Kristin gets into the 2020 Maxima and tests out Nissan’s assertion that this is a “four-door sports car.” The Maxima is still the flagship sedan in Nissan’s lineup. Let’s find out what she likes, what she doesn’t like as much, and what she thinks of this car overall.
Nissan made a lot of changes to the Titan for the 2020 model year. These changes fixed a lot of the beefs we’ve had with the big Titan in the past and make this a more competitive full-sized pickup truck option.
In this review, Kristin looks at the underrated Nissan Murano and talks about its features and design. Competing in the hot two-row crossover segment, the Murano offers uniqueness on several fronts. Check it out.
- 2021 Nissan Rogue includes Nissan Safety Shield 360 across the entire lineup
- Intelligent driver alertness technology and Rear Door Alert now standard across all trim levels
- “Family Hub” features add convenience for rear passengers
- Vehicle Motion Control works in conjunction with intelligent AWD system and drive mode selector to provide four-wheel individual control and better cornering
- 2.5L 4-cylinder engine generating 181 hp, an increase of 11 hp
- Platinum trim added to the lineup
- Five new two-tone color combinations
Strong mpg numbers enhanced for 2021
For model years 2017-2020, Nissan’s top-selling smart crossover has been known for stellar fuel efficiency and a nimble, quiet ride. Powered by a 170-hp 2.5L engine, Nissan Rogue buyers could choose between 2WD and 4WD, and could get a little over 30 mpg on the highway. For 2021, Nissan added 11 hp to the mix for a little more oomph and upped the torque lb-ft by six, giving it even more zip. And the mpg numbers are even more promising: FWD models will get 35 mpg on the S trim and 34 on the other three (SV, SL, and Platinum), and AWD gets 33 and 32, respectively.
Firstly, Nissan has updated the V-motion grille, widening it and giving it a bit more heft. Next, to the side of the distinctive grille new multi-level LED headlights with an expanded illumination area are standard on all 2021 Nissan Rogue trims. Finally, LED fog lights are standard on SL and Platinum grades.
The rear cargo area is accessible through the newly available motion-activated tailgate. Once you open it up Nissan’s popular Divide-n-Hide system has been updated while still providing hidden and secure storage for essential gear. Now on the inner right side of the cargo area (behind the wheel arch) a cubby is perfectly sized for a gallon of milk, reducing your spill risk. We say that’s a great place for a gallon of homemade root beer in the summer, too.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue amps up the family quotient with an enhanced feature set Nissan is calling the “Family Hub.”
As it was for the 2020 model, seventy cubic feet of cargo space is plenty of room for your kids, sports equipment, and even your furry friends in a Rogue. The new butterfly-opening center console gives you the option to place an item inside – tissues or wipes, for instance – and back-seat passengers are able to access it. If you have small children, you’ll see the functionality with that new feature. Further, more storage space is available under the front console.
Two things we love about the Rogues (and about Nissan in general) are the NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats and Rear Door Alert. First, Rear Door Alert (which was invented by two Nissan engineers who are also moms) helps remind you of items or kids that may be forgotten in the rear seat. If the system detects that a rear door was opened or closed prior to a trip, but then was not re-opened again after the trip was completed, the system responds with a series of visual and audible notifications. Secondly, Zero Gravity seats – designed to reduce fatigue and increase comfort – have 14 pressure points to put your back in a neutral position. Now your back-seat passengers benefit from Zero Gravity seats, too, and they’re going to appreciate that addition if you’ve had a Nissan Rogue in the past.
We also appreciate the expansion of the Nissan Intelligent Key to the rear doors. With the 2021 model, anyone can unlock a front or rear door by pressing a button on any of the four doors or unlock all doors by pressing twice.
Interior technology features also include push button start, Rear Door Alert and easy-fill tire alert, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, hands-free text messaging assistant, Siri Eyes Free, Google assistant and Sirius XM radio. Standard USB-C (fast chargers) are also included in every Rogue.
More safety features with ProPILOT Assist
Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist, the brand’s driver-assist technology suite, combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration, braking and steering in both heavy traffic and on the highway. Nissan says ProPILOT Assist uses next-generation radar and camera technology to provide smoother braking, better steering assist feel and improved detection performance when other vehicles cut into the lane.
ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link is standard on Rogue Platinum and available on Rogue SL. If you link ProPILOT Assist with Nissan’s navigation system, the map data can now provide the ability to proactively reduce speed for upcoming freeway curves or junctions and also help you slow for freeway exits. Nissan appears to be actively pursuing semi-autonomous driving that not everyone appreciates but some will love.
If you regularly encounter stop-and-go traffic, vehicles with ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link gave you three seconds to remain stopped and automatically continue without having to tap the accelerator. Now it’s up to 30 seconds, which makes a lot more sense in large city areas. Lastly, the Rogue provies traffic sign recognition and can automatically update the vehicle’s speed when the speed limit goes up or down.
Nissan’s 2021 Rogue will be available this fall.
There are a lot of good things happening during the coronavirus social distancing. Even as automotive plants shut down the production of vehicles for the health and safety of their workers, automakers are jumping in to help communities and the country during this time. Here, we talk about the current happenings and give highlights of what vehicle brands and companies are doing to give back to communities. From building ventilators to making safety gear and feeding the hungry, the automotive industry continues its long tradition of caring for the people and nations it serves.
Stay safe and happy. We’re getting through this together.
Is it time to make the switch to an EV?
The 2020 Nissan Leaf enters its second decade this year, which may be a surprise to those who think of electric vehicles as something new to the market. There aren’t a lot of EVs on the road, but they have been around awhile, just under the radar of most shoppers. That’s changing as the charging infrastructure improves and the number of EVs on the road slowly increases. Although the Leaf isn’t new, Nissan has continually upgraded their little EV with new features that give it wider appeal.
The big news this year is the addition of Nissan Safety Shield 360 as a standard feature. This includes key advanced safety technologies including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, and high beam assist. There’s also standard forward collision warning, lane change intervention, and blind spot intervention. These features make the 2020 Nissan Leaf a compelling choice for those who put a priority on safety.
No range anxiety here
One of the biggest considerations when buying an electric vehicle is range. There’s a considerable amount of worry that you’re going to run out of juice with nary a charging station in sight. That fear was a bit more warranted years ago before EV charging stations started showing up everywhere from malls to offices to grocery stores.
Even if there aren’t a lot of charging stations where you live, the reality is that most people drive less in a day than what an EV can handle. There’s a choice of two range options with the Leaf. The base Leaf is available in two trims with a 40 kWh battery and a range of 149 miles. The Leaf Plus has a 62 kWh battery that extends that range to 226 miles in a choice of three trims.
Look at those numbers for a minute. Most people don’t drive 149 miles in a day. Even fewer drive 226 miles. That means most people who purchase a Leaf will only ever need to charge it at home. While the Leaf might be a charging challenge on a road trip, it’s easily able to handle the average daily commute without requiring a desperate search for a charging station.
A well-equipped range of trims
Short-range versions of the Leaf are available in two trims with room for 5 passengers. The long-range Leaf adds a third trim with more comfort and convenience features. Standard Leaf features include manually adjustable front seats, suede seating surfaces, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with 4-speaker audio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
The SV adds the option for a power driver’s seat with heated front seats along with additional standard features including HD radio, 6-speaker audio, and NissanConnect EV with navigation. The SL makes the options on the SV standard and adds more premium touches. These include a standard 7-speaker Bose audio system, LED low beam headlights and daytime running lights, and leather seating surfaces.
The sound of silence
Driving an EV is something that feels a little weird at first. You push a button, the car is on, and you don’t hear an engine because there isn’t one. That lack of sound is true inside and out, which is why the government requires EVs make sounds anytime they’re operating at low speeds or moving in reverse. Pedestrians might not otherwise hear the vehicle and risk stepping into its path.
This year, Nissan upgraded those sounds to fall in line with U.S. vehicle regulations slated to go into effect on September 1, 2020. At speeds under 18.6 mph, it emits a constant tone and in reverse it emits a pulsing chime. Like the lack of noise when you turn on the Leaf, those sounds are a bit odd to hear at first, but quickly become a pleasant background to the drive experience.
The Leaf is a comfortable and responsive ride ideally suited to 4 passengers although 5 work for smaller trips. There’s minimal road noise, although wind noise picks up in poor weather. The large infotainment screen is a welcome feature and it’s well-positioned for both driver and passenger. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto keep you connected and the cabin’s smaller size makes conversation easy.
Driving with the e-Pedal
There are a several unique features found on the Leaf. First, the gear shift is a flat, round joystick on the center console. It’s easy to use, but not intuitive and takes time to become second nature. Another unique feature is the e-Pedal, which is engaged at the press of a button. With the e-Pedal, you don’t need to use the brakes and can instead use only the accelerator to bring the car all the way to a stop. This takes a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it and hop back into a car without this feature, you’ll realize how nice it is not to have to use two pedals to drive.
The 2020 Nissan Leaf is a solid choice for those in the market for an electric vehicle. A choice of three trims and two powertrains lets you pick the one that’s right from your needs and helps make the Leaf more affordable for those who drive shorter distances. The Leaf starts at $31,600 while the long-range Leaf Plus starts at $38,200 making it an affordable option in either guise.
In this interview, Kristin talks with Shane Heidemann, chief engineer at Nissan, about the new 2020 Titan XD and its Pro-4X model. After hitting the trail for some mud, the two talk about the underpinnings of the truck and what has (and hasn’t) changed with this new Titan.
For more on the 2020 Nissan Titan XD, check out Kristin’s interview with Ari: https://youtu.be/6atxb7qzZNM
Kristin talks with Ari of Nissan about the new Nissan Titan Pro-4X, updated for 2020. After a drive through mud and terrain, the two talk about the truck’s changes and upgrades for the new model year. And we school Ari on the unofficial names for some of the Titan’s features.
Radio host and automotive journalist Daryl Killian of Auto Nsider (https://waok.radio.com/shows/autonsider-daryl-killian) joins Kristin in the all new 2020 Nissan Sentra. After having driven the new sedan, the two compare notes about the vehicle and who should be checking it out as a purchase option.
In this video at the Chicago Auto Show, Aaron talks with Nathan Adlan of The Fast Lane about the all-new powertrain in the 2020 Frontier. Alongisde this new Frontier sits a 2007 model that rolled over 1,000,000 miles on its odometer as a delivery truck for a Chicago-area service. The new powertrain offers more muscle, better economy, and is the first tease of an entirely new Frontier (coming soon). How well did Nissan do? Nathan gives us his opinion and some insider insights.
Find Nathan at The Fast Lane Truck: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-85LYfB61OP4SRAgpfncw