First, you need to decide what type of car will fit your needs and your budget. With so many choices available in the car market, setting a budget first helps you narrow down your search based on what you can afford.
- SAFETY: Many tests are done on car safety before any vehicles hit the roads. The National Highway Traffic safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are just two places you can check a car’s safety rating and features. You can also find out from NHTSA if a vehicle has been recalled for safety defects.
- TITLE: If you’re buying from an individual seller, it is important to check on the title to make sure you are working with the actual vehicle owner. You can check on the title with your local Better Business Bureau. If you are buying from a dealer, you can check their credibility with your local consumer affairs office.
- LEASING: If you are considering leasing a car, make sure you ask the dealer for all of the financial information up front, including details on wear and tear standards, if there is a limit on how many more miles you can drive a year, the manufacturers warranty and more.
- FINANCING: Whether you’re leasing or buying a car, most people have to do some type of financing when purchasing a vehicle. Two common types are direct lending or dealership financing. It’s important to do your research so you know which types of financing is right for you. The Federal Trade Commission explains your options and defines financing lingo so you can be prepared.
The Altima gets a thorough refresh of the model lineup for 2010, including a restyled hood, grille and front bumper, different wheel designs and reconfigured interior trims, colors and materials. Entertainment and technology options have been significantly upgraded in the Altima this year, with new premium audio packages that include a 9-speaker Bose audio system, a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface, a USB port and iPod connectivity, a color display screen and a rearview monitor. Also, a new navigation system includes a larger screen, a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard-drive for music storage, Bluetooth Streaming Audio, DVD playback, and XM NavTraffic and NavWeather capabilities.
Also for 2010, electronic stability control is now standard across the entire model line, and the top-of-the-line 3.5 SE model of the Altima now gets the 3.5 SR badge instead. Three new exterior colors are offered on the Altima for 2010: Crimson Black, Navy Blue, and Ocean Gray. Gauge illumination has been changed from red to white, while a red-leather interior is offered for the first time on the coupe.
Whether as a coupe or sedan, the Altima feels quite sporty, with better steering and handling than most other mid-size sedans; appearance-wise, it’s also more distinctive than other mid-size sedans or coupes, with an interior that feels more inspired and sporty. Base-model Altimas also come better equipped than most other mid-size models. Performance remains a strength for the Altima; its engines provide good acceleration, while responsive handling helps complete the sporty feel throughout. The Altima Hybrid isn’t offered in all states, but it does offer excellent fuel economy while performing better overall than the Toyota Camry Hybrid.
The Nissan Altima model line includes coupes and sedans, powered by 4-cylinder and V6 engines, all with front-wheel drive. There’s also a Nissan Altima Hybrid-available in select markets-that includes a 4-cylinder engine and full hybrid system. SR models replaces last year’s SE offerings at the top, so the Altima line now includes S and SR trims for both sedans and coupes; there’s also a separate price-leader Base version of the sedan, priced at less than $20,000. Models with the 175-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine can have either a 6-speed manual transmission or continuously variable (CVT) automatic, while the 270-hp, 3.5-liter V6 is offered only with the CVT in sedans but with either the CVT or a 6-speed manual in coupes.
No matter which model, the Altima feels sportier than most rival models. Well-bolstered sport seats and more of a cockpit-style interior also distinguish the cabin feel. With revised trims for 2010, the interior has more soft-touch materials and chrome accents. A revised ‘blonde’ interior theme is available on the coupe, and the new red-leather interior is especially distinctive. On the outside, all Altimas get dual exhausts for a sporty look, while Altima Hybrids, SR sedans and all coupes come with sportier alloy wheels. In either case the Altima handles very well thanks to speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering and a suspension that’s tuned on the firm side yet compliant enough for most surfaces.
V6 models get sportier suspension tuning, with thicker front and rear stabilizers to help get the most out of the additional power, while all models get 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. As a coupe, the Altima is somewhat more nimble, because it has a shorter wheelbase than the sedan and has a bit less back-seat space as well. Trunk size is quite a bit smaller in coupe models, but both have a split-folding back seat to expand cargo space for larger items.
The Altima Hybrid employs a full hybrid system that combines the 2.5-liter engine with an electric-drive motor/generator system and an electronically controlled CVT. Altogether, the powertrain produces 198 horsepower and gets EPA ratings of 35 mpg city, 33 highway; for 4-cylinder models with the CVT, the ratings are 23/31.
Base-model Altima sedans come with a surprisingly level of equipment, including air conditioning, power locks and windows, a trip computer, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering, and rear-seat heated vents. S models include a 6-speaker sound system, Intelligent Key entry and ignition system, and variable intermittent wipers. At the top of the line, SR models get fog lamps, power heated mirrors with integral turn signals, wood-tone and leather interior trims, a power driver’s seat, a moonroof (optional in the sedan), and upgraded 18-inch alloy wheels.
Safety is strongly represented now, too, with electronic stability control now standard, in addition to a full roster of airbags. The star of the Altima’s options list is a new Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System, which includes XM NavTraffic and NavWeather with dynamic rerouting; a Zagat restaurant guide; Bluetooth Streaming Audio: a DVD player: an RCA input; and 9.3 GB of hard-drive capacity for music storage. Also newly available is a premium audio package with 9-speaker Bose system plus a color display, USB and iPod connectivity and a Bluetooth hands-free calling system.
With a sturdy, fully boxed frame and 4-wheel drive, combined with a 4-wheel independent suspension, the 2010 Nissan Pathfinder offers a good combination of serious towing, hauling and off-roading ability while providing a competent and comfortable ride on-road. And with the same big V8 as the full-size Armada, the mid-size Pathfinder becomes both quicker and more capable, with towing capacity now up to 7,000 pounds.
GM has really made its mark this year, in terms of awards, and it continues to do so as the days go by. One of the most impressive milestones for GM is that J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS) recognized 10 GM models as top three vehicles in their segments for quality performance within the first 90 days of ownership. Some of those models are: Malibu, CTS, Suburban, Lucerne, and Yukon XL.
I am happy to announce that the Tahoe, Avalanche, Escalade and Sierra 1500 have each received quality awards as top vehicles in their class! Also, along with all of the awards going to GM vehicles, the Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Michigan won the Bronze Plant Award in North/South America region, as well as being recognized as the top-ranking plant in the US!
Kudos to GM for this amazing award year!
With the launch of the 2011 Silverado HD right around the corner, I felt it was appropriate to talk about the Allison Transmission that is going to be in it! There are so many great things to say about an Allison Transmission, that I do not know where to start…I will probably make this into a two part post about Allison..
Allison has been around since 1909 (so basically when the automotive industry began), and has stayed on top of the transmission manufacturing business for the past 95 years. Its headquarters is in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the company actually started off as a racing company and was one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! After a few years of being in the racing business, Allison moved on to manufacturing parts, masters and tools for the Liberty airplane engine. In 1928 Allison’s founder, Jim Allison, died and the company was taken over by General Motors. With time, Allison grew to be a huge player in aviation, as well as motor vehicles – which we know it to be today.
The Allison Transmission that we know and love is a one of a kind machine built specifically for performance. Be on the look out for another post about the workings of the Allison Transmission tomorrow!!
Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor is appointed brand ambassador of Nissan in India!
“Today is an important and memorable day for Nissan India and our partner Hover Automotive. I am delighted to announce that Ranbir Kapoor is our brand Ambassador,”
said Kiminobu Tokuyama, said CEO and Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd.
Kapoor is very excited to be working with Nissan and states that, “It is an honour to be part of the Nissan family. I have a big passion for cars. I am fascinated by all the Nissan cars.”
On the occasion, the 28-year-old actor unveiled Nissan’s first India-made car, Micra.
On the day of his appointment, Kapoor introduced the Nissan Micra. “Micra is a perfect car, especially for Mumbai’s roads. I hope we will continue with this partnership for a long time and really do good for the consumers, the brand and for myself,” he said.
“Micra, the delivery of which would start from the next month has already seen 400 bookings,” Hover Automotive India Vice-President (Operations) Abhijeet Pandit said.
Assembled by General Motors-Daewoo in Korea, the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo appeals to drivers on a budget. MSRP starts at under $12,000, which makes it one of the lowest-priced passenger car available in the U.S. By utilizing ‘tall car’ design aesthetics, both the hatchback and sedan are roomy inside and feature a comfortable ride relative to other small cars. Mileage for 2010 is 27 city / 34 highway.
The 2010 Chevy Aveo is offered in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback known as the Aveo5. Both styles are available in three trims: the base LS, the mid-range LT1 and well-equipped LT2.
Just as in 2009, the 2010 Aveo comes with a 1.6L Ecotec DOHC 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing, which helps it make 108 horsepower and 105 pounds-feet of torque. It is mated to a standard 5-speed manual gearbox, while an optional 4-speed automatic transmission is available on the LT trims. The automatic transmission features a hold-control mode to hold a higher gear and to aid traction on slippery roads. All trims are front wheel drive. All Aveos utilize a MacPherson strut front suspension with coil beams and a stabilizer bar and a compound-link independent suspension with torsion beam and gas-charged shocks in the rear.
On the base LS trim, standard features include a tilt steering wheel, rear defogger, air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo with auxiliary input. The LT1 trim comes standard front and rear floor mats, heated outside mirrors and a 6-speaker CD/MP3 sound system. The LT2 gets cruise control, alarm, keyless entry, power doors and windows, power heated mirrors, fog lamps and performance tires. Available options on all trims include anti-lock brakes (ABS), leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel controls, an anti-theft system, woodgrain interior trim, trip computer, aluminum wheels, vinyl seats, sunroof and wireless cell phone integration.
Standard safety features include front driver and passenger airbags with dual-stage deployment, and seat-mounted side airbags for front row occupants. A tire pressure monitoring system is also standard. One year of GM’s OnStar Safe and Sound plan is standard all Aveos.
Through out the years, Altima owners have really spoken out about their love for their Nissan. Did you know what over 38% of them have actually named their vehicle?! So, because of all this love for the Altima, I have gathered up some of those quotes to share with you:
“My friends say that my car fits my personality – it’s classy, fun, exciting and reliable.” – Patricia L., MO
“I have over 145,000 miles on my Altima and it never stops running. Great Car” -Fran K., CA
“The styling is right on, sleek on the outside, comfortable on the inside, nothing in its class comes close!” -Brian H., TX
“I really like the keyless accessibility.” -Louis B., MD
“I love the keyless entry and push button starting. It’s so nice to be able to leave the keys in my pocket and be able to start the car.” -Joshua S., DE
“I like the backup camera.” – Tracey L., AZ
“I love the takeoff speed of my Altima.” -Sylvia G., TX
“I love the Bose system! I’ve been in other luxury cars that don’t have a system that compares.” -Jacklyn C., NJ
“Love the heated seats in the winter.” -Sally W., NY
“The navigation system keeps me going where I want to go and gets me there on time, and without getting lost.” -Noram B., AR
“My first Altima was a 1994 and it gave me no problem. In fact, I got the new Altima in June and can’t seem to part with the old one. I still have it and love it. I recommend the Altima to everyone I talk to.” -Amy P., CT
“I loved my husband’s and just really wanted one of my own!” -Cindy P., VA
“It is just a dream to drive. It is so comfortable and easy. The seats are like sitting in your favorite easy chair at home.” -Karen B., TX
“My kids are in athletics so the trunk is “customized” with everything you need to endure, I mean enjoy, any sporting event. I’ve got all kinds of cushioned seats, foldable chairs, quilts, coats, umbrellas, cooler, etc. And I can still haul groceries with all that permanently in my trunk.” -Susan L., IL
“The dual controls…Seriously, no one in my life is ever happy about the temperature in my car! But now they can be a little more satisfied! You have no idea how fabulous this makes my life!” -Evelyn D., NC
“My Altima is just one of those cars that makes you smile. It’s so beautiful…when you have a stressful day and get into you Altima, you can just forget about your day for a while and enjoy the ride home!” -Patricia L., MO
“The valet guys parked it up top with the BMWs and Mercedes because it was clean and shiny and looked high-end” -Brian E., MD
“The first Altima had 210,000 miles on its first spark plugs and was a reliable car. I gave it to my daughter at 220,000 miles.” -Jim B., OR
Nissan has officially hit its 19,000th reservation for the LEAF, and, unfortunately, will no longer be accepting reservations for 2010. No need to worry, though, you will be able to get your Nissan LEAF shortly after the production of the first 19,000 vehicles. Nissan, actually, anticipates that by the year 2013 they will sell 500,000 LEAFs to the public.
So if you are thinking about owning a Nissan LEAF, stay in close contact with your local Nissan dealer to get all of the latest updates about when you can start to reserve a LEAF of your own (if you are in the area, Windsor Nissan can keep you up to date with all of the LEAF information)!
The Corvette comes with no less than 430 hp, even in base trim. Corvettes will never be mistaken for economy cars, but it does get a surprising 26 mpg on the highway with the 6-speed manual transmission. The ‘Vette’s value comes in its racing-derived engine and handling, its sexy curves, and grins per mile. All this comes at an entry price of just under $50,000.
With the addition of the Grand Sport model this year, there are several Corvettes to choose from. The Corvette coupe and convertible have a 6.2-liter, 430-hp V8 engine, known as the LS3, and a standard 6-speed manual transmission, though a 6-speed paddle-shift automatic is an option. The paddle shifter has been revised to include a “push and hold” function to make it easier to transition back to automatic after you’ve had your fun through the chicanes.
The sport-tuned Z06 has the larger LS7 engine, a 7-liter powerplant that makes 505 hp and is connected to a 6-speed manual only. This combination is capable of 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds — in first gear. The body is lightened by using an aluminum structure with bonded carbon fiber composites. It features a firmer suspension; red, 6-piston brake calipers; and 18-inch front and 19-inch rear aluminum wheels.
The ZR1 turns up the heat with the LS9 6.2-liter engine and Tremec 6-speed manual transmission, plus a new Performance Traction Management system for improved on-track performance. With 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque, the ZR1’s top speed has been tested at over 200 mph, making it the fastest production Corvette ever. It’s built on the same chassis as the Z06, but with a specially tuned suspension and Michelin performance tires exclusive to the ZR1.
The new Grand Sport coupe and convertible share the LS3 engine with the base model coupe and convertible, and it can be had with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. As a replacement for the previous Z51 performance package, the Grand Sport comes standard with wider wheels and tires, a revised suspension, extra cooling, larger brakes and specific manual gear ratios.
All Corvettes come with standard air conditioning, keyless entry, a stereo system with MP3 playback, cruise control, power everything, dual-zone climate control, leather seating and steering-wheel mounted audio controls. Chevrolet provides its flagship sports car with plenty of standard safety features, too, like ABS, driver and passenger air bags, TPMS, traction control, and a limited-slip differential.
The Corvette is a purpose-built driving vehicle, and as such, Chevrolet doesn’t offer a wide array of optional equipment. Packages include heated seats, a Bose sound system, a navigation system and Bluetooth. A custom leather-wrapped interior package adds 2-tone leather with crossed flags embroidered in the headrests and leather on the console, instrument panel, and door panels. And you can prove you live in the twenty-first century with the available dot-matrix head-up display that shows speed, rpm, oil pressure and g-meter readings.