LA Auto Show 2019

Nissan redesigns Sentra as a mini Maxima (and it looks really good)

The car comes with many features that add tremendous value to the low-cost sedan.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan completed their long-awaited redesign of their sedan lineup today with the unveiling of the 2019 Nissan Sentra. The fresh model take a lot of design inspiration from the Nissan Maxima and Altima, which is to be expected.

The compact car is built on a new platform for the 2019 model year. It is two inches lower and wider in its new iteration than in the previous generation. At the front is Nissan's signature V-motion grille, thin headlamps, and a floating roof. Sharp hood creases lead to muscular fender flares.

2020 Nissan Sentra SR side profile floating roof The car's floating roof is reminiscent of other Nissan models.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Available LED projector headlamps feature Nissan's signature LED daytime running lights. LED fog lamps are also available. Intelligent Headlights and high beam assist are standard on all new Sentras.

Sentra will come in eight paint colors for the 2020 model year: Blue Metallic, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Aspen White TriCoat, Fresh Powder, Roswood Metallic, and Scarlet Ember TriCoat. A two-tone paint scheme is available in Super Black/Gun Metallic, Super Black/Aspen White TriCoat and Super Black/Monarch Orange Metallic combinations.

Every Sentra is powered by Nissan's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 149 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, a 20- and 16-percent increase, respectively. Nissan projects that the new engine is more fuel efficient than its predecessor which got 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

2020 Nissan Sentra SR back rear tail end At its rear, the Sentra features encompassing taillights.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan says it has improved the level of noise permeating the cabin by adding more soft acoustic material and improved sealants in the 2020 Sentra.

The company has also worked to improve the handling and responsiveness of the vehicle with a series of notable equipment additions and calibrations.

Inside, the Sentra is much improved though its looks and equipment are clearly from the Nissan parts bin. That's not a bad thing. Nissan delivers some of the best interiors in the business, especially when you consider the vehicle's value proposition. There are satin chrome aluminum accents, contrast seat stitching, and a standard D-shaped steering wheel that give the vehicle an up-market look. The wheel is smooth to the touch and there's available leather-appointed seats. Nissan has given the Sentra their heralded Zero Gravity front seats.

2020 Nissan Sentra SR interior wheel display screen shifter Contrast stitching and a standard D-shaped steering wheel make the Sentra sportier.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a 4.2-inch information display and each Sentra comes standard with at least a 7-inch infotainment touch screen. Sentra SV and higher grades get a standard 8-inch touch screen. Bluetooth, hands-free calling, hands-free text messaging, Siri Eyes Free, and Google Assistant are also standard. Cars with the 8-inch screen get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard.

Heated front seats and outside mirrors, and remote engine start are available as are adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree view monitor.

2020 Nissan Sentra SR wheel display screen shifter speedometer cup holders Nissan has given the Sentra features that are found throughout the automaker's lineup.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Sentra comes standard with Nissan Safety Shield 360, a suite of six driver-assist systems that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, rear automatic braking. Rear door alert is also standard.

The 2020 Nissan Sentra will come in three trim levels: S, SV, and SR. Only two packages are available. Sentra S includes 16-inch steel wheels with full covers, remote keyless entry with push button start, and center console with storage in addition to other features.

Sentra SV adds, most notably, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with all-season tires, NissanConnect, dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, and an upgraded cloth interior.

2020 Nissan Sentra SR front The front of the car features Nissan's signature boomerang grille.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

On the Sentra SR there are 18-inch diamond-cut aluminum-alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires, a dark chrome V-motion grille, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED fog lights, chrome exhaust finisher, a sport cloth interior with orange stitching, rear spoiler, and lower body side sill extensions.

The 2020 Nissan Sentra will go on sale in the U.S. in January. Pricing will be announced in a few weeks.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50 Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50 ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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Tesla quietly released the "toy" today.

Tesla

Tesla is known for being unpredictable, so today’s news is not totally shocking, despite being extremely cool. The automaker released a new vehicle today, but not for use on the road, and not for use by grownups. The Cyberquad for Kids landed today with a sophisticated feature set and a very adult price tag of $1,900.

The Cyberquad for Kids checks in at 122 pounds and can carry a person that weighs as much as 150 pounds. Two forward speeds include 5 and 10 mph settings, and reverse can reach 5 mph. Depending on the rider’s weight and speed, the Cyberquad for Kids can travel up to 15+ miles on a charge. Tesla says that an empty battery can take up to five hours to fully recharge.

A full steel frame underpins the quad, and though it’s being pitched for kids, the ATV features adjustable suspension, rear disk brakes, LED light bars, and a cushioned seat. The futuristic EV looks almost identical to the larger Cyberquad we saw during the initial Cybertruck demonstration.

A thorough set of assembly and troubleshooting directions are available on Tesla’s site, but despite the Cyberquad for Kids’ complexity, don’t get any ideas about using it on the street. Tesla recommends using it on sidewalks and for stunts, but I think we’re all looking forward to the eventual tidal wave of YouTube videos this thing is going to generate.

Tesla Cyberquad for Kids Kids 8 years and older, and up to 150 pounds can ride. Tesla

If you’re hoping to get a Cyberquad for Kids, you might be out of luck. Though it only launched today, it’s already out of stock. There’s no word on if more will become available. Those that were lucky enough to snag one should start receiving them in early 2022.

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