By KBB.com Editors
When Nissan redesigned its midsize sedan for 2002, it turned out as big as the "flagship" Maxima. Because that Altima has sold strongly, Nissan kept the 2007 redesign evolutionary, concentrating on improvements. Lower engine mounting, for instance, aims to cut "torque steer" to near-zero. Either a six-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) may be installed with the four-cylinder or V6 engine. This CVT, Altima's first, provides a kickdown comparable to regular automatics. Shift modes provide normal, economy and sport operation, with no strange "rubber band" sensation. A gasoline/electric hybrid sedan will arrive soon, followed by an Altima Coupe.
If you like CVTs as well as a choice of four-cylinder or V6 power, the Altima is an appealing, sportier contender when compared to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Anyone who values firm control on winding and challenging roads, without a loss of ride comfort, should appreciate the merits of the Altima's taut suspensionespecially the sport-tuned setup of the 3.5 SE.
Naturally, if you simply cannot get used to the gearless operation of a CVT, the Altima isn't likely to appeal to you unless it has a manual transmissionthough the kickdown feature makes the CVT feel more like a conventional automatic. Reducing the availability of anti-lock braking (Nissan offers it as standard only on V6 models, and not available at all for the base 2.5 sedan), is an unfortunate choice that several automakers are making lately as a cost-cutting measure.
Slightly smaller in this fourth generation, Nissan's midsize sedan can have an Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the first time. Striving for the best-performing front-wheel-drive sedan in the world, Nissan claims to have addressed perceived weaknesses of the 2002 through 2006 models, including interior quality, noise levels and steering effort.
Driving Impressions Seriously substantial, each Altima model demonstrates superior handling capabilities coupled with a satisfying ride. In 3.5 SE form with manual shift, it's especially enjoyable on twisting roads. A beautifully-behaved clutch...adds to the pleasure, though the shifter is a bit vague. Although the taut suspension yields greater body motion on imperfect surfaces, ride comfort doesn't suffer. The four-cylinder sedan also blends ride comfort with adept handling. You hardly notice lesser bumps, and Altimas make quick work of deeper ones. Even the four-cylinder delivers exuberant energy with only moderate engine noise. As expected, Nissan's CVT performs with satisfying smoothness.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Nissan has taken the lead with CVTs, which have been produced since 1992, though not installed in U.S. vehicles until more recently. For the Altima, the CVT benefits from a passing kickdown feature as well as a choice of three modes, and the CVT-equipped sedan accelerates without excessive engine noise.
Sport-Tuned Suspension (3.5 SE)
With its tauter suspension and undeniably sporty control, plus excellent steering characteristics, the V6-powered Altima 3.5 SE performs masterfully on twisty two-lane roads, offering fine road feel and connection to the pavement.
Seat cushions in the "high-hospitality" interior have been lengthened and offer good thigh support. Seatbacks are taller, but back support isn't quite up to par. Especially with leather upholstery, you may sometimes feel as if you're about to slide downward. Front occupants can stretch out comfortably. Abundant glass translates to super visibility and a low cowl permits expansive views ahead. Gauges are basic, but easy to read. Doubled in volume, the glovebox is now deemed "jumbo-size," because no part of the air conditioner is behind it. A new dual-pivot brake pedal promises normal "feel" at both low and high speeds.Exterior
Built on an all-new "D" platform, the Altima rides a wheelbase that has shrunk by nearly an inch. Overall length is 2.5 inches shorter than the 2002 through 2006 models, and windshield pillars have moved forward. In its 2007 form the sedan's "stance is still aggressive," according to Nissan, but in a slightly smaller size. In consideration of the car's many new features a shorter wheelbase was needed to keep weight down, but Nissan claims the Altima offers "the same room inside." Wheel arches are considerably more pronounced. Taillamps were reworked, but have kept the basic look of the prior generation. Body rigidity has improved, too.
Even in the base 2.5 trim level with a four-cylinder engine and stick shift, the Altima includes power locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, "Intelligent Key" with a pushbutton start feature, a split-folding rear seat and 16-inch tires. Three additional trim levels are offered: Four-cylinder 2.5 S (with SL package available), plus the 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL. The 2.5 S adds air conditioning and a CD player. Sport-minded drivers can choose the 3.5 SE, which includes a sport-tuned suspension, V6 engine, power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels. Curtain-type and seat-mounted airbags are standard. Anti-lock braking (ABS) is standard with V6 models, but optional for four-cylinder models (except the base sedan). Traction control is standard with the V6, and upper models may be fitted with optional Vehicle Dynamic Control.
A navigation system with Real-Time Traffic information is available. Additional options include a RearView monitor, Bose-developed nine-speaker audio, a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio and heated front seats. High-intensity discharge headlamps are offered on V6 Altimas.
Nissan's fourth-generation 3.5-liter V6 generates 270 horsepower (up 20) and 258 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder develops 175 horsepower. Both engines can work with either a six-speed manual gearbox or Nissan's continuously variable transmission (CVT), which incorporates 700 algorithms and a kickdown feature and offers a choice of three driving modes. A gasoline/electric Altima Hybrid sedan goes on sale early in 2007.
2.5-liter in-line 4
175 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
180 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 (manual), 26/34 (automatic)
270 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (manual), 22/28 (automatic)
By jeff on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "3.5L,270Hp,All Black interior,Dual Exhaust,"
Cons: "Stiff seats, Radio isnt Touch display, Gas bill"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Overall Review Biggest Complaint is the Fuel Economy. The Odd thing is The 2.5s Is extremely good on gas and the 3.5 is extremely Horrible. The front seats make my back stiff after 30 minutes sitting in them. I get to many friends tell me that my seats are really stiff. The Radio isnt touch display. The Radio is very ugly. Here the Truth... if a high gas bill is not a concern than the 3.5 is great. I miss the 2.5 s because it was a dream car when it came to fuel econemy i was getting about 40-50 Miles a gallon and now the 3.5 is getting me 19-27 Miles to a gallon."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Rondy on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to cruise in with windows down & music up."
Cons: "just wish the front seats were higher up."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My husband and I love this car. It drives well in the snow and I feel safe. It feels like a solid car that doesn't shake or jerk around when you are on the interstate and the wind is blowing around. The ride is smooth and enjoyable. We have never had any problems with this car. It's been a good car for us."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Ben2All50 on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great styling, comfortable"
Cons: "CVT, so-so gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I've had this Altima for 3 years. Here's a list of pros and cons. PROS * Nice styling inside and out * Comfortable seats * Lots of legroom front and back * Quiet, comfortable ride * Push button ignition. Keep the keys in your pocket, purse, etc. (You'll find yourself walking up to any other car and forgetting to hunt for the keys.) * Good handling in snow and slippery roads * Controls feel solid and intuitive * Vents high in center dash vent cold A/C air above your hands so they don't get cold CONS * So-so mpg. 24 winter 26 summer 28-30 if all highway * Expensive CVT trans fluid changes. Min. $200. Kind of wipes out whatever fuel savings the CVT is supposed to create. * CVT has a somewhat annoying motorboat sound when accelerating--high steady throttle gradually tapers off as car speed increases. * Very touchy gas pedal makes smooth starts difficult * Heat comes forward from under dash so the hot air comes up to your face but can leave your feet cold * Plastic center console creaks when your arm is resting on it"
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By HENry on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Affordable, awesome to drive.. smooth when driven."
Cons: "dashboard has cracks from heat. cover will fix it"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"the car is smooth when driven.. only issue is the dashboard has been slightly melted and small cracks.. the rest of the interior still like new... i guess the heat is what ruined the dashboard.. to me it is still minor.. a dashboard cover can fix the problem.."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By DragonWrathChylde151 on Saturday, October 11, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"This was my first brand new off the lot ever purchase. It had maybe 100 miles give or take a few as I drove away. Payments were extreme, but given $0 down and not to good of credit -- can you blame them? When I was deemed disabled due to multiple diagnosis and lost my job, I filed for a disability claim with the disability insurance I had purchased with the car. Only to have it repossessed in the middle of the night, where the repo company dropped it causing damage to the vehicle that the Nissan Motor Finance Company tried to bill me for. Financial institution aside this is a very fun, energetic, luxurious, sporty little sedan."
By Snake on Saturday, September 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Well appointed and comfortable. Drives nice."
Cons: "Front end too low, body parts not sturdy."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"It's a comfortable, well appointed car but the front end is too low and always getting damaged. The body doesn't hold together well, minor bumps and scrapes cause parts to detach. The interior is very nice, convenient and comfortable."
9 people out of 14 found this review helpful