• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Review: 2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL


    • It's Not Easy Being Number 3


    It's not easy being number three. Especially in the class of the midsize sedan where the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry rule the roost. But there is a model which has been making itself at home in third place. That model would be the Nissan Altima. In its current incarnation, the Altima has been making a name for itself among the likes of the Accord and Camry. But why does the Altima end up sitting in third place in sales at the end of year? Well I spent a week with a 2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL and I think I have an answer to that.

    The Altima’s exterior sits somewhere in the middle of the midsize sedan design spectrum. It isn’t as exciting as a Kia Optima or a Mazda6, but it isn’t as bland as the Toyota Camry or Volkswagen Passat. The Altima’s front has has a trapezoidal-shaped grille and front headlights that carry a boomerang-shape as seen on 370Z. The boomerang light idea continues in the back where the rear taillights carry the same design. One other cue to take note of on the Altima is the flowing front fenders.

    2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 2

    The Altima’s interior follows the same design as the exterior. Nothing too flashy, nor too bland. The layout is very simple with leather, fake wood and metal trim lining parts of the interior. This makes it feel very upscale when compared to competitors. One of the big selling points on the Altima its zero-gravity seats which they say helps put less of a load on on the spine, pelvis and muscles on long trips. Now I cannot say whether or not the seats provided less stress to my back, but I can say they were comfortable. Back seat passengers will find a surprising amount of head and legroom.

    2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 13

    The center stack featured a seven-inch touchscreen which comes as part of the SL Tech package. The touchscreen features the latest version of the automaker’s infotainment system which includes NissanConnect, a way for certain apps such as Facebook to be used in the vehicle via your smartphone. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to play around with this. What I did get to play around with was the system itself. The interface looks somewhat old, despite it being a brand new system. However, the system is really easy to comprehend with large touch points, hard buttons on either side of the screen, and simple layout. But in my tester, the system had some problems that ranged from slowness to the entire system doing a reboot. I don’t know if this was an odd occurrence or a common problem at the time I had the vehicle. I need to spend some more time with Nissan’s system before I can really answer this.

    For Thoughts On The Powertrain and Ride, See Page 2


    Like Honda and Toyota, Nissan is sticking with a four-cylinder and V6 engine lineup for the Altima. My tester, was equipped with the 2.5L four-cylinder which makes 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. It's paired up with the company’s Xtronic CVT. The 2.5 is pretty peppy with power being always there and offering decent acceleration. What I wished for was a bit more refinement from the engine. Apparently Nissan’s engineers had listed on engine requirements was to make sure everyone in the interior knew the engine was working. Well that has been accomplished. The CVT for the most part is unobtrusive and is able to deliver the power smoothly. The only downside is that when you push down on the accelerator pedal, the CVT makes itself known. On the fuel economy front, the EPA rates the Altima equipped with the 2.5 at 27 City/38 Highway/31 combined. I averaged 30.5 during my week-long test.

    2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 10

    Taking the Altima out on the open roads, it proved to be a fine cruiser. Whether on the freeway, in the city, or out in the suburbs;, the suspension does a very good job of smoothing out the bumps and imperfections. As for noise isolation, the Altima sits in the middle once again. A decent amount of road and wind noise is contained, but it cannot compare to the likes of the Chevrolet Malibu. Out on the curvy stuff, the Altima once again sits in the middle. The suspension is capable enough to keep the Altima level and the steering has a nice response and feel.

    2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 7

    To go back to the question I asked earlier about why the Altima sits in third place, I think I have the answer. Nissan has most of the pieces together with the Altima. But there are a couple of stumbling blocks for the model with the engine needing some more refinement and the buggy infotainment system. Because of these problems, it puts the Altima right in the number three spot. If Nissan were to fix these problems, then we might have a three-horse race for #1.

    Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Altima 2.5 SL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2014

    Make: Nissan

    Model: Altima

    Trim: 2.5 SL

    Engine: 2.5L DOHC Inline-Four

    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT

    Horsepower @ RPM: 182 @ 6000

    Torque @ RPM: 180 @ 4000

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/38/31

    Curb Weight: 3,206 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, Tennessee

    Base Price: $27,760.00

    As Tested Price: $30,625.00 (Includes $790.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    Technology Package - $1,090.00

    Moonroof Package - $890.00

    Carpeted Floor and Trunk Mats - $185.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Nice write up, enjoyed reading it and the comparison to the top two japan competitors.

    Question, how does this line up against what American auto companies offer?

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I actually like this car. I've recently rented it twice in California. The only place it has trouble, for me, is on highways with twisty roads - especially over broken pavement. It doesn't feel safe at all. It's just not well enough connected to the road. I haven't driven a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord but I imagine they have a very similar feel...

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    it was nice enough, but to me had some things to work on yet.

    http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/80394-2013-nissan-altima-sv/

    HIGHS

    Wise refinements to the Altima franchise
    Big mpg boosts
    Nicely improved CVT
    Room and space abounds
    Good acceleration, cruises effortlessly
    Soft and warm interior with some hand me down luxury feel
    Stable and secure ride and handling
    Decent noise isolation when the rpms are down
    Lots of features and tech for the price

    LOWS

    The honking ducks and vacuum cleaners under the hood when you rev it up
    Just a bit of rubber bandiness left in the CVT
    Bit of a dated feel already, some faux luxury feel
    Some styling elements a bit awkward
    Starting to feel less youthful, 'softened up'
    On a path to a lack of identity
    Doesn't excel.....or fail.......at any one thing.
    Is the car trying to do what Toyota has done for so many years? (i.e. inoffensive appliance)
    Edited by regfootball
    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    There is nothing to draw me personally to this. Fusion has best in class styling and fantastic build quality, Passat has a diesel nth a does an honest 45 on the highway, Mazda Six is a looker with class leading chassis dynamics, Honda has the sweet 6 MT in the Accord sport, CPO Benz and BMW are not much more and they crush the Altima in every way imaginable. Not to mention Verano and Regal both make the Altima look stuuuupid in comparison.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The Altima has a lot of nice touches, mileage, seats and some tech included...but still suffers from lacking dynamics, and some issues with the CVT/engine/noise combination. They have had some issues. Overall, though some nice details, this car is never polished and refined in the way an Accord or Mazda 6 are, and they give some strange sensations and noise. Or as Honda/Acura clients I've had that have moved to an Altima/Maxima as a spare or "let's try one" car, they just aren't as refined.

    Every car in this class is unique in its own way, for sure, whether it be styling, driving dynamics, or power train. Altima, meh. There are better cars. But they do sell a metric ton (Nissan's "discount central and crazy production levels" manner helps), and I see the latest new one everywhere all day long in Philly.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The Altima has a lot of nice touches, mileage, seats and some tech included...but still suffers from lacking dynamics, and some issues with the CVT/engine/noise combination. They have had some issues. Overall, though some nice details, this car is never polished and refined in the way an Accord or Mazda 6 are, and they give some strange sensations and noise. Or as Honda/Acura clients I've had that have moved to an Altima/Maxima as a spare or "let's try one" car, they just aren't as refined.

    Every car in this class is unique in its own way, for sure, whether it be styling, driving dynamics, or power train. Altima, meh. There are better cars. But they do sell a metric ton (Nissan's "discount central and crazy production levels" manner helps), and I see the latest new one everywhere all day long in Philly.

    This is very well written, and the damned truth. They sell this thing based largely on marketing and pricing, not on the inherent value of the car itself in comparison to its competition.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Altima is one of the cheap lease kings. They whore them out on cheap low money down and sign and drive stuff. BUt someone I know, kept re-leasing a new Altima every two or three years, no issues, just kept turning in keys and getting a new one.

    I know Ford makes leasing easy. GM still doesn't have a lot of models they really go to the mat and lease cheap to start.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Altima is one of the cheap lease kings. They whore them out on cheap low money down and sign and drive stuff. BUt someone I know, kept re-leasing a new Altima every two or three years, no issues, just kept turning in keys and getting a new one.

    I know Ford makes leasing easy. GM still doesn't have a lot of models they really go to the mat and lease cheap to start.

    This is very true, especially with the Altima in the city and lower income population. It used to be stereotypical, but when our Acura store was located in the city, we could count weekly how many times someone would say "but an Altima has push button..." no matter what Acura they were looking at, at the time. Didn't matter how it drove, what kind of hubcaps were on it, etc., "but it has push button start!".

    Cheap deals, techy features, it sells in volume, even if there are better cars out there. And in many cases, these are the cars someone with issues can get approved on, due to the incentives.

    They are everywhere, to the point I almost see less of the previous gen now, but there are better cars to choose from. Unless the tech gizmo's and cheapness make you not care about how it drives, which for many, it doesn't. Same reason you end up in a Camry, plus reputation that car promises.

    Lots and lots of choices in this class. Something for everyone, which is good.

    Edited by caddycruiser
    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The most important option box to check when buying an Altima is the one that says 3.5 V6... not just because it is a V6 but because it gets you away from the terribly unrefined 2.5. Why Nissan still hasn't replaced the 2.5 engine is beyond me.... the Altima with the V6 and CVT is a very nice drive.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. bcs296
      bcs296
      (29 years old)
    2. jcgable
      jcgable
      (30 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Carlos Ghosn announced yesterday that he would be stepping down as CEO for Nissan on April 1st. In a statement, Ghosn explained that he wants to focus on the expansion and stewardship of the alliance between Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi. That doesn't mean Ghosn is fully stepping away from Nissan. He will still serve as the chairman of the board for the brand.
      "As Nissan's Chairman, I will continue to supervise and guide the company, both independently and within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. This planned change will also allow me to devote more time and energy to managing the strategic and operational evolution and expansion of the Alliance and ensuring that all its members benefit from the competitive advantages that its scale will deliver. I am committed to supporting the Alliance as it evolves and expands, and will continue to serve each member of the Alliance wherever and whenever necessary," said Ghosn.
      Ghosn's replacement is Hiroto Saikawa, currently the co-CEO of Nissan. Saikawa joined the company back in 1997 and has held a number of roles including the company's Chief Competitive Officer.
      "I would like to thank Mr. Ghosn and the Nissan board for entrusting me with this new responsibility. Under Mr. Ghosn's chairmanship and with the support of the excellent leadership team that has been built at Nissan, my focus will be delivering our company's continued performance and development and on continuing Nissan's contribution to the success of the Alliance," said Saikawa.
      Source: Nissan
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Hiroto Saikawa appointed as Nissan Chief Executive Officer
      Carlos Ghosn to continue to serve as Chairman of Nissan’s Board of Directors YOKOHAMA, Japan – At the recommendation of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan Board of Directors has decided that as of April 1, 2017, Hiroto Saikawa will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Ghosn will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and he will seek a renewal of his mandate at the company's general shareholders meeting in June 2017.
      This planned management evolution follows Mr. Ghosn's leadership of the recent expansion of the Renault-Nissan Alliance to include Mitsubishi Motors, which positions the Alliance among the top automotive groups in terms of scale.
      As Chairman of all three Alliance companies, and as Chief Executive Officer of the Renault Group, Mr. Ghosn wishes to focus more of his attention on the expansion and stewardship of the Alliance, as its Chairman and CEO. In this role, he will ensure that the opportunities available to Alliance members are fully harnessed.
      Mr. Ghosn stated, "I am confident that the management team I have developed at Nissan over the past 18 years has the talent and experience to meet the company's operational and strategic goals. Having recently taken on new responsibilities at Mitsubishi Motors, and taking into consideration the upcoming Nissan general shareholders meeting, I have decided that the time is right for Hiroto Saikawa to succeed me as Nissan's CEO."
      He continued, "As Nissan's Chairman, I will continue to supervise and guide the company, both independently and within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. This planned change will also allow me to devote more time and energy to managing the strategic and operational evolution and expansion of the Alliance and ensuring that all its members benefit from the competitive advantages that its scale will deliver. I am committed to supporting the Alliance as it evolves and expands, and will continue to serve each member of the Alliance wherever and whenever necessary."
      Mr. Saikawa currently serves as Nissan's co-CEO and a representative director. Between April 2013 and October 2016, he was Nissan's Chief Competitive Officer. Mr. Saikawa joined Nissan in 1977, and since 1999 he has served in a variety of senior management positions, including Chairman of the Management Committees of the Americas and Europe, as well as the Executive Vice President of Purchasing. In addition to his responsibilities at Nissan, Mr. Saikawa is the current Chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). He previously served as a member of the board of directors of Renault between 2006 and 2016.
      Mr. Saikawa stated, "I would like to thank Mr. Ghosn and the Nissan board for entrusting me with this new responsibility. Under Mr. Ghosn's chairmanship and with the support of the excellent leadership team that has been built at Nissan, my focus will be delivering our company's continued performance and development and on continuing Nissan's contribution to the success of the Alliance."

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Carlos Ghosn announced yesterday that he would be stepping down as CEO for Nissan on April 1st. In a statement, Ghosn explained that he wants to focus on the expansion and stewardship of the alliance between Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi. That doesn't mean Ghosn is fully stepping away from Nissan. He will still serve as the chairman of the board for the brand.
      "As Nissan's Chairman, I will continue to supervise and guide the company, both independently and within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. This planned change will also allow me to devote more time and energy to managing the strategic and operational evolution and expansion of the Alliance and ensuring that all its members benefit from the competitive advantages that its scale will deliver. I am committed to supporting the Alliance as it evolves and expands, and will continue to serve each member of the Alliance wherever and whenever necessary," said Ghosn.
      Ghosn's replacement is Hiroto Saikawa, currently the co-CEO of Nissan. Saikawa joined the company back in 1997 and has held a number of roles including the company's Chief Competitive Officer.
      "I would like to thank Mr. Ghosn and the Nissan board for entrusting me with this new responsibility. Under Mr. Ghosn's chairmanship and with the support of the excellent leadership team that has been built at Nissan, my focus will be delivering our company's continued performance and development and on continuing Nissan's contribution to the success of the Alliance," said Saikawa.
      Source: Nissan
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Hiroto Saikawa appointed as Nissan Chief Executive Officer
      Carlos Ghosn to continue to serve as Chairman of Nissan’s Board of Directors YOKOHAMA, Japan – At the recommendation of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan Board of Directors has decided that as of April 1, 2017, Hiroto Saikawa will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Ghosn will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and he will seek a renewal of his mandate at the company's general shareholders meeting in June 2017.
      This planned management evolution follows Mr. Ghosn's leadership of the recent expansion of the Renault-Nissan Alliance to include Mitsubishi Motors, which positions the Alliance among the top automotive groups in terms of scale.
      As Chairman of all three Alliance companies, and as Chief Executive Officer of the Renault Group, Mr. Ghosn wishes to focus more of his attention on the expansion and stewardship of the Alliance, as its Chairman and CEO. In this role, he will ensure that the opportunities available to Alliance members are fully harnessed.
      Mr. Ghosn stated, "I am confident that the management team I have developed at Nissan over the past 18 years has the talent and experience to meet the company's operational and strategic goals. Having recently taken on new responsibilities at Mitsubishi Motors, and taking into consideration the upcoming Nissan general shareholders meeting, I have decided that the time is right for Hiroto Saikawa to succeed me as Nissan's CEO."
      He continued, "As Nissan's Chairman, I will continue to supervise and guide the company, both independently and within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. This planned change will also allow me to devote more time and energy to managing the strategic and operational evolution and expansion of the Alliance and ensuring that all its members benefit from the competitive advantages that its scale will deliver. I am committed to supporting the Alliance as it evolves and expands, and will continue to serve each member of the Alliance wherever and whenever necessary."
      Mr. Saikawa currently serves as Nissan's co-CEO and a representative director. Between April 2013 and October 2016, he was Nissan's Chief Competitive Officer. Mr. Saikawa joined Nissan in 1977, and since 1999 he has served in a variety of senior management positions, including Chairman of the Management Committees of the Americas and Europe, as well as the Executive Vice President of Purchasing. In addition to his responsibilities at Nissan, Mr. Saikawa is the current Chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). He previously served as a member of the board of directors of Renault between 2006 and 2016.
      Mr. Saikawa stated, "I would like to thank Mr. Ghosn and the Nissan board for entrusting me with this new responsibility. Under Mr. Ghosn's chairmanship and with the support of the excellent leadership team that has been built at Nissan, my focus will be delivering our company's continued performance and development and on continuing Nissan's contribution to the success of the Alliance."
    • By William Maley
      Cadillac has been trying to position itself being as an alternative to German brands with models that offer exemplary handling characteristics and sharp designs. But the brand has the issue of models that don’t quite fit the image being presented. The SRX is the poster child for this. Yes, it had the sharp looks the brand was getting known for. But you wouldn’t call it sporty. It was more along the lines of a Lexus RX where luxury and comfort were the main priorities. Enthusiasts and critics were not pleased with this, but consumers gobbled them up. The SRX for a time was Cadillac’s best-selling model.
      Now we come to the successor of the SRX, the 2017 XT5. Those who were hoping for a change in the priorities will be disappointed as the XT5 doesn’t mess with the SRX’s recipe. But is that bad thing?
      Evolution is the impression you get when walking around the XT5. Cadillac’s designers didn’t make any drastic changes to the design profile aside from softening the Art & Science design language. The front now features a comically-large grille and headlights with a strand of LEDs that run into the bumper. Towards the back is an integrated spoiler that extends the roofline, a set of large taillights, and a rear bumper that comes with chrome exhaust ports and a faux skid plate. The XT5 does lose some of the polarizing details that made the SRX stand out, but it still stands out slightly in what is becoming a crowded class.
      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

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Cadillac has been trying to position itself being as an alternative to German brands with models that offer exemplary handling characteristics and sharp designs. But the brand has the issue of models that don’t quite fit the image being presented. The SRX is the poster child for this. Yes, it had the sharp looks the brand was getting known for. But you wouldn’t call it sporty. It was more along the lines of a Lexus RX where luxury and comfort were the main priorities. Enthusiasts and critics were not pleased with this, but consumers gobbled them up. The SRX for a time was Cadillac’s best-selling model.
      Now we come to the successor of the SRX, the 2017 XT5. Those who were hoping for a change in the priorities will be disappointed as the XT5 doesn’t mess with the SRX’s recipe. But is that bad thing?
      Evolution is the impression you get when walking around the XT5. Cadillac’s designers didn’t make any drastic changes to the design profile aside from softening the Art & Science design language. The front now features a comically-large grille and headlights with a strand of LEDs that run into the bumper. Towards the back is an integrated spoiler that extends the roofline, a set of large taillights, and a rear bumper that comes with chrome exhaust ports and a faux skid plate. The XT5 does lose some of the polarizing details that made the SRX stand out, but it still stands out slightly in what is becoming a crowded class.
      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.
  • Recent Status Updates

    • Drew Dowdell

      I have one co-worker who has been a thorn in my side for the past 6 months.... but I have to admit that when I need something done that is in his area of expertise, he goes after it like an angry rabid chihuahua and gets it done.
      · 0 replies
    • Drew Dowdell

      Me: I'll take "Shopping" for $800.
      Alex:"This shopping location is popular on Sundays for groups of gay couples, families with small children, and college kids with parents in tow to gather."
      · 3 replies
    • Drew Dowdell

      @gmc Sierra Denali with manufacturer plates and a never used snow plow. Wonder what's going on here.
      · 2 replies
  • Who's Online (See full list)