I had a rental this week for a day. I was hoping for something better than what I got but isn’t that always the case with rentals? The fact that the 2 people in front of me in line chose Corolla when given the choice between that and the Nissan speaks volumes.

Mine was SV spec and it had:

  • An engine of some kind
  • Nissan’s CVT
  • A stereo
  • Some technology
  • Space

That’s about it.

Lets start there.

ENGINE

The engine was...present? According to Nissanusa.com it has a 1.8 liter NA 4 cylinder with either 130 and 128 lbs-ft or 124 hp and 125 lbs-ft. It had been sometime since I had drive something with so little power. Don’t mistake that with something slower, the cruiser is slower for sure. That being said the utter lack of torque and the CVT’s refusal to rev to peak hp meant it always felt slow. if you put it in ECO it was plan frustrating. Even the dead slow cruiser feels like it has most of its power everywhere in the rev range and it pulls well around town. This just felt...wimpy everywhere. I had 150 lbs of cargo and me in it.

TRANSMISSION

What a turd. I know I’m supposed to hate CVT’s because that’s what we’re supposed to do but I really grew to hate it. It is both stepless and stepped...somehow, it has really bad step off like the cvt is fighting the torque converter for control, it doesn’t allow for any manual control other than turning off “overdrive” or shifting to L. Even out of overdrive it will run away down the mildest of hills. it was never where I wanted it to be. It had three mappings:

ECO - nothing nothing nothing, something.

Normal - something

Sport - LOUD, something.

STEREO

It refused to pair with my phone for about a dozen attempts, then finally did. I was pretty happy with the sound until I turned it up a little and it made a noise I was unfamiliar with in a stereo. it sounded like the speaker was falling apart, like when you overdrive a speaker but everywhere, not just in the bass. it just fell apart everywhere strange given that it has pillar tweeters.

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SOME TECHNOLOGY

It had keyless entry, power locks, power windows, auto climate, bluetooth stereo with wheel controls, collision and adaptive cruiser radar and...some other stuff probably.

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The keyless work, but I still think its a stupid idea, I had to take the key out of my pocket to lock it and open the truck...what’s the point of keyless again?

The climate control worked great. No complaints.

The bluetooth was frustrating beyond believe and the menu system in the stereo and the multi-display in the gauge cluster was garbage beyond description.

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The wheel controls made little sense and buttons you expected to do one thing did other things.

The car had collision mitigation, I know this because on almost every drive I went on it told me that it was unavailable for some reason.

SPACE

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(large watermelon for scale)

Lots of room for my small frame, and tons-o-room for my gear in the shockingly large trunk.

Also the color was very nice but SUPER thin. very easy to scratch and a tiny door ding in a grocery store went all the way through.

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I also liked that they included a traction control off-button on the dash in easy reach that turned it off right away.

I didn’t like that it didn’t matter. No matter what I did I couldn’t even chirp the tires.

The suspension was harsh and thin feeling but body roll was very well controlled.

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the seats were TERRIBLE. Felt like a beach ball in the lumbar and the tops of the seats curled forward, like sitting in a pregnant “C”. Torture.

All-in-all I was impressed at first, it seemed like a lot of features for the money and the strong throttle tip and and good body motions make you think its actually going to be fun to drive.

NOPE. it took exactly 24 hours and maybe 25 miles before I was excited to hand it back.

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Got okay mileage though.