Nissan Altima Overview

Nissan Altima Accessories

The Nissan Altima provides the kind of style and performance one would have expected years ago from its now-big brother, the Maxima sedan. In recent years, strong styling has been one of Nissan's characteristics, and the Altima's svelte sheet metal continues this trend. The Altima impresses under the hood as well, with zesty acceleration from the base 2.5-liter engine and downright prodigious thrust from the optional 3.5-liter V6. (A limited-production four-cylinder hybrid model with Toyota-sourced technology is also available in some states.) Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The latter is one of the best examples of its breed; the former, however, is to be avoided unless you absolutely must shift your own gears, as its rubbery feel and remarkably imprecise throws are only fit for the most automatic-averse consumers.

In reviews of the current-generation Altima, we've mostly praised the power and handling of both the four-cylinder and V6 models, although the enthusiast-oriented SE model's sport-tuned suspension can be a little stiff on rough surfaces. We clocked a CVT-equipped Altima SE V6 from zero to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds, an excellent showing for a family sedan -- and one that might make the decision to go without a manual shifter a little easier. Meanwhile, the base car with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder performs well enough that it will probably make some consumers think twice about whether a V6 is necessary.

Underneath that sleek skin, the Nissan Altima's overall length has been reduced about 2 inches as compared to the previous model, which has resulted in slightly less front and rear legroom. In the sedan, there's still enough room for four 6-foot adults to be carried in reasonable comfort, at least for a moderate distance, but legroom is just average, and headroom is tight. The interior layout, however, is much improved over the previous-generation Altima and is now near the head of the family sedan class in terms of both design and material quality.

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