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    Quick Drive: 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL


    • The wonder bread of midsize sedans

    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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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Decent, cheap, efficient, long distance car and that's about that.  Get it up to speed on the highway and just leave it there.

    Yes, but for the money better alternatives exist.  Still a pretty decent automobile.

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    1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Yes, but for the money better alternatives exist.  Still a pretty decent automobile.

    Eh, configured the way @William Maley got it for review, these are the king of the $199 a month leases and they're big cars for the segment.  That's why they sell. 

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    25 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Eh, configured the way @William Maley got it for review, these are the king of the $199 a month leases and they're big cars for the segment.  That's why they sell. 

    I could see how that would work out for them.  Still I would prefer even a Chrysler 200 or a base Camry for even so much as a rental.  Really though, not a bad car.  Nissan does get maroon right.  The color on the same just nails it IMHO.

    GM is still the king of maroon though....from Firethorn red in the seventies to the modern maroons...YOWZA!

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    7 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    I could see how that would work out for them.  Still I would prefer even a Chrysler 200 or a base Camry for even so much as a rental.  Really though, not a bad car.  Nissan does get maroon right.  The color on the same just nails it IMHO.

    GM is still the king of maroon though....from Firethorn red in the seventies to the modern maroons...YOWZA!

    Oh absolutely would I pick a Chrysler 200 (even as rough as the Chrysler 2.4 is, it is no worse than the Altima), but if you need space, the only thing that beats the Altima at this price for interior cubic feet is the Passat.   Also not a bad choice, but not for everyone either. 

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    3 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Oh absolutely would I pick a Chrysler 200 (even as rough as the Chrysler 2.4 is, it is no worse than the Altima), but if you need space, the only thing that beats the Altima at this price for interior cubic feet is the Passat.   Also not a bad choice, but not for everyone either. 

    The 1.8T in the Passat is a little bit more fuel efficient from what I have seen, but not as reliable as the Nissan unit.  I could really see just needing a decent family car and buying the Nissan. Thankfully, I am down to just one kid at home out of five...perhaps I can talk my wife into a 370Z instead of an Altima....(or a better use for twenty grand on a used car, ATS has become downright affordable.)

    Edited by A Horse With No Name
    Stang can't spell
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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Oh absolutely would I pick a Chrysler 200 (even as rough as the Chrysler 2.4 is, it is no worse than the Altima), but if you need space, the only thing that beats the Altima at this price for interior cubic feet is the Passat.   Also not a bad choice, but not for everyone either. 

    There's no way I'd opt for or recommend a Chrysler 200 unless it was a V6. Drove a 2016 2.4L model for around 500-ish miles as a rental while visiting Texas, the 9-speed transmission paired with the 4-cylinder is an absolute deal breaker. Drives like complete garbage around town, it constantly falls all over itself finding gears below 30 mph. Does alright on the highway, but there is moderate road/wind noise.

    It's not a one-off issue either. I drove a 2015 200 w/2.4L powertrain for around 10 minutes at a driving event and among myself and 4 other car enthusiasts, it was unanimously the worst driving midsize car in the bunch. My fiance also got another 2016 200 4-cylinder rental last month and it drove just like the one we had in Texas.

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    20 minutes ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    There's no way I'd opt for or recommend a Chrysler 200 unless it was a V6. Drove a 2016 2.4L model for around 500-ish miles as a rental while visiting Texas, the 9-speed transmission paired with the 4-cylinder is an absolute deal breaker. Drives like complete garbage around town, it constantly falls all over itself finding gears below 30 mph. Does alright on the highway, but there is moderate road/wind noise.

    It's not a one-off issue either. I drove a 2015 200 w/2.4L powertrain for around 10 minutes at a driving event and among myself and 4 other car enthusiasts, it was unanimously the worst driving midsize car in the bunch. My fiance also got another 2016 200 4-cylinder rental last month and it drove just like the one we had in Texas.

    My experience was not quite that negative.....but the Malibu and Fusion look very, very polished by comparison to either the Altima or 200.

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    20 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I've had the 200 with the 2.4 and 9 speed, drove it from Baltimore to Boston. It was tolerable.

    I do like the styling and the interior Materials in the 200 better than the Altima, and the information system in the 200 seemed better to me also.

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    4 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    I do like the styling and the interior Materials in the 200 better than the Altima, and the information system in the 200 seemed better to me also.

    uConnect, while one of the older systems on the market, is actually one of the best because everything "just works" and it is easy to use. 

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    1 minute ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    uConnect, while one of the older systems on the market, is actually one of the best because everything "just works" and it is easy to use. 

    That was my experience anyways.

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    3 hours ago, regfootball said:

    I've read to stay away from most early chrysler products with that 9 speed auto. Horror stories abound on forums. 

    Those who may not want an Altima, get this.... 2017 Sentra SR 1.6 turbo plus choice of stick  sounds crazy but I would consider one 

    http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/presskits/us-2017-nissan-sentra-sr-turbo-press-kit/photos/2017-nissan-sentra-sr-turbo-53

     

     

    Yup I mentioned the SR Turbo with stick over onto the sedan thread.  If only it came in a hatch...

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    On 9/13/2016 at 10:03 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    Decent, cheap, efficient, long distance car and that's about that.  Get it up to speed on the highway and just leave it there.

    Pretty much....not very excited at all...

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      Cadillac has been stepping up its game in terms of their interiors with their new models. Case in point is the XT5. Our top-line Platinum tester featured faux suede, leather, and wood trim on a number of surfaces that make it look and feel quite luxurious. We’re glad to see the removal of the Piano Black panel for the center stack as it looked out of place and was a magnet for fingerprints. One design idea we’re not so keen on is the gear selector. Instead of a lever, Cadillac went with a joystick controller to engage the various gears. The controller isn’t intuitive as you’ll find yourself going into the wrong gear or not going into one at all on a somewhat regular basis. You will get the hang of it after a bit, but you can’t help but wonder why Cadillac decided to change this in the first place.
      The leather used for the seats feel quite supple and help fix the issue of uncomfortable seats in the SRX. Interior space has grown, thanks to a two-inch increase in the wheelbase. Rear legroom has grown 3.2 inches and it allows anyone sitting back there to stretch out. Headroom is still slightly tight thanks in part to our tester coming with the optional panoramic sunroof. But this can be alleviated by recalling the rear seat slightly. Cargo space in smack dab in the middle - 30 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 63 cubic feet when folded.
      Cadillac User Interface (CUE) has been one of our least favorite infotainment systems to use since it was introduced a few years ago. The litany of problems ranging from a touch sensitive buttons not responding to inputs to the system crashing have dragged Cadillac down. But the system has been getting a number of changes and updates over the past few years. For starters, Cadillac has removed most of the touch-sensitive buttons from the system. Being able to press an actual button to turn on the heated/ventilated seats or adjust the temperature is really nice. It is a shame Cadillac didn’t bring back an actual volume knob for CUE - the touch-sensitive strip is still there. But at least there are volume controls on the steering wheel that allow you to avoid it. The system itself has been overhauled with a faster processor and a slightly improved interface. The changes make a difference as the system is snappier and a little bit easier to understand. If you still find CUE a bit overwhelming, you’ll be happy to know that CUE now features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
      Cadillac bucks the trend in the midsize luxury crossover class by only offering one engine - a 3.6L V6 producing 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque (@ 5,000 rpm). This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The V6 is the weak link in the XT5. When leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to realize the accelerator pedal has been pressed before it starts working. This is even worse when you’re trying to make a pass as it seems the engine was busy taking a nap before it was hastily woken up. Once the engine is awake, it takes its time to get up to speed. There is a positive to the V6 engine and that is the stop-start system. Unlike some previous systems that are slow to restart the engine or do so in a very rough fashion, Cadillac’s system is quick and smooth when you let off the brake. The eight-speed automatic seems reluctant to downshift at times. We’re guessing this transmission was calibrated for fuel economy. At least the eight-speed automatic delivers smooth shifts.
      Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Cadillac XT5 all-wheel drive stand at 18 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. Our average fuel economy for the week landed around 22.3 mpg in mostly city driving. 
      One characteristic we liked about the SRX was its comfortable ride. Yes, it flies in the face of Cadillac’s message of beating the German’s at their own handling game. But buyers loved the smoothness on offer. Sadly, the XT5 loses a bit of the smoothness. Despite our tester featuring an adaptive suspension system, the XT5 wasn’t able to fully iron out bumps. Some of this can be attributed to 20-inch wheels fitted to our tester. At least the XT5 keeps road and wind noise out of the interior. Like the SRX, the XT5 isn’t sporty. Body motions are kept in check, but the light weight and nonexistent feel from the steering puts a halt to that idea. 
      An item Cadillac has been touting on the XT5 is the Rear Camera Mirror. Available only on the top-line Platinum, the mirror can stream the view from the rear camera by flicking a switch. We found this to be really helpful when backing out of parking lots as it gave a view that isn’t hindered by the thick rear pillars. Hopefully, Cadillac spreads this feature down to other trims of the XT5. 
      In some respects, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 is a step forward. The model improves on certain parts of the SRX such as a more luxurious and spacious interior, improved CUE system, and sharper looks. But in other respects, Cadillac messed up with the XT5. The 3.6L V6 needs to be shown the door and a new engine that offers better low-end performance to take its place. The loss of the smooth ride that the SRX was known for hurts the XT5 as well. Finally, there is the price. Our XT5 Platinum tester came with an as-tested price of $69,985. It is a nice crossover. But if we’re dropping close $70,000 on a luxury crossover, we can think of a few models that would be ahead of the XT5.
      It should be noted that the Cadillac XT5 has taken the place of the SRX of being the brand’s best selling model. At the end of 2016, Cadillac moved 39,485 XT5s. But unlike the SRX which we could recommend without hesitation, the XT5 comes with a number of caveats that we cannot do the same.
      Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the XT5, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Cadillac
      Model: SRX
      Trim: Platinum
      Engine: 3.6L V6 VVT DI
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,700
      Torque @ RPM: 271 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/26/21
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Spring Hill, TN
      Base Price: $62,500
      As Tested Price: $69,985 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $2,340.00
      20-inch Wheels - $2,095.00
      Trailering Equipment - $575.00
      Black Ice Body Side Moldings - $355.00
      Compact Spare Tire - $350.00
      Black Ice License Plate Bar - $310.00
      Black Roof Rails - $295.00
      Black Splash Guards - $170.00
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      Nissan Leaf 2.0 Beta!

      Seems while Nissan has talked in fuzzy grey circles about version 2.0, finally some details are coming out as well as the capture of the Mules running around or as we like to call in the Tech Industry, BETA Baby!
      So with this ugly heavily wrapped black nose (Full Photos Here) from Motor Authority, we can clearly see that version 2.0 is based on the IDS concept.

      In fact as multiple various other auto web sites report it really does have some clear connections to Nissans Micra which was launched at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
      Nissan Micra

      Clearly the Floating roof is to stay but a more common look and feel much like what the Chevy Volt did from Version 1.0 to 2.0. Nissan seems to want to have the Leaf just blend in with the rest of the family.
      According to Green Car Report, at the annual Nissan Meeting 18 month ago, Nissan showed off their Advanced R&D EV with a 60kWh battery pack good for about 250 miles.

      According to their story they state that today's 30 kWh battery pack in the Leaf good for 107 miles is being replaced with two options expected to be 40 kWh and 60 kWh size which they say should produce about 140 and 220 miles.These two batteries fit into the same space as the old 30 kWh battery pack.
      Much like every other auto company, Nissan has been saying that their auto on the highway will self drive plus much more. Yet like any Beta, no firm list of what all will be included or optioned until the auto is released.
      Interesting is that The Guardian post a story that states where Exxonmobil and other oil companies say that oil and coal can handle the electricity needs of the world well past 2050 needs to rethink as dropping prices of EV's and Solar panels could make the growth of Fossil fuels neutralized by 2020. This report goes on to state that the market share gain of solar power and clean cars was the cause for the collapse of the coal mining industry in the US and Europe. The continued growth of Solar, Wind, thermal and the final acceptance with long range EV's is making people think twice about burning fossil fuels. This report is also predicting that EV's will make up 35% of all road transportation by 2035 and 2/3 rds by 2050 which would displace 25 million barrels of oil per day. End result is getting climate change to stop changing in regards to temps rising and help the ecosystem balance out sooner.
      End result, cleaner air, healthier planet, quiet auto's and long range for the Nissan Leaf 2.0.
      My one question is who many people do they think will continue to buy an EV with such a short range battery? I question how many 40 kWh battery pack Leaf 2.0 will actually get built versus the 60 kWh 220 mile range battery enabled Leaf.
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