2010 NISSAN ALTIMA COUPE 3.5 SR
The new 2010 Nissan Altima Coupe SR is a blast to drive. It reminds me of the time spent with the Infiniti G37 Coupe. The firm ride from the sport tuned suspension of the Altima Coupe was quite surprising in that it provided a decent ride while keeping the car firmly planted to the road during hard cornering. I would say the ride gets a bit harsh on bumpy roads but nonetheless it did not beat me up as bad as the Nismo 370Z. With a wheelbase of only 3 inches shorter than the Altima Sedan, the Altima Coupe’s ride is still smooth when necessary.
For a front-wheel drive sport coupe, the Nissan Altima holds its own and then some. The 270 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs of torque 3.5-liter VQ series V6 engine provides well enough power to overcome vehicles at highway speeds without any second thoughts. Our test vehicle was equipped with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, which is an excellent choice over the optional CVT transmission. Even though the CVT transmission is a worthy choice, it still does not match the performance that can be had with a 6-speed manual that has the proper gear ratios. Our experience with CTV transmissions in previous tested Nissan vehicles has been pleasing.
An inside look at the Altima Coupe is pleasing to the eyes and very functional. The red leather seats equipped in our test vehicle add a nice luxury appeal that one would only think to find in more expensive sport coupes. The red leather seats make a bold statement. The power driver’s seat is not difficult to adjust to find a comfortable position. The manually adjusted passenger seat is a different story due to the lack of height adjustability. The black leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter along with the dark padded dashboard accents adds a nice appeal to the interior. Finding quality interior materials is a major plus. Nissan has come a long way in this area and has done a great job. It shows in the Altima Coupe.
2010 SUBARU OUTBACK 3.6R LIMITED
The all-new 2010 Subaru Outback is smart-sized compared to other crossover vehicles, featuring mid-size interior volume in an easy-to-maneuver and off-road capable wagon body. Subaru engineers have increased interior volume by almost 8 percent in a package that is actually shorter than the outgoing model. The wheelbase has been increased by 2.8 inches and improves rear seat legroom by almost 4 inches. A new rear double wishbone suspension improves chassis dynamics and rear cargo space. The 2010 Outback is 2 inches wider to improve passenger comfort, has more headroom and is more fuel efficient than the outgoing model.
All Outback models for 2010 are equipped as standard with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control capability. The all-new electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle to pull away from a stop. Previous systems held the car in place for only a few seconds.
MacPherson-type strut front suspension is mounted to a new engine cradle, and the engine is attached to the cradle using new hydraulic mounts. The new cradle is designed to also enhance crash-worthiness in front. A new double-wishbone rear suspension, mounted to a sub frame, replaces the previous multi-link configuration to provide improved ride and handling. The enhancement of body rigidity and the new suspension design help to reduce levels of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). Increased wheel travel and optimized suspension geometry improve ride comfort.