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2008 Nissan Altima

Overview
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2008 Nissan Altima Review

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The Altima has become a real bread-and-butter vehicle for Nissan so, when product planners looked for ways to expand the model line-up, they looked to the popular sedan for inspiration. With the hood the only shared body panel, the affordable Altima Coupe manages to look unmistakably Altima from the front and yet undeniably sporty-two-door from the back, thanks to a distinctive angular rear design that some will certainly love—and may be a deal breaker for others. Offering more horsepower and torque than the Toyota Solara and Honda Accord Coupe, the Altima Coupe definitely has a leg up on its competition but may find a new challenger in the redesigned Accord Coupe.

You'll Like This Car If...

With two doors and a much sportier feel than the sedan, the Altima Coupe is a boldly-styled vehicle for those who want to get noticed. The reasonable price certainly doesn't hurt, either.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you commonly drive with more than one passenger and need a large trunk, the Altima Coupe may not suit your needs, even with a 60/40 flat-folding rear seat.

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Altima Coupe is a new addition to the Nissan line-up, sharing few parts with its sedan relative. Priced less than a 350Z, the coupe allows more budget-minded buyers to still get a sporty and distinctive-looking car within the Nissan family.

Driving the Altima

Driving Impressions With a shorter wheelbase, lighter overall weight, sportier suspension and body-hugging seats, the Altima Coupe feels responsive, yet comfortable enough to drive in everyday traffic. The speed-sensitive power steering adjusts...

nicely to driving conditions to accommodate both low and high speeds, making steering fairly effortless both on freeways and in parking lots. While the manual transmission is the less-expensive and more fuel-efficient choice, the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) provides a more controlled and smoother drivability, something passengers may appreciate. Overall, the 3.5SE with V6 handles perceptively better than the four-cylinder 2.5S, thanks to traction control, a sportier suspension and larger tires.

Optional RearView Monitor
Since the rear of the Altima Coupe has two blind spots that make driving in reverse and changing lanes slightly awkward, this feature makes backing out of a parking space a little easier.

XM NavTraffic
This option allows drivers to see real-time information regarding traffic conditions on the navigation screen. On a long trip, the system can even reveal conditions ahead, so a driver can make decisions early about possible alternate routes.

2008 Nissan Altima Details
2008 Nissan Altima photo Interior

The front bucket seats are unique to the Altima Coupe, adding body-hugging support padding and giving the interior a more sports car-like feel. Pouches on the lower fronts of the seats also add some additional storage spaces. The dash and instrument panel illuminate in a warm amber color and have a similar layout to that in the Altima Sedan. The trunk is wide and rather shallow; it can, however, be enlarged by folding the 60/40 rear seat down and extending items into the cabin if needed. Head- and legroom, as with any coupe, are not particularly abundant in the rear seat, but the front bucket seats should comfortably accommodate even those with longer legs.

Exterior
2008 Nissan Altima photo

The Altima Coupe may share a platform and hood with the Altima Sedan, but with a shorter wheelbase, slightly lower roof, short front and rear overhangs and larger tires, it looks much more aggressive and certainly sportier than its four-door relative. The side windows have been elongated, with the rear side windows becoming porthole-like. The back end is by far the most distinctive and angular part of the vehicle, and it may prove to be the feature that people either love or hate, with a low, sloping rear window flanked by wrap-around diamond-like tail lights. The V6 adds wrap-around turn signal repeaters and larger wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 2.5S has keyless entry, push-button ignition, air conditioning, cruise control buttons mounted on the steering wheel and an AM/FM six-disc stereo with auxiliary audio input. The 3.5SE adds a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, a power sliding moonroof with sunshade, traction control, an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat and heated side-view mirrors with integrated turn signals. Both models also have six airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), seat belt sensors, front-seat active head restraints, a tire pressure monitoring system and a 60/40 fold-flat rear seat to aid in carrying longer items in the trunk.

Optional Equipment

Options include XM Satellite Radio, a Bose FM/AM six-CD player with nine speakers, speed sensitive volume, a HomeLink Universal Transceiver and Bluetooth. Other options of note are the 6.5-inch touch-screen Nissan Navigation System with real-time traffic information and a rearview monitor that helps drivers deal with blind spots to the rear. Leather seating, an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and Vehicle Dynamic Control are also available.

Under the Hood

The 2008 Altima Coupe shares its two engines and transmissions with the sedan, offering a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 3.6-liter V6 paired with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The Coupe's four-cylinder with an automatic transmission offers mileage similar to that of the V6 with a manual or automatic transmission, so those concerned about ultimate fuel economy should think about getting the four-cylinder with manual transmission. An available Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) offers smooth gearshifts and gives the driver the option of manually shifting. Those choosing the V6 automatic will get a "sport" function that offers faster shifting by electronically taking into consideration the driver's perceived intentions.


2.5-liter in-line 4
175 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
180 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 (manual), 23/31 (automatic)

3.5-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 (manual), 19/26 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Nissan Altima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1014 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

very satified

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good price, comfortable and reliable"

Cons: "Balky CVT transmission"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"My Altima has never had a mechanical failure. I'm happy with the comfort, seating space and trunk space. I'm satisfied with the handling and gas mileage. At 77,000 miles and 7 years, I have replaced nothing but the tires. At low speeds, the CVT transmission is sensitive to gas pedal and takes some getting used to. I have heard that later Altima model years have not been as good."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Excellent Car For Normal Use

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Easy to drive, excellent ride."

Cons: "Speedometer calibrated in 20MPH steps"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Had the Altima for three years and never a problem. Dealer easy to deal with for required maintenance."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Very good and dependable car for 7+ years.

By on Monday, March 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Value and comfort for the money"

Cons: "Required additional set of snow-worthy tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This car has been excellent for both in town and road driving over 7+ years. Physically and in performance it has met or exceeded all expectations. Best car I have ever had as to value and performance to costs."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Power when you need it!

By on Thursday, March 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Better than ice cream.....go buy one now!"

Cons: "Poor visibility when looking rear"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I LOVE my Nissan coupe! I have all the power I need to use when necessary, like moving beyond a vehicle who suddenly swerves into your lane, or driving safely up and down steep mountains, or ending a game of "pass me at 75 & then drive 60" - now I can, within seconds! Okay...basically I think this car is nice looking too...I have leather, heated power seats...Bose sound, moon/sun roof, Bluetooth, auto headlights etc., none of which I have had before....this is all a lovely, fun, and since used, affordable dream to me, which I absolutely deserve. And yes, I do drive carefully....... I think everyone should own a car like this at least once in a lifetime....most definitely !! Unless you are a cat with 9 lives...then take your time doing what is on your bucket list . Me? Next will be a new coupe!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Smooth ride, bottoms, out, HORRIBLE in snow

By on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I bought this car in the summer when there was no snow. I purchased it because of the ratings on gas mileage and because it is roomy inside but still looks somewhat sporty. I have driven in snowy/icy road conditions for thirty years and this is by far the worst handling car I have ever owned for these type of conditions. This is with new all weather tires. The ride is smooth on pavement but if you go over any type of speed bump, enter/exit a parking lot with any type of hump/bump you will bottom out. And that is going as slow as possible and still actually moving. It's also got some type of felt like/fabric covering on the wheel wells, which I don't understand. Snow and ice builds up on it and rubs the tires consistently. I do like the fact that it is roomy and comfortable to drive and I get about 28 mpg highway in cold temps."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Some may like this car cozysporty goodacceleration

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Easy to drive sporty quick subwoofer cool car"

Cons: "small not cheap bad in snow not good mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"80% of the reason I bought the car was the salesperson claimed 32mpg average. Turns out one person got 32mpg with straight highway driving. I'm getting 24-25 with 90% highway driving and cold weather. NO long warmups. Not easy to enter/exit for a fit 60 year old, but I knew that. I just thought I could handle it. Sporty handling means jarring bumps. Low ride height means you can't see well down the road. Headlights are not the best even with upgraded bulbs (not HID). No fog lights on mid-range model?? Corners well. Brakes don't stop well for such a light car, until you're nearly stopped, then they really grab. Not easy to see out of. Four headrests and 3rd brake light occupy much of the rear view mirror. Not worth squat in snow. Tires spin and brakes anti-lock. Tires are Michelin MX4, Consumer Report's top-rated tire. Trunk is large and so is the gas tank. Most panels are held together with plastic buttons. Superficially, this is a neat car. Am I just getting old? What in the world was I thinking when I bought this car??"

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?