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Nissan: What's coming in 2010

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2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster

2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster

Photo © Nissan

CONFIRMED FOR 2010:

370Z COUPE: Nissan will produce a 40th Anniversary Edition to celebrate the American introduction of the 240Z (which went on sale in October 1969 as a 1970 model). The 40th Anniversary Edition is a 370Z Touring with a manual transmission and Sport Package. It comes with dark silver ("40th Quartz") paint and a red interior. The Anniversary Z gets unique badging inside and out, a dash plaque, and a satin car cover. Look for it at your Nissan dealer beginning in the spring of 2010.

370Z ROADSTER: The convertible version of the 370Z makes its debut for 2010. The 370Z Roadster (photo) features an electrically-operated soft top with one-button operation (i.e. no knuckle-busting latches to open). Like the 370Z coupe, the 370Z Roadster is available in two trim levels, Base and Touring, the latter adding heated and cooled leather seats, Bluetooth, and a Bose stereo. Touring models offer an optional navigation system and a Sport package with 19" RAYS wheels, improved brakes, limited-slip differential, and a rev-matching feature for manual-transmission cars.

ALTIMA: (photo) The Altima gets a mid-cycle refresh for 2010. Front styling has been subtly updated, while interior materials have been improved. The manual transmission is gone, and the V6 is now only available in a single model called the 3.5 SR. Most importantly, electronic stability control is now standard in all Altima models.

ARMADA: The top-of-the-line LE model has been dropped, replaced by two models: The Titanium Edition (which adds leather seats, keyless ignition, Bluetooth, backup camera, Bose stereo, power-folding 3rd row seat and self-leveling rear air suspension) and the Platinum Edition (all Titanium equipment plus heated front seats and steering wheel, sunroof, power tailgate, rear-seat DVD player, and navigation). Nissan says the 2010 Armada Titanium Edition -- priced at $42,920 for the 4x2 and $45,720 for the 4x4 -- costs $2,500 less than a comparably-equipped '09 Armada, while the Platinum ($50,170 for 4x2, $52,970 for 4x4) costs $1,100 less than a similar '09 Armada.

FRONTIER: Side and side-curtain airbags are now standard, and V6-powered Frontiers get electronic stability control as standard. SE and LE 4WD automatics get hill-start assist and hill descent control, while all SE and LE V6 models get an Active Brake Limited Slip system.

GT-R: Now in its second year, Nissan's all-wheel-drive supercar gets a round of improvements. The engine has been bumped by 5 horsepower to 485, the twin-clutch automatic transmission has been recalibrated for better performance (and elimination of the transmission-eating launch mode), the brakes now have rigid fluid lines, and the suspension gets Bilstien shock absorbers and recalibrated spring rates that provide a more compliant ride at slower speeds as well as when the car is in "R" (sport) mode. Seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags are now standard in all GT-Rs, not just the pricier GT-R Premium model. Base models feature a "smoke" wheel treatment while the Premium gets black wheels. Silver cars get a polished front bumper, and the GT-R is now available in white.

LEAF: (photo) The Leaf is an all-electric vehicle that will go on sale in the US in late 2010. The Leaf is a 5-passenger subcompact with a 100 mile range powered by a 107 horsepower electric motor feeding off a Nissan-designed lithium-ion battery pack. Charge time is 4 hours from a 220 volt home charger, and public quick-charge stations running at 480 volts will be able to juice the car up to 80% capacity in 26 minutes. I got a chance to sample the powertrain in a Cube test mule; it’s quick and unusually quiet, even for an electric vehicle. The Leaf EV will initially be sold to fleets and commercial entities, with retail sales starting in select regions as the public charging infrastructure becomes available.

MAXIMA: The Maxima gets new wheel finishes and standard Bluetooth phone connectivity; SV models gain XM satellite radio as standard. Option packages have been shuffled around a bit, and the navigation system has been upgraded to include DVD playback capability, Bluetooth audio streaming, and XM weather and traffic information.

PATHFINDER: The LE V6 gets a standard sunroof, while the LE V8 gains standard navigation. New option packages include the LE V8 Value Package (rear-seat DVD player and moonroof) and SE Premium Journey Package (17" wheels, backup camera, roof-rack crossbars, Bose stereo with XM satellite radio, Bluetooth and keyless ignition).

QUEST: Discontinued... for now. (See BEYOND 2010 on next page.)

ROGUE: The Rogue S offers a new 360° Value Package, which includes 16" alloy wheels, tinted windows, backup camera, auto-dimming rear view mirror, a rear spoiler and a chrome grille. A new Krōm model (photo) gets a unique grille, unique rear fascia with center-exit exhaust, and special 17-inch wheels.

SENTRA: The Sentra gets a minor facelift for 2010 (photo). All models get new head- and taillights and interior fabrics, and the 2.0, 2.0 S and 2.0 SL get a new grille and front fascia. The SL model gets a standard color display and electronic stability control, but loses its standard leather upholstery (it's now a $700 option); it's also priced $1,100 lower than last year's SL. The hot-rod SE-R and SE-R Spec V get the new head/taillights, interior revisions, and revised option packages, as well as lower prices ($1,080 less than 2009).

TITAN: Electronic stability control, side and side curtain airbags, and Active Brake Limited Slip are now standard, and the option packages have been shuffled around a bit.

UNNAMED COMMERCIAL VEHICLE: Nissan plans to sell a line of commercial vehicles in the States, and the first is due in 2010. Nissan hasn't said which one it will be, but we expect a small van, similar in size or slightly larger than Ford's Transit Connect.

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE...

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