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The 2014 New York Auto Show kicks off this week, and the all-new vehicle reveals have begun.
Compact/Subcompact Cars: Toyota Prius IV
Just because a car is cheap doesn’t mean it’s a good value. Taking into account the five-year owner cost of a vehicle which factors in depreciation, fuel, insurance premiums, interest on financing, sales tax and cost for maintenance and repairs, a better picture is painted on whether or not a vehicle is a good bang for your buck.
Consumer Reports has revealed this year’s best new-car value winners, which also takes into account the publication’s evaluation of the car. The less a vehicle costs to own over time, the better value it is.
Headlining the list is the best value car in the compact/subcompact category, the Toyota Prius IV. The Prius also takes home the accolade of being the best overall value for the second straight year.
According to Consumer Reports, the Prius costs just 47 cents per mile to own over five years. Of course there’s also the fact that the Prius gets 44 mpg overall, offering the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that the publication has ever tested. And though it’s not exactly the cheapest car on the market, its depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over five years than its initial MSRP. The Toyota Prius IV has a starting MSRP of $29,245 including destination.
10. Volvo XC90
Shopping for a new car? Then chances are you’re not in the market for one of these ten vehicles. Unless, of course, you put a lot of value on the individuality of your vehicle.
The following list, compiled by TrueCar for 247WallSt details the Top 10 cars that sat on dealership lots the longest before being sold.
Coming in at tenth place is the Volvo XC90 which spends an average of 119 days in inventory, and has seen 4,705 units move off dealership lots so far this year. The XC90 starts at $40,615 and is a mid-size seven-passenger SUV and is the largest model in the Swedish automaker’s XC lineup. It might also be one of the safest SUVs on the market, but its traditional Volvo styling might be turning off buyers. The XC90 is powered by a 3.2-liter, six-cylinder engine with 240 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque and gets an estimated 16 MPG city, 25 MPG highway rating in front-wheel drive form.
Which Crossovers and SUVs are the Most Reliable?
The crossover and SUV segment is one of industry’s fastest growing, and if you’re in the market for one, chances are you’ll want to know which ones are the most reliable out there. J.D. Power has compiled data collected from surveying thousands of vehicle owners to determine this year’s list of most reliable new crossovers and SUVs not in the luxury segment. Here they are listed in alphabetical order.
10. Nissan Murano - 473 Thefts
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released a list of the top stolen sport utility and crossover vehicles in the United States, compiling data from 2009-2011 model years only. In total, entry-level CUVs were the most stolen with 6,357 thefts while hybrid SUVs were the least with 67 – of course, there aren’t as many hybrid SUVs on the road as there are entry-level CUVs. The information also revealed that California had the most thefts with 3,003 with Texas in second (1,826 thefts) and Florida third (1,784 thefts).
The 10th most stolen SUV/CUV from 2009-2011 model years was the Nissan Murano, with 473 thefts last year. The mid-size crossover from Nissan first hit the market in 2002 as a 2003 model year and was the automaker’s first crossover for the U.S. market. The second-generation Murano began with the 2009 model year and got revised exterior styling that seems to have become a hit with some thieves.
There’s always two sides to a story, and earlier we reported about how a Nissan dealership sold a $62,130 Murano Crosscabriolet to a man suffering from dementia. Now North Bay Nissan, the dealership in question, has agreed to take back the vehicle while explaining their side of the story.
Ed Dowdall suffers from Lewy Body Dementia and currently lives in a care facility in San Francisco, California. According to his doctor, Dowdall suffers from “markedly impaired judgment, lack of impulse control, aggressive and compulsive behavior, and an almost total lack of insight into his condition.”
Greg Dexter on the other hand, owner of North Bay Nissan, claims that Dowdall gave every indication of having a sound mind when he purchased the vehicle back in December. Of course we wouldn’t expect the owner of the dealership to say otherwise, but whether it’s an admission of guilt or just wanting all the negative press to go away, Dexter has agreed to take back the Murano, relinquishing the $923 a month car payment. Dexter however did not make a firm statement on whether or not the down payment would be fully refunded.
Dowdall’s attorney, Michael Baddeley has said that both parties reached a mutual agreement on the fiasco and confirmed that the sale has been rescinded. The dealership’s story however is that Dowdall was a returning customer, having purchased his Altima Hybrid there back in 2008. He originally visited the dealership in November inquiring about the Murano before purchasing it the following month.
Two phone messages were played that Dowdall had left the salesman after purchasing the car, sounding coherent and happy about the purchase. There were also notes during the sale that Dowdall was on the phone with family members during the sales process including Amy Dowdall – his separated wife – and her brother-in-law Mike Dowdall. Both Amy and Mike claim that they were at the Petaluma Police Department during the purchase to report that Ed attempted to kill Amy the night before.
“I knew the car should have gone back that day, but Mike talked me into keeping it until (my husband) went to the home because it would have been upsetting for him,” Amy Dowdall said.
Clearly this is a case of he-said, she-said, but we’re glad the matter has been resolved. We personally think Mr. Ed Dowdall really wanted the Murano CrossCabriolet and of course the dealership had no gripes selling it to him. But whether or not he was ethically taken advantage of, well that’s up to you.
[Source: Press Democrat]
The above photo shows a disguised Murano cruising around. That raises questions because the most recent Murano model refresh happened in 2011, which means we’re far from the time an automaker would typically invest in a revamp.
The photographer said it sounded a lot like a four-cylinder, which would be a change for the Murano which is currently only offered with Nissan’s 3.5-liter V6 with 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque.
Upon examination, this theory seems to be right. There is only one tailpipe where the production Murano has two. Nissan already has two smaller options that offer a four-cylinder: the Rogue and Juke.
That said, it seems the automaker is playing with the idea of adding another gas-sipping family ferry to the line.
GALLERY: Nissan Murano spy photos
[Source: Truck Trend]
The Altima, Sentra, and Titan are getting long in the tooth, and even the Maxima and Murano. Those will get replaced with all new cars before 2014. Infiniti will get a new three-row luxury crossover, tenatively called the JX, and a front-wheel-drive hatchback to fight the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series compacts. The NV200, now the official taxicab of New York City, will soon be available to Cash Cab enthusiasts. The popular G37 and G25 will get replaced, possibly without their manual transmissions, and an electric vehicle based on the Leaf will allow luxury drivers to assuage their financial guilt.
If you counted only 10 cars in the preceding paragraph, it shows that you’ve been paying attention (thank you!), and you would be right—there are still two surprises Nissan is holding from us. One is the return of the flagship Infiniti, for those lamenting the death of the unloved Q45. And one could be a mystery vehicle for Nissan that could be as wacky as the Murano CrossCabriolet—could it be a small sports car like the Urge concept? After all, the 240SX deserves to make a comeback.
[Source: Car And Driver]
The new Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is an unusual vehicle, to say the least. It is convertible based on a SUV/Crossover platform, which could make it the ideal vehicle for a beach babe, or an automotive enthusiasts worst nightmare.
Whatever it is, our cousins in the north don’t want it. We spoke to a representative from Nissan Canada, who confirmed to us that they will not be offering the Murano CrossCabriolet in the country.
Nissan Canada says they want to sit back and gauge how the vehicle does in the U.S. before they commit to bringing it in their market. Interesting to see a company not having faith in one of its products for a reasonably well-to-do market, even if that market is covered under a blanket of snow for half the year.
Of note, Nissan did the same with the NISMO Z, waiting over a year before bringing it across the border.
So will this Murano CrossCabriolet be an American only special remains to be seen. Maybe we are very fortunate to have a special vehicle all to ourselves. On the other hand, maybe not. Prices for the Murano CrossCabriolet start at $46,390.
Nissan literally pulled the cover off its 2011 Murano in Los Angeles today, unveiling for the first time on these shores the new open top version dubbed the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.
Painted seafoam green with a light interior, it looked ready for South Beach on the opposite coast. Nissan says they envision females in their 30s or 40s as the primary target audience for this massive convertible, but they held short of calling it the Murano CougarCabriolet.
They also announced pricing would start at $46,390 when this 2011 model hits dealer showrooms early in 2011.
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Get more info in the official press release after the jump:
Nissan has released information about a new plug-in sedan set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, a vehicle known as the Ellure. No details or photos have been released, but a nice bit of marketing fluff states that “Nissan’s dramatic new-value sedan exploration, the Nissan Ellure, is designed to bring a higher level of progressive and distinctive expression to the segment – adding passion and emotion to traditional sedan efficiency.”
The Ellure will debut alongside the Murano CrossCabriolet, as well as the new Quest minivan. Hit the jump to see the official press release.
Nissan‘s long-rumored Murano convertible is all but officially confirmed after the company presented it to dealers at their annual meeting in Las Vegas in August.
The Murano convertible will be offered as a two-door with a soft-top, reminiscent of other spectacular failures like the Toyota RAV4 convertible, Isuzu Amigo and Suzuki X90, all of which were offered as 2-door SUVs and were recieved like the plague in North America.
“It’s not going to be a volume car,” said Brian Carolin,Nissan North America Inc.’s senior vice president for sales and marketing. ”But there’s a degree of bravery for us to bring out a car like that right now. It will surprise a lot of people.”
The Murano is far from a bad vehicle as it is, but the idea of a convertible will undoubtedly polarize buyers into warring camps. On the other hand, Nissan’s Juke crossover is a visually unappealing vehicle that still performs admirably, and the Murano convertible could be a car-based alternative to vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler, which has an equal number of buyers interested in its beach-cruising capabilities rather than its off-roading.
[Source: Automotive News]
Convertible SUVs have always been oddballs, from the Suzuki X90 to the Toyota RAV4 and all points in between. The only successful model we can think of, the Jeep Wrangler, is a bit of an anomaly, and Nissan’s decision to bring it out is a little surprising. Perhaps they’re hoping to go after people who don’t want the rugged truck-like Wrangler, but still we can’t see it being a very big market.
Power should come from the same ubiquitous Nissan 3.5L V6. Autoguide will have full coverage of this vehicle if it does show up at the L.A. Auto Show, otherwise we’ll focus on Nissan’s delightfully weird Juke, which seems like a better candidate for a roof-ectomy than the Mommy-ish Murano.
[Source: Inside Line]
The results are in and a host of new SUVs have made the cut. Joining the list for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Award recipients are the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2011 Kia Sorento, and the 2010 Toyota Highlander and Venza.
It takes a sturdy vehicle to become an IIHS Top Safety Pick. To drive off with one, a vehicle must earn Good ratings in front- and side-impact tests, as well as head restraint design for rear crash protection, and roof strength. As well, it has to come standard with electronic stability control. Vehicles are rated on a scale of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor.
Roof-strength is the most difficult test to pass, and the SUVs tested at this time demonstrated a roof strength-to-weight ratio of 4-to-1 or greater (meaning roofs held up under more than four times the vehicle’s weight before the top is compressed five inches). Some examples of outcomes for this test: the Toyota Highlander roof withstood a force equal to 4.74 times its vehicle weight, while the Toyota Venza’s roof withstood 4.70 times its vehicle weight.
Some SUVs that didn’t make the cut were the Ford Edge, Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano. The Edge earned an Acceptable roof-strength rating, while rest were rated Marginal.
The IIHS is an independent non-profit research and communications organization funded by auto insurance companies.
[Source: Consumer Reports]