For 2005, all Altimas gain a new grille, new front and rear fascias, and a higher-quality interior. Enthusiasts, however, will be most appreciative of the SE-R, which is distinguished externally by a more aggressive front fascia, side sill extensions, large dual exhaust tips, a rear spoiler, and eighteen-inch aluminum wheels. The Altima’s 3.5-liter, DOHC V-6 engine is mildly tweaked but is now mated to a six-speed manual transmission. A sport suspension has stiffer springs, recalibrated damping, and thicker anti-roll bars. Rounding out the sporty theme, the car has leather bucket front seats and a three-pod instrument cluster that’s similar to that of the 350Z.
ON SALE: September 2004
PRICE: $27,000 (est.)
ENGINE: 250-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
BOTTOM LINE: More show, a little extra go.