KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
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 every other angle. And while some will fall in love with the distinctive angular rear design, it may be a deal breaker for others. Offering only one less pony than Honda's new Accord Coupe – but falling far short of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe's 306-horsepower – the Altima Coupe nevertheless has the goods to compete in an increasingly competitive market segment.
You'll Like This Car If...
With two doors and a much sportier attitude than the sedan, the 2010 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 2010
For 2010, the Altima Coupe receives a revised hood, front fascia and wheel designs, as well as new fabrics and interior trim. All models now feature Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) as standard equipment and last year's 3.5 SE is rebadged as the 3.5 SR. New audio and technology features include a revised nine-speaker Bose stereo and a hard-drive based navigation system with 9.3 GB music storage, XM NavTraffic, NavWeather and streaming audio capability.
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.
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.
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, and a new optional red leather interior offers a splash of individuality uncommon in this class. The dash and switchgear illuminate in a warm amber color that contrasts nicely with the bright white instrument cluster gauges. 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. Headroom 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.
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 door windows have been elongated, with the rear side windows being almost 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 side mirror turn-signal repeaters and larger wheels.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2010 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 3.5 SR adds a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, a power sliding moonroof with sunshade, an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat and heated side-view mirrors with integrated turn signals,, while the SR with the manual transmission gets the Premium and Leather packages with Bose audio, leather seating, Bluetooth, heated front seats and more. Both models also have six airbags, VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) traction and stability control, 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.
Notable 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 and weather information, steering-wheel mounted navigation controls and a rearview monitor that helps drivers deal with blind spots to the rear. Leather seating and an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) are also available.
Under the Hood
The 2010 Altima Coupe shares its two engines and one transmission with the sedan (the manual is unique to the Coupe), offering a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 3.6-liter V6 paired with either a six-speed manual or the automatic Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Predictably, the four-cylinder delivers better EPA fuel-economy ratings. The available Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) offers very smooth operation and gives the driver the option of manual control. The V6 with the automatic has a "sport" function that offers faster manual control by electronically taking into consideration the driver's perceived intentions.
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: 23/31 (manual), 23/32 (automatic)
270 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (manual), 20/27 (automatic)
The 2010 Nissan Altima Coupe 2.5S has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $23,000, with the 3.5 SR V6 starting around $28,000. A fully-loaded 3.5 SR with a CVT automatic tops out around $34,000. To get the best price on your Altima Coupe, be sure to click on the Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers in your area are actually paying. Base models of similar coupes, such as the Hyundai Genesis and Honda Accord Coupe, cost the same or slightly less and offer more horsepower and torque than the 2.5 S. However, the V6-powered Altima easily matches the Accord Coupe in price and power, although it falls short of the Genesis V6 Coupe. The Altima Coupe is expected to maintain a resale value similar to the Accord Coupe and Genesis Coupe, but better than the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Ford Mustang V6.