I bought this car new and was very impressed with the handling - very car like. Fit and finish of the interior is way above the competition (RAV4, CRV etc). The engine is powerful enough and I grew to love the CVT that some people hate. The front seats are very comfy and the few times I get to sit in the back I am comfortable there too. This was the last car on my shortlist and I didn't want to like it but I really did.
12 months later and I still like the car a lot. It is what it is - its a compact SUV crossover with AWD (btw the AWD really does work well in light snow and ice). The visibility out of the back is poor (styling) and the A/C is NOT great for Texas summer. Still like the car.
The A/C unit struggles for 10 miles in Texas summer @ 115 degrees. And that is with limo tinted windows. Time for a bigger compressor Nissan - nothing wrong with the current one but it is built for New England, not Texas.
Rear visibility - it's pretty bad but that's the price you pay for the styling.
Engine - why not drop the V6 into one of these cars? You have the VQDE which is tried and tested. Everyone else has a V6 aside from Honda but they're more arrogant than y'all and don't see the point.
Wheels - I have the SL alloys on my S-AWD. They should be standard across the board. Steel wheels are so 1990s...
You are right about the lack of an engine option. We test drove a Honda CRV with their 4 cylinder and 5 speed a/t, then drove a Rav 4 with Toyotas little V-6 but an outdated 4 speed a/t.
If you had the Toyota engine coupled to the
Honda 5 speed a/t you would have a winner!
Reason I say this is, the Honda 5 speed runs at 1600 rpm at highway speeds, and the Toyota 4 speed with their V-6 keeps the revs to a screaming 2600 at the same speed.
You can''t have great mpg's with those kind of rpms on the highway.
I have found that a bigger engine with a 5 or 6 speed tranny beats a little 4 cyl anyday.
City mpg's would suffer a little but the power for take off on the Toyota V-6 was amazing...the Honda 4 cyl
CRV performance was just embarrassing even tho they had the better tranny.