One of the world’s top performance cars; rare and exclusive; aggressive, distinctive look; sophisticated powertrain
For 2013, the Nissan GT-R gets another power boost from its twin-turbo V6 engine; this year it’s up to 545 horsepower, up from 530 last year and 485 the year before, due to increased intake efficiency, better airflow to the intercooler, and improved exhaust efficiency. Additionally, the transmission has been refined and the suspension retuned. Inside, front seat support and comfort are much improved.
Some might know the Nissan GT-R more from racing video games than from the street. The GT-R is a true exotic supercar–it’s a legend because of its rarity, exotic powertrain, and incredible performance numbers. While the GT-R might not make a practical daily driver, this high-performance coupe is a must-have for collectors, the image-conscious, and those who must have what’s fastest.
The Nissan GT-R is offered in Premium and Black Edition models, both powered by a special 3.8L twin-turbocharged V6, now making 545 horsepower and 463 pound-feet of torque. Power is put to all four wheels with a performance-oriented all-wheel drive system, and a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox (with no actual clutch pedal) handles the shifting. With the GT-R’s additional power, the dash to 60 mph takes around three seconds, and top speed is a claimed 196 mph. Brakes are strong enough for secure stops from well into triple-digit speeds, and handling is enhanced by the variable-power-split AWD system. The ride is stiff, in a nod to this car’s prioritization of performance above all else. Inside, the GT-R feels snug, with a strong cockpit design. The driver sits low in rather narrow, well-bolstered sport seats, with a wide center console alongside. Steering wheel paddle shifters can command quick shifts, while center-stack controls are canted slightly toward the driver. The GT-R has a very extensive list of features. Heated, leather-suede-trimmed seats, full power accessories, an Intelligent Key entry and ignition system, a navigation system with XM NavTraffic and NavWeather, a universal garage-door opener and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity are all included. Also included is a Bose sound system with nine speakers, two subwoofers, Bluetooth streaming audio and DVD playback capability, USB and iPod connectivity and XM satellite radio. Priced about $10,000 above the $96,820 GT-R Premium, the Black Edition adds metallic black lightweight forged aluminum wheels, designed by RAYS, plus Recaro sport bucket seats and unique red and black interior trim. There are few major options on the GT-R. A Cold Weather Package adds Dunlop run-flat tires and smoke-gray forged aluminum wheels. A backup camera is also available.
I make no attempt here to compare the 2013 Nissan Sentra, a subcompact economy car, with something from the ranks of substantially more expensive, bona fide luxury automobiles. But there are samples of the new Sentra, notably the upscale Sentra SL sedan driven for this column, that make you wonder what “luxury” means anymore.
The Nissan Sentra line — including the base S, the popularly equipped SV, the sporty SR and the surprisingly well-appointed SL — has been reworked for 2013.
The front-wheel-drive cars are two inches longer than their predecessors. Interior space has been increased, and the cabins have been made more appealing and comfortable. The top-of-the-line SL, driven for this column, is so loaded it raises the question: Why access luxury at a higher price?
The SL, also the most expensive of the lot, has a starting price of $19,760 — deliberately set below $20,000 to bait more buyers. The idea: If I get all these goodies in a car starting under $20,000, surely I can add a few thousand dollars more in options.
Of course you can. Nissan has Sentra options aplenty. This column’s SL, which included optional onboard navigation with high-definition backup camera, premium leather seat coverings, a power sliding glass roof and a premium sound system, came with a manufacturer’s price of $23,430.
Still, that is not a bad deal for a well-made commuter car (in terms of fit and finish) that is also safe, luxuriously outfitted and engineered to get 30 miles per gallon in the city and 39 mpg on the highway using regular gasoline.
(I wrote “engineered to get.” I should’ve written “advertised to get.” My real-world mileage was okay, but several miles per gallon less than advertised.)
But the new Nissan Sentra line is made to address growing consumer worries over fuel economy and pump prices. That is largely why Nissan has jettisoned — at least for the time being — its high-performance Sentra SE-R and SE-R Spec V models. The current corporate thinking is that consumer concerns about fuel economy nullify demand for more consumptive high-performance models in what was supposed to be an economy-car line in the first place.
Nissan is likely to get criticism for that decision from recalcitrant throttle jockeys, whose need for speed frequently outpaces their incomes. But the company is likely to do well among drivers who just want a small, affordable, well-tailored car with at least decent miles-per-gallon numbers.
The new Sentra offers all that and more in the SL version. There is none of the bland styling and use of subpar cabin materials of predecessor Sentras. Everything is nice and tight. Exterior styling flows in attractive lines front to rear. Cabin leather feels rich. The design of the car’s instrument panel, replete with a handsome center console that is also easy to use, is first-rate. This is a very likable little car quite capable of competing with anything in its size and price class.
“FE” (fuel economy) versions of the new Sentra S and SV are designed to get slightly better mileage. Their enhancements in that endeavor include a rear aerodynamic spoiler (to help mitigate wind resistance), underbody aerodynamic deflectors, and low-rolling-resistance tires (to help reduce fuel-sapping tire-road friction).
For those of you who define luxury as power and crisp handling, you are hereby advised to look elsewhere. Despite its seductive trimmings, the new Sentra SL is what it was designed and engineered to be — an economy car. Like all its Sentra siblings, it comes with a 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder engine (130 horsepower, 128 foot-pounds of torque). Add to that a continuously variable automatic transmission that continues to leave many drivers (me included) in its transmission of power to the front drive wheels.
But, in the pursuit of more miles per gallon with no loss of safety, style or comfort, I’m willing to accept those deficits. On most highly regulated roads in the United States, I can only go so fast anyway. I might as well settle back and enjoy the drive in what is without a doubt the best Sentra sedan that Nissan has ever made.
**A special thank you to Warren Brown from The Washington Post for this article!**
Your car needs fluids to keep it running for the same reason your mother asks you to water her plants while she’s out of town. However, don’t think of this simple maintenance as a chore but a quick and easy way of extending the life of your car.
A good rule of thumb is to check your engine’s oil whenever you fill up at the gas station. While your car is refueling, pop the hood and give it a few minutes as you squeegee the windows. Remove the dipstick from the engine and wipe it clean. Reinsert the dipstick slowly and remove again to see whether the fluid level falls between two hash marks on the stick. If it’s too low, you may need to add a quart.
When you’re done refueling, start up your engine and check the automatic transmission fluid levels. Make sure you have no loose clothing or jewelry that could potentially get caught in a moving part. You’ll follow the same procedure for cleaning and reinserting the transmission dipstick, and checking the hash marks. Manual transmission is generally checked under the car, with the engine off.
Your owner’s manual can help you find the brake fluid reservoir. Remove the lid and see if it is at least two-thirds full. Add more if it’s below the fill line. Make sure water is not able to enter the braking system; perform this task under an overhang or in your garage.
You need to check your radiator fluid level while your engine is cool; radiator fluid is under pressure and scalding hot from when your engine has been running. After your car has sufficiently rested, remove the radiator cap and look for fluid. If you see it near the top, the system is fine. If not, add more.
Lastly, if you note that any of your fluids repeatedly get low, you may have a leak. This is especially serious where your brakes are concerned. Check under your car after it has been idle in your garage or driveway. Note any puddles that may be forming and check the coloration to determine which fluid may be leaking. Consult a technician at Windsor Nissan for any repairs.
Checking your car’s fluids should be a weekly maintenance routine. This kind of observation and prevention could extend the life of your car. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for your mother’s plants.
The inconvenience of a flat seems disastrous at the time, but if you remember your steps—and we cannot stress this enough—in the right order, you can be up and running in about 20 minutes.
- Pull off the highway to a relatively safe spot where you can work. Open the trunk.
- Familiarize yourself with the jack, the tools, the spare and the owner’s manual. Ideally you should have done this when you bought the car. If you didn’t, stop reading this article and do it now. It takes 10 minutes, which will save you 10 minutes when it really counts.
- Loosen the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Sometimes this means attaching the lug wrench to a nut so that you can stand on the handle of the wrench and use all your weight to loosen it. Lug nuts are usually very tight. Loosening lug nuts before you jack up the car may be the second most important step to remember.
- Jack up the car (make sure it’s in park), using the owner’s manual as a guide so you know where to place the jack.
- Get the car high enough so the tire is no longer touching the ground plus 3-4 inches. Take the loose lug nuts off, by wrench or by hand.
- Pull the flat and put on the spare. This step takes the most strength, and is most likely to mess up your clothes.
- Put on the lug nuts but do not tighten all the way. Just get them as tight as you can with your hand.
- Lower the car down to the ground using the jack.
- This is the most important step—tighten the lug nuts with the wrench as much as you can, again using the standing and bouncing method if you think it’s necessary.
This should get you on your way in the shortest possible time. You can figure out what went wrong with the tire later.
You hear a “clunk” and a “tink” and then you think: oh no, my car needs a new engine. While we all want to try and find out what’s wrong with our vehicles, we should remember that self-diagnosing might not always be the best plan.
The best way to tell a small problem that you can fix from a larger problem is whether or not you have had to deal with it before or if it’s a routine fix. For example, windshield wipers are going to need to be replaced every so often, so don’t be afraid to make the switch. Bulbs are going to burn out, so consult your owners manual and make the fix. However, there are many cases when you should get an expert eye.
For example, if this is a new problem that you have never experienced before, that’s a good indicator that you need to bring in an expert.
There are three main reasons for this. First, you may end up misdiagnosing your vehicle and spending precious time, resources and money on attempting to fix a problem that doesn’t actually exist or not getting to the core of the problem. Second, many times manufacturers are sending new information about all their vehicles to Windsor Nissan and a problem that you’re having could be similar to a problem that other owners have also had. In these cases, the experts truly know best because they’ve seen the problem and had the opportunity to fix it multiple times. Lastly, if you’re not a mechanic, you may end up actually harming your vehicle and doing more bad than good.
If your vehicle is behaving unusually or you’re concerned about something, please visit Windsor Nissan to get a proper diagnosis and get back on the road again. Remember, it could save you money in the long run.
Car lovers have more resources than ever to find information, news, videos and podcasts about all things automobile. But, how do you tell the difference between the great reads from the just so-so stuff?
Here’s a guide to the best auto blogs on the web for the car lovers in the internet age.
- Motor Trend Blog: Most people know Motor Trend for their authoritative presence in the magazine publishing arena. However, their blog is a worthy read as well. After your subscription comes in the mail and you’ve read it from cover to cover, hop on over to the blog and check out the bonus content that you can only read on the web.
- Just a Car Guy: This blog is a great choice for anyone who just wants to geek out about cars with other people like you. From news about new colors to random musings about good designs, this is one to bookmark.
- Hybrid Cars Dream: If you love hybrids and dream of the incredible technology that makes eco-friendly driving possible, then this is one you don’t want to miss. You won’t believe how many angles there are to cover when it comes to green vehicles.
- Classic Car: Who doesn’t love to go back in time every once in a while and reminisce about where we’ve been? Classic Car takes a historical approach and celebrates a wide range of years and models.
- Auto Blog: Sometimes watching a video of a never before seen car is just what you need to get excited about a new year’s worth of vehicles. Auto Blog covers a wide range of cars and always has the best and newest video content. They also record a podcast for audio lovers.
You’ve heard it before: a transmission flush is a service you simply can’t skip. However, we’re not all mechanics, so it can be difficult to understand why we need this crucial service. A transmission flush can help extend the life of your transmission, so how does it work?
To help prolong the life of your transmission you need to make sure that the fluids that run through it every day are clean. When a transmission is flushed, old fluid is removed with a drain plug and new fluid is added. The combination gives the transmission a “cleanse” that helps to reduce strain on the individual parts within it.
By removing much of this old fluid, you’re also removing any buildup that has occurred over the life of the vehicle and clearing residue from the transmission. Residue can contaminate the fluid and put stress on the transmission as it works, so this is a critical element to the flush process.
When the process is completed, you can be assured that your transmission will operate better and it may even prolong the life of your transmission. Transmission repair and replacements are some of the most expensive services that can be performed on your vehicle, so this is a service you definitely don’t want to miss.
To know when your vehicle is in need of a transmission flush, consult with your owner’s manual. Or you can consult with Windsor Nissan to determine whether or not your vehicle is ready for a flush. If you can do any one thing to improve the life of your vehicle, you shouldn’t overlook it. Consider a transmission flush one of the ways you can do just that.
The Maguire Automotive Group prides itself on putting its customers first; whether you are purchasing a vehicle or getting an oil change – you’re satisfaction is our number one goal!
The Maguire Auto Group offers the Customer Loyalty Program to all of its customers at the Windsor Nissan and Bob Maguire Chevrolet locations. Signing up for the program is free and there is never any cost to you. It is our way of saying THANK YOU! for being our customer.
With the activation of the loyalty card you will receive: $200 towards the purchase of a new or pre-owned vehicle & $10 towards your next service visit.
Each time you get your car serviced or purchase a part from our parts department, you will have 3% of your bill credited onto your card (so if you spend $100, then you will get $3.00 back onto the card to use as a deduction off of your next visit!).
The last of the 2011 Nissan Maximas are at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor New Jersey. Hurry in today before they are all gone!
Smooth and powerful drivetrain; comfortable interior with easy-to-use controls; lots of standard features at all trim levels
For 2011, the Nissan Maxima receives only minor updates, including new Metallic Slate, Pearl White and Brilliant Silver exterior colors. SV Sport-optioned models get smoked headlights, a dark chrome grille and unique shiny gray interior stitching.
The Maxima‘s sporty styling and handling plus its long list of standard features makes it a solid performer in its segment. There are two trim levels, plus Sport and Premium packages, which can be added for the maximum in comfort and technology.
The 2011 Nissan Maxima S and SV both come with a 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine and a continuously variable transmission with manual mode. Anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution are standard equipment, plus speed-sensitive power steering. The Maxima’s sporty styling is evident in its dual mufflers with chrome-tipped finishers, LED taillights and power sliding moonroof. It’s even got 18-inch alloy wheels, though 19-inchers are available with the Sport Package. The Maxima isn’t all about looks, though. All of its safety features are standard equipment, like traction control, tire pressure monitoring, an energy-absorbing steering column and the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System. Even with all these systems on board, the Maxima still manages a respectable 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The interior has leather seats, shift knob and steering wheel. The 8-way power driver’s seat has lumbar support, while the passenger has to make do with a 4-way power seat. The rear bucket seats fold down with a 60/40 split. Dual-zone climate control with air filter is standard, including rear-seat air conditioning controls. Everything in the Maxima is power, from the push-button start to the remote windows-down function. The packaged options for the SV add quite a bit to the already-long list of features.
The Monitor Package adds a 7-inch monitor with rear-view camera and a 2GB Music Box flash drive, and the Cold Package heats the mirrors, front seats and steering wheel. The Sport package gives the Maxima SV a sportier feel with a tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels, smoked headlights, plus a rear spoiler, dark chrome grille and unique shiny gray interior stitching and metallic trim. The Premium Package plays to the more luxurious side of the Maxima, with a dual-panel moonroof, heated and cooled driver’s seat and eucalyptus wood-tone interior trim. Both the Sport and Premium packages include the Monitor package, plus paddle shifters and HID xenon headlights.
The diminutive Nissan Juke is all-new for 2011. The crossover rides on the chassis employed by both the Versa and the Cube, and power comes from Nissan’s new direct-injection turbocharged 1.6L 4-cylinder, which puts out a strong 188 hp. The Juke is offered in both front- and all-wheel drive, and front-wheel drive models equipped with the continuously variable transmission return 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
The growing crossover segment is creating a competition among auto manufacturers of who could best balance the conflicting components of small yet roomy, powerful yet fuel efficient and sporty yet rugged. Nissan, long famous for both athletic and tough vehicles, seems to have hit all the buttons with the new Juke. The car’s small-car origins mean it is ideal as an around-town cruiser and easy to park, yet its all-wheel drive capabilities will allow you to leave the city behind. Rivals like the Suzuki SX4 can’t match the Juke for performance, and its distinctive looks mean that it will surely turn heads.
The new Nissan Juke is about as small a car as you are likely to find in the crossover class. Its car-based origins can be traced to the chassis shared by both the Versa and the Cube, and yet its potent little engine is all-new. The Juke has a 99.6-inch wheelbase and 162-inch overall length, which actually makes it smaller than the Versa 5-door. The Juke is propelled by Nissan’s new direct-injected 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The little unit is good for a sprightly 188 hp and 177 lb-feet of torque. Jukes come standard with front-wheel drive, and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive optional. Nissan mated the vehicle to either an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with a Sport mode, or, in front-wheel drive models–a 6-speed manual. Jukes handle great, thanks to MacPherson struts up front and either a rear torsion beam setup on front-wheel drive models or a multi-link setup on all-wheel drive models.
Three trim levels are offered: S, SV and SL. Standard equipment on the S includes 17-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors, windows and locks, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, air conditioning, tilt steering column, steering wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, 12v outlets, manual front seat adjustability and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 capability and iPod interface. SV models with the CVT add Nissan’s Integrated Control system (I-CON), which allows drivers to set the transmission’s response, steering input and throttle response to one of three modes-Sport, Normal or Eco. SVs also get rear privacy glass, automatic temperature control, push-button ignition, XM satellite radio, premium suede-tricot cloth seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SL gets fog lights, auto on/off headlights, a touch-screen navigation system, XM NavTraffic, a rear back-up camera, heated leather front seats and a premium stereo with Rockford Fosgate subwoofer. Navigation is available as a package, as are special exterior and interior treatments through the Sport Accessory and Chrome Accessory packages. Safety features standard to all Juke models include dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags. Stability and traction control are also standard, as are 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution.