— Memorial Day 2011 —

HISTORY:

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860′s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

General John A. Logan
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)]

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50′s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”

On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senate which proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of “the last Monday in May”. On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform.

To date, there has been no further developments on the bill. Please write your Representative and yourSenators, urging them to support these bills. You can also contact Mr. Inouye to let him know of your support.  Visit  Help Restore the Traditional Day of Observance page for more information on this issue, and for more ways you can help.

To see what day Memorial Day falls on for the next 10 years, visit the Memorial Day Calendar page.

Nissan offers $400 to some Juke owners due to printing goof

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

Nissan is offering to mail $400 checks to buyers of its small Juke crossover to compensate them for any confusion over a printing error that might have led them to believe their vehicle’s gas tank holds 1.3 gallons more than it actually does, Automotive News reports.

The issue applies only to the all-wheel-drive version of the Juke. Nissan is mailing letters that point to a printing mistake in marketing material for the car. The letter apologizes for the mistake and includes a $400 check. The mistake involves around 4,000 vehicles, less than a third of all the Jukes that Nissan has sold this year.

The vehicle’s tank actually holds 11.8 gallons. Nissan had mistakenly printed that the tank holds 13.2 gallons, same as the front-wheel-drive version of the same model, according to the News.

Read it here

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Is The “Big Small Car”

by Nissan in the News on April 22, 2011

2012 Nissan Versa image

Subcompacts aren’t always the most comfortable or versatile vehicles due to their tiny dimensions. But the all-new Nissan Versa proves that a small car can offer ample roominess for occupants and cargo.

The 2012 Nissan Versa is small on the outside, big on the inside. Nissan has designed this vehicle to be a “workhorse” or sorts, perfect for daily commuting, errand running on weekends, and transporting friends and family all week long.  The Versa sedan’s interior volume of 90.0 cubic feet and trunk volume of 14.8 cubic feet are perfect for real-world use. In fact, the Versa sedan even has more rear legroom than many mid-size sedans, such as the Lexus LS460, BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

2012 Nissan Versa image

While the new Versa offers loads of roominess, Nissan also added an equal amount of comfort and convenience. Available entertainment and connectivity features include Bluetooth, a navigation system with 5-inch touch-screen display, Satellite Radio and an iPod/USB interface.

“We see buyers in this segment as people who are always busy, even while relaxing,” says Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “With the amount of time they typically spend in their vehicles, we want to make sure they feel good about their purchase long after the new car smell has worn off. So we invested in areas that they see and touch most – like available Fine Vision instrumentation, quality fabrics, bright trim work and comfortable seating for front and rear seat passengers.”

2012 Nissan Versa image

Outside, the Versa boasts an upscale look that belies its subcompact price. In front, Versa Sedan features Nissan’s new signature sedan grille design and jewel-like headlights. Other exterior touches include a fixed roof antenna, body-color front and rear fascias and available chrome-accented grille, blacked-out B-pillar, chrome door handles and front fog lights.

“Design and engineering came together in an extraordinary collaboration to create a level of sophistication that you not only see but also feel,” adds Castignetti. “It helps provide a sense of ‘modern value’ that goes far beyond the mere purchase price, much like you expect from larger, more expensive sedans.”

2012 Nissan Versa image

Under the sleek hood is a 1.6-liter four cylinder engine producing 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. The new compact, lighter weight engine utilizes Continuously Variable Timing Control to maximize performance and efficiency. Drivers can also choose between a 5-speed manual transmission or a next-generation Xtronic CVT transmission.

The new Versa will be the first Nissan model in the United States branded with the PUREDRIVE designation. This means that it’s equipped with some of Nissan’s most advanced technologies to promote eco-friendly driving and lower CO2 emissions. Like its predecessor, the new Versa boasts impressive fuel economy — 30 mpg City, 37 mpg Highway and 33 mpg Combined with the CVT transmission (27/36/30 mpg with the 5-speed manual transmission).

2012 Nissan Versa image

The new Versa boasts spaciousness, efficiency, low-emissions, impeccable safety, and loads of convenience and tech features. Despite its robust package, the Versa comes with a modest price of just $10,990.

“This all-new Versa Sedan is a total value proposition,” concludes Castignetti. “The Big Small Car is bringing Innovation Within Reach to an eagerly awaiting audience.”

Read this on Nissan in the News.

Nissan NV Review

First Drive Review: 2012 Nissan NV Series Vans

Posted by Mike Levine | February 3, 2011

First Drive: 2012 Nissan NV Series Vans

Nissan’s all-electric Leaf small car may be getting the lion’s share of attention these days, but the company’s all-new NV full-size vans are the most researched vehicles the company has ever built, according to Nissan execs on hand in Miami for this week’s first drive with journalists.

Nissan has spent six years creating its North American light-commercial vehicle group from scratch. During that time, a team of former Detroit Three managers and engineers identified full-size vans as a market opportunity because their research showed van owners’ needs weren’t being met, according to Larry Dominique, Nissan’s vice president of product planning for North America.

“There are no more dissatisfied customers than the people who drive [full-size vans] around, Dominique said. “Most people hate their vans. We asked what needs we could address to make them happier, and that’s what you see in these vans.”

Nissan’s target buyers? Many are current full-size pickup owners who used to be van owners. To attract these buyers, Nissan has combined some of the best attributes of both vehicles in its NV vans.

The pickup truck design elements are obvious before you even step inside.

Instead of a conventional short-nose configuration, where part of the engine sits in the cab next to the driver, the NV has a long-nose front end, like a full-size pickup. Nissan positioned the engine ahead of the A-pillar and firewall. That’s not surprising, since the NV is based on a heavily modified version of the Nissan Titan half-ton pickup’s body-on-frame platform.

Interior-2-560

Nissan is offering a broad lineup from Job 1. There are three NV models to choose from: the light-duty NV1500 and heavy-duty NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. A 261-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 is available for the NV 1500 and 2500, and a 317-hp, 5.6-liter V-8 is available for the NV 2500 and 3500. There’s also a choice of standard and high-roof models, with the latter offering enough room for a 6-foot 3-inch person to stand upright in the cargo space. Two-wheel drive is the only driveline available.

We sampled the NV 2500 V-6 and NV 3500 V-8 standard and high-roof vans on the highways and crowded surface streets around south Florida.

Standard Roof NV3500 HD S 5.6-liter V-8

The first van we drove was the NV3500 HD with the 5.6-liter V-8 and five-speed automatic transmission. It’s the same powertrain that propels the Nissan Titan half-ton pickup.

Inside, we immediately noticed the extra legroom in the foot wells. The long-nose layout allowed our legs to naturally extend and relax instead of being pushed back toward the chair. In the area that would normally be occupied by an engine “doghouse” was a pair of cup holders and storage cubby.

Between the driver and passenger seats was a generous storage bin plus pull out storage drawers beneath the chairs.

Interior1-560

Unloaded, the NV3500 weighed about 5,900 pounds, some 500 pounds more than a crew-cab Nissan Titan. We’ve always liked the performance and liveliness of Nissan’s 5.6-liter V-8 in the Titan, and it performed similarly in the NV. Jumping on the freeway was a snap, even with the relatively conservative 3.54-to-1 rear axle ratio.

A major mechanical difference between the NV vans and Titan is the use of heavy-duty recirculating ball steering instead of light-duty rack and pinion. The change makes sense, since the vans can manage 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of payload, depending on the model. Steering was a bit heavy and numb at times, but Nissan said it’s still being tuned for production.

If you buy an NV van, you’ll probably rarely drive the truck completely empty, like we did. In this scenario, ride quality was comfortable. The truck skipped a bit on rough pavement, but no more so than an unloaded pickup.

Nissan has done a nice job engineering the seats for ride comfort, though an air suspension option is not available for severe duty use. Extra-sturdy construction used in the seat bottom bolster near the door should keep wear to a minimum even if the driver frequently enters and exits the truck.

We stopped briefly at a Lowe’s hardware store, where our van was loaded with several hundred pounds of construction supplies to be donated to Habitat for Humanity. The cargo floor has six “D” ring mounting points that are rated up to 1,124 pounds. They made it easy to strap the pallet securely in the van.

Loading-2-560

Nissan has also delivered in the engineering of the cargo doors. They’re designed to open and fold to the sides of the van – up to 243 degrees – like in the smaller Ford Transit Connect van. This feature is unique in full-size vans and makes for a safer loading experience on tight surface streets. The doors provide unimpeded access to the back of the van and greatly reduce the chance of another vehicle coming along and knocking the doors off their hinges.

Load floor space is also excellent. There’s 54.3 inches of space between the wheel housings. That’s three more than Ford’s E-Series vans and enough room to lay down a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood flat with room to spare. Cargo length at the floor is 120 inches and 111 inches at the belt line.

When it goes on sale, the van will be available with a painted steel floor or with optional soft-feel material, which makes it difficult to push heavy objects on. A laminated floor option is expected later in the year.

The NV has dedicated mount points in the cargo area. There’s no drilling or cutting to install racks and bins. Nissan’s upfit hardware comes from a partnership with Adrian Steel, a well-known van cargo management and storage product maker.

We departed Lowe’s to drop off the supplies at Habitat for Humanity’s warehouse. The V-8 shrugged off the extra heft as we drove over Florida’s flat roads. Ride quality improved a bit, as the NV’s rear leaf springs soaked up the weight.

Nissan isn’t required to provide fuel economy figures for its vans because all three models have gross combined weight ratings above 8,500 pounds. Commercial reps on hand said the NV vans will meet or beat the competition, but that remains to be seen. In the NV3500 HD, we averaged 12.1 mpg in mostly city driving conditions, according to the van’s trip computer.

High Roof NV3500 HD S 5.6-liter V-8

After dropping off the construction supplies, we changed vans. This time, we chose the high roof NV3500 HD. It was a duplicate of the standard roof version, except its added height allows tall people (up to 6 feet, 3 inches) to stand upright in the cargo area.

Loading-1-560

The tall roof configuration is similar to that of the Mercedes (formerly Dodge) Sprinter, but whereas the Sprinter starts at $36,000 with a standard 3.0-liter V-6, the NV starts about $10 thousand less for the high roof.

We drove the high roof completely empty and found no issue with power and ride. The only major difference we noticed was the extra wind noise the taller profile brought into the cabin. It sounds like a window was open at speeds as low as 45 mph. Wind noise would likely drop by adding optional interior side paneling to insulate the bare metal walls or with racks and shelving full of tools and supplies.

Noise levels in the cockpit area were very low. It was easy to have a conversation with our driving partner without ever having to raise our voices.

The high roof rode comfortably, and we soon forgot we were driving a van with an 8.8-foot-tall profile. It will be a bad day for the driver who forgets just how tall this version is and drives into the roof of a garage or tunnel. It almost warrants a warning on the windshield so the driver doesn’t forget.

Standard Roof NV2500 HD SV 4.0-liter V-6

The last NV we drove was the six-cylinder standard roof version. Even though it had the standard engine, it featured SV trim, which adds electric window and mirror controls and a power driver’s seat. It also came with two 120-volt 400-watt power outlets in addition to two standard 12-volt power outlets.

Despite a rear axle with a 3.36 ring and pinion, the 261-hp engine had good off-the-line performance, but we’re concerned about its strength in mountainous regions and cities like San Francisco, with its steep hills, when the NV is loaded to its max. We have the same concern about GM’s lower-rated 195 hp 4.3-liter V-6 but that engine is limited to use in the half-ton Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans, while Nissan offers the V-6 in both the light-duty NV 1500 and three-quarter-ton mover 2500 HD we drove.

Pair-560

Our drive in the V-6 lasted only several miles, so we couldn’t get a feel for its fuel economy. In the Nissan Frontier, the same engine is about three miles per gallon better in fuel economy than the Titan. Both the V-8 and V-6 vans share the same five-speed transmission and transmission gear ratios.

All NV vans come with a manual shift option, which can be controlled on the transmission’s steering-column-mounted shift stalk. We tried it out and found it worked acceptably, upshifting and downshifting on demand.

The NV2500 seemed a bit more squirrelly driving around empty compared with the heavier-sprung NV3500. The rear axle chirped a bit under moderate push while making turns. Weighted down with stuff in back, we’d expect the truck would settle down just fine in the handling.

Looks

Compared to full-size vans from Ford, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz, the NV offers the best combination of price and functionality in the segment. No other full-size van provides its unique combination of features and capability out of the box at close to its starting price of $24,590. But that advantage comes with a unique consequence: The NV is ugly.

We’re confounded by the van’s looks. We understand that form follows function and don’t mind the squared-off back end, but the front end could benefit from rhinoplasty, stat. It should be about 20 percent smaller than it is. There’s so much chrome on the front end of high end models, we wonder how Earth’s chrome mines are ever going to keep up with demand should the NV become the sales success Nissan hopes it does.

Nissan expects that 80 percent of sales will have basic white paint jobs, but red, silver, blue and black are also available.

Open-red-van-560

In a unique program, Nissan will let NV buyers design up to 70 square feet of custom vinyl graphics at no cost to call attention to the owner’s business, though we don’t think attention will be any problem driving this van.

Future Options

There are no plans to offer a diesel engine option in the near future, unlike the Sprinter, which offers a standard diesel V-6.

While most pickup truck owners are enthusiastic about a diesel engine, that’s not the same with van buyers, Dominique said. We don’t disagree. Higher upfront purchase costs for diesel engines because of added expense to meet U.S. emissions, plus higher fuel costs, conspire to make it unlikely we’ll see a diesel for the NV vans anytime soon.

Cargo vans will be the only version available at the start of sales, but a 12-passenger version is likely by early 2012 or sooner.

Purchase Information

250 Nissan dealers have been signed up around the country to sell NV vans. They’ve committed to upgrading their service bays to handle the tall and heavy vehicles and will offer special service hours for commercial customers – up to 60 hours per week.

Nissan will finance NV buyers with special tools and options, including custom payment arrangements and rolling upfit costs into scheduled vehicle payments. As mentioned earlier, buyers can get up to 70 square feet of customized vinyl wrap free of charge to place on the exterior of their vans for promotion and advertising.

An incentive program offers substantial benefits to qualified commercial customers, including a choice of one of the following packages at no charge: A cargo partition and three 44-inch shelving units on either high-roof or standard roof models, or a cargo partition and a three-bar utility rack for standard roof models, or a cargo partition and an interior ladder keeper for high-roof models.

Exterior-560

What we like:

  • Comfortable seating for driver and passenger
  • No-nonsense functional cargo layout that’s ready for immediate upfit
  • Low step-in height to cargo space
  • Cargo doors open up to 243-degrees – moving out of the way of traffic in tight loading conditions
  • Cavernous space in the high roof model with a starting purchase price almost $10,000 less than Mercedes Sprinter
  • Tows up to 9,500 pounds with V-8 and up to 7,000 pounds with V-6
  • Strong V-8 performance
  • Excellent visibility (for a full-size van)

What we don’t:

  • Uninspired front-end styling that doesn’t measure up to cargo management and driver comfort innovations
  • No telescoping steering wheel option
  • Lack of standard USB ports and Bluetooth wireless connectivity for cell phones
  • Soft load floor option makes it difficult to push heavy materials around cargo area
  • Unknown maintenance and performance record – for both the van and Nissan’s new commercial dealers
  • Trailer sway control not available for towing

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If you’re not ready to buy a more fuel-efficient car, you can still save money in a number of ways in whatever vehicle you drive.


Revive the Classics
The biggest fuel savings comes not from hybrid technology but from the old standards: car pooling and public transportation. If you and just one friend or neighbor trade off commuting to and from work, you cut your fuel usage by about 50 percent. No other step will save you as much money. Also, if you have two vehicles in the family motor pool, leave the thirstier one in the garage as often as possible.

Public transportation saves fuel, and possibly money. It also decreases congestion, which saves everyone fuel. Help yourself and everyone else; be part of the solution.

Get the Lead Out
Weight is fuel economy’s natural enemy, so removing unnecessary items — or people — from your car can translate to real fuel savings.

Get the Leadfoot Out
You can save fuel immediately in whatever you drive by going easy on the accelerator. Jack rabbit starts and full-throttle acceleration boost fuel consumption dramatically. It’s all a matter of degree: Light acceleration saves more than moderate acceleration.

Top speed also plays a part. Most vehicles are most efficient when cruising in their top gear at a relatively low speed. For example, a car with a five-speed transmission would be most efficient in 5th gear at 40 to 55 mph. Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed, so as your pace increases from this point, fuel economy drops dramatically. Onboard trip computers that show instantaneous and average fuel economy are remarkably accurate. Keep an eye on this and you’ll learn how to drive in a miserly fashion.

An Ounce of Prevention
Keeping your tires inflated properly and your engine running right is critical to efficient motoring. Underinflated tires can lower your fuel economy by full miles per gallon. (Get the proper inflation pressure from the sticker on your car’s doorjamb or the owner’s manual, and not the tire’s sidewall.) Even if your car seems to be running well, that perplexing Check Engine light could represent a dead oxygen sensor or some other emissions control problem that causes the vehicle to waste several miles per gallon.

Open Windows or Air Conditioning?
This is an age-old conundrum. (Unlike a car’s heater, which uses free engine heat to warm the cabin, the air conditioner robs engine power and lowers fuel economy.) So which approach is better? Sorry, but it’s not as simple as one or the other.

If your car has been sitting in the sun and is hotter than the outside air, drive for a few minutes with the windows open to cool it off. Then, if you’re hitting the highway, close ’em up and turn on the A/C. Aerodynamics are more important at high speeds, so if you’re not exceeding 35 or 40 mph, open windows won’t make as much difference. It also depends on the vehicle. The detriment from driving with the windows down is greater, say, in a Chevy Corvette, which has excellent aerodynamics, than in a Hummer, which has … none. The same applies to convertibles; you’ll burn less fuel with the top up.

Keep It Sleek
Speaking of aerodynamics, roof-top carriers and bike and ski racks don’t do you any favors — even when they’re empty. If you keep all your cargo inside the car, you’ll slip through the wind better. Also, strip off any aftermarket add-ons such as bug deflectors and window and sunroof wind deflectors. By design, these items work by wrecking your aerodynamics. Sure, bug entrails on your windshield are gross, but they aren’t known to cost you any fuel.

Premium or Regular?
Lower octane costs less, but should you use it? Most modern cars that call for premium fuel can run on regular gasoline without knocking or any long-term penalty. Technically, this makes the car less efficient, but not to a degree that negates the cost savings from the cheaper fuel grade. NOTE: This is true of cars for which premium is recommended, not required. If in doubt, look for terms such as “for best performance” and “recommended” as opposed to “only” or “required.” If your car has a turbocharger or supercharger, you probably should stick with premium fuel. Of course, if your car calls for regular gasoline, there’s no reason to run it on anything higher in octane.

Check out how USNews’ Best Cars has rated the Nissan Murano.

(read the full article here)

Details: Nissan Murano

For 2011, the 2011 Nissan Murano gets some styling changes and a new SV trim.  The Murano is available in the base S, SV, SL and top-of-the-line LE. All models have a V6 engine and are available in front- or all-wheel drive. Be sure to check out this month’s Nissan Deals for incentives.

  • “Nissan calls this generation an evolution, and that’s accurate — the company made a lot of positive changes without straying too far from what buyers know to be a Murano.” — Motor Trend
  • “Those who liked the old Murano will love this one. Nissan stayed true to what the crossover is known for. But other than the new front end, it takes a sharp eye to see the difference between new and old.” — Truck Trend
  • “Murano’s combination of ‘distinctive’ appearance, comfortable yet sporty road manners and high-class interior probably will be enough to outweigh the gripes for those considering such a vehicle.” — USA Today
  • “Nissan retains the Murano’s attractive qualities while making some key improvements to keep this sporty crossover more than competitive in the midsize segment.” — Edmunds

Murano Performance – 8.2 (Very Good)

It’s tough to find complaints about the 2011 Nissan Murano’s performance. Reviewers say it has smooth and powerful acceleration, and handling that’s responsive and even a little bit fun.  The optional all-wheel drive system adds an extra measure of security for drivers who frequently tackle slick roads. Read More

Murano Exterior – 7.3 (Good)

Though the 2011 Nissan Murano looks sleek, that doesn’t mean reviewers think it’s among the best looking SUVs in the class. On earlier models, reviewers complained about the Murano’s grille.  It’s been modified for 2011, so that may silence some critics.   Read More

Murano Interior – 8.6 (Very Good)

The 2011 Nissan Murano has an interior that reviewers like.  Upgraded materials lend it a high-end ambiance and though it only has two rows of seats, reviewers say that both rows are comfortable. Read More

Murano Safety – NA

Despite poor rearward visibility, reviewers are pleased that the 2011 Nissan Murano has more standard airbags than are mandated by the federal government.  Though the 2011 Murano hasn’t been crash tested yet, the very similar 2010 model did well in federal government crash tests. Read More

Murano Reliability – NA

Nissan provides a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty on the 2011 Murano. Powertrain coverage is good for five years or 60,000 miles. Read More