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Brandon Seiler's Blog on Cars

Posts tagged: Nissan

The Craigslist ad that sold a 1996 Nissan Maxima‚Ķ To Nissan

Although Ikonic Films probably intended to launch a viral video with their advertisement for a worn-out 1996 Nissan Maxima, chances are they couldn’t have guessed Nissan would step up with an offer to buy it.  Thanks to the vulture-like draw of successful viral marketing, that’s exactly what happened.  Complementing the video, which really deserves the cinematic designation of being a “short film”, a masterfully crafted Craigslist ad inadvertently proved the punch line to its own joke:  This “pavement-yacht” may actually have appreciated in value over the years.     

Danny Glover is angry at Nissan

Actor Danny Glover might be getting too old for Mel Gibson’s craziness but he’s still down to take a stand for the working man.  On the opening day of the Detroit auto show the longtime political activist joined forces with the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN).  Their gripe:  Workers at Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi plant are being threatened out of voting to unionize their workforce. 

Nissan wants a brand smell

After four years of laying low Nissan plans on roaring back to the U.S. auto show circuit in 2013.  This time around it’s going to be smelly.  Attendees of the Detroit auto show next week will be the first to lay their noses on what the brand hopes will be become their signature scent.

Nissan Juke Test & Review

 

Without driving a Nissan Juke it would be easy to say it looks like a frog and leave it at that. Fortunately Nissan packed enough fun-factor into the little sports-cross to make the comparison seem like a good thing. None the less, the unusual styling makes for some polarizing first impressions.

“It looks like the monkey from Speed Racer should be driving it,” a friend of mine texted me.

He scored points for an original quip, but after some light cajoling agreed to come along for a ride in the Juke to see what it could do on the back roads.

On the highway out of town he saw no reason to be impressed just yet and began to search for Ace of Base on the XM radio. This was a sign of impaired judgment. I turned the stereo down and explained the nuts and bolts of what sets the Juke apart from other mundane cars in its class: 

ENGINE

Nissan’s all-new 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 188hp. It’s feisty, and with the turbo whistling it’s hard to find a weak spot in the power band. A major reason for this is the Juke’s:

INFINITY GEARS 

No joke. The Juke offers a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Instead of picking gear one, two, three, etc., the CVT can constantly change the engine RPM’s to maximize either acceleration or fuel economy over a limitless range. You never feel or hear the transmission shift and will always be in the right “gear” to make the most power or use the least fuel depending on how stampy you get with your right foot. When set to “Eco” mode the CVT helps the Juke reach 27mpg city, 32mpg highway.

ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE W/TORQUE VECTORING

To get the most traction out of its AWD system the Juke utilizes a wonderful technology known as torque vectoring, meaning power can be distributed between the front and rear corners of the car as well as left to right in fractions of a second to maximize grip. Think of it as having a limited slip differential on each tire controlled by a computer that makes even the keenest throttle foot seem like a club foot. The result is extremely flattering to drivers who want to push the car to its limit as well as ones who just want to keep from sliding off the road in foul weather and emergency situations.

To illustrate what all this technical jargon adds up to in the way of performance we exited the highway and made several hard runs through a winding backcountry road. 

My skeptical friend was nervous at first, trusting his well-being to a frog car piloted by an auto-blogger, but the Juke didn’t fail to impress. Setting the drive-mode to “Sport” tightened the steering, sharpened the throttle response and dialed up aggressive RPM’s from the CVT.

Twenty minutes later another young man was sold on the Juke. Having proven it deserved to be regarded as one of the quickest small cars on the market I parked it alongside the road for him to reassess: 

“You know, once you stand up close to it she's actually a pretty good looking little car,” he conceded. 

Lucky for the Juke personality goes a long way.

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About this blog

Brandon Seiler is a bonafide car guy, member of the Northwest Auto Press Association and proud Washingtonian. He covers the latest auto news, technology, and pretty much anything having to do with car culture. You don't have to like cars to read his blogs, you just have to be able to read.

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