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    Road Masters: 2012 Nissan Maxima


    July 2, 2012

    Drew Dowdell - Managing Editor, CheersandGears.com

    When most people think of stalwart Japanese cars, the first names that come to mind are typically the Accord and Camry. However, Nissan's had a name in the game for just as long with the Maxima. The Maxima was the first of the Japanese mid-size cars to go big, growing to 188 inches in 1988 while the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry remained decidedly more compact for a few more years. This gave the Maxima a leg up in being considered more of a luxury car than your otherwise typical Japanese sedan. The 1988 Maxima was also called a 4 Door Sports Car by Nissan in a nod to the powerful-for-time 160 horsepower V6 and a more sport tuned independent suspension. Over time, the Maxima has gained horsepower and luxury while giving up its status to the Altima as Nissan's mainstream sedan

    So is Nissan's luxury sedan a master of the road?

    gallery_51_134_122746.png

    I picked up this 2012 Nissan Maxima with just 2,600 miles on the clock at Louisville airport for a trip to Evansville Indiana, a drive of about 100 miles. As you approach the car, you notice the sporty haunches, low slung grill and aggressive stance. From the back, there is almost a hint of Mercedes S-Class in that ass. I only had roll aboard luggage with me for this trip but I immediately noticed the smallness of the trunk opening and relative lack of trunk space for a car of this size. Large luggage could be a struggle here.

    Getting in the driver seat, the view is ...well.. modern minimalist. You're greeted with a large sea of nearly black dashboard that looks like hard plastic but is mostly soft touch and padded. The seat fabric is made of an almost faux suede cloth that feels very nice on the hands. The driver and front passenger seats are nicely supportive, but could use a bit more side bolstering for a car being billed as a sports car. My only big complaint with the seat was with the head rest. There is no way to tilt it forward and it sits too far behind your head to be of use while driving.

    gallery_51_134_78792.png

    Back seat passengers will be happy with the generous legroom and headroom offered. There is a rear center armrest, but when you open the cup holder the lid blocks you from putting your hand there.

    During my trip I was scheduled to be on 3 conference calls. The Bluetooth setup in the Maxima is possibly one of the easiest I've experienced. The instructions are: Press the phone button, no phone found, would you like to add?, yes, searching for phone, enter code, done. Thanks to the well sound insulated cabin, my conference calls were easy to hear and participate in.

    Push button start is standard on all Maximas, and pressing that button fires up a lively, 290 horsepower, 261 ft-lb torque, VQ V6 engine backed by Nissan's CVT transmission. Some people don't like CVT transmissions because of the lack of a traditional shifting feel, but it is really their own loss. The CVT gives the Maxima a smoothness that Buick would be jealous of. Pressing the pedal firmly to the floor and the Maxima will dart to 60 in just 6.1 seconds. During such acceleration, if you keep the wheel perfectly straight everything will be fine. If you need to turn while under heavy throttle, you can get a bit of torque steer to fight. Driven lightly, the CVT can actually accelerate the car without engine rpm changing. From a dead stop, bring the engine RPM up to about 1,400 and the car can accelerate up to about 50 miles per hour before the tach needle will start to move. Nissan has programmed the CVT to give you a down-shift feel when you give it a sudden amount of gas.

    Once you're on your trip, the smoothness of the Maxima really shines. The suspension soaks up road imperfections with the skill of a soft luxury car. The cabin is well insulated, but there was a noticeable amount of tire slap over expansion joints. Even at highway cruising speeds, the VQ V6 is still able to be heard under the hood giving the 4-Door-Sports-Car a bit of a muscle soundtrack to ride along with.

    In my fairly base model Maxima, the radio felt a bit weak, and with no USB input for my iPod (an auxiliary input is offered) I didn't listen to the radio much.

    gallery_51_134_310560.png

    The Maxima and I spent 388 miles together, during which I averaged 24.5 mpg, nearly all of that being highway. EPA rated at 19 city, 26 highway and requesting premium gas for best performance, the Maxima's fuel costs would be a good bit higher than similar size and powered sedans from the competition.

    Another issue is price; the 2012 Maxima bases a $32,240 plus destination charge. At that price you would have needed to already pass up the less expensive, but similarly powerful and sized Volkswagen Passat V6, Chrysler 300, and Honda Accord EX-L V6... all of which get better fuel economy than the Maxima.

    Is the 2012 Nissan Maxima a master of the road? It does everything well that a good road trip car should as long as you don't have a lot of junk for the trunk, but there may be better options in this size class if you are watching costs.

    Higher Res Gallery:

    Nissan Motor America did not provide the vehicle and is in no way affiliated with this evaluation.

    Our Road Masters series is a different kind of review focusing entirely on how well the car performs on a road trip. The vehicles may or may not be provided by manufacturers and won't always be new cars.

    Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter @CheersnGears

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    Great review, thank you for writting this one up. I am a bit sad to see the current status of the Maxima. This was an amazing sports sedan that actually stood out IMO to the rest of the crowd in the early days as the body style and interior made a mark.

    Now this just reminds me of the bland Infinity line. I can see it in the Jelly Bean Nose, the rear end is nice but they have lost their Language Mojo.

    Thanks again for the write up, glad to see the Maxima getting a bit more coverage.

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    Great review, thank you for writting this one up. I am a bit sad to see the current status of the Maxima. This was an amazing sports sedan that actually stood out IMO to the rest of the crowd in the early days as the body style and interior made a mark.

    Now this just reminds me of the bland Infinity line. I can see it in the Jelly Bean Nose, the rear end is nice but they have lost their Language Mojo.

    Thanks again for the write up, glad to see the Maxima getting a bit more coverage.

    A very good response, and I really agree with you here.

    The photo galler is nice, but IMHO this is one of the weakest products in terms of new cars available in the US currently.

    Would you actually buy this over a Regal, a 300, an Accord, or such...

    I know I wouldn't.

    Nice, well worded and well written review, and thanks for the great photographs.

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    The only reason the Maxima is weak is price. While the Passat may not be the most exciting car in the segment visually, you can get a similarly equipped V6 Passat for almost $7k less and it is every bit as fast and about the same in the corners as the Maxima. If you don't care much about 0-60, you can get an absolutely loaded Passat TDI with leather, heated seats, sunroof, Navi for $1k less than a base Maxima and then get 40+mpg highway.

    The Maxima is a fine car and with a great power train... it is simply $7k too expensive compared to its competition.

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    Overall, I kind of agree, but just find the Passat, Regal, et al to be much better cars in terms of the small details.

    for some reason the Maxima has never been very appealing to me, and yes, I know that's subjective, and yes, I know its a fine car.

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    Good review.

    Picture quality is good. Composition and processing can be improved. :P

    here's the link to help improve it :neenerneener:

    It is not the gear, it is the photographer that will fix those two problems. Even a person with Hasselblad can have those problems. :P

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    I like the current Maxima a lot, save for one thing... yep, you guessed it, the CVT. Still couldn't make myself like the non-shifting feel during a one-hour test drive. That aside, it was a much better all-around drive for me -- comfort plus responsiveness -- than the Altima. As it always has been to me.

    Given that Nissan markets the Maxima as a full-size sedan, however, I think that works against them. They didn't grow this generation enough, and so the Altima is actually slightly bigger than this car on the outside. Because of that, I had hoped that Nissan would make this generation a true full-sizer, but they didn't. Instead, we get a car sized like the Malibu, Fusion, Camry, Sonata, Passat, and Accord but marketed against the Impala, Taurus, Avalon, and Azera (no VW or Honda full-size offerings currently). No idea what will happen for MY '15... maybe they'll stretch it out finally.

    But enough of my rambling. Good, honest review, Drew.

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    I would definitely put the Passat into the full size class by today's standards and the Maxima is much closer to the Passat in size than the '13 Malibu.

    I really enjoyed the CVT. I found it very responsive and a great mate to the VQ.

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    Passat, then, is in the same boat as Accord... bigger than its competition, while still priced and equipped against it.

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    It still seems to be a popular car, at least in the NYC metro area. I get quite a few of them when working valet at the local catering halls. The CVT I guess is just something I'd have to get used to. It doesnt seem to work as well paired up with the 4-cyl in the Altima. Why have paddle shifters either?? Esp annoying ones mounted to the column that get in the way. (Yes, I'm aware that's the way they're "supposed" to be) That being said, I do like the wide and low-slung feel that you get from behind the wheel and some of the higher optioned models feel much nicer inside but then you're talking $40k plus which isn't much value for the money.

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    To me, the previous 04+ body style Maxima was the looker. It was style. Except it had junk interiors.

    The new Maxima does nothing for me, despite it's mechanical highlights.

    I suppose it leases well. If someone thinks the Altima is bland, just upsell and switch.

    Give Nissan credit, they still move buttloads of them.

    This car, despite how nice it may be would be near the bottom of my desirability list.

    CVT's are still improving, give Nissan credit for keeping them at the top.

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    I drove a 2013 Altima briefly on the weekend, 4 cylinder SL model.

    I came away quite impressed. The interior quality is much improved, nice seats, it handles very well for its class (much better than my wife's 09 Accord), and is priced well. The CVT would take some getting used to but at under 3200lbs and well under 2000rpm on the highway I can see how it gets very good fuel economy.

    Edited by frogger
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    Altima to me lacks some of the awkwardness that the Maxima has. I actually like the current 2013 Altima better than the flagship Maxima...by a pretty fair margin.

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      The Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) includes an intermediate lock function on the intake side, while the use of spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores (versus the iron liners) provides an estimated 12 percent reduction in internal friction, which also improves anti-knock performance and reduces engine weight. The DIGTM system helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions, while the use of the turbocharger and intercooler helps boost power. The variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response.
      The engine is matched with choice of a 6-speed manual transmission, with gear ratios selected to take maximum advantage of the engine's powerband and torque curve, or an advanced, tuned Xtronic transmission.
      "It was important to offer a 6-speed manual transmission with the new Sentra NISMO, both to reinforce its pure performance credentials and to up the direct engagement factor between driver and the vehicle," said Bunce. "While today's sophisticated, paddle shifted automatic gearboxes can often match or exceed the performance of a manual transmission, there's still nothing like the experience of rowing through the gears with three pedals in the footwell."
      For buyers choosing the Xtronic transmission, it has been specially tuned to match the engine's performance. Acceleration feel is enhanced with the Xtronic's D-mode step shift program, giving a more linear acceleration feeling without holding a high rpm constant, letting rpms build as speed builds.
      Delivering on the handling aspect of the Sentra NISMO, the engineering team sought to provide a noticeable improvement even beyond the enhanced performance of the new Sentra SR Turbo. Five key areas were designated to meet the NISMO standards – handling response, grip, steering feel, body control and ride/handling balance.
      The NISMO-tuned independent strut front/rear torsion beam suspension goes beyond the SR Turbo's enhanced design (versus non-turbo Sentra grades) by adopting monotube rear dampers and unique tuning of the front springs and struts. The lightweight monotube shock design features separate oil and gas chambers and high-pressure gas charge to help provide quicker response to damper stroke and velocity changes. Faster damper response means faster reaction to changing steering or road conditions. In addition, the NISMO tuning of the springs and struts helps improve body control (roll and pitch) for higher demand cornering.
      Steering effort of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system has also been specially tuned to provide a "NISMO feel." The special dialing in of the effort/response relationship helps provide good highway and winding road feedback, precise on-center definition without overly high driver effort and a linear, direct steering feel at turn-in.
      Also contributing to the overall handling performance is the unique Sentra NISMO wheel and tire combination. Utilizing NISMO 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with newly developed 215/45ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires, cornering power and grip levels are improved, even over the new Sentra SR Turbo. It is the first time 18-inch wheels and tires have been offered on a Sentra. For customers seeking maximum grip, high-performance 215/45WR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires are available through Nissan dealers.
      Like the SR Turbo, the steering system includes a larger steering motor and revised electronic mapping to provide reduced effort at parking and low speeds. The Sentra NISMO also utilizes a 4-wheel disc brake system with 11.7-inch vent front discs and 11.5-inch solid rear discs.
      Like all 2017 Sentra models, Sentra NISMO offers a long list of standard safety and security features – including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; 3-point front and rear seatbelts, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors; and LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren).
      Also included are child safety rear door locks; Zone Body construction featuring front and rear crumple zones and occupant zone; Nissan Immobilizer system and anti-theft alarm system; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with position monitoring and available Easy Fill Tire Alert system.
      Just one factory option is available with the Sentra NISMO: the NISMO Premium Package with NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, and Bose® Premium Audio system with 8 speakers.
      "The new Sentra NISMO will attract new customers not currently considering Sentra – enthusiasts looking for a fun-to-drive vehicle with a sporty image yet at an attainable price point," said Bunce. "As the first ‘core' NISMO model in the Nissan lineup, Sentra NISMO takes us back to Nissan's roots of compact performance sedans. The time has come."

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Nissan Sentra isn't what you would call an interesting compact sedan. That has been changing thanks to the introduction of the Sentra SR Turbo earlier this year. Now, Nissan hopes the Sentra NISMO introduced today can go further.
      The exterior looks like it is up to the task. There is a “layered double wing” body kit - lower-body bits to the front, rear, and side - rear spoiler, updated rear bumper, red accents, and 18-inch wheels finished in gray. Four colors are available for the NISMO - Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Aspen White, or Gun Metallic. Inside, the front seats get extra bolstering, a sport steering wheel with Alcantara and leather trim; red accents, and a dark headliner.
      NISMO has played around with the Sentra's suspension, adding revised springs and struts up front, monotube shocks in the rear, a set of stabilizer bars, and a lowered ride height. The electric power steering system has been tweaked to provide a "NISMO feel." (We'll need to spend some time to figure out what they mean). You can option a set Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires through your Nissan dealer.
      You man have noticed that we haven't talked about the engine. There is a reason for that because it is a bit of a disappointment. The Sentra NISMO packs the same engine as the one found in the SR Turbo - a turbocharged 1.6L inline-four with 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with a six-speed manual or xTronic CVT. Why not more power? According to those who were at the debut, Nissan said they wanted to keep power and handling balanced, and keep the price at a point that is accessible to many buyers. 
      Nissan says pricing for the Sentra NISMO will start just above $25,000 when it goes on sale early next year.
      Source: Nissan
      Press Release is on Page 2



      2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO makes world debut at Los Angeles Auto Show
      First-ever Sentra NISMO is first mainstream U.S. Nissan model to offer motorsports-inspired NISMO factory-tuned performance Comprehensive transformation includes aggressive exterior treatment, performance-oriented interior, stiffened body structure and unique suspension tuning Available with a choice of 6-speed manual or unique Xtronic transmission with manual mode – each tuned specifically to turbo engine Retains everyday sedan practicality, adds motorsports-inspired driving excitement The 2017 Sentra NISMO is the latest in a long line of compact Nissan performance sedans going back nearly 50 years to the Datsun 510 and the original Sentra SE-R. The new, first-ever Sentra NISMO is also the first mainstream U.S. Nissan model to offer motorsports-inspired NISMO factory-tuned performance. It joins the GT-R NISMO, 370Z NISMO, JUKE NISMO and JUKE NISMO RS in the 2017 Nissan lineup.
      The 2017 Sentra NISMO model's comprehensive transformation from everyday sedan to a highly personal performance machine includes aggressive exterior treatment, performance-oriented interior and unique suspension tuning.
      "With the addition of the new Sentra NISMO, the enthusiasts behind NISMO production sports vehicles like the GT-R NISMO and 370Z NISMO sought to widen the reach of the NISMO brand," said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "But they wanted to do it without diluting the NISMO brand – which meant Sentra NISMO going deeper than just visual changes to an enhanced, visceral driving experience."
      At the heart of any NISMO-badged production vehicle is the engine, such as the GT-R NISMO's 600-horsepower 3.8-liter V6. For the new Sentra NISMO, the engineers started with a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that fit perfectly within the aerodynamically aggressive Sentra NISMO bodywork. More than just an engine transplant, however, the motorsports-inspired transformation from practical sedan to a vehicle worthy of the NISMO badge involved a precisely balanced tuning of body, interior, chassis, suspension, steering and powertrain.
      "Sentra is Nissan's third most popular vehicle behind Rogue and Altima. For the 2017 model year, a new Sentra SR Turbo grade was added to the previous lineup of Sentra S, SV, SR and SL trim levels," added Bunce. "But it is the new Sentra NISMO that will undoubtedly set the nameplate's image on fire. It is the first introduction of the NISMO brand on a core, affordable Nissan model in the U.S."
      A Distinctive Presence
      The first thing most people will notice about the new Sentra NISMO is its highly aggressive presence, which goes even above the sporty Sentra SR and Sentra SR Turbo grades. Applying the NISMO philosophy of "totally balanced tuning for high speed driving, to provide ultimate driving pleasure," the Sentra NISMO aerodynamic design focus was on realizing zero lift without harming overall coefficient of drag (Cd). Therefore Sentra NISMO offers the same 0.29 Cd as standard Sentra models, but features a 30 percent reduction in lift force. While most of the reduction is provided by the unique NISMO rear spoiler, the revised rear bumper design also contributes.
      Beyond the aerodynamic enhancements, the overall exterior appearance is instantly recognized as pure NISMO with its signature "layered double wing" design in the front, side and rear lower body panels. A thin red stripe accents the lower panels.
      In front, a unique front fascia dominates, along with standard LED Daytime Running Lights, NISMO dark chrome V-Motion grille and NISMO badge. Other styling features include unique side sills, NISMO rear fascia and spoiler, NISMO exhaust finisher, dark chrome door handles and trunk finisher, rear NISMO badge and black NISMO outside mirror caps with integrated turn signals and NISMO red stripe.
      Helping give Sentra NISMO its aggressive stance, while also helping enhance handling performance, are 18-inch NISMO 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with specially selected 215/45R18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires. Ride height has also been reduced by 0.4-inch.
      The 2017 Sentra NISMO is offered in four exterior colors – Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black and Aspen White.
      Inside, the Sentra NISMO interior is designed to support exciting driving – starting with unique NISMO front seats with logo and additional side bolstering. The rear seats feature unique cloth material with red stitching.
      Red motorsports-inspired accents are found throughout the interior, including on the unique Alcantara and leather-wrapped steering wheel, the push button start with red start ring, NISMO meter cluster with red tachometer, leather shifter knob and NISMO embroidered carpets. A dark headliner and NISMO logo on the instrument panel complete the special interior treatment. Just one interior color is offered, Charcoal with red accents. "The NISMO interior treatment adds a high level of driving support and sporty style without compromising the everyday drivability," said Bunce.
      Along with the long list of unique NISMO features, the 2017 Sentra NISMO also offers a 5.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) located between the tachometer and speedometer, soft-touch instrument panel, sliding armrest, Nissan Intelligent Key® keyless entry, RearView Monitor, power windows with driver's one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse, power door locks with auto-locking feature, remote keyless entry and remote trunk and fuel-filler door releases.
      An AM/FM/CD system with 5.0-inch color display, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition and smartphone integration for iPhone® and Android phones are also standard. The optional NISMO Premium Package adds a Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers.
      Also offered with the NISMO Premium Package is NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps – with 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnect Mobile Apps.
      Balanced Performance
      As a pure factory tuned performance vehicle, Sentra NISMO offers buyers something aftermarket tuners can't – a balanced approach that goes deep under the skin of the vehicle with modifications to the structural integrity.
      Starting with the solid Sentra body, which packs ample interior roominess in a compact-size exterior, the Sentra NISMO body structure is enhanced with a number of factory tuned body reinforcements. The cowl is thicker and vehicle floor and rear parcel shelf are reinforced to stiffen the body structure, improving responsiveness to steering inputs – helping provide an enhanced platform for the new engine and NISMO-tuned suspension.
      "This is not just a ‘lipstick' application that adds a little performance and a lot of flash," added Bunce. "The beauty of the new Sentra NISMO is that every single aspect from front fascia to rear spoiler and everything in between works together to provide an enhanced driving experience – with equal emphasis on power and handling."
      The power side of the equation comes in the form of Sentra NISMO's new 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIGTM) turbocharged engine, which is shared with the new-for-2017 Sentra SR Turbo model. Rated at 188 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 177 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 - 5,200 RPM, the 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine includes a 10.5:1 compression ratio, Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores, a variable pressure oil pump and a low-pressure EGR system, which helps lower exhaust gas temperature and improve knock sensitivity.
      The Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) includes an intermediate lock function on the intake side, while the use of spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores (versus the iron liners) provides an estimated 12 percent reduction in internal friction, which also improves anti-knock performance and reduces engine weight. The DIGTM system helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions, while the use of the turbocharger and intercooler helps boost power. The variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response.
      The engine is matched with choice of a 6-speed manual transmission, with gear ratios selected to take maximum advantage of the engine's powerband and torque curve, or an advanced, tuned Xtronic transmission.
      "It was important to offer a 6-speed manual transmission with the new Sentra NISMO, both to reinforce its pure performance credentials and to up the direct engagement factor between driver and the vehicle," said Bunce. "While today's sophisticated, paddle shifted automatic gearboxes can often match or exceed the performance of a manual transmission, there's still nothing like the experience of rowing through the gears with three pedals in the footwell."
      For buyers choosing the Xtronic transmission, it has been specially tuned to match the engine's performance. Acceleration feel is enhanced with the Xtronic's D-mode step shift program, giving a more linear acceleration feeling without holding a high rpm constant, letting rpms build as speed builds.
      Delivering on the handling aspect of the Sentra NISMO, the engineering team sought to provide a noticeable improvement even beyond the enhanced performance of the new Sentra SR Turbo. Five key areas were designated to meet the NISMO standards – handling response, grip, steering feel, body control and ride/handling balance.
      The NISMO-tuned independent strut front/rear torsion beam suspension goes beyond the SR Turbo's enhanced design (versus non-turbo Sentra grades) by adopting monotube rear dampers and unique tuning of the front springs and struts. The lightweight monotube shock design features separate oil and gas chambers and high-pressure gas charge to help provide quicker response to damper stroke and velocity changes. Faster damper response means faster reaction to changing steering or road conditions. In addition, the NISMO tuning of the springs and struts helps improve body control (roll and pitch) for higher demand cornering.
      Steering effort of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system has also been specially tuned to provide a "NISMO feel." The special dialing in of the effort/response relationship helps provide good highway and winding road feedback, precise on-center definition without overly high driver effort and a linear, direct steering feel at turn-in.
      Also contributing to the overall handling performance is the unique Sentra NISMO wheel and tire combination. Utilizing NISMO 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with newly developed 215/45ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires, cornering power and grip levels are improved, even over the new Sentra SR Turbo. It is the first time 18-inch wheels and tires have been offered on a Sentra. For customers seeking maximum grip, high-performance 215/45WR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires are available through Nissan dealers.
      Like the SR Turbo, the steering system includes a larger steering motor and revised electronic mapping to provide reduced effort at parking and low speeds. The Sentra NISMO also utilizes a 4-wheel disc brake system with 11.7-inch vent front discs and 11.5-inch solid rear discs.
      Like all 2017 Sentra models, Sentra NISMO offers a long list of standard safety and security features – including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; 3-point front and rear seatbelts, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors; and LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren).
      Also included are child safety rear door locks; Zone Body construction featuring front and rear crumple zones and occupant zone; Nissan Immobilizer system and anti-theft alarm system; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with position monitoring and available Easy Fill Tire Alert system.
      Just one factory option is available with the Sentra NISMO: the NISMO Premium Package with NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, and Bose® Premium Audio system with 8 speakers.
      "The new Sentra NISMO will attract new customers not currently considering Sentra – enthusiasts looking for a fun-to-drive vehicle with a sporty image yet at an attainable price point," said Bunce. "As the first ‘core' NISMO model in the Nissan lineup, Sentra NISMO takes us back to Nissan's roots of compact performance sedans. The time has come."
    • By William Maley
      Nissan Group reports October 2016 U.S. sales
      NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Group today announced total U.S. sales for October 2016 of 113,520 units, a decrease of 2.2 percent from the prior year.
      Nissan highlights:
      Nissan Division finished October with 102,312 sales. Overall sales of Nissan crossovers, trucks and SUVs rose 12.7 percent, setting an October record. Murano crossover sales also set an October record, increasing 100 percent to 10,701. Frontier sales in October increased 33.6 percent to 6,364. Pathfinder SUV sales increased 15 percent to 6,421. Armada full-size SUV sales gained 79.4 percent to 1,740.
        NISSAN DIVISION
      OCTOBER
       
      OCTOBER
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Nissan Division Total
      102,312
       
      104,904
       
      -2.5
       
      1,188,561
       
      1,131,824
       
      5.0
      Versa
      8,911
       
      13,855
       
      -35.7
       
      115,366
       
      123,687
       
      -6.7
      Sentra
      14,168
       
      14,974
       
      -5.4
       
      183,644
       
      169,244
       
      8.5
      Cube
      0
       
      14
       
      N/A
       
      15
       
      926
       
      -98.4
      Altima
      20,257
       
      20,948
       
      -3.3
       
      262,578
       
      283,372
       
      -7.3
      Maxima
      3,908
       
      4,903
       
      -20.3
       
      53,284
       
      31,704
       
      68.1
      LEAF
      1,412
       
      1,238
       
      14.1
       
      10,650
       
      14,868
       
      -28.4
      Juke
      858
       
      1,804
       
      -52.4
       
      17,072
       
      23,266
       
      -26.6
      370Z
      400
       
      647
       
      -38.2
       
      5,205
       
      6,529
       
      -20.3
      GT-R
      57
       
      58
       
      -1.7
       
      594
       
      987
       
      -39.8
      Total Car
      49,971
       
      58,441
       
      -14.5
       
      648,408
       
      654,583
       
      -0.9
      Frontier
      6,364
       
      4,764
       
      33.6
       
      75,752
       
      52,025
       
      45.6
      Titan
      3,181
       
      882
       
      260.7
       
      14,155
       
      10,403
       
      36.1
      Xterra
      0
       
      421
       
      N/A
       
      38
       
      10,433
       
      -99.6
      Pathfinder
      6,421
       
      5,584
       
      15.0
       
      65,532
       
      68,581
       
      -4.4
      Armada
      1,740
       
      970
       
      79.4
       
      9,823
       
      10,769
       
      -8.8
      Rogue
      21,179
       
      24,939
       
      -15.1
       
      262,798
       
      238,146
       
      10.4
      Murano
      10,701
       
      5,350
       
      100.0
       
      71,483
       
      50,250
       
      42.3
      Quest
      152
       
      753
       
      -79.8
       
      10,207
       
      8,362
       
      22.1
      NV
      1,360
       
      1,391
       
      -2.2
       
      14,743
       
      13,929
       
      5.8
      NV200
      1,243
       
      1,409
       
      -11.8
       
      15,622
       
      14,343
       
      8.9
      Total Truck
      52,341
       
      46,463
       
      12.7
       
      540,153
       
      477,241
       
      13.2
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      INFINITI
      OCTOBER
       
      OCTOBER
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Infiniti Total
      11,208
       
      11,143
       
      0.6
       
      107,983
       
      106,711
       
      1.2
      Infiniti Q40
      0
       
      33
       
      N/A
       
      59
       
      8,536
       
      -99.3
      Infiniti Q50
      3,689
       
      3,811
       
      -3.2
       
      34,852
       
      35,414
       
      -1.6
      Infiniti Q60
      725
       
      273
       
      165.6
       
      2,138
       
      3,453
       
      -38.1
      Infiniti Q70
      451
       
      682
       
      -33.9
       
      4,946
       
      6,986
       
      -29.2
      Infiniti QX30
      723
       
      0
       
      N/A
       
      1,046
       
      0
       
      N/A
      Infiniti QX50
      1,106
       
      989
       
      11.8
       
      13,505
       
      3,107
       
      334.7
      Infiniti QX60
      2,929
       
      3,669
       
      -20.2
       
      33,996
       
      33,047
       
      2.9
      Infiniti QX70
      371
       
      480
       
      -22.7
       
      4,433
       
      4,430
       
      0.1
      Infiniti QX80
      1,214
       
      1,206
       
      0.7
       
      13,008
       
      11,738
       
      10.8
      Total Car
      4,865
       
      4,799
       
      1.4
       
      41,995
       
      54,389
       
      -22.8
      Total Truck
      6,343
       
      6,344
       
      0.0
       
      65,988
       
      52,322
       
      26.1
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      NISSAN GROUP
      OCTOBER
       
      OCTOBER
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      TOTAL VEHICLE
      113,520
       
      116,047
       
      -2.2
       
      1,296,544
       
      1,238,535
       
      4.7
      Total Car
      54,836
       
      63,240
       
      -13.3
       
      690,403
       
      708,972
       
      -2.6
      Total Truck
      58,684
       
      52,807
       
      11.1
       
      606,141
       
      529,563
       
      14.5
      Selling days
      26
       
      28
       
       
       
      255
       
      257
       
       
       
    • By William Maley
      Only a few months after Nissan announced it would buy a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors, the deal is now official. Nissan will pay 237 billion yen (about $2.29 billion) to purchase a 34 percent stake into Mitsubishi. As part of this deal, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become Chairman of the Board. Osamu Masuko will remain Mitsubishi Motors CEO and President.
      "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder. As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance," said Masuko in a statement.
      With Ghosn becoming chairman at a third company (he also holds the role at Nissan and Renault), he has appointed Nissan Vice Chairman and Chief Competition Officer Hiroto Saikawa as his co-CEO at Nissan.
      The two companies are planning to collaborate on joint purchasing, localization, factory sharing, and using common vehicle platforms. Ghosn says this will help bring savings totaling $231 million next year and rising the year after.
      "We are committed to assisting Mitsubishi Motors as it rebuilds customer trust. This is a priority as we pursue the synergies and growth potential of our enlarged relationship," said Ghosn.
      Source: Mitsubishi Motors, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Mitsubishi Motors Joins Renault-Nissan Alliance
      MMC to receive strategic, operational and management support from Nissan Synergy benefits to enhance MMC profit margins and earnings per share Carlos Ghosn, Nissan chairman and CEO, named chairman-elect of MMC New role created of Director for Global Risk Control Tokyo , October 20 , 2016 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announces that Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has become its largest shareholder after completing the purchase of 34% of MMC-issued stock for 237 billion JPY.
      As part of Nissan's strategic investment, MMC will become a full member of the 17-year strong global alliance between Nissan and Renault – paving the way for synergies to enhance profit margins and earnings per share.
      Nissan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has been nominated to become chairman of the Board. Ghosn will be joined by three other Nissan nominated directors, including Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan's former executive vice president of research and development, who joined MMC earlier this year as head of development. The other nominees are Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan chief sustainability officer and head of global external affairs, and Hiroshi Karube, Nissan global controller and global asset manager.
      MMC President and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko requested that Nissan also provide a senior executive to join the company's executive committee to bolster MMC's management. Trevor Mann, currently Chief Performance Officer of Nissan, will become Chief Operating Officer of MMC.
      "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder," said Masuko. "As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance."
      MMC will appoint a new role of director for global risk control to report directly to the chief executive officer, who will oversee compliance and risk control. This director will regularly report to the board on moves to enhance governance at MMC.
      The three largest institutional shareholders in MMC – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ – have welcomed Nissan's investment and pledged their support for its board nominees. Moving forward, these three Mitsubishi institutional shareholders together with Nissan will maintain a more than 51 percent of the share capital.
      Nissan and MMC will begin cooperating on a wide-ranging synergy program, building on a five-year alliance in minicars between the two companies.
      The two companies have identified a number of valuable synergies in areas including:
      - Joint purchasing cost-reduction
      - Deeper localization in operations around the world
      - Joint plant utilization
      - Common vehicle platforms
      - Technology sharing
      - Cooperation in emerging and developed markets; and
      - The use of the Nissan Sales Finance Company to serve MMC customers in any market where mutually beneficial.
      The partnership is expected to generate significant recurring synergies for MMC, equivalent to a 1 percentage point increase in operating profit margin in fiscal year 2017, 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2018, and more than 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2019. The projected synergies are also forecasted to enhance MMC earnings per share in fiscal year 2017 by 12 yen per share, and by 20 yen per share in fiscal year 2018.
      Ghosn said: "The expanded Alliance will be one of the largest automotive groups in the world, with annual sales of 10 million units in fiscal year 2016. The addition of Mitsubishi Motors will build on the entrepreneurial spirit and management cooperation that has characterized our alliance with Renault for 17 years. I am confident this will benefit all stakeholders."
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