Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Harry Douglas Is Proud To Present...

Before Harry Douglas became the Nationally Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host of Car Concerns Radio he was an Award Winning Nissan Dealer. Nissan vehicles hold a special place in his heart.

As the Top, Number one Nissan Dealer in the Mid-Atlantic Region for Nissan Motor Company USA all through the 90's Harry knows the Nissan Product and the Nissan Way inside and out.

Harry will be reviewing and talking about his experience with this 2010 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV on Car Concerns Radio during the week.

The Maxima comes in two grades: the base S and upscale SV. Power for all grades comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and continuously variable transmission. Standard 18-inch wheels with V-rated tires give the sedan a wide, stable footprint. Four-wheel vented disc brakes with four-channel antilock braking stop the Maxima on a dime.

The Car Concerns Radio test car is the 3.5 SV which retails for $38,660, this including the $720 destination charge. Standard comfort and convenience features include keyless entry and start, leather trim, an eight-way power driver’s seat and four-way power passenger seat, Bluetooth interface, Bose audio system with XM satellite radio, USB connectivity, and a power moonroof.

A sport package on the test car adds a single-panel moonroof, bi-xenon headlamps, heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, heated front seats with driver’s seat memory, a downloadable hard drive and streaming Bluetooth audio.

Drivers need to push the envelope in order to appreciate the Maxima’s performance. Nissan engineering seemed to purposely avoided a sudden throttle take-off in favor of linear acceleration that showcases the engine’s torque.

The sedan excels on winding, two-lane roads and is the Master-of-its-Domain on the Intersate. We test drove this Maxima SV on some sparsely-travelled highways outside of Knoxville, where I could put the sedan’s 290-horsepower engine through its paces.

The location of the shift paddles, just inside the steering wheel, makes them easy to reach. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel allow the driver to manually choose gears. It’s not necessary to push the shift lever into a special setting to engage the manual shift function. The system automatically disengages if the driver neglects to shift before braking.

The 2010 Maxima SV with or without the shift function, the V-6 engine has an impressive amount of low-end power. To test it, we accelerated from a stop on a steep incline at a high altitude. The V-6 engine powers up to a peak torque at 4400 rpm. Since the transmission doesn’t downshift until over 5000 rpm, the car can easily accelerate up to speeds of over 70 miles-per-hour in a matter of seconds.

Front and rear stabilizer bars keep the chassis flat in the corners. The standard four-wheel independent suspension is compliant and really responsive.

The Maxima SV has a low center of gravity that gives it excellent and quick steering response at speed. When the Car Concerns Crew simulated an emergency evasive maneuver, the chassis remained completely stable. The Maxima’s 37.4-foot turning radius is more than adequate for the occasional U-turn.

Visibility around the perimeter of the interior cabin is excellent. The thick rear pillars create some blind areas in back, which the rearview camera compensates for. The interior is quiet enough so that passengers in both rows can converse with ease. The only obvious noise from outside the cabin is a throaty exhaust noted during hard acceleration which we thought appropriate.

Fuel economy is good for the power-plant under the hood, though not exceptional. At the Car Concerns Proving Grounds our 2010 Maxima 3.5 SV averaged 22.2 miles-per-gallon during our week-long evaluation which included a 305 road-trip down I-40.

Special Thanks to Cat Smith of Cat Smith Photo-Shoots

EMAIL: harry@carconcerns.com

Monday, 27 September 2010

Honda says the CR-Z is a sporty car that's also a hybrid, does that make sense? I'm not sure - the CR-Z has plenty of body roll and with 122 hp it isn't exactly a pocket rocket. Here's Translogic's take on the 2011 Honda CR-Z: http://translogic.aolautos.com/

A six-speed manual transmission sure helps the car feel sporty and the electric assist motor gives decent off the line response. The clincher is probably the car's price - about $20,000 for something this stylish is worth checking out.

If you're thinking this is just like the first Honda Insight, think again. This car makes 122 hp combined - the Insight just 73 from a three cylinder engine. The CR-Z is a compromise for sure but it's a fun compromise, the kind you'll want to make everyday on a back road and the long way to work. Sports car? No. Sport-y car? Yes.

For Car Concerns Radio - Brian Moody