2019 Nissan Murano Drivers' Notes Review | Price, Specs, Features And Photos - Autoblog

2019 Nissan Murano Drivers' Notes Review | Price, specs, features and photos - Autoblog

The 2019 Nissan Murano is one of six crossovers or SUVs in Nissan's ever expanding lineup. This third-gen model hit showrooms back in 2015 and received a minor update for 2019 focused mainly on appearance. Like its predecessors, the current Murano is a stylish offering compared to models like the Rogue and Pathfinder, much the same way the Maxima relates to the Altima sedan. It may seem odd to have so many models right on top of each other in terms of size and price, but Americans bought more than 87,000 Muranos in 2018, an increase of 8.9 percent over 2017. That said, sales are down significantly through June 2019. As before, power comes from a version of Nissan's long-running VQ engine line. This 3.5-liter V6 makes 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, sending power to all four wheels through a continuously-variable transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard. Our fully-loaded Platinum model comes with niceties like leather seats with diamond-quilted inserts, ventilated front seats, heated seats both front and rear, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, LED lighting, a Bose audio system, and a 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A base front-wheel-drive Murano S starts at $32,415 with our Murano Platinum tester coming in at $46,420. Assistant Editor Zac Palmer: The Murano is a crossover that isn't confused about its purpose as a comfortable daily driver, but it also doesn't offer anything special to set it apart from the other mid-sizers. Perhaps the most distinctive part about it is the design, yet it's no more eye-catching than similarly stylish competitors like the Edge, Passport and Blazer. In fact, the Murano looks more like a generic crossover than any of those. Comfort is the priority in all facets, and that's probably the way it should be for the buyer Nissan is after here. The semi-aniline leather seats were big pillows that were shockingly great to sit in. There's a dedicated leather pad for your right knee to rest against that is greatly appreciated. Then the armrests on both sides are positioned just right for relaxed driving, soaking up the highway miles. The center armrest actually has a little split in the cushions that acts as a neat little nook/resting place for your elbow and arm. Some may dislike it, but I found that it worked for me. These may seem like no-brainer, small things, but the Murano nails it all, and not every car does. As for the rest of the interior … Nissan has some work to do. Even though this crossover was ever-so-slightly refreshed for 2019, it doesn't feel it on the inside. A clashing mashup of fake wood and silver trim muck up the dash in an attempt at looking luxurious. I appreciate all the physical buttons to control the climate settings and radio, but the steering wheel buttons are incredibly ill-conceived. The most-used control — volume up and down — is just out of your thumb's reach, meaning you have to physically take your hand off the steering wheel to press them. At that point the knob close to your right hand on the dash is easier to use. Then the cruise control "Cancel" button is a difficult stretch at the top on the right side. Pretty much everybody else makes these buttons usable without any sort of trouble like this, so Nissan really needs to get that layout changed. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I've always liked the looks of the Nissan Murano, and in Platinum trim, this thing is blinged out. I give Nissan credit for really going for it with this sometimes polarizing design. Nissan made the Murano, which was always quirky, into a sleek, futuristic design for the 2015 model year. I think they've pulled it off better than companies like Hyundai and Ford, which have also tried similarly aggressive styles with mixed results. The Murano's prominent grille, angled headlights and long hood make a statement, while the chiseled beltline and raked roofline keep the design mojo going from stem to stern. Some think the Murano is a bit much. It probably is, but it's a risk-taking design in a crowded segment. Road Test Editor Reese Counts: Like so much of Nissan's current lineup, I forgot about the Murano about 10 minutes after I got out of it. It looks ... interesting? I don't know. I don't hate it, but I sure don't love it either. It's certainly more distinct than some of Nissan's other crossovers, but I'm not sure if that's a plus or minus. I do like the engine, or at least I like the power. With everyone going to downsized turbocharged inline-fours, it's good to see Nissan sticking with a naturally-aspirated V6. The VQ is a little uncouth, but I don't think most buyers will mind. Power is relatively smooth, though the CVT saps any bit of joy from the driving experience. It's fine I guess, but, like the Maxima, I don't know or understand who is buying these things. 

2019 Honda Passport Elite Review | Cargo Space, Technology, Pricing - Autoblog

2019 Honda Passport Elite Review | Cargo space, technology, pricing - Autoblog

The words "design" and "styling" are largely used interchangeably in the automotive world. In the fashion world, however, they are quite different. The way a dress looks is the result of design. The jacket, shoes and purse you pair with it are styling.

I mention this because the 2019 Honda Passport is largely the work of styling in the fashion sense. Yes, it's shorter in overall length and seat count than the Pilot, and there are design tweaks to the front end and tailgate. But much of what makes the Passport distinctive and arguably more attractive than its rather drab three-row sibling comes down to "styling." There are the blacked out wheels and trim, the beefier roof rails and crossbars, and the more macho grille. There's also the ground clearance increase that does as much for aesthetics as it does for off-road ability. Take all that away, and the Passport really is just a shorter Pilot, albeit with better proportions.

2019 Honda Civic Sport Sedan Review | Keep Up The Fun

2019 Honda Civic Sport Sedan Review | Keep up the fun

If the ninth-generation 2012 Civic was considered a sizeable step back, the tenth-generation 2016 Civic represented two giant steps forward for the nameplate and the entire lineup. The mildly facelifted 2019 Civic expands on that progress by introducing a Sport trim for the sedan that offers a six-speed manual transmission. But don't think of the long, lean four-door as a trunked version of the more expensive Sport hatchback with its more powerful turbocharged engine. The sedan, which Honda describes as "entry-level performance," aims at the hearts of budget-conscious and first-time buyers seeking sedan sobriety leavened by a touch of old-fashioned Honda fun.

Cosmetic changes across the lineup for 2019 introduce a gloss black grille, a wider, more sculpted lower bumper, and repositioned Honda Sensing gear to add symmetry to the lower front intakes. The Sport trim goes without the chrome accents around the front fog lights found on the other four trims — LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. And unlike those other variants, the Sport sedan slots a trapezoidal exhaust finisher into a four-fin, diffuser-like insert. Inside, the instrument binnacle glows with red lighting, the pedals are made of aluminum, it has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and it features the nicer infotainment system with a 7-inch screen (and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration).

2019 Honda Accord Review And Buying Guide | Making A Case For The Sedan

2019 Honda Accord Review and Buying Guide | Making a case for the sedan

Midsize sedans may no longer be the vehicle of choice for most families who increasingly prefer SUVs, but for those happy to keep kicking it old school, the 2019 Honda Accord is a top choice. Its large dimensions house unmatched interior space, but the driving experience remains responsive and imparts a feeling of being light on its feet. Its turbocharged engines offer compelling performance, but also return exceptional fuel economy. Meanwhile, the Accord Hybrid might actually be the pick of the litter for its superior fuel economy and lack of major drawbacks. There's also the matter of its well-made interior, generous feature content and the Accord's long-standing reliability reputation.

If you're looking for a midsize sedan, the Accord should be at the top of your must-drive list. Its well-rounded nature made it an easy pick when we compared it to the Toyota Camry and Mazda 6. We also think shoppers shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the Accord in favor of a compact SUV. The back seat is more comfortable and spacious, the fuel economy is better, and you're not sacrificing that much utility thanks to its enormous trunk. Oh, and if you're like us and appreciate wringing every bit of driving fun out of a car as possible, the Accord Sport offers a six-speed manual as a no-cost option.

2019 Honda Pilot Review And Buying Guide | A Very Sensible Choice

2019 Honda Pilot Review and Buying Guide | A very sensible choice

Every three-row crossover is geared toward family use, but the 2019 Honda Pilot generally goes a few steps further than most. For starters, it manages to squeeze more interior space out of a smaller, more manageable exterior size. Full-sized adults and teenagers can actually fit in all three rows, while the cargo area is large, boxy and versatile. The lives of parents are also made easier thanks to thoughtful storage solutions throughout, while plenty of kid-friendly features reside in the back like USB ports, multiple cupholders and seat-back pockets for smartphones. There's also the matter of strong safety credentials and residual values, and Honda's reliability reputation.

In other words, buying a Pilot would be a very sensible choice. Admittedly, however, it's not the most exciting one. The new Kia Telluride has garnered plenty of attention for its style and luxurious interior while being even more spacious than the Pilot. The Mazda CX-9 certainly isn't as spacious, but its sharp handling, driver-oriented focus and sleek design should be particularly appealing to those transitioning to a big family vehicle from something smaller and sporty. The new Ford Explorer also boasts massive space and impressive performance figures.

2019 Honda Passport Elite Review | Value-packed Road Trip Champ

2019 Honda Passport Elite Review | Value-packed road trip champ

The words "design" and "styling" are largely used interchangeably in the automotive world. In the fashion world, however, they are quite different. The way a dress looks is the result of design. The jacket, shoes and purse you pair with it are styling.

I mention this because the 2019 Honda Passport is largely the work of styling in the fashion sense. Yes, it's shorter in overall length and seat count than the Pilot, and there are design tweaks to the front end and tailgate. But much of what makes the Passport distinctive and arguably more attractive than its rather drab three-row sibling comes down to "styling." There are the blacked out wheels and trim, the beefier roof rails and crossbars, and the more macho grille. There's also the ground clearance increase that does as much for aesthetics as it does for off-road ability. Take all that away, and the Passport really is just a shorter Pilot, albeit with better proportions.

2020 Toyota Sienna Review And Buying Guide | The Wait Continues ...

2020 Toyota Sienna Review and Buying Guide | The wait continues ...

We sure hope Toyota is cooking something special up for its next-generation minivan, because it's certainly been a long wait. While most cars and minivans go six years between generation, the 2020 Toyota Sienna represents year nine since it was completely redesigned. Sure, there was a significant overhaul a few years ago and constant updating (including some for this year), but the competition has been completely redone, and it makes a difference. The Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica are more refined, more advanced technologically and have better safety ratings. Even the Kia Sedona, which is no spring chicken itself, is fresher in certain respects.

Now, despite being long in the tooth, the 2020 Sienna still provides plenty of distinctive elements that keep it relevant. Its second-row seat slides further than most, providing exceptional comfort for adults and teenagers. Its unique all-wheel drive option. Its SE trim level that is arguably the most engaging minivan to drive. In other words, don't write it off completely, but make sure to shop around.

What's new with Sienna for 2020?

The SE and SE Premium trim levels can now be equipped with the Nightshade Edition package ($700), pictured above. Following an industry trend, it replaces all the exterior bright work with black trim. It's undeniably the coolest-looking Sienna.

2018 Honda Ridgeline Longterm Review | Gone But Not Forgotten

2018 Honda Ridgeline Longterm Review | Gone but not forgotten

Nothing else we do here at Autoblog is quite like our longterm reviews. That's why we always try to keep a few vehicles in our longterm garage at any one time. These vehicles stay with us for anywhere from 12 weeks to 12 months and become our workhorses, shuttling and moving people, pets, groceries, gardening supplies, sports equipment, furniture and just about anything else you can imagine. We get to use, drive and maintain them like an actual owner would, giving us a good look at things we may not pick up on in some of our other reviews. Few, if any, of our longtermers have been as versatile as our recently-departed 2018 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E. In fact, we were so in love with the truck that we twice asked Honda to extend the loan.

The second-gen Honda Ridgeline debuted in 2017. It's still an oddball (a unibody truck based on the Honda Pilot and Passport with features like a trunk and a tailgate that articulates in two places) in a field of traditionalists like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger, but that's what's so compelling about it. It's not trying to be like those other trucks. For better or worse, it's an alternative take on a conservative segment. For many people, it's the truck you actually need, not the one you want, even if that means it's occasionally a bit boring. Read our thoughts below. It's not perfect and it's not cool, but know that one of us on staff enjoyed the truck so much that he's looked at purchasing one for his family.

2019 Toyota 4runner Review And Buying Guide | More Lovable Than Ever

2019 Toyota 4Runner Review and Buying Guide | More lovable than ever

The increasingly iconic Toyota 4Runner soldiers into its ninth year without a full redesign. A typical car or crossover is redesigned after six. Frankly, the 4Runner was never a bastion of modernity, as its truck-based structure and interior design result in comfort, refinement and efficiency compromises that always stood in contrast to similarly priced and sized crossovers. That's still the case with the 2019 Toyota 4Runner, but its interior design and technology have only fallen further behind the times, while its handling, noise and overall comfort are worse than what you'd get in a midsize crossover like the Honda Passport or Toyota's own Highlander. Its fuel economy is comparatively abysmal.

Now, if all of that makes you think twice about the 4Runner, we've done our job. It's certainly not the most rational SUV purchase, and it's smart to consider its many downsides. That said, we also love the 4Runner and understand why you might as well. It has character in spades, especially the ultra-rugged TRD Pro trim, and can go places none of those crossovers would dare. This is a serious off-roader, yet when compared to other such vehicles it's surprisingly comfortable and genuinely large inside. Few two-row SUVs — crossover or truck-based — can match its utility. Yes it's old and less refined than a crossover, but it's also not as crude as you'd expect, and there's also something to be said about simplicity.

What's new with 4Runner for 2019?

The TRD Pro trim level is upgraded. It gets Fox shocks, a new skid plate and a bulky roof rack similar to the one once available on the FJ Cruiser (its classic Voodoo Blue paint also makes its first appearance on the 4Runner TRD Pro, pictured above). A sunroof and JBL sounds system are also now standard, but the price rises by a somewhat questionable $4,000. Elsewhere in the lineup, the 4Runner Limited is offered in a new Nightshade Edition that consists of a bunch of blacked-out exterior trim.

2019 Lexus Ux Review And Buying Guide | More Lexus, Less Corolla, Please

2019 Lexus UX Review and Buying Guide | More Lexus, less Corolla, please

The 2019 Lexus UX is the smallest and cheapest Lexus you can buy, and the UX 250h hybrid model just barely misses out being the most fuel efficient. As an entry into the Lexus brand, this subcompact crossover is generally an impressive effort, embodying the design, quality, features and driving experience we've come to expect – albeit with understandable cutbacks made to achieve its lower price.

However, the UX faces stiff competition. It has one of the smallest cabins in a segment not known for its spaciousness, and its Remote Touch tech interface constantly frustrates. And while fuel economy is exceptional for the segment, its acceleration is underwhelming regardless of whether you get the UX 250h or gas-only UX 200. Worse still, you can only get the latter with front-wheel drive. In other words, this is a car with distinct highs and lows.

What's new for 2019?

The Lexus UX is an all-new model for 2019. It is mechanically based on the same platform that underpins most new Toyota models such as the Toyota C-HR and Toyota Corolla, as well as the Lexus ES sedan. It slots into the bottom of the Lexus SUV lineup below the NX.

2019 Honda Civic Review And Buying Guide | A Little Something For Everyone

2019 Honda Civic Review and Buying Guide | A little something for everyone

In the compact car market, the Honda Civic has almost always been a benchmark, and there's a reason for that: it's consistently been really great. The 2019 Honda Civic is no exception. It has a large, airy interior with quality materials. The engines are smooth, powerful and economical. And it's nimble while also being comfortable. Not only that, but there's a Civic for just about any need with sedan, coupe or hatchback body styles — no other compact car offers such diversity. There are also trim levels and powertrains that range from frugal to exhilarating, yet all offer competitive pricing and impressive value. For these reasons and others we'll explain below, the Civic is still one of the best compact cars on the market.

What's new for 2019?

The 2019 Honda Civic marks the third year for this generation, and changes are mostly restricted to some styling tweaks, and trim and feature additions. All Honda Civics, regardless of trim or body style, now have black grilles, replacing the flashy chrome version available on past models. The lower grilles of the sedan and coupe have been merged into one opening, and all trims on sedans and coupes get chrome accents in the lower fascia except the new Sport trim.

The Sport trim has been added to the coupe and sedan models, but unlike the hatchback's Sport trim that gets a turbocharged engine, these Civics stick with the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The Sport coupe and sedan do get Honda's touchscreen infotainment system with CarPlay and Android Auto, unlike the Sport hatchback. This infotainment system now features physical shortcut buttons and a volume knob, but it retains the existing user interface. The gauges get red backlighting, the pedals are made of aluminum, the wheels are larger and it has a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A manual transmission is also now restricted to LX sedan, all Sport body styles, the Si and Type R. All other Civics get a CVT.

2019 Nissan Rogue Sport Review And Buying Guide | Stylish But Not Sporty

2019 Nissan Rogue Sport Review and Buying Guide | Stylish but not sporty

The Nissan Rogue Sport crossover is small, attractive, and relatively cheap. Despite sharing a name with the larger Rogue, the Rogue Sport is a completely different vehicle. It's the least expensive vehicle in Nissan's portfolio with optional all-wheel drive. What it doesn't offer, despite its name, is a sporty driving experience, and it can get surprisingly pricey if a buyer isn't careful with options.

What's new for 2019?

Nissan added its new Rear Door Alert technology, which activates the horn and other notifications when the system detects the rear door opened before the engine started but wasn't re-opened after shutting down. Also standard are a rearview monitor, a Bluetooth phone and infotainment system that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, plus an available nine-speaker Bose audio system. There's a new color option and the expanded availability of its ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving and Safety Shield 360 safety technologies. And finally, there's a new exterior color, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, added to the list of choices.

What's the interior and in-car technology like?

The Rogue Sport is a pretty nice place from which to watch the miles pass by. You probably wouldn't want to spend a lot of time in the rear seat, but it's roomier than a lot of the competition, and both front seats are cozy. The optional leather seats look and feel nicer than you'd expect for a vehicle in this class. The thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel feels good to hold, and helps add a little to the perception of sportiness.