Nov 242017
 

At Latino Traffic Report (LTR), the chance for a back-to-back comparison of automotive competitors is rare, but sometimes, lightning strikes. Such was the case with the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2017 Nissan Rogue. Sharing a similar shade of exterior paint (Cajun Red and Palatial Ruby, respectively), they looked like brothers from another mother, but they were not. They were rivals that distinguished themselves in several ways.

Testaments to the increasing popularity of the small SUV segment, both models are top sellers for their brands. Equinox sales have reached nearly two million units since its launch and it is Chevrolet’s second-best selling vehicle overall, after the Silverado. Similarly, new sales records designate the Rogue as Nissan’s top-selling vehicle in the United States.

The two were nimble for city driving but the redesigned Equinox, also lighter by 400 pounds, felt much smaller compared to the outgoing model. It arrived in the mid-range LT trim as opposed to the Rogue, which came in the top-of-the-line SL AWD trim.

Under the hood, the Equinox offers three engine choices, all turbos—a 1.5-liter, 2.0-liter, and a 1.6-liter turbo diesel (a segment exclusive). I drove the 2.0-liter with 252 horsepower and 260 lb.–ft. of torque.

Rogue SL seats

The Rogue can be equipped with a choice of two four-cylinder engines, a 2.0-liter on the hybrid or a 2.5-liter matched to the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission with Sport and Eco mode switches. I drove the latter that produced 170 horses and 175 lb.–ft. of torque, giving the Equinox the power advantage. The Rogue, however, should have been more fuel efficient, with an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy rating of 25/32 mpg compared to the Equinox’s 22/29 mpg rating. But I averaged 25.4 mpg with the Rogue and 26.7 mpg with the Equinox.

Equinox LT seats.

An SUV earns its stripes with utility, beginning with seating and cargo capacity. Both offer seating for five but the Rogue can also seat seven on lower trim levels with an optional third row. On the test model, the heated, two-tone leather seats elevated the Rogue’s interior, while the Equinox had quilted cloth seats. Both have 60/40 split second-row seats that fold flat. Inside, the Equinox there’s up to 63.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the second row folded but the advantage goes to the Rogue with 70 cu. ft. of cargo room.

These family vehicles are not without safety innovations. Both SUVs equip all trim levels with rearview cameras but the Rogue tops that with its optional and innovative around view monitor on the SL trim. For the 2018 model year, a blind spot monitor will be standard on the Rogue but not on current models.

Rogue dash.

Chevy, however, offers its own signature safety technology, starting with Teen Driver (standard) that allows parents to set controls in order to encourage safe driving habits, even when they are not in the vehicle. The optional and improved Safety Alert seat on the test Equinox buzzed the left or right upper thigh as a warning and the available Rear Seat Reminder, also on the test model, pinged when the ignition was turned off to remind me to check the back seat before locking the SUV.

Equinox dash.

The standard MyLink infotainment system on the Equinox that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, can be matched to a standard seven- or an available eight-inch-diagonal color touchscreen, included on the test model via the Sun and Infotainment Package ($1,995). Other convenience features included cruise control, air conditioning, and keyless start. The Confidence and Convenience Package ($1,945) added a power liftgate, heated front seats, and side blind zone alert.

Nissan Connect with Navigation was included on the Rogue SL along with a seven-inch display, Nissan Voice Recognition for navigation and audio, and a motion activated tailgate. The SL Premium Package ($2,020) added a panoramic sunroof, and the Platinum Package ($770) added intelligent cruise control, among other features.

Available in four trim levels, and FWD or all wheel drive (AWD) combinations, pricing for the next-generation 2018 Equinox starts at $24,525. The as-tested price came to $34,375. The Rogue comes with three trims as well as a hybrid and the all-new Rogue Sport and a choice of FWD or AWD. Pricing starts at $24,795. The as-tested pricing came to $31,365.

Sí The Equinox included innovative safety technology like Teen Safety, OnStar, and Rear Seat Reminder.

The Rogue offered better value, with seating versatility, five or seven, as well as convenience technology like a power liftgate, plus a blind spot monitor that will soon be standard.

No: Important safety technology, like a blind spot monitor, was unavailable on the base trim levels of the Equinox.

The Rogue was less fuel-efficient than expected.

 

 

Feb 212017
 

Auto shows offer a peek at what consumers may expect to see on car lots soon or in the near future. The largest auto show in the country, the Chicago Auto Show, just wrapped up and during the media preview, attended by Latino Traffic Report, manufacturers revealed more choices for a diverse consumer market.

More than two years since the first Titan was unveiled, Nissan completes the tale of this groundbreaking pickup-with the intro of the King Cab or extended cab version of the 2017 Titan. Nissan VP Fred Diaz held a tailgate chat with journalists, expressing satisfaction with the King Cab and announcing that the Titan line-up is now complete.

Tailgate chat with Nissan VP Fred Diaz.

“The launch of the new King Cab body is the last step in a journey that began in December 2015 with the debut of the breakthrough TITAN XD, which continues to carve out a unique white space between competitors’ heavy-duty and half-ton trucks,” said Diaz, division vice president and general manager, North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. “Now, with the addition of a half-ton TITAN, our new Endurance V8, three body configurations, three bed lengths and a range of grade levels and equipment packages, we’re covering nearly every segment in the personal and commercial full-size truck markets. Add to that the industry’s best five-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and the TITAN family is even more compelling.”

Offered in 4×4 and 4×2 and on both the half-ton and XD versions of the Titan, the King Cab (not to be confused with the four-door Crew Cab) features wide opening rear-hinged doors for added convenience. Potential commercial truck users will appreciate a first-in-segment “rear seat delete” option that removes the rear seat, rear heater duct, and rear roof-mounted assist grips and adds a flat rear load floor and rear wall finisher with tie-down hooks.

Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition

The Titan and Titan XD King Cabs should go on sale this spring.

Continuing to leverage the Rogue via its marketing alliance with LucasFilm. Ltd. and its latest blockbuster, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Nissan displayed the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition package featuring Star Wars badging on the kickplates, floor mats, and Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire logos in cupholder inserts and interior accent lighting. Only available on a Rogue SV trim equipped with the Sun and Sound Touring Package makes it more accessible and unique, but not fancy. Nissan plans to produce only 5,400 with the package costing approximately $1,990 extra.

Finally, Nissan expanded its lineup of Midnight Edition vehicles, previously only available on the Maxima, introducing five new models in Chicago, namely the Sentra, Altima, Rogue, Murano and Pathfinder The trend of “darkened” accenting on vehicles appears to have its appeal as more and more brands introduce them. The black wheels, spoiler, mirror caps and available special floor mats with additional equipment added by model will set the new Midnight Editions apart.

Midnight Edition Nissan Rogue

“The six models offering Midnight Edition packages account for more than 75 percent of our U.S. sales, so we think they will find a receptive audience.” said Christian Meunier, senior vice president, Nissan Sales and Marketing and Operations, Nissan North America, Inc.; chairman, Nissan Canada.

On sale now, available exterior colors include Red Alert, Super Black, Aspen White, and Gun Metallic.

For drivers with special needs, Chrysler displayed a modified Pacifica with wheelchair access, part of its new partnership with a leader in aftermarket modifications for the disabled, BraunAbility. Included in the FCA US Automobility Program, the modified Pacifica will help ease the financial burden of drivers and passengers with physical challenges. Through this program, customers can be reimbursed for up to a maximum of $1,000 for out-of-pocket expenses to install qualifying adaptive driver or passenger equipment on a purchased or leased new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram or FIAT vehicle.

Alex Fedorak introduces the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition.

Marking its centennial, Mitsubishi also introduced a Limited Edition of the Outlander Sport, its most popular vehicle. Positioned directly above the ES trim level or base model, it will include 18-inch wheels, a rearview camera, an aluminum-alloy fuel door, and high-intensity discharge headlights.

Interior details include black cloth seating, red accent stitching on the steering wheel, shift knob, and brake lever, aluminum-covered pedals, and heated front seats.

“A lot of things have happened over the course of the last 100 years,” said Alex Fedorak, public relations manager for Mitsubishi. “A lot of innovations, and I’m proud to say that we were one of those innovators along the way.”

The Outlander Sport Limited Edition will be in dealerships later this month for $21,995 and available through the end of the model year.

For more views and information about the vehicles featured at the Chicago Auto Show, go to http://www.chicagoautoshow.com.

 

Jan 152017
 

It’s a happy coincidence when the name of your product matches that of a blockbuster movie. So it is with Nissan Rogue and Rogue One, the latest tale from the Star Wars franchise. Nissan recently launched the refreshed 2017 Rogue, all-new Rogue Hybrid, and Sentra SR Turbo in Greensboro, Georgia and Latino Traffic Report was there.

Impressive fuel economy from an all-new hybrid version—the first ever for Rogue— and enhanced technology and versatility should help the crossover utility vehicle (CUV) remain the top-selling Nissan model, while the new SR Turbo trim for the Sentra adds sportiness to the lineup.

Efforts to refresh the Rogue include a new front fascia with integrated fog lamps, and bumper. It now features the Nissan signature “V-Motion” grille and revised headlights with LED signature Daytime Running Lights and LED boomerang signature taillights in the rear. A new rear bumper and chrome-trim side door moldings complete the freshened appearance.

Versatility improves on the CUV with wide opening (77 degrees) rear doors for easier entry and exit to the rear passenger space. Available technology, like a new Motion-Activated Liftgate, uses a kick sensor system to open and close the tailgate. It’s standard on Rogue SL and available on Rogue SR as part of the SR Premium Package.

Refreshing changes continue on the inside with a new D-shaped steering wheel and leather-booted sport-mode shifter. Premium options like a heated steering wheel, memory for driver’s seats and mirror, and remote engine start are also now available, giving the Rogue a more premium look and feel.

It comes with two rows of seating for five but a third row can be added (except on the hybrid version) to expand seating to seven. Nissan’s innovative EZ Flex Seating System allows every seat except the driver’s to fold down—the front passenger seat folds rearwards—expanding versatility as well as cargo room to 70 cubic feet. But the Rogue’s configurability doesn’t end there. It also offers the Divide-N-Hide Cargo System that provides eighteen adjustable variations (two-row models only, not available with Rogue Hybrid) between the cargo and occupant areas.

Standard safety features include a RearView monitor, remote keyless entry, traction control, and Vehicle Dynamic Control. The available Rogue Safety Shield expands that list, adding a blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection.

As mentioned, the new gasoline-electric hybrid version offers an additional powertrain option to the standard 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. Fuel economy on the all-new hybrid should reach 33 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, dropping slightly on all-wheel-drive (AWD) models. On the test drive, we achieved an average of 34.6 mpg.

This compares to the expected city/highway fuel economy for the non-hybrid of 26/33 mpg, and 25/32 mpg on AWD models.

Pricing for the 2017 Rogue starts at $24,760.

Nissan introduced a limited edition of the Rogue with a Star Wars theme and branding at the LA Auto Show in November and partnered with Lucasfilm Ltd for a fully integrated marketing campaign. The additions and improvements on the 2017 version, including the all-new hybrid, should continue to grab attention, even after the blockbuster comes out on DVD.

2017 Sentra SR Turbo

For an added treat, Nissan also revealed a new, sporty trim level for the 2017 Sentra, the SR Turbo. The best news is that it comes with a responsive six-speed manual transmission that put a smile on my face as I drove it on a quick route in Greensboro. For those who can’t drive a manual, an Xtronic transmission is also available.

The SR’s four-cylinder, 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline turbo engine with 188 horses also improves performance. Enhancements to the suspension, front brakes, and electric power steering complete the driving experience.

Like the base model Sentra S, the SR base model lacks options. The next level, SV trim, can be upgraded, but only the highest trims, SR and SL, can be upgraded with premium packages that bring features like leather-appointed seating, a Bose Premium audio system with eight speakers, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Pricing for the 2017 Sentra SR Turbo starts at $17,855.

 

Jan 132017
 

It’s one thing for a manufacturer to launch a new vehicle, it’s quite another to launch several at a time.  Nissan recently invited Latino Traffic Report to Northern California where it presented four new vehicles for 2017, the Titan (half-ton) and Titan XD Single Cab, Armada, and Pathfinder. Of the four, the Armada represents a complete redesign. The other three add a new model, transmission, configuration, and engine.

2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab

Titan

The Titan XD made quite an impression when it was launched in 2015 with a 5.0-liter V8 Cummins Turbo Diesel that produced 310 horsepower and 555 lb.–ft. of torque and a capability that placed it in a class by itself between a half-ton and heavy duty. It was so impressive that the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) named it the Truck of Texas in 2015, a rare feat for an import.

2017 Titan XD Single Cab

Nissan adds the Titan, a half-ton model for 2017, plus a Single Cab configuration to both the Titan and Titan XD models, a first for any generation of the truck, giving the lineup more appeal to business owners as a basic work truck. Once again TAWA members appreciated the latest Nissan products, naming the Titan XD Single Cab the Commercial Vehicle of Texas and the half-ton the Full-Size Pickup of Texas at the 2016 Truck Rodeo.

On the first day of the three-day launch, I drove the gasoline-powered Titan Crew Cab with the 5.6-liter V8 and new seven-speed automatic transmission. Producing 390 horses and 394 lb.–ft. of torque, the V8 will have a maximum towing rate of 9,390 pounds when properly equipped. Maximum towing capacities for the XD gasoline and diesel are

Under seat storage in the 2017 Titan Platinum Reserve

11,590 lbs. and 12,640 lbs., respectively. All Single Cabs come with an eight-foot bed for maximum payloads of 1,930 pounds (half-ton), 2,910 (XD gas), and 2,420 (XD diesel).

Available in five trim levels, from the base S to the Platinum Reserve, and two-wheel or four-wheel drive (2WD or 4WD), the Titan continues to give truck owners utility for work and comfort for families.

Pricing for the 2017 Titan starts at $35,975 and $30,775 for the Single Cab. Pricing for 2017 XD Single cab starts at and $32,285.

 

Armada

The next day we drove the all-new 2017 Armada, Nissan’s biggest sport utility vehicle (SUV). It shares the same powertrain as the gasoline-powered Titan, the 5.6-liter V8 and the seven-speed transmission, but not the same platform. Still, based on a truck-like body-on-frame construction, it embodies its segment, with a standard towing capacity of 8,500 lbs. for both 4WD and 2WD models (when properly equipped).

Like the Titan and Pathfinder, we tested the Armada on-road and off-road at the launch (see videos below), but we also enjoyed its comfort and convenience. This is after all, a premium SUV, in accoutrements as well as pricing. Like the Titan, it was also recognized at the 2016 TAWA Truck Rodeo, winning the title of SUV of Texas.

The all-new body design offers a 20 percent increase in twisted body stiffness for better handling and ride comfort. With seating for eight, it can be configured for seven with the optional Captain’s Chairs in the second row. Both second- and third -row benches are split 60/40 and fold flat to expose 95.4 cubic feet of cargo room. New technology includes a power folding feature for the third row that is optional on the base model SV and standard on the SL and Platinum grades.

Standard Armada creature comforts include, a push button ignition, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, an eight-inch color display, and Bose audio system. The Armada SV offers premium cloth seating surfaces, while leather-appointed seating is standard on SL and Platinum grades. The Platinum adds a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and heated second-row sets.

A suite of available safety and security features includes the class-exclusive Predictive Forward Collision Warning that warns the driver of risks that lie beyond the driver’s forward field of vision, Backup Collision Intervention, and Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. Lane Departure Prevention, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, and class-exclusive Blind Spot Intervention are available, though not on the base model. It would be nice if at least one of these were standard.

Available in three trims and 2WD and 4WD, pricing for the second-generation Armada should start at $45,995.

Pathfinder

Before heading to the airport, we spent the last morning in the Pathfinder. Redesigned in 2013, it turned heads when it traded its body-on-frame construction for a unibody (car-like) construction. For 2017, it gets a refreshed exterior, increased performance, and new technology.

One of the oldest Nissan nameplates, the 2017 Pathfinder has a new hood, front bumper, and fog lights for a more aggressive style plus a new “V-Motion” grille and boomerang-shaped headlights with LED daytime running lights. It also receives a new, more powerful V6 for an increased tow rating of 6,000 lbs.

For added convenience, the new Motion-Activated liftgate can now be engaged with a sweeping motion below the rear bumper and takes technology from Infiniti to bring intuitive touch for the eight–inch entertainment display. The Pathfinder’s instrument cluster now includes the standard Advanced Drive-Assist Display (ADAD) with additional infotainment and driver assistance displays.

New available safety technology includes Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, and  Moving Object Detection that has been added to the available Around View Monitor. The Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems remain optional.

Pricing for the 2017 Pathfinder will start at $31,240.

Part of Nissan’s “Year of the Truck” campaign, these three models capture its efforts to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and families.

Nov 072016
 
Johnny Guindi Hamui from Mexico realized his motorsport dreams today as he was crowned the 2016 Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy International champion at Silverstone Circuit.

Johnny Guindi Hamui celebrates with teammates from Mexico after becoming the 2016 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy International champion.

Johnny Guindi Hamui from Mexico realized his motorsport dreams recently as he was crowned the 2016 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy International champion at Silverstone Circuit.

The 22-year-old triumphed above 35 other elite Gran Turismo gamers from around the world, winning a place on the comprehensive Nissan Driver Development Program and a race seat in the 2017 Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai race, alongside 2011 GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough.

The decision came after an epic eight-day Race Camp in the UK, with Hamui chosen as the winner due to his consistent pace and adaptability throughout the week, as well as a willingness to listen and take on all the advice given to him throughout Race Camp.Mexico’s Johnny Guindi Hamui crowned 2016 GT Academy Internati

In a new format for 2016, Race Camp came to an end with a 16-lap endurance race around Silverstone International Circuit, with two competitors from each territory taking part in the final race. In previous years, mentors have selected just one competitor to contest the race, but this new format gave a more in-depth look at how a larger range of competitors perform on the big occasion.

When the race got underway, Mexico initially made a quick getaway and led into the first corner. However, they were hauled in by the quick starting Mohamed Wally from North Africa who took the lead and built a gap in his eleven-lap stint. Mexico pitted early, changing Enrique Manjarrez for Hamui, who within two laps had set the fastest lap of the race.

When North Africa eventually stopped, Hamui had narrowed the gap completely and the pair went into the first corner side-by-side after North Africa emerged from the pits. Hamui then went on to take and consolidate the lead before seeing the checkered flag.

“I can’t believe it,” said Hamui. “What I’ve just achieved is going to take a while to sink in! It’s been an unbelievable experience with some seriously tough competitors, and I’ve had the best time of my life. In the race I was just so concentrated on doing a good job that my eleven laps in the car flew by … I can’t describe the feeling when Jann read out my name as the winner.”

Hamui’s journey with Nissan will begin almost immediately, as he takes to the track for a national event at Brands Hatch this weekend with Nissan’s RJN Motorsport team. RJN Motorsport, who run Nissan’s participation in the Blancpain Sprint and Endurance Series throughout Europe, will also be the team that Hamui will race for in Dubai in the Nissan 370Z GT4 NISMO.

Mexico’s Johnny Guindi Hamui crowned 2016 GT Academy Internati“The final race was just phenomenal,” said Mike Carcamo, director, Nissan Motorsport. “Hats off to all the teams who did a great job with the new format with the two drivers. It made for a really exciting race. Johnny did a great job in his second stint, having to come from behind and also overtaking guys and pushing hard. This was a real-life racing scenario and another great year for GT Academy!”

Hamui earned his place at Race Camp from the hundreds of thousands of Gran Turismo gamers that entered the competition across the world.

Having won through the Mexico National Final, he arrived at Silverstone as one of six to represent Mexico, alongside 35 International competitors overall, split into six territory groups. Each group formed a close bond with their territory judge who acted as a mentor, but then had to make the difficult decisions when it came to eliminations from the competition.

The on-track action got underway last Wednesday with six finalists from Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, North Africa, Philippines and Thailand. Throughout their week at International Race Camp, a series of both racing and physical challenges whittled them down to twelve  that took part in the final race.

 

Sep 252016
 

2016-08-06-titan-crop

The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) named Nissan’s all-new Titan XD the Truck of Texas last year, partly because its game changing Cummins Diesel V8 engine and capabilities placed it between a half-ton and heavy-duty sweet spot. I recently drove the gasoline-powered Titan XD Platinum Reserve four-wheel drive (4WD) for Latino Traffic Report. It’s quite the bruiser in city driving, but like its diesel sibling, offers impressive capabilities of its own.

“Titan XD is a truck that uniquely uses both technology and strength to add confidence to the completion of everyday work tasks,” says Fred Diaz, division vice president and general manager, North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. “Half of all full-size truck owners tow more than ten times a year, with a quarter o2016-08-09-19-59-20f owners using them to haul tools, so we engineered TITAN XD’s toughness from the ground up.”

Powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine with 390 horsepower and 401 lb.–ft. of torque and matched to a seven-speed automatic transmission, the Titan XD can meet most work challenges. It has a maximum payload capacity of 2,523 pounds (2,594 with the two-wheel drive (2WD)) and can tow a maximum of 11,000 lbs. (11,270 1bs. with the 2WD).

Assembled in Decherd, Tenn., the new V8 engine utilizes four-valves per cylinder, Variable Valve Event and Lift for better responsiveness, and Direct Injection Gas for better performance and fuel economy. All Titan XDs come with one configuration, the four-door Crew Cab and six foot 5.8-inch bed.

2016-08-06-18-02-18Straddling the half-ton and heavy-duty classification excuses the Titan XD from stating an estimated fuel economy but according to the onboard average fuel calculator, I achieved 14.1 miles per gallon during the weeklong test drive.

With a wheelbase that’s 20 inches longer than non-XD TITANs, the test model made city driving slightly challenging. While parallel parking in downtown Austin was out of the question—not that it couldn’t be done but there were absolutely no spaces to be had—parking in general was greatly assisted by the RearView Monitor with trailer guides, the AroundView camera with Moving Object Detection, and front and rear sonar systems that are all standard on the Platinum Reserve.2016-08-06-20-32-29

While I didn’t get to test them, off-road performance has also been improved with features like Hill Descent Control and Brake Limited-Slip Differential. A new off-road gauge calculates the vehicle’s pitch and roll angles. I did get to engage the Hill Start Assist that prevents the XD from rolling backwards at a stop.

A workable truck has to be versatile and that includes ample cargo space. New for 2016 is the second-row underseat storage with a locking lid and integrated foldout flat floor. The center console can hold a computer tablet and a dual lockable in-bed “TITAN Box” is available.

2016-08-09-19-59-03As the name implies, the Platinum Reserve is the top-of-the-line trim level on either gasoline or diesel-powered XD. As such, the interior is rather plush with two-tone quilted heated and cooled leather front seats, heated rear seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with a wood insert, premium open-pore wood instrument panel finishers with metallic “Platinum Reserve” badging, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and pre-wiring for the DVD Family Entertainment System, among other features.

Pricing for the gas-powered 2016 Titan XD starts at $36,485. The as-tested pricing came to $56,715.

: From capability to safety, the Titan XD Platinum Reserve packs a lot of features into this plush but hard-working pickup.

No: Its size makes it challenging to maneuver in confined urban settings.

2016-08-06-1titanrear-crop

Sep 152016
 

2016-09-09-munoz

What better location is there for revealing a new vehicle than a parking garage? Set against the backdrop of the Miami skyline, the 2017 Rogue made its worldwide debut atop just such a location. Nissan took this opportunity last week at the forty-sixth annual Miami International Auto Show press preview, where the 2017 Sentra SR Turbo was also revealed.

Introduced by Executive Vice President Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Chairman, Nissan North America, Inc., José Muñoz (pictured above), the all-new Rogue competes in the compact SUV segment and now reflects Nissan’s design DNA as well as a more upscale interior. New convenience features on the Rogue include an available Motion-Activated Liftgate, the available Nissan Safety Shield technologies, and the first-ever Rogue Hybrid.

2017 Sentra SR Turbo

2017 Sentra SR Turbo

Hecho en México, the newest Sentra in the lineup brings a sporty option to a segment that tends to lack appeal beyond the price and fuel efficiency. Powered by a 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline turbocharged engine, both the SR manual and Xtronic versions will have the same starting price, under $22,000 and the ability to upgrade. The SR will also offer important safety features, like a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, even on the six-speed manual version, unlike the Sentra base model, also a six-speed manual, which is sold practically as-is.

Both models should appeal to Latino car buyers who will be integral to their success.

“Nissan is one of the top automotive brands with Hispanic buyers and multicultural buyers in general, fueling Nissan’s current strong sales growth nationwide,” said Muñoz. “Sales to the Hispanic community represent a full 21 percent of Nissan’s total sales, well above the industry average.”

2016-09-10-pink-beetle

#PinkBeetle

Other interesting reveals included the #PinkBeetle, Volkswagen’s special edition of the 2017 Beetle, offered in a hardtop or convertible version, that will also serve as a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. As the name implies, its exterior paint is a translucent pink or Fresh Fuchsia Metallic. The Pink Agenda will auction the first model for FAB-U-WISH, a non-profit initiated by breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic. Bidding takes place online at Charitybuzz.com/vwpinkbeetle through September 22, 2016.

Genesis G90

Genesis G90

Hyundai’s new luxury brand, Genesis, launched one its first models, the G90, last month. The G90 also received the Best Luxury Sedan Award at the auto show from  Ruedas ESPN. Only the second luxury brand to launch this century, Genesis will continue to do what Hyundai does best, offer more equipment and services than its competitors. Most impressive is the suite of safety features that come standard on the G90 but that still remain options on brands like Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz, namely a blind spot monitor, lane keep assist, and a multi-view camera.

ar017_054gu86lhmv5m6dligiu8dr83ncsf4gFinally, the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) ended the day with its award ceremony, naming the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (left) premium midsize sedan the Star of the Show.

Nov 092015
 

2013 Nissan Altima

Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Altima and Pathfinder vehicles, 2013-2014 Nissan Sentra vehicles, 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles, 2014-2015 Infiniti QX60 vehicles and 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid vehicles. The affected vehicles received an incorrect occupant classification system (OCS) control unit during a repair. These OCS control units may incorrectly classify the front passenger seat as empty, when it is occupied by an adult.

2013 Pathfinder

2013 Pathfinder

If the OCS does not detect an adult occupant in the passenger seat, the passenger air bag would be deactivated. Failure of the passenger airbag to deploy during a crash (where deployment is warranted) could increase the risk of injury to the passenger.

Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will update the OCS software, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in November

2013 Infiniti QX60

2013 Infiniti QX60

2015. Owners may contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Sep 302015
 
Pictured with the 2016 Nissan TITAN XD is Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, U.S.A.

Pictured with the 2016 Nissan TITAN XD is Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, U.S.A.

Latino Traffic Report recently attended the State Fair of Texas auto show media preview in Dallas where Nissan kicked off its biggest presence ever with a special showing of the all-new 2016 Nissan TITAN XD full-size pickup.

The 2016 TITAN XD, which was planned in Tennessee, designed in California, engineered in Michigan, tested in Arizona and assembled in Mississippi, will be featured on a specially built “TITAN Proving Grounds” display, providing truck fans the unique opportunity to take part in a series of interactive activities and experience TITAN XD in its natural setting. The State Fair of Texas runs September 25 through October 18 at Fair Park in Dallas.

2015-09-24 11.58.14“Texas has played a huge role in the development of our all-new lineup of American TITAN trucks. The initial focus groups took place here and we’ve taken it through multiple clinics throughout the state. Texans know trucks and we wanted to hear from expert truck customers,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, U.S.A., Nissan North America, Inc. “To test TITAN XD under real world conditions, we’ve also put prototype trucks in the hands of folks in Texas and across the U.S.—construction workers, farmers, ranchers, and even a rodeo equipment manufacturer.”

The centerpiece of Nissan’s State Fair of Texas display is the TITAN XD, which is powered by a new Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine rated at a powerful 555 lb-ft of torque and is set to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in December.

The TITAN XD, which features a maximum towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds* when properly equipped, will later be available in a total of three cab configurations, three bed lengths, two frame sizes, 4×4 and 4×2 drive and five grade levels.

“The key attributes of TITAN XD are that it offers increased towing stability, along with more torque, than a traditional half-ton pickup—without the sacrifices of a harsh ride, unnecessary capability and higher price of a ¾-ton truck,” said Diaz.

2016 Titan XD interior

2016 Titan XD interior

TITAN’s innovation leadership continues with cutting-edge available towing, utility features and driving aids, including an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Tow/Haul Mode with Downhill Speed Control and a Trailer Light Check system that allows one-person hook-up operation – including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights.

Also assisting trailer hook-ups is the TITAN’s RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides, while the available Around View Monitor (AVM) provides a virtual 360-degree “bird’s eye” view of the surrounding area from front, rear and side cameras to help with parking and pulling in and out of tight spaces. The system also includes Moving Object Detection (MOD), which helps detect moving objects such as vehicles, shopping carts or other large objects near the vehicle when backing out via an on-screen notification and warning chime.

2015-09-24 11.45.51Helping TITAN XD owners take advantage of its ample towing power are two available hitches—including an integrated gooseneck hitch engineered into the frame and easily accessible in the bed.

Nissan currently employs more than 1,000 people in Texas at the Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), Nissan Central Region and a parts distribution center. There are also 71 Nissan dealerships in the state.

UPDATE: The Titan XD would go on to be named the Truck of Texas by members of the Texas Auto Writers Association at the annual Truck Rodeo.

Aug 242015
 
2016 Nissan Maxima

2016 Nissan Maxima

I first met the Nissan Maxima in 1985 when my friend rolled up in a brand new one. Just hired out of college by Marriott Hotels as the new comptroller for the Dallas region, she felt the Maxima would reflect well on her status as a young executive. I was amazed at its plushness and those colored keys under the driver’s side exterior door handle for programming the locks.2015-05-28 maxima2

Nissan recently ventured to Dallas, Texas to introduce the eighth generation of its “four-door sports car.” The all-new 2016 Maxima lives up to its halo status. For starters, it’s a beauty. The “energetic design” including the signature V-Motion grille, jet fighter-inspired zero gravity front seats with sport bolstering, and floating roof embodies its four-door sports car moniker from Nissan.

Available in five as-is trim levels (there are no optional packages or features), S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum, it will make shopping simpler but may also frustrate buyers who would like to add features like a dual panoramic sunroof, available only on the SL and Platinum trim levels. Some factory installed accessories, like splash guards and spoilers are available.

2015-05-28 maximaseatsStill, Maximas do come loaded with creature comforts and technology.

All Maximas include a seven-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, HD radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a CD player (you can still get a six-CD player on S and SV models) Bluetooth hands-free phone system, a rear view monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key with push button ignition, and NissanConnect with navigation and an eight-inch touchscreen.

At the launch, the top-of-the-line Premium trim was featured. Inside, quilted leather seats and faceted finishes on knobs, etc. added to its plushness.

2016 Maxima headlamp detail

2016 Maxima headlamp detail

Powered by an improved 3.5-liter V6 with 300 horsepower matched to a new performance-oriented Xtronic transmission, the Maxima’s expected to improve in fuel economy, earning 22 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

For better performance, the Drive Mode Selector (Sport and Normal modes) adjusts  throttle response, steering feel and transmission tuning. On the test drive, there was a noticeable difference in Sport mode, including tighter steering.

The new Maxima also offers an extensive range of safety, security and driving aids, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning Intelligent Cruise Control, 2015-05-28 maximalicForward Emergency Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Warning. However, these features are not standard on all Maximas, only the SL, SR and Platinum grades.

Like its predecessors, the new Maxima packs a lot of punch and features in an elegant package with sporty performance.

Pricing will start at $33,235.