We talk a lot about new cars, but people often go the used route. And the used car market hides some fascinating data that we sometimes overlook.
Infiniti launched its seven-passenger JX crossover for the 2013 model year with the automaker's familiar 3.5-liter V6 as standard equipment. For 2014, the model was renamed the QX60, and a new variant packing a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain joined the lineup. (For those interested in the family lineage, the new arrival is a mechanical twin to the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid, which we took for a Quick Spin last year).
The idea of producing large, luxury-vehicle hybrids is turning into a "what were they thinking?" exercise in futility, USA Today reports. General Motors is discontinuing hybrid versions of the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs, while Mercedes-Benz and Toyota's Lexus division are doing the same with their S-Class hybrid and LS hybrid sedans, respectively. The culprit? Big price increases for fuel economy improvements that border on the unimpressive.
Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for 989,701 vehicles in the US due to an issue with their passenger-side airbag systems. Affected Nissan models include the Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder and Sentra from the 2013 and 2014 model years, and 2013 NV200 taxis. Affected Infiniti models include the 2013 JX35 and 2014 Q50 and QX60 utility vehicles.
Nissan will be recalling over 151,000 vehicles due to issues with the anti-lock braking systems. On rough roads, light braking in the Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX35 and QX60 could trigger a problem in the brake pressure output software that might lead to longer stopping distances than expected relative to the brake inputs. Needless to say, unpredictable stopping distances on rough roads is not a desirable trait in a three-row, family friendly CUV.
With the exception of the G37, customers walking into Infiniti showrooms this summer are going to see a bunch of different names pop up as the automaker switches to its new Q-for-car and QX-for-crossover/SUV naming convention for 2014. The first of these renamed models are the 2014 QX60 (which replaces the JX) starting at $41,550* and the 2014 QX70 (which replaces the FX) priced at $44,950* (*prices do not include $995 for destination), and both are on sale now.
At the SAE World Congress in Detroit this week, Nissan brought the guts of its new Pure Drive Hybrid System, a four-cylinder gas engine and 15-kW electric motor that has two clutches. The clutches on either side of the motor allows the system to use the motor for propulsion or regeneration and also result in a compact size, about the same as a conventional CVT, we were told. The system also uses a 144-volt lithium-ion battery.
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