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2009 Nissan Altima

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2009 Nissan Altima Review

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The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid provides yet another alternative in a growing list of midsize hybrid sedans that includes the new Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. But Nissan is hedging its bets. Not only does the Altima Hybrid trail the introduction of the gasoline-electric pioneers – Honda Insight and Toyota Prius – by several years, Nissan is also making it available only in those states that have adopted the more stringent emissions standards pioneered by California. So unless you live in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island or Vermont, the Altima Hybrid is maddeningly out of the average consumer's reach. The Altima employs technology developed by Toyota – the solidly-proven Hybrid Synergy Drive, which is used under license by Nissan.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid delivers an appealing combination of midsize sedan interior roominess with hybrid fuel efficiency, plus the athletic responses and braking performance that distinguish the Altima among its contemporaries.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Nissan Altima Hybrid's battery pack and other hybrid hardware add almost 400 pounds to curb weight and reduce trunk space by about 50 percent. And if you want a hybrid that can't be mistaken for anything else, such as Toyota's Prius, the Altima may not send a strong enough visual message.

What's New for 2009

Automatic locks are added to the standard equipment roster, as are four new exterior colors.

Driving the Altima
Driving Impressions

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid shares the firm ride, brisk responses, limited body roll, precise steering and excellent braking that make all Altimas fun to drive, though some of that...

... is mitigated by the extra mass that goes with the hybrid system. The Hybrid's electric motor gives it a power bonus versus the standard Altima, but the extra weight imposes some penalty on acceleration, so the actual performance differences between the two are small. However, as with all hybrids, prolonged heavy acceleration will exhaust the battery pack, whereupon the system falls back on engine power alone.

Optional Power Energy Flow Display
This center-stack screen continuously monitors what the various elements of the hybrid system are doing when the Altima is in motion: When the car is operating on engine power alone, when the electric motor is adding a power boost, when regenerative braking is replenishing battery power and when the electric motor is functioning as a generator.

Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (eCVT)
Like other CVTs, this "gearless" automatic helps to optimize fuel efficiency and its operation is exceptionally smooth.

2009 Nissan Altima Details
2009 Nissan Altima photo Interior

Nissan interiors had come under considerable attack in years past, but the 2009 Altima Hybrid effectively silences all critics. In addition to improved interior quality, the new Altima's instrument package is easier to read, and the Hybrid edition includes the option of a central readout that tracks the activities of the hybrid system; it's useful for owners who want to maximize economy and it's also entertaining to observe. The sporty front seats are exceptionally supportive and the glovebox is commendably roomy.

Exterior

The latest Altima is slightly downsized from the last generation – 2.5 inches shorter, on a wheelbase that's been trimmed by almost an inch – but it looks sportier, thanks to a slightly wider stance, a windshield with a steeper rake and distinctive taillights. However, aside from a small badge on the trunk lid and aluminum alloy wheels specific to this model, there's little to distinguish the Hybrid from the rest of the Altima lineup.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Like most contemporary midsize sedans, even the basic Altima is well equipped, and the Hybrid is a little more so. Standard features include power locks with remote keyless entry, power side mirrors, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, AM/FM/CD six-speaker audio and a steering wheel with tilt and telescope adjustment, plus spoke-mounted switches for the cruise control. Safety features include anti-lock brakes (ABS) with four-wheel discs, dual-stage front seat airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

Nissan Altima Hybrid options are grouped into three packages, which essentially build on one another. The Convenience package adds an eight-way power driver's seat and a one-touch up/down function to the front passenger window. The Connection package includes Convenience package features plus, power sunroof, side-mirror turn signal repeaters, leather trimmed seats (heated front) with driver's power lumbar support and a premium AM/FM/CD nine-speaker Bose audio system with XM Satellite Radio, plus Bluetooth phone connectivity. The top-of-the-line Technology package includes Convenience and Connection package features plus Nissan's navigation system, a rear-view camera, a hybrid power energy flow tracking display and XM Satellite Radio with real-time traffic reports. A power glass sunroof is the one standalone option for the S trim.

Under the Hood

Although the hybrid technology comes from Toyota, Nissan has adapted it to Altima powertrain hardware. The engine is the Altima's basic 2.5-liter four-cylinder, detuned slightly (from 175 horsepower to 158) and augmented on demand by a 40-horsepower electric motor. Power goes to the front wheels through a Nissan electronically continuously variable transmission (eCVT). Like other transmissions of this type, the Nissan eCVT does not shift gears as a conventional automatic transmission. This results in smooth acceleration that can be somewhat disconcerting until you become familiar with its operation. Like Toyota hybrids, the Altima is capable of creeping along on battery power alone, and its electric motor becomes a generator that renews the battery pack when the car is coasting.

2.5-liter in-line 4 with 105-kilowatt Permanent Magnetic Synchronous Electric Motor
158 horsepower @ 5200 rpm/40 horsepower@1500 rpm (198 net horsepower)
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm/199 lb.-ft. of torque @0-1500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 35/33

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2009 Nissan Altima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1053 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

2.5 SL Sedan - Disappointing Reliability

By on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfort, gas mileage, style"

Cons: "The Key FOB sets off alarm by accident. Quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I have owned my Altima since new. Like the driving dynamics, Roomy Interior, and Gas Mileage. Unfortunately, I have had 2 major things go wrong. 1) the A/C compressor went after about 70,000 miles. 2) the CVT transmission went and stranded my daughter at 98,000 miles. Fortunately, Nissan recently doubled the CVT warranty due to so many problems but it still quit way too soon. I guess it was too much to ask for 100K miles of trouble free driving like I've seen with many other vehicles."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best &most reliable vehicle ever!

By on Sunday, June 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

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

Pros: "outsatnding vehicle in every aspect!!"

Cons: "newer models size reduced"

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

"Outstanding car! the inside has soooo much room and trunk as well! But nissan made the models(altima 3.5 sr) after 2010 smaller to compete with the mileage and the roominess was drastically reduced!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love

By on Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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

"I own this car and love it. 2007 white with only 65,000 miles. I'm keeping her until she dies her last breath. With regular check ups you couldn't ask for a better car. If you find one with low miles buy it! You won't be sorry."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Effortless Ownership

By on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "value, responsive, comfort, interior, spacious"

Cons: "none"

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

"I purchased this car for my son. Wanted the most reliable and safest car out there. Also wanted something with enough zip that he could easily avoid trouble, but not so much zip that he'd be spinning the wheels. I ended up driving the car myself for a year before he got his license. I hated to give it up and since then the car has not disappointed. Just make sure you change the oil and rotate the tires. That is about all the maintenance that is required. This car has not disappointed and I imagine it will last another 70K miles minimum. Can't recommend it enough."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Hybrid technology works!

By on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,535

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Easy driver, great economy 29-32 MPG"

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

"This car has required new tires, brakes all around, new engine battery, Serpentine belt, fluids changed, new wipers and dealer safety check. Total out of pocket over 9 years is about $433.00/yr. Not bad for a family and commute car. I would do it again."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Silver Bullet

By on Thursday, April 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, great gas mileage, leather"

Cons: "I can't think of any...."

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

"I bought this car 4 years ago to save on gas as I commuted 140 miles a day. My commute was a "set it and forget it" commute - I set my cruise control at 74 mph and didn't have to touch the brakes until I arrived at my exit....so, all the miles are highway, easy miles. I have consistently had the car serviced and don't drive it near enough now....I work from home and have not commuted for the last 10 months. I am looking to purchase a SUV and either trade my car or sell it. My silver bullet has been fun to drive - it has many bells/whistles for comfort and entertainment."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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