up from the floor due to the price shock. The Camaro is nice car all-around, but is it really worth dropping $54,000?! We’re not so sure. 
      Verdict:
      Both of vehicles have issues that don’t make them as appealing. The Cascada’s engine either needs to be kicked to the curb or head off to the gym to get a bit more power. It would nice if Buick could also figure how to put in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascada, although that might prove to be an engineering nightmare and something that would be better suited for the next-generation model. The Camaro Convertible’s price tag will make a number of people and their bank accounts cry. Also for being a convertible, the Camaro still feels as claustrophobic as the coupe.
      But when you drop the tops in both models, you forget all about the issues. Instead, you begin to take in the sky and rush of the wind. This makes you remember why you bought a convertible, to enjoy the feeling of openness. It is only when you put the top back up that makes you wonder if you can live with the issues. In the case of the Cascada, the answer is no. The Camaro is a maybe.
       
       
      Disclaimer: General Motors Provided the Cascada and Camaro; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Buick
      Model: Cascada
      Trim: Premium
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L SIDI DOHC with VVT
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 200 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 207 @ 1,800 - 4,500, 221 @ 2,200 - 4,000 (with overboost)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,979 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gliwice, Poland
      Base Price: $36,065
      As Tested Price: $37,385 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Deep Sky Metallic - $395.00
      Year: 2016
      Make: Chevrolet
      Model: Camaro Convertible
      Trim: SS
      Engine: 6.2L VVT DI V8
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 455 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 455 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/28/20
      Curb Weight: 3,966 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
      Base Price: $48,300
      As Tested Price: $54,075 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Magnetic Ride Control - $1,695.00
      Eight-Speed Automatic - $1,495.00
      Dual-Mode Exhaust - $895.00
      Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation - $495.00
      20" 5-Split Spoke Aluminum Wheels - $200.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Summertime means something different for everyone. For some, it’s time to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. For others, it is the time to take that trip you have been thinking about for awhile. If you’re an automotive writer like myself, summertime means convertible season. The feeling of having the roof down and enjoying the expanded view of the sky is something quite special. This summer saw two of GM’s latest convertibles roll into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit garage, the new Buick Cascada and recently redesigned Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible. How did these two droptops fare in the summer heat?
      Exterior:
      There is no denying the Opel/Vauxhall roots of the Buick Cascada as it is just basically the Cascada sold in Europe with Buick basing. But that isn’t a bad thing since the Cascada is handsome for the most part. The front features a new grille design and headlights with LED accents. The side profile reveals short overhangs for the front and rear. These overhangs make the side look somewhat oddly proportioned. A set 20-inch wheels come standard. Around back, a long chrome bar runs along the trunk lid into the taillights. 
      On the opposite end is the Chevrolet Camaro. If you’re looking for something quiet and doesn’t bring attention, then maybe you should pass on it. Redesigned last year, Chevrolet retained the Camaro’s basic profile with its sharp lines and rounded corners. But major work was done on the front and rear ends. The front features a narrow top grille and slim headlights. A massive grille sits underneath between a set of deep cuts into the front bumper. The back has been cleaned up with a new trunk lid design, rectangular headlights, and quad-exhaust tips. 
      One item both the Cascada and Camaro share is a fabric top. Putting the top down or up takes under 20 seconds for both vehicles. With the tops down, both vehicles look quite good. But put the tops up and the Cascada is the better looking of the two. I can’t put my finger as to why, but I think it deals with how the Cascada has a little bit more glass than the Camaro. 
      Interior:
      Unfortunately, both the Cascada and Camaro fall on their face when it comes to the interior for different reasons.
      In the case of the Cascada, it features the dash from the outgoing Verano and Encore. This reveals that the Cascada is older despite what Buick may have you think. For example, the center stack is laden with buttons and it will take you a few moments to find the specific one you’re looking for. Not helping is the Cascada using GM’s last-generation infotainment system. While the system is easy to use, the interface is looking very dated. It would have been nice if Buick could have slipped in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascade, but that would have likely introduced more problems than solutions.
      On the upside, the Cascada’s interior is well-built and features decent quality materials. A fair amount of dash and door panels feature some soft touch material. The front seats are comfortable for short and long distance trips. Power adjustments for the driver’s seat make it easy to find a position that works. One touch Buick deserves applause for is the seat belt presenter. The front seat belts are nestled away when the Cascada is turned off to make it easier to get in and out of the back seat. But when you start it up, the presenter extends for both the driver and passenger to buckle in. The back seat provides enough space for kids or small adults. Taller folks like myself will find minimal legroom. With the top up, anyone sitting back here will feel very confined. With the top down, this feeling goes away. 
      Step into the 2016 Camaro Convertible’s interior and you’ll find the same retro ideas from the previous model such as the shape of the dash and circular vents. But Chevrolet improved the overall usability of the Camaro’s interior. For example, the retro-inspired engine information gauges that were placed ahead of the shifter in the previous generation are gone. In its place are a set of air vents that also control the temperature of the climate control system. 
      Our tester featured the optional Chevrolet MyLink system with navigation. We know we’re beating a dead horse with our complaints with MyLink such as a slow response when going from various screens and recognizing devices plugged into the USB ports. But you would think that GM would maybe issue an update or something by now to fix some of these issues? Like other Chevrolet models we have driven this year, the Camaro’s MyLink system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We tried CarPlay and found it to be easier to use than most automaker’s infotainment systems. But, we had issues with apps crashing and the system not always recognizing our phone.
      The front bucket seats are quite comfortable and will hold you in if you decide to tackle that special road aggressively. A set of power adjustments makes it easy for anyone to find a comfortable position. The back seat is best reserved for small kids or extra storage as legroom is nonexistent. You would think that the Camaro Convertible wouldn’t feel as claustrophobic as the coupe since you can put the top down, but it isn’t. Sitting in the Camaro convertible with the top down, I felt like I was being contained in a small box. Blame the high belt line for this.
      Powertrain:
      Power for the Buick Cascada comes from a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. The figures are impressive for this engine. But drop it into the Cascada and it is quite disappointing. Performance is very lethargic as the engine has to overcome the nearly two tons of Cascada. It feels like an eternity getting up to speed and you’ll find yourself putting the pedal to the floor to get the vehicle moving at a sufficient rate. EPA figures for the Cascada stand at 20 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week landed at 21 mpg. 
      The Camaro’s engine lineup includes a 3.6L V6, turbocharged 2.0L four, and our SS tester’s 6.2L V8. The V8 pumps out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. We had the optional eight-speed automatic, but you can get a six-speed manual. The V8 makes the Camaro Convertible stupidly fun. I found myself wanting to roll down the window at a stop light to tell the vehicle next to me “let me play you the song of my people” before stomping on the accelerator and having the V8 roar into life as the light turns green. The engine will pin you in your seat if you floor it and there is a never-ending stream of power throughout the rev range. A nice touch is the optional dual-mode exhaust system that only amplifies the noises of the V8. The eight-speed automatic is ofine around town and on the highway but stumbles somewhat in enthusiastic driving where it takes a moment to downshift when slowing down. Fuel economy for the Camaro SS Convertible stands at 17 City/28 Highway/20 Combined. I got about 19 mpg during my week-long test.
      Ride & Handling:
      Describing the ride and handling characteristics of the Cascada can be summed up in one word; smooth. Buick’s engineers tuned the Cascada’s suspension to deliver an almost magic carpet ride. Even with a set of twenty-inch wheels as standard equipment, the Cascada is able to deal with rough roads with no issues. Around corners, the Cascada feels planted and body roll is kept in check. But don’t plan on doing anything enthusiastic with it. The steering is a little bit too light for it. Drive it like a relaxed cruiser and you’ll enjoy it. Wind buffeting is minimal with either the windows rolled up or down.
      The Camaro Convertible is shocking as to how well it handles. Part of this comes down to optional Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system which limits body roll. Chevrolet engineers also worked on improving the structural rigidity of the Camaro. The combination makes the convertible just as good as the coupe in corners. Direction change is fast and there is plenty of grip coming from the meaty tires. Where the Camaro Convertible falters is the ride quality. The SS comes with a set of twenty-inch wheels. While they do look sharp, it makes for a somewhat unbearable ride. Bumps of any size are clearly transmitted to those sitting inside. MRC does its best to provide a comfortable ride, but it might be worth considering going down to a smaller wheel to improve the ride. Wind buffeting is kept in check with the windows up or down.
      Price:
      The 2016 Buick Cascada starts at $33,065 for the base model. Our up-level Premium starts at $36,065 and comes to an as-tested price of $37,385 thanks to the vehicle being finished in an optional blue color. You really don’t get much in terms of additional features when compared to the base Cascada aside from some additional safety features - front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert - and automatic wipers. Also for that amount of cash, you could with the Audi A3 cabriolet which offers a slightly more premium interior. But you would lose out on the larger back seat of the Cascada. You would be better off with the base Cascada.
      If you have your heart set on a Camaro Convertible, be ready to shell out the cash. The 2016 Camaro 2SS Convertible carries a base sticker of $48,300 - $6,005 more expensive than the coupe. Add on the list of options fitted to our tester such as the eight-speed automatic, magnetic ride control, and dual-mode exhaust system and you’ll end up with an as-tested price of $54,075. I’ll give you a moment to pick yourself up from the floor due to the price shock. The Camaro is nice car all-around, but is it really worth dropping $54,000?! We’re not so sure. 
      Verdict:
      Both of vehicles have issues that don’t make them as appealing. The Cascada’s engine either needs to be kicked to the curb or head off to the gym to get a bit more power. It would nice if Buick could also figure how to put in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascada, although that might prove to be an engineering nightmare and something that would be better suited for the next-generation model. The Camaro Convertible’s price tag will make a number of people and their bank accounts cry. Also for being a convertible, the Camaro still feels as claustrophobic as the coupe.
      But when you drop the tops in both models, you forget all about the issues. Instead, you begin to take in the sky and rush of the wind. This makes you remember why you bought a convertible, to enjoy the feeling of openness. It is only when you put the top back up that makes you wonder if you can live with the issues. In the case of the Cascada, the answer is no. The Camaro is a maybe.
       
       
      Disclaimer: General Motors Provided the Cascada and Camaro; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Buick
      Model: Cascada
      Trim: Premium
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L SIDI DOHC with VVT
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 200 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 207 @ 1,800 - 4,500, 221 @ 2,200 - 4,000 (with overboost)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,979 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gliwice, Poland
      Base Price: $36,065
      As Tested Price: $37,385 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Deep Sky Metallic - $395.00
      Year: 2016
      Make: Chevrolet
      Model: Camaro Convertible
      Trim: SS
      Engine: 6.2L VVT DI V8
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 455 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 455 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/28/20
      Curb Weight: 3,966 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
      Base Price: $48,300
      As Tested Price: $54,075 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Magnetic Ride Control - $1,695.00
      Eight-Speed Automatic - $1,495.00
      Dual-Mode Exhaust - $895.00
      Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation - $495.00
      20" 5-Split Spoke Aluminum Wheels - $200.00
    • By William Maley
      Three years might not seem like a long time. But in the automotive industry, it is an eternity. In that short amount time, a vehicle may be surpassed by competitors and sales may take a dive. Take for example the Nissan Altima. When the redesigned model was launched back in 2013, it was considered to be above-average and some key advantages over rivals. But time has passed and the Altima has been surpassed in a number of key areas by refreshed/redesigned competitors. Nissan knew they needed to do something to get the Altima back in contention. Last year, they introduced a refreshed Altima that would hopefully give them a fighting chance in the class. Let's see if it does.
      If you were expecting some big changes to the Altima’s exterior in this mid-cycle refresh, then you’ll be disappointed. The front end features a new V-shaped grille and revised headlights to bring the model in line with the current Nissan design language. Updated taillights and new wheel choices finish off the changes. The interior is mostly left alone in this refresh aside from some new choices of trim pieces. That isn’t a bad thing as the Altima’s interior is a nice place to be in with ample space for passengers, a fair amount of soft-touch materials used throughout, and a simple dash layout. 
      One item we do wish Nissan would have addressed in this refresh is the NissanConnect infotainment system. All Altimas come with a five-inch touchscreen as standard, while our SL tester featured the optional seven-inch screen. This system has a number of issues ranging from an interface that makes it look older than it really is to the system crashing our iPod on a regular basis. More worrying was the system crashing and rebooting twice during our week-long test. It would be nice for Nissan to take the system out of the Maxima and Murano and put it into the rest of their lineup as it doesn’t have the issues listed here.
      Under the hood of the Altima are the same engines that have powered it since 2013. Our Altima SL tester came with the standard 2.5L four-cylinder with 183 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. No matter which engine you pick, a Xtronic CVT routes the power to the front wheels. The 2.5 does quite well around town as the engine gets up to speed at a decent rate. Getting onto the highway is another story as you’ll need to almost floor the gas pedal to get up to speed at a somewhat decent rate. This also brings forth an abundance of engine noise, something we complained about in our 2014 Nissan Altima SL review. At least the Xtronic CVT is responsive when you step on the accelerator and the illusion of the stepped gears can make most buyers believe they’re driving an automatic.
      The EPA rates the Altima’s fuel economy at 27 City/39 Highway/31 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 31.7 MPG.
      The Altima’s ride and handling characteristics are in the middle. The suspension does a decent job of soaking up most bumps, but some larger ones will make their way inside. The recently redesigned Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Passat do a better job in this regard. In the bends, the Altima feels composed and shows little body roll. But the steering is way too light and doesn’t offer enough feel to feel sporty. If you want that, a Mazda6 or Ford Fusion should be on the list.
      How do you sum up the 2016 Nissan Altima? It is a competent midsize sedan. But competent isn’t a strong selling point to a midsize sedan as you can apply to any model in the class. What you need is something that makes your model stand out whether in terms of design or features. The Altima doesn’t have anything like that.
      Picking the Altima may be the safe choice, but it be might a choice you regret.
      Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Altima, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Nissan
      Model: Altima
      Trim: 2.5 SL
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Xtronic CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 182 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 180 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/39/31
      Curb Weight: 3,254 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, TN
      Base Price: $28,570
      As Tested Price: $32,115 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Technology Package - $1,700
      Moonroof Package - $800.00
      Carpeted Floormats and Trunk Mat - $210.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Three years might not seem like a long time. But in the automotive industry, it is an eternity. In that short amount time, a vehicle may be surpassed by competitors and sales may take a dive. Take for example the Nissan Altima. When the redesigned model was launched back in 2013, it was considered to be above-average and some key advantages over rivals. But time has passed and the Altima has been surpassed in a number of key areas by refreshed/redesigned competitors. Nissan knew they needed to do something to get the Altima back in contention. Last year, they introduced a refreshed Altima that would hopefully give them a fighting chance in the class. Let's see if it does.
      If you were expecting some big changes to the Altima’s exterior in this mid-cycle refresh, then you’ll be disappointed. The front end features a new V-shaped grille and revised headlights to bring the model in line with the current Nissan design language. Updated taillights and new wheel choices finish off the changes. The interior is mostly left alone in this refresh aside from some new choices of trim pieces. That isn’t a bad thing as the Altima’s interior is a nice place to be in with ample space for passengers, a fair amount of soft-touch materials used throughout, and a simple dash layout. 
      One item we do wish Nissan would have addressed in this refresh is the NissanConnect infotainment system. All Altimas come with a five-inch touchscreen as standard, while our SL tester featured the optional seven-inch screen. This system has a number of issues ranging from an interface that makes it look older than it really is to the system crashing our iPod on a regular basis. More worrying was the system crashing and rebooting twice during our week-long test. It would be nice for Nissan to take the system out of the Maxima and Murano and put it into the rest of their lineup as it doesn’t have the issues listed here.
      Under the hood of the Altima are the same engines that have powered it since 2013. Our Altima SL tester came with the standard 2.5L four-cylinder with 183 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. No matter which engine you pick, a Xtronic CVT routes the power to the front wheels. The 2.5 does quite well around town as the engine gets up to speed at a decent rate. Getting onto the highway is another story as you’ll need to almost floor the gas pedal to get up to speed at a somewhat decent rate. This also brings forth an abundance of engine noise, something we complained about in our 2014 Nissan Altima SL review. At least the Xtronic CVT is responsive when you step on the accelerator and the illusion of the stepped gears can make most buyers believe they’re driving an automatic.
      The EPA rates the Altima’s fuel economy at 27 City/39 Highway/31 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 31.7 MPG.
      The Altima’s ride and handling characteristics are in the middle. The suspension does a decent job of soaking up most bumps, but some larger ones will make their way inside. The recently redesigned Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Passat do a better job in this regard. In the bends, the Altima feels composed and shows little body roll. But the steering is way too light and doesn’t offer enough feel to feel sporty. If you want that, a Mazda6 or Ford Fusion should be on the list.
      How do you sum up the 2016 Nissan Altima? It is a competent midsize sedan. But competent isn’t a strong selling point to a midsize sedan as you can apply to any model in the class. What you need is something that makes your model stand out whether in terms of design or features. The Altima doesn’t have anything like that.
      Picking the Altima may be the safe choice, but it be might a choice you regret.
      Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Altima, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Nissan
      Model: Altima
      Trim: 2.5 SL
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Xtronic CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 182 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 180 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/39/31
      Curb Weight: 3,254 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, TN
      Base Price: $28,570
      As Tested Price: $32,115 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Technology Package - $1,700
      Moonroof Package - $800.00
      Carpeted Floormats and Trunk Mat - $210.00
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