The Nissan Altima is a driver's car among workaday midsize sedans and coupes. For drivers who appreciate sharp handling, the Altima excels. It connects with its driver and inspires confidence. It's steady and predictable in extreme handling situations. Its suspension is firm compared to some competitors.
The 2010 Nissan Altima line includes sedans and coupes, four-cylinder, V6, and a gas/electric Hybrid. With sharp handling, the Altima represents a sportier alternative to other midsize cars such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Ford Fusion.
The standard four-cylinder engine delivers more-than-ample power with good fuel economy. It is rated at 175 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque (170 and 175, respectively, in California). The available V6, closely related to the engine in Nissan's 370Z sports car, delivers exciting performance, with 270 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
The gas-electric Altima Hybrid Sedan boasts an EPA-rated 35 miles per gallon City, extending its range past 600 miles between fill-ups. The Hybrid features a less powerful version of the four-cylinder (158 horsepower) and an electric hybrid drive. Its electrically powered air conditioning works even when the engine is stopped.
Altima Sedan models are equipped with a continuously variable transmission, or CVT, which works like an automatic. Nissan has excelled at CVT technology. The Coupe is also available with a six-speed manual transmission.
2010 brings significant changes. 2010 Nissan Altima Coupe and Sedan feature new exterior styling. The 2010 Altima models get upgraded interior treatments with more technology and entertainment features. Changes for 2010 Altima models include an advanced Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with a 9.3GB Music Box for digital music storage and playback with a standard 6.5-inch color touch-screen display. All 2010 Nissan Altima models come standard with Vehicle Dynamic Control electronic stability control, which includes the functions of anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Traction Control, now standard on all models.
The Altima Sedan is comfortable, practical and well suited to growing families. It gives up little rear-seat room to the larger Nissan Maxima, with plenty of room in the trunk for luggage and cargo. In both the Sedan and Coupe, the Altima's cargo space can be expanded into the cabin, thanks to a standard fold-down, locking rear seatback.
The Altima Coupe two-door looks sportier than the Sedan. It sacrifices a substantial amount of rear seat room and we'd say it's a car for two people.
The Altima model line fits a wide range of tastes and budgets. The base sedan begins with the essentials, while the generous list of options, most grouped into packages, allows equipping the Altima at luxury-class levels.
Nissan Altima models get high marks for safety; standard equipment includes a full complement of airbags, anti-lock brakes, Nissan's Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control. A rearview camera is optional.
Drivers who put an emphasis on value for the money will find the Nissan Altima worth a look.