Interior Color: Black
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Number of Doors: 4
Exterior Color: Black
Frederick, Maryland, United States
For many enthusiasts, the concept of the ute - a car with a pickup bed - is somehow irresistibly appealing. On paper, it promises the marriage of a truck's utility and a car's superior driving dynamics, and for that reason alone, we'd love to see more of them. Yet while other parts of the world get them in good numbers, North America doesn't ever see them - at least not for long. Based on what we've seen of late, though, that's not due to a lack of motivation on the part of engineers.
BMW wowed us several years ago with an M3 ute, and earlier this year, some interns converted a Mini Paceman into the pickup-bodied Paceman Adventure. Loathe to let their rivals in Munich and Oxford have all the fun, Nissan has built its very own car-based pickup. Meet Sparky, the world's first Leaf Frontier.
Like the M3, this all-electric ute is used as a parts hauler for Nissan's engineering teams at its sprawling Stanfield, AZ tech center and proving grounds.
Fresh off news that Mitsubishi is bringing a sedan version of its Mirage, called the G4, to this month's Montreal Auto Show, we now believe that another small car will be debuting for our small-car-loving friends to the north. Word is that Nissan will be bringing its compact New Micra to the Canadian show, as well. Slotting in just below the Versa Note hatchback in terms of both size and price, the Montreal debut should be followed up with an on-sale date in short order.
We've been hearing rumors that the New Micra would end up in Canadian dealerships for some time. At every turn, however, we've also heard that the Franco-Japanese hatch is not intended for sale in the US, and nothing in this latest report from Autos.ca would seem to indicate otherwise. As Autoblog sources are quick to point out, Nissan already has one of the least-expensive offerings in the US, the $11,990 Versa Sedan, and the Japanese automaker just doesn't see room underneath it for another model. Sorry, Yank.
Nissan's Murano stands as one of the originators of the crossover movement - it was perhaps the first such vehicle to throw out the idea that a CUV had to look like a boxy, cladded-up sport utility vehicle in order to be successful. Now poised to enter its third generation, the midsize Nissan is not only getting a new look and a host of new technologies, it's getting a new home: Canton, MS.
With dramatic new styling presaged by the Resonance Concept at last year's Detroit Auto Show, the new Murano debuting at this week's New York Auto Show includes a toned-down "V-Motion" nose, and the Japanese automaker's trademark boomerang-shaped light fixtures. Aside from the chunky chrome U-shaped grille element up front, the new Murano's most striking design detail is its cantilevered roof with funky "disconnected" D-pillars, a floating look reinforced by a greenhouse edged in brightwork. Overall, it's a much more bold and expressive piece of design than Nissan's recent second-generation Rogue, fitting, as the Murano has always been on the daring end of CUV design.
Boasting a 0.31 coefficient of drag and a ton of sheetmetal surface development, the Murano's new form is available with LED headlamps and features active grille shutters for improved aerodynamics. The company claims visibility has been improved as well - and not just because of its brilliant available Around View Monitor camera system - Nissan says it has "optimized the angles and thickness of the bottom of the A-pillar," along with fiddling with the size and location of the side mirrors.