Nissan Altima Ti 2014 review

March 7th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham


Did you love the Nissan Maxima? If so, you’re going to have to get used to a new name in town because the Altima Ti is the replacement.

Yes, Nissan has canned the Maxima as its mid-level executive offering, instead giving the Altima (which, if you remember, used to be a pretty average car) a bunch of bells and whistles and some sleek styling.

nissan-altima-ti-2014-around-view-monitoringWe don’t get the gruntier V6 Ti-S in New Zealand; we have to settle for the four-cylinder 2.5-litre 127kW Ti with its CVT gearbox and fuel economy of 7.5l/100km. I achieved 9l/100km during my week of driving, but I never put it in Eco mode. Continue reading “Nissan Altima Ti 2014 review” »

Nissan Juke Ti-S 2013 Review

February 11th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham


We drove a Juke Ti back in April 2012 and our main complaint was that it was slow, and that’s not surprising seeing as the standard Juke has a piffling 86kW at 6000rpm. The gods of grunt have waved their hands over the Juke Ti-S, though, endowing its 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with a turbocharger which lifts power to 140kW, and four-wheel drive to make sure it gets it all to the ground.

IMG_2742It’s like the difference between firing an air rifle and a bazooka.  Gone is the need to try to force the pedal through the firewall to get any kind of acceleration because torque is also substantially increased from 158Nm at 400rpm to 250Nm in a nice flat band from 2000-5000rpm. The Juke Ti-S seems like it gets to 100kph in around 8 seconds which is pretty respectable for this type of car; the Ti languishes like a tortoise, taking around 12 seconds to get to 100kph. Continue reading “Nissan Juke Ti-S 2013 Review” »

Nissan Pathfinder Ti AWD 2014 Review

January 21st, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan’s seven-seat Pathfinder Ti comes with all-wheel drive to get the 190kW and 325Nm of power from the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine via the CVT gearbox to the ground. It’s a big beast, and you can tow 2700kg on a braked trailer, which gives plenty of options for the large family to have large adventures.

nissan-pathfinder-ti-2014-sidenissan-pathfinder-ti-2014-rear-quarterAt just over 5m long, just under 2m wide and almost 1.8m tall you should check it will fit in your garage or parking space. But what that means is that inside the Pathfinder it is spacious and comfortable. It feels large to drive, though, with steering inputs seemingly delayed a fraction until the beast responds – something that many SUVs suffer from, and this one is two tonnes, so has some weight that can shift arround.  The driving position itself is commanding. There is excellent forward visibility. Continue reading “Nissan Pathfinder Ti AWD 2014 Review” »

Nissan Pulsar SSS 2013 Review

September 8th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Bringing back a historic name is fraught with danger. Our memories tend to be dulled over time and we just remember what we want to. If the strongest emotions we experienced with a car were good, we’ll remember the car as being good. This is why people often want to buy something truly terrible like a VW Kombi to relive their youthful road trips.


But, if we got back in one of those older cars with an objective brain we would realise that cars have moved on, and in the same way you wouldn’t go back to having an outdoor toilet, or using acacia leaves as a contraceptive, you probably shouldn’t idolise the name of a vehicle that, at best, was tepid in its heyday.

Even if you conceived your children in a 1991 Pulsar SSS the reality is that it has not stood the test of time. It is really a very tedious Pulsar with a boomerang spoiler and slightly bigger wheels. You might have thought it was exciting back in the day, but if you go back far enough in history, so was showing some ankle.

nissan-pulsar-sss-2013-front-interiorNissan put the SR20DE engine in it which dribbled out an anaemic 105kW. They could have given it some balls like the scary GTi-R, or even treated us to the SR16VE N1 which was the highest output naturally aspirated engine of its day until Honda’s F20C engine debuted in the S2000.

But they didn’t and this isn’t supposed to be too much of a history lesson because we’ve got a brand spankers 2013 Nissan Pulsar SSS to evaluate. At first glance, it’s a Pulsar with a body kit…keeping in line with the original, then. It does succeed in elevating the conservative Pulsar slightly. Very slightly. Continue reading “Nissan Pulsar SSS 2013 Review” »

Nissan Pulsar ST Hatch 2013 Review

August 2nd, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

What you really want for a road trip is the top-of-the-range car, not the base model, but the $29,990 Nissan Pulsar ST acquitted itself nicely on a weekend away to Rotorua. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have relished the chance to punt the turbo SSS version through State Highway 1B, but that can wait for another day because I was glad for the better fuel economy.

nissan-pulsar-st-hatch-2013-interiorThe Nissan reports the petrol consumption in kilometers per litre rather than litres per 100km. We achieved approximately 14km per litre on the trip back from Rotorua to Auckland, which converts to a moderately respectable 7.1l/100km. This is nowhere near the 6.7l/100km combined cycle figure Nissan quotes, but not bad considering it has a naturally aspirated 1.8-litre petrol engine mated to a CVT gearbox (not as efficient on the open road as a standard auto ‘box), and carrying all that extra weight. Nissan would have produced that test figure driving on an almost empty tank with a driver made of helium.

nissan-pulsar-st-hatch-2013-rqThe mud might have been hot and bubbling in Rotorua, but you can’t really say that about the Pulsar’s performance. The engine produces 96kW and 174Nm and you have to work that pedal into the carpet to get overtaking performance. Fortunately the Continue reading “Nissan Pulsar ST Hatch 2013 Review” »

Nissan Pulsar Ti 2013 Review

May 7th, 2013 by darren

It’s a long time since I’ve driven a Nissan Pulsar. It was a second hand version of the hot GTi-R, and it was a few years ago. In fact, the GTi-R is the only exciting Pulsar ever to have been produced. You’ll usually see them driven by the youth of the day, and sporting a big bore exhaust to get your attention.

Nissan-Pulsar-Ti-rqNow we have a new one. It’s not really that exciting, but it does have a couple of tricks that will make you sit up and listen. A big bore exhaust isn’t one of them, but a big Continue reading “Nissan Pulsar Ti 2013 Review” »

Nissan Line-Up Impresses at 2013 Qatar Motor Show

February 20th, 2013 by darren


Nissan’s impressive trio of the 2013 Patrol, Sentra and the new Nissan Altima debuted to strong reviews at the 2013 Qatar Motor Show, which wrapped up earlier this month in Doha. The Sentra and Altima have been completely redesigned for 2013, while the Patrol – a luxury SUV that seems to keep getting better and better – has become a Middle Eastern favourite, and was actually designed with the Continue reading “Nissan Line-Up Impresses at 2013 Qatar Motor Show” »

RX Models Extend Navara Range

July 19th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Nissan has extended the breadth of its D40 Navara range with the introduction of eight value for money RX badged models to cater to tradesmen, the agricultural and forestry sectors.

“These are working utes intended for people who have heavy, dirty gear they need to get to job sites and the wide variety of places our primary industries operate in,” said John Manley the Managing Director of Nissan New Zealand.

“And we have reintroduced a King Cab Well-side model to the Navara RX range for those people who need cab storage space, but prefer the longer tray.”

The Navara RX is available as a King Cab chassis, allowing buyers to personalise the rear of the Ute to their needs, as well as a King Cab well-side and Double Cab.

The Navara RX models have gone on sale from $39,900 for the two wheel drive double cab and from $46,490 for the four wheel drive King Cab chassis.

In total there are eight RX models available, as all four variants come with either a six speed manual gearbox or a 5 speed automatic transmission.

The two rear wheel drive models have the 106 kWs and 356 Nm of torque version of Nissan’s 2.5 litre four cylinder turbo diesel motor, while the six 4WD models get 126 kWs and 403 Nm.

And while the RX is easy to keep clean with its vinyl floor covering and heavy duty upholstery it has not totally scrimped on features. There is air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, keyless entry and a four speaker sound system.

For utes that are expected to earn their keep, there is a rear limited slip differential, anti lock brakes and an electronic safety programme also known as vehicle dynamics control.

The RX models can be distinguished by their steel wheels – all other Navara D40s have alloys – no rear bumper and manually operated door mirrors.

“We’ve obviously had to leave out some equipment to make the RX more attractive to farmers, rural and forestry contractors,” said Mr Manley. “But all the important technical features are still there that a working Ute needs to perform to expectations.”

The 2WD RX models have a towing capacity of 2000 kgs and the 4WDs, three tonne.

Above the RX models, Nissan offers four different mid range ST double cab models with two and four wheel drive. They add carpeted cabins, 16 inch alloy wheels, side steps and a chromed rear bumper among other features and have the same engine and transmission options as the RX.

The higher specification STX models – again all double cabs – have 120 kWs 2WD and 140 kWs 4WD power trains, with 17 inch alloys, an active brake limited slip differential, dual zone climate control, Nissan’s unique tie down system at the rear and a leather covered steering wheel which incorporates controls for the 6 speaker audio, cruise control, blue tooth and trip computer.

The top of the range STX 550, which was introduced earlier this year has even more features with the 170 kWs turbo diesel V6 under the bonnet.

Nissan is still retaining its core D22 Navara Ute, for those buyers wanting a physically smaller vehicle. The D22 is available as either a single cab chassis or double cab with a choice of 2WD and 4WD – all with a manual gearbox – ranging from $30,200 to $44,500.

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