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 We test drove a Honda CRV with their 4 cylinder and 5 speed a/t, then drove a Rav 4 with Toyotas little V-6 but an outdated 4 speed a/t.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.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.