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 KMK on Friday, March 07, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I use to own a Prius and was spoiled by many factors; however, I do not like the rear view mirror, the wide opening doors and large turning radius required to. I would never buy this car again. Unhappy motorist."
By genisis on Friday, February 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "excellent vehicle for the price"
Cons: "comfor on long distance driving could be inproved"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Really like this vehicle, although, when driving for more that 3 or more hours, the seat is not comfortable! When driving my wife's Camry, my butt does not suffer the same discomfort!"
By nick on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,200overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "peppy, convenient dash, comfortable seats"
Cons: "only 1 outlet, A.C. dosent get cold on hot days"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"the build quality of this car is not so good. I bought this car 4 years ago, and I had to bring it in to the dealership for repairs a number of times (under warranty).I had to replace the front headlight assembly because water got in it. Then I had to replace the rear brake assembly because water got in it too. I had to replace the belt tensioner 2 times and the serpentine belt too. Next I had to replace the drivers side armrest, It got worn from my elbow resting on it. The center console where my other elbow rests also is worn. There is a rattle from the maplights(something is loose up there)"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By COCOBINGHAM on Monday, February 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Plenty of space, great gas mileage,"
Cons: "Could use a better take off."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"There are so many cupholders and storage compartments. The mileage is incredible. This car is great on the highway! I love it."
By Chuck D on Saturday, February 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Engine, Transmission, Gas Mileage, styling, cost"
Cons: "heater air direction, interior light shutoff"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Styling is very nice. I have the jade color which unfortunately Nissan stopped offering after 2007. Have never felt a lack of power even with the 4 cylinder engine. Average 23 MPG in suburban driving. Handles more than adequately for daily driving. A few things drive me nuts: 1) heater when put on "blow down at feet" selection still blows a lot of air through defrost and upper vents leaving one with hot air in the face and cold feet. The interior lights shut off way too quickly after engine is stopped or after door is shut."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By jay on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "no quality/reliability"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"first off, prior to 3K miles, the brake power booster needed to be replaced, covered by factory warranty. doors will not close/open during cold weather, express up power windows quit working, windows will not even roll up during cold weather. bose speakers do not handle power provided by factory stereo. tan leather interior is impossible to clean and show every speck of dirt, headliner is a dirt magnet and also impossible to clean. for being sold as a "smart car", battery gave out with no warning and left my wife stranded. love driving the car, handles like a sports car, excellent power for an I4, extremely comfortable and love the options, but, I would never buy this car based on the issues I have experienced with it."