Go

2009 Nissan Altima

Overview
Share this page
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?

2009 Nissan Altima Review

By

After a successful redesign in 2007, the 2009 Nissan Altima carries on with only minor changes. Spun from Nissan/Renault's robust D-Platform architecture, this stylish front-drive four-door continues as the volume leader in the division's lineup, having been joined by a limited-production, gasoline-electric Hybrid variant as well as a sporty Coupe model (both reviewed separately). Even in conventional form, the Altima sedan covers a lot of competitive ground, offering four trim levels, both four- and six-cylinder power and the choice of a six-speed manual or Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). That wide selection helps it face off against the current best-seller, Toyota's popular Camry, as well as the Chevrolet Malibu and Honda Accord – both formidable foes in one of America's toughest market segments.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Altima's breadth of powertrain and packaging choices opens the door for lots of comparatively affordable variations on the theme that can meet and exceed the needs of all manner of mid-size sedan buyers – whether they're seeking basic transportation or want something with a more sporting character.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Anyone who regularly plans to carry adults in the rear seat will find the Chevy Malibu, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry all offer a bit more usable "stretch space" in the aft quarters than the slightly smaller Altima package.

What's New for 2009

The base 2.5 model receives more standard features including new 16-inch wheel covers, a CVT automatic transmission, power side mirrors, a trip computer and outside temperature gauge. The 3.5 SE trim receives Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), HID headlamps, fog lamps and a rear spoiler.

Driving the Altima

Driving Impressions An extremely rigid body structure serves as a great foundation for all Altima models. Even with their smaller wheel-and-tire packages, the four-cylinder variants have a semi-sporty feel, and things get...

more overtly engaging when you step up to an SE V6 variant. While not quite as dynamically sophisticated as the new Accord, the Altima's suspension soaks up minor road imperfections while delivering a comfortable and well-controlled ride over most surfaces. The four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are competent and consistent stoppers. Both the 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL also offer the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) group that adds both driver-selectable stability and traction controls to deliver an extra measure of confidence.

Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Standard on the base 2.5 and 3.5 SL and available on all others, the Xtronic is Nissan's third-generation CVT. This computer-controlled stepless shifter helps improve performance, economy and emissions. In "Sport" mode, it even creates six "virtual" gears that closely approximate the response of a conventional manual gearbox.

Optional 2.5 SL Package
This fashionable extras group gives buyers who want a more fuel-efficient four-cylinder Altima 2.5 S virtually all of the main upscale trappings of a 3.5 SL, adding leather upholstery, power and heated front seats, a moonroof, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, HomeLink universal garage-door opener and numerous lesser luxury touches.

2009 Nissan Altima Details
2009 Nissan Altima photo Interior

The Altima's airy cabin has a contemporary appearance supported by nicely textured plastic, lots of stow space and numerous soft-touch surfaces that contribute to its welcoming character. White-on-black main gauges are easy to read, the ancillary controls and center-stack switchgear is logically arrayed and the Altima's generous glass area provides the driver with good sightlines to the outside world. The front buckets, although comfortable, could use a bit more lateral support. Even though the Altima skews to the smaller side of the official EPA "mid-size" category, its 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat can still accommodate two average adults or three kids while enhancing the flexibility and utility of its 15.3 cubic feet of trunk capacity.

Exterior

Even a quick glance shows that the Altima is rich in Nissan family cues, most notably in its grille, headlamp and taillamp treatments. However, the lines and contours of its crisply rendered sheetmetal display a bit more aggressive edge than you'll find in the Sentra or Maxima. A well-defined shoulder ridge complements bold flaring on fenderwells that house 16-inch 215/60 tires on steel wheels on 2.5 and 2.5 S models and 215/55 rubber on 17-inch cast-alloy wheels on 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL versions. Only six-cylinder Altimas offer front fog lamps, which are standard issue on SL trims but optional on SEs.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the low-volume, special-order Altima 2.5 base model (available only with a CVT transmission) includes anti-lock brakes, power locks, air conditioning and "Intelligent Key" push button start/stop. The 2.5 S, which accounts for the majority of all Altima sales, adds an audio system with CD player and offers the luxury-oriented SL Package as an option. In addition to V6 power, the 3.5 SE appeals to enthusiasts with a sport-tuned suspension, six-speed manual transmission and performance tires, while the 3.5 SL has leather, a Bose audio system, automatic up/down passenger's front window and standard CVT automatic. All Altimas have front, front-side and side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

An impressive array of upgrade packages are offered for all but the base 2.5. Even the 2.5 S can be outfitted with leather upholstery, a dual-zone climate control system, power moonroof, voice-activated navigation system, premium Bose audio system, XM Satellite Radio, rearview camera and lots more. The V6 3.5 SE and SL step it up further with dedicated packages like the Premium Package that brings all of the 3.5 SL's luxury features to a 3.5 SE. New standalone options include a power sunroof and VDC.

Under the Hood

Conventional Altima sedans offer the choice of an inline-4 or a V6. Both engines are made from lightweight aluminum, have four valves per cylinder and use continuously-variable valve timing to improve response and efficiency across their entire operating ranges. The 2.5-liter four (2.5 and 2.5 S) develops a solid 175 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque while the 3.5-liter V6 (3.5 SE and 3.5 SL) raises those figures to 270 and 258, respectively. Both can be paired with either a six-speed manual gearbox (2.5 S/3.5 SE) or Nissan's Xtronic CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission), which is optional on the 2.5S and 3.5 SE but standard on the base 2.5 and 3.5 SL.

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


3.5-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (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?

2009 Nissan Altima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1036 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

Excellent little car

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "gas mileage, looks of auto, great to drive"

Cons: "difficult back seat entry"

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

"We are boomers & with some health issues find getting in & out difficult. Love the power of the 4 cylinder with excellent gas mileage."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Definitely the best car I've owned!

By on Thursday, July 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Dependable luxury sport without the price!"

Cons: "A fit and finish squeek that is rarely noticed."

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

"I really can't complain about this car. It's quick off the line when shifting manually. It has excellent top end acceleration for passing. It takes handles amazingly, stays tight in corners with dependable grip and acceleration even on the most winding roads I can find here on the west coast. (Which there are plenty of, let me tell you.) The Bose sound system is fantastic. I've had zero mechanical troubles. The only minor criticism I can find with this car is a faint squeek in the area of the right rear passenger seat that I've yet been able to find, and this is only apparent when I'm on a bumpy road without music. This is a great car and I would recommend it to anyone. In fact when my brother drove it he was amazed at how well it compared to his Mercedes CLK55 AMG. That was quite a statement considering how proud he is of his car."

Nissan Altima's the best!! We've owned 3!

By on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"We have bought 3 brand new Altima's over the years and now have a Nissan Pathfinder! You get reliability & great looks! These have been the most reliable cars ever!"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

all around is the best

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "all around fun car!"

Cons: "they stopped making the coupe!"

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

"Plenty of power,excellent handling and braking, very comfortable especially on a road trip cruising 55-60 gets about 41 mpg, although cruising 78-80 gets about 33.4 mpg and that's 2 people with luggage and the a/c on! What's not to like?! The Bose, the dual a/c, sunroof, power seat and siruis xm are highly recommended! An unsolicited option is the adjustable console armrest; another like!"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Good car overall. Poor rear wheel bearings

By on Monday, July 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Seat was comfortable for wife's short legs"

Cons: "Locking system is not correct"

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

"Had to replace first rear wheel bearing at 135,000 and other rear wheel bearing at 150,000 6 months later. Did first one myself with bearing costing $150.00 and had second bearing done for $327.00 out the door cost. I have done all needed maintenance at the 100,000 miles mark. Car is well maintained. Worst thing is you cannot count on the car locking you out even with the key(s) close within the noted range. We were locked out with the keys in the car in my wife purse in the front seat and had to have a tow trucker operator unlock the vehicle. Nissan dealer said they needed to recreate or they would not do anything about. Don't know what recreation would have done in diagnosis except to create believably. It is all over the internet about 2009 and before locking problems and they acted like they never heard of it before me coming in dealer. Good things is that a 2010 Altmia owned by family apparently has corrected the non existent problem Some issue with the air bag light and the weight turning it off"

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

3 altimas and more to come

By on Monday, July 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I have had three altimas that was all I have ever own I had a 98 which was great for my first car, no problems and we made and for its age it looked great! than I had a 2008 and I owned that for under a year due to a flood / huge rain storm it look the car and it was a total loss and I got more for it than I paid! now I have a 2009 Altima sl and im in love these are the best car I have no problems with the snow being fwd! I have had the 2015 for a rental and I love it! I really m I Nissan lover for life I love all of there cars! they build great cars! Nissan is the way to go they hold up in value and mine still looks new people stop me and say is that a maxima lol"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement