No matter how much you like the 2015 Nissan Altima's interior layout, or its plentiful high-end and soft-touch materials, or the easy-to-use center stack, it's the NASA-inspired "zero gravity" front bucket seats that you'll love the most. They're designed to approach the relaxed "neutral posture" the human body assumes in a weightless environment. While we didn't book time on Virgin Galactic to test the claim, we can say that they're surprisingly comfortable for the long haul, especially for midsize-sedan class cars. The rear seat offers very good legroom, and the huge trunk can swallow just about anything.
The 2015 Nissan Altima strikes a difficult balance, managing to look stylish, but without running the risk of getting prematurely dated. The classic proportions help: The Altima is wide, giving it an aggressive stance, and the body's long lines give it character without going overboard, like the Hyundai Sonata. The result is a midsize sedan that maybe isn't quite as pretty as a Ford Fusion, Mazda6, or even a Chevy Malibu, but one that definitely looks more distinctive than a Toyota Camry or Volkswagen Passat.
Notable Standard Equipment
The base 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 comes standard with a 6-way manual driver's seat and a 4-way front passenger seat, plus a 60/40-split/folding rear bench seat, power windows and doorlocks, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with touch controls, remote keyless entry with a pushbutton ignition, NissanConnect Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a 4.0-inch color customizable Advanced Driver Assist display. New to the standard list for 2015 SV models is the NissanConnect app suite, along with a new 8-way power driver's seat. Top-line 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL sedans get loaded with leather, premium trim, automatic climate control, and other luxuries.
Notable Optional Equipment
Nissan bundles most of its major features with specific models, leaving few standalone options. Among them is a Convenience Package for SV models, which adds a moonroof, rear air conditioning vents, and a one-touch passenger side window, among other things. A Technology package for the SV and SL models adds navigation to the touch screen. Altima S models can be augmented with a Display Audio Package that adds a 5-inch color display, and a Sport Value package that adds a remote engine start, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and a trunk-mounted spoiler.
Under the Hood
While many manufacturers are offering different 4-cylinder engines, hybrids, and diesels, the 2015 Nissan Altima sedan goes the traditional route by offering a base 4-cylinder and a V6 as the "up" engine. The 2.5-liter four is designed for lighter weight and higher efficiency, while the 3.5-liter V6 offers improved fuel economy, adding one mpg to the combined and highway scores. Both drive the Altima's front wheels through the only gearbox offered, Nissan's next-generation Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Not everyone loves a CVT, which drives engine revs ahead of vehicle speed during strong acceleration, but this one accounts for both the 4-cylinder and the V6's impressive fuel economy, and it comes with fixed-ratio-simulating manual shift paddles on up-level Altima models.
2.5-liter inline-4 (2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SL and 2.5 SV)
182 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
180 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/38 mpg
3.5-liter V6 (3.5 S, 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL)
270 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg
Prices for the 2015 Nissan Altima sedan are right in line with the competition. The base model starts reasonably enough at the $23,000 mark, a little more than a VW Passat or Hyundai Sonata, but right there with the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu. Move up to the loaded SL with a V6, and you're looking at about $32,000. To make your best deal on a 2015 Altima, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price which shows what others in your area are paying for their cars. The Altima's resale value should also be mid-pack, a little less than perennial midsize-sedan favorites Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, but better than the rest in this highly competitive class.
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