Recall Alert: 226,000 Nissan, Infiniti Sedans and SUVs

2003NissanMaximaRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 226,000 model-year 2002-03 Nissan Maxima sedans and Pathfinder SUVs, and Infiniti I35 sedans and QX4 SUVs, as well as 2002-04 Nissan Sentra sedans and 2003 Infiniti FX crossovers

The Problem: A defect in the passenger-side front airbag could produce excessive internal pressure causing the inflator to rupture upon deployment; this could result in metal fragments striking and seriously injuring occupants. This expansion of an earlier action involving a massive recall of vehicles from multiple automakers using airbags manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp. addresses both the passenger-side front airbags that were originally installed in the vehicles, as well as replacement airbags that may have been installed as replacement service parts. For example, a replacement airbag may have been installed if a vehicle had been in a crash necessitating the replacement of the passenger-side front airbag.

The Fix: Nissan will begin notifying owners Aug. 11, and dealers will replace airbags on all vehicles in which defective airbags may have been installed either as original equipment or as a replacement; repairs will be made for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Nissan Pathfinder: What's Changed

Nissan-pathfinder

Most significant changes: Updated continuously variable transmission; Pathfinder Hybrid on hold for 2015

Price change: TBA

On sale: October

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

When the Pathfinder was redesigned for 2013 it switched to a car-based unibody platform from a truck-based body-on-frame design, gaining fuel economy, interior space and ride comfort while losing some towing capacity and a V-8 engine option. For 2015, all models come with a 3.5-liter V-6 and CVT, and buyers have a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge

The Pathfinder carries over four trim levels; S, SV, SL and Premium for 2015. The higher-level SL and Platinum trims add blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Four-wheel-drive versions of any trim gain hill descent control, and the standard CVT gets D-Step Shift logic that enables it to behave more like a conventional step-gear automatic.

By Rick Popely | July 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder and Rogue, 2014 Infiniti QX60

2014-nissan-pathfinder

Vehicles Affected: Approximately 334 model-year 2014 Nissan Pathfinder and Rogue crossovers and model-year 2014 Infiniti QX60 crossovers manufactured between March 7 and March 10, 2014

The Problem: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a lug nut in one of the right-side wheels may not have been properly tightened. If it becomes loose, it could fall off and cause the other nuts to loosen over time, increasing the risk of wheel separation and a crash.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and tighten the affected lug nuts for free.

What Owners Should Do: Nissan will notify owners at the end of this month. Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information. 

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

SUV Challenge: Family Lauds Hyundai, Scorns Honda

3RowSUVFamily

By Chris Woodyard, USA Today

He focuses on technology, acceleration and steering. She looks for style and practicality.

Together, Ed and LadyAnn Sabalburo, along with daughter LeaRose, 2, covered the bases when it came to evaluating the seven candidates in the Cars.com/USA TODAY/MotorWeek $40,000 Three-row SUV Challenge.

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000

Together, the pair went over every detail of the crossovers SUVs lined up in a hotel parking lot while LeaRose happily scampered through their respective cabins. Then, Ed took each for a test drive.

The Sabalburos, from nearby Baldwin Park, east of Los Angeles, are casually looking for new family hauler that might replace LadyAnn's 2008 Acura MDX. They have another baby on the way.

By David Thomas | April 28, 2014 | Comments (7)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge: Squeezing Into the Third Row

Third-row-main

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

Let's face it: Most of us older than 10 will never ride in the third row of a three-row crossover SUV.

Why would you? First, it requires a lesson in how to move the second-row seats out of the way in order to clamber back there. Usually done in frustration, you just wriggle and crawl to the third row.

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000

Then there is the seat itself: less legroom than on the worst airline. Your knees almost reach mid-chest. You're so far removed from the driver that one model tested, the Toyota Highlander, had an intercom for the driver. Yes, an intercom.

For the Cars.com/USA Today/"MotorWeek" $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, your reporter, all six-feet-two, took each test drive in each SUV from the third row. Here are my notes:

By David Thomas | April 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

Best Hybrids for the Money 2014

Hybrid-for-money

Gas prices remain historically high and volatile, and one of the most successful ways automakers and American motorists have adapted is by embracing hybrid technology. Though a few full-size hybrid trucks from GM have been discontinued, 2014 sees as many models as ever. No matter why you may want a hybrid, you might want to know how well it meets its mission.

More Alternative Fuels News

To determine if a hybrid's added expense is worth the cash, we devised an efficiency-cost rating. It's simply the EPA's combined mpg rating divided by the base price (meaning MSRP plus destination charge). We then multiply that result by 1,000. This formula can be applied to any type of vehicle, hybrid or not. A high mpg rating and low price provide a high efficiency-cost rating. A higher score is the better score.

We don't account for equipment levels, quality judgments, cost of ownership or any variances from EPA mileage estimates. The goal here is to pay the least for the most mileage, barring all other considerations.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 14, 2014 | Comments (11)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Car Seat Challenge: the Highs and Lows

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Large families basically have two choices when it comes to what to drive: a three-row SUV or a minivan. Both have their merits and handle cargo and passenger room differently. During Cars.com's recent $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, I spent a few days getting to know seven of the contenders in the midsize crossover class, driving them, climbing in and out of them, and installing car seats in their second and third rows.

Read the Full $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge

Although they all have to offer a large amount of room in order to fit that third row, it's obvious that not all SUVs are created equal. When it comes to car seats, there were some very clear winners and losers, with the Honda Pilot and Hyundai Santa Fe leading the pack, and the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 bringing up the rear.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

Which 3-Row SUV Gets the Best Mileage?

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge Mileage Results

Squeezing fuel economy out of the three-row SUVs tested for Cars.com's $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge is no easy task for automakers. Large people-and-cargo haulers capable of carrying eight and towing up to 5,000 pounds or more aren't really conducive for saving gas.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge
Index | ResultsWhat the Judges Said

Efforts to raise fuel-economy numbers mean there are a variety of fuel-saving technologies in the seven SUVs we tested. Our mileage drive put these features — including efficient transmissions, cylinder deactivation, Eco modes, sleek aerodynamics and weight savings — to the test.

By Joe Bruzek | April 6, 2014 | Comments (3)

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000?

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge

Family-friendly SUVs are still a big business: There are plenty of kids to cart around, groceries and sports equipment for kids of all ages to carry.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge
Index | What the Judges Said | Mileage Drive

We focused this Challenge on three-row SUVs that cost less than $40,000, including a destination charge, and achieved at least 19 mpg in EPA combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings. We picked the price based on Cars.com's listings for SUVs that came with the features we know are popular with families. After four days of testing by experts from Cars.com, USA Today, "MotorWeek" and a real-life, in-market family, here's how the results broke down:

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (21)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge: What the Judges Said

Chris Woodyard and Joe Bruzek

Here are our judges for this Challenge:

  • Joe Bruzek, Road Test Editor, Cars.com
  • Jennifer Geiger, Assistant Managing Editor, Cars.com
  • Kelsey Mays, Consumer Affairs Editor, Cars.com
  • Chris Woodyard, L.A. Bureau Chief, USA Today
  • Brian Robinson, Producer, "MotorWeek"
  • LadyAnn and Ed Sabalburo, a Southern California couple with a young daughter and a second child on the way; they own an Acura MDX currently and are thinking about moving up to a bigger SUV.

We set a maximum price of $40,000, including a destination charge, and a minimum EPA combined city/highway mileage rating of 19 mpg. There were eight SUVs that met our criteria:

By Patrick Olsen | April 6, 2014 | Comments (15)

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