Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: 2012 Nissan Rogue SV FWD

Besides the Altima, the Rogue is another bright spot in Nissan's lineup. I never had an interest in the Rogue before but I was able to get an intelligent key to a 2012 Nissan Rogue. The Rogue competes against the Hyundai Tuscon, Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, and the Toyota RAV4. This is the first time that I had driven the Rogue and I must say that Rogue left me impressed. I drove a loaded Rogue SV with the SL Package that was priced at $30,125.

The exterior of the Rogue is stylish and attractive but it is becoming quite dated. The Rogue's grille resembles it's bigger sibling the Murano. My tester came equipped with 18" alloy wheels, splash guards, and came in a color called Frosted Steel.

The interior of the Rogue blew me away especially for a vehicle of this class. There was a mix of soft touch materials and plastics throughout the cabin. The center stack had a 5" touchscreen color display. I am a big fan of Nissan's navigation system and it works well in the Rogue. The front seats were soft and comfortable. The front seats are heated but living in the South I doubt anyone will be using them any time soon. A powered adjustable seat is available only for the driver. The backseats were just as comfortable and offered a lot of legroom and headroom. The Rogue can actually seat 5 due to the low tunnel shaft. My SV trim had a leather wrapped steering wheel which is a plus in my book. Two gripes I had are that the steering wheel does not telescope and the power side mirror control is in a weird place. I love the use of an intelligent key but hate that the Rogue does not have push button start. The SL package added leather seats, an Around View Monitor, Bose audio system with eight speakers, and a power sliding moon-roof.

The Rogue comes equipped with a 2.5L DIHC 4-cylinder engine that produces 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with Nissan's Xtronic CVT transmission. A lot of people cry and complain about CVT transmissions and its getting really annoying. But that's an argument for another day. The CVT works really well with the 2.5L engine and delivers power when needed. The 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque was more than enough for this small CUV. I found the ride of the Rogue to be luxurious and comfortable. The steering was light and responsive. Most people will appreciate how well the Rogue rides. The Rogue can come in either FWD or AWD. The Rogue with FWD gets around 23 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway.

Overall I really liked the Rogue. While the SV trim is the top of the line a buyer can get into a Rogue at $22,070. There is a lot of cargo room and comfortable seating for 5. Buyers should make their way to a Nissan dealership (visit my friends at Greenville Nissan in NC) to snatch up great deals on the Rogue. There will be a major redesign of the Rogue for 2013 so expect to see many deals. The 2012 Nissan Rogue is a terrific vehicle and should be on your list if you're in the market for a crossover.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quick Look: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is all new for the 2013 model year. The 2013 model year brings revamped engine choices and a new interior and exterior.The 2.0L Turbo I$ now produces 274 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. The 3.8L V6 engine produces 348 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Depending on the trim level each engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The base, R-Spec, and premium trims mated with the 6-speed manual is rated at 21 city and 30 highway. The base, R-Spec, and premium trims mated with the 8-speed automatic transmission is rated at 20 city and 31 highway.

Everyone from consumers to auto journalists have been trashing the exterior design of the 2013 Genesis Coupe. But then again some of those people are the ones who think Toyota's and Honda's are attractive! I think that the exterior of the new Genesis Coupe is attractive and eye-catching. This design is a big improvement over the previous generation which I found to be quite boring. The interior of the Genesis Coupe is also a big improvement. There are soft touch materials and stitching throughout the cabin. I do think that the center stack gauges are unnecessary, they look very cheesy. I like the new Genesis Coupe's interior compared to the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. The front seats of the Coupe are very supportive and comfortable. The backseats are perfect for children and shorter folks but anyone who is tall will not feel comfortable. Overall Hyundai did a great job of designing the Genesis Coupe.

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe starts at $24,250. Hyundai has a huge hit on its hand and I'm sure I will see many 2013 Genesis Coupe's on the road. I hope to get behind the wheel of the new Genesis Coupe to do a full review.

What are your thoughts on the 2013 Genesis Coupe?

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Monday, May 7, 2012

2013 Cadillac ATS Pricing

Cadillac's new luxury compact sports sedan will go on sale this summer. The 2013 Cadillac ATS will compete against the BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Lexus IS, and the Volvo S60.

The base model ATS will start at $33,990 including destination. This ATS model will be equipped with a 2.5L I-4 engine producing 202 hp. The 2.5L engine will be paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard on all ATS models is the CUE infotainment system. The middle level model ATS will start at $35,795 including destination. The engine of choice is a 2.0L turbocharged I-4 engine mated to either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. The 2.0L engine produces 272 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. AWD is an option but is only available with the automatic transmission. The top level ATS model will start at $42,090 including destination. Cadillac will use a 3.6L direct injected V6 engine that produces 321 hp and 274 lb-ft of torque. The V6 engine can only be paired with the 6-speed automatic transmission.

Cadillac has done a lot of research with the new ATS and is ready to take on the luxury compact sedan segment. The 2013 ATS is competitively priced which definitely is important in the class. I am very excited about the Cadillac ATS and can't wait to drive one!

Would you consider the 2013 Cadillac ATS?

Do you think the price of the ATS will help sales?

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