suntimes
MEDIOCRE 
Weather Updates

Fuel economy, innovation and style drive impressive Nissan lineup

The 2014 Nissan AltimSedan is available seven well-equipped models - 2.5 2.5 S 2.5 SV 2.5 SL featuring 182-horsepower 2.5-liter

The 2014 Nissan Altima Sedan is available in seven well-equipped models - the 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL featuring a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder and the 3.5 S, 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL with a standard 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. Every 2014 Altima is equipped with a standard Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission).

storyidforme: 61645307
tmspicid: 22112929
fileheaderid: 10483364
Article Extras
Story Image

VERSA

If you’re looking for value, the 2014 Versa stands with the least expensive new cars on the market. With high fuel economy, generous passenger room and decent drive manners, this car starts under $13,000. All Versa Sedans get new suspension and steering calibrations. Add in fuel economy of up to 40 mpg and the Versa makes a lot of short lists.

CUBE

Not much changes in 2014 for the compact Cube. With its low ground clearance, boxy shape and quirky interior, the Cube drives like a car but has tremendous utility space. The Cube’s sub-$20,000 starting price, deep list of standard features and bold color schemes make an immediate impression though power and acceleration are muted. MSRP $17,570 - $18,860

SENTRA

At a $15,990 base, high-tech meets high fuel economy with the 2014 Nissan Sentra. Look for new tuning to the CVT transmission, suspension and steering. The new NissanConnect offers a refined high-tech feel while Nissan delivers a compact economy car, a 130-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder getting 30/39 city/hwy MPG, that has a premium midsize sedan experience. The cabin offers spacious seating with plenty of trunk space.

ALTIMA

Nissan’s Altima is its go-to sedan. With an MSRP of $22,920 - $30,760, the Altima is available in seven trim levels offering a 2.5 or 3.5-liter engine. Altima rests atop the list of the best midsize family sedans and it is Nissan’s top-selling sedan. Altima has prided itself on great handling and ride characteristics. Altima delivers high-quality cabin materials and an attractive, sporty dashboard.

MAXIMA

Nissan’s flagship sedan, the 2014 Maxima is an impressive performance sedan delivering a powerful V6 engine, quality cabin space and premium handling characteristics. The 2014 Nissan Maxima delivers aggressive front-wheel-drive power, performance and interior luxury at a price starting just north of $30,000. New features for the SV model include: rearview monitor, a USB port and a 7-inch color display.

370Z

The 2014 Nissan 370Z sports car packs performance and great handling into a sharp exterior package that will impress inside and out. At a $29,990 base price, there are not many sports cars that can match the style for the buck. The V6 engine is smooth, the manual transmission responsive. The 370Z offers performance at a price that is hardly close to the huge impression it leaves.

XTERRA

The 2014 Xterra is one of the last body-on-frame SUVs, which unlike crossover treatments, it is tough enough for off-road abuse. The Xterra is rough, rugged and extremely reliable. Xterra delivers a comfortable interior, capable handling and an aggressive exterior style. The new heated seat on the PRO-4X trim, Bluetooth and steering-wheel controls are a long-overdue addition.

ARMADA

The 2014 Nissan Armada prices, from $38,235 base, have been reduced for 2014. The Armada’s niche appeals to big families and big towing needs (9,000-lb tow rating seating for 8). The vast interior cabin space does get equaled out by the expected low fuel economy, though this is a very well-engineered SUV that provides big V8 power. A 4WD is available for inclimate weather.

QUEST

For 2014 Nissan Quest is the closest thing to a “cool” minivan. The Quest’s exterior styling is unlike other more conservative approaches and the interior spaces are accommodating and comfortable. Impressive features such as the one-touch power sliding door and power-return 3rd-row seat give Quest personality and value. The 19-mpg city rating helps fuel costs.

JUKE

The 2014 Nissan Juke SUV is in a niche all its own. This compact SUV’s daring styling is paired with a turbocharged engine and the option of all-wheel drive. The manual gearbox option targets enthusiasts who want spirited driving experiences. This compact SUV sips fuel while the $18,990 base makes it competitive in the class. The Midnight Edition and Sport Packages are new this year.

ROGUE

Redesigned inside and out, the Rogue is all new for 2014. The larger wheelbase offers a 3rd-row seat option and a Divide `n Hide Cargo System provides 18 storage variations in 5-passenger models. The Rogue compact SUV offers dynamic styling, class-exclusive tech offerings and a new 3rd-row seat option. Powered by a 4-cylinder engine with an available AWD system, Rogue starts under $24,000.

MURANO

The 2014 Murano is essentially unchanged for 2014, though the CrossCabriolet version gets a price reduction. The Murano has thrived in a competitive segment by offering unique styling, class-leading options and technology as well as a CVT transmission that aids fuel economy. Benchmarks for Murano remain nimble handling and roomy cabin spaces.

FRONTIER

The 2014 Nissan Frontier is a more recreational truck, rather than a workhorse. The affordable Frontier can get off the pavement and it delivers an impressive 6,500-lb tow rating. New standard features for the S trim with automatic transmission include Bluetooth, cruise control and air conditioning, while heated cloth seats are made standard on PRO-4X and available on the SV. Base price is $17,990.

TITAN

The Nissan Titan is unchanged for 2014. Considered the full-size pickup competition to domestic giants, the Titan provides a brawny V8 engine, king-cab or crew-cab layouts with three bed lengths. The in-bed Utili-Track cargo system is impressive. With a base price nearing $30,000, the Titan is a worthy full-size pickup with style and power.

LEAF

The 2014 Leaf is the most affordable 5-passenger electric car on the market. The new Leaf gets an entry-level “S” trim, an onboard 220-volt charger that reduces charging time to four hours and better energy efficiency from aerodynamic changes and improved regenerative breaking capabilities. Leaf’s EPA-estimated range is sub-100, but zero emissions is a viable selling point at a base $28,800.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.