I don’t go to many corporate-sponsored events for bloggers (the only two I’ve ever attended were Johnson & Johnson’s Camp Baby last spring and a trip to FedEx in May), but I was invited recently to Nissan 2010 Sedan Media Preview here in Nashville and was, frankly, pretty pumped. See also stay in nice hotel room ALL BY MYSELF and fight over the bathroom in the morning WITH NO ONE and snap pics of my bathroom and the hotel bed with my iPhone and send them to my husband…neener neener. I may or may not have also snapped and e-mailed a picture of the dinner menu. OK so I don’t get out much.
This was a media preview of Nissan’s sedan line for 2010: the Maxima, Altima, Sentra, and Versa. We spent the morning in a business update session and then had the opportunity to test drive several cars in the lineup. I currently chauffeur the girls and all their crap around town in a Ford Explorer, but my last vehicle was a Nissan Pathfinder and I loved it, but it started having problems after about 100,000 miles and the price was right on the Explorer whe we found it last year.
Now I am not a sedan mama. I am definitely an SUV mama. Say what you will about gas guzzlers, but with two kids and two dogs and soccer equipment, and book bags, and my work bag, and all the various and sundry items a mama lugs around, an SUV is awesome. I rarely drive on the interstate and I’m lucky in that I only have a 9-mile commute to work four days a week, so I might be more concerned about gas mileage if I had a considerable daily commute. There is definitely a market for sedans, though, and this was my first experience with driving sedans from Nissan.
Here are some things I learned at Nissan’s 2010 Sedan Media Preview:
- Most of the prices have not gone up for 2010 and the base price on the Sentra 2.0 SL has actually gone down about $1,000
- The Maxima features standard Bluetooth and USB/iPod connectivity (sweet!)
- The Altima features a next-generation navigation system with a 6 1/2 inch monitor, Zagat, XM NavWeather, and Blueooth Streaming Audio
- The Altima has a Hybrid model
- The Versa has the most horsepower and torque and the most rear legroom in its class, plus great fuel economy 28/35 mpg in the Hatchback 1.8 SL CVT model
- The Sentra, Altima Sedan and Hybrid, and the Maxima all have NHTSA 5-star ratings for front and side impact, while the Altima Coupe has an NHTSA 5-star rating for side impact
- I test drove all four cars and I really loved the Maxima and Altima. The new crimson black exterior color and the leather interior in the Altima totally wooed me. The Versa was a fun little car to drive, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with more than one child, just because of its compact size.
- The Nissan Headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, in the Cool Springs area is a beautiful work environment. We went on a tour of the building and all the materials selected in house were chosen with being eco-friendly and green in mind.
Am I totally won over by sedans? Probably not for my daily driving, but I wouldn’t turn down the chance to drive a Maxima or Altima on a daily basis. They’re beautiful cars and I was impressed with the value, the roominess, and the safety.
Thanks to the wonderfully professional team at Nissan for inviting this mommy blogger to a car industry event. I also enjoyed talking with a couple of the marketing reps about how Nissan is delving into using social media and was pleased to learn that they invited parenting bloggers to their other sedan media preview event in San Diego.
And thanks to the cop who didn’t pull me over when I got a little crazy behind the wheel of the Altima with the sunroof open. What can I say? The smell of leather interior and the wind whipping through my hair makes me a little Thelma and Louise.
Disclosure: Nissan did not ask me to write a blog post in any of the event correspondence…I just wanted to share what I learned with ya’ll. They did put me up at the Hutton Hotel downtown along with the other auto industry journalists and provide us with a couple of meals. They did not let me keep a car, though. Sigh.
Sondra at Happy Healthy Hip Parenting in San Diego wrote about the Nissan Sedan Media Preview event in her area.