- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2009


For 2009, the Altima sedan is available with a choice of two engines: the award-winning VQ series 3.5-liter V-6 or the powerful 2.5-liter in-line 4-cylinder.

Refinements for the new model year include revised standard features for the base grade, revised option package content and three new exterior colors.

New standard features on the Altima base model include a new 16-inch wheel cover design, black grille highlights, the addition of dual power-remote-controlled side-view mirrors and a standard trip computer and outside temperature gauge.

The 2009 Nissan Altima offers a range of comfort and convenience features, including standard Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button ignition, available Bluetooth hands-free phone system, rearview monitor and Nissan Navigation with XM NavTraffic real-time traffic information.

The 2009 Altima’s exterior offers a “dynamic simplicity” with an aggressive stance, distinctive grille, powerful front fenders, strong wedge character line, forward A-pillars and dual exhaust finishers.

Two power plants are available in the 2009 Altima, the 14-time Ward’s 10 best engines award-winning VQ-series V-6 and a four-cylinder. The 3.5-liter V-6 is rated at 270 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder produces 175 horsepower and 180 foot-pounds of torque.

Base model estimated mpg: 23 city/31 highway

Estimated starting price: $19,900


Improving its impressive packaging, the 2009 Frontier gets updated with a new front fascia grille and headlight design and new 16-inch and 18-inch wheels. A PRO-4X off-road model is added, along with new Frontier crew cab LE/PRO-4X value truck packages that offer an array of popular optional equipment at a greater value than if purchased separately.

The Frontier offers on- and off-road performance with the use of a 4.0-liter V-6 engine with best-in-segment horsepower, torque, towing and payload specifications.

The Frontier is offered in both king cab and crew cab styles and in two-wheel and four-wheel drivelines.

For 2009, Frontier features a restyled front fascia/grille design and new headlight design. LE models offer new 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, SE models feature new 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and PRO-4X models receive new machine-finished 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Two new exterior colors are available - red brick and navy blue.

Frontier provides exceptional acceleration, towing capacity and all-around off-roading ability, due in large measure to its powerful V-6 producing 261 horsepower and 281 foot-pounds of torque. An advanced 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, with 152 horsepower and 171 foot-pounds of torque, also is available on the base Frontier king cab two-wheel-drive model.

Base model estimated mpg: 16 city/20 highway

Estimated starting price: $22,210


The 2009 Nissan Quest continues as a distinctive minivan on the market - as well as one of the roomiest minivans in its segment. Changes for 2009 are minimal and include the addition of new automatic door locks and one new exterior paint color, Tuscan sun.

The 2009 Quest is offered in four-well equipped models - 3.5, 3.5S, 3.5SL and 3.5SE.

Quest provides sedanlike power and handling from its standard 235-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission and responsive suspension design. The 3.5-liter V-6 is tuned to produce 235 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque using premium fuel.

A unique highlight of the Quest interior is the SkyView glass-paneled roof, which uses roof-mounted glass panels for the second and third rows that help enhance the use of natural light throughout the vehicle. A full-length rear overhead console is available with the SkyView glass-paneled roof. It creates aircraft-like interior comfort zones with personal reading lamps and air vents.

The Nissan Quest received the National Highway Safety Administration’s highest rating - five stars - for front-impact and side-impact crash safety.

Base model estimated mpg: 16 city/24 highway

Estimated starting price: $25,950


The Nissan Xterra receives a number of enhancements for 2009 - including a redesigned front-end appearance, new roof-mounted off-road lights, new wheel designs, new seat materials and colors (with leather-appointed seats standard on SE models), new trim level content and standard roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags with rollover sensor.

Changes to Xterra enhance the differentiation among the four available models - X, S, Off-Road and SE - making it easier for buyers to determine the model for their needs and lifestyles.

Optional packages have been simplified with two packages: Technology Package and X Gear Package.

All Xterras feature a 4.0-liter V-6 engine rated at 261 horsepower and 281 foot-pounds of torque, along with a rugged “F-Alpha” truck platform for adventure-ready performance.

Xterra is available with a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions and in a choice of part-time four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive.

Xterra’s exterior styling includes large flared fenders, a versatile roof rack with latchable lid and a rear bumper design with side steps for easy access to the roof rack. It also offers a large, powerful-looking hood and headlights.

There are two new grille treatments - a sandblast aluminum finish for X, S and Off-Road models and a satin chrome finish for Xterra SE models.

Base model estimated mpg: 16 city/20 highway

Estimated starting price: $23,310

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