If you want your front-wheel-drive family sedan with a strong dose of "oomph," the Altima is your ride. With a 270-hp V-6, acceleration is very strong and immediate. Yep, it's possible to spin the front wheels, but I didn't find torque steer to be a problem. At least not on Michigan's flat roads.
Within the Japanese family-sedan triumvirate of Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima, the Altima is by far the sportiest and most aggressive entry, especially when equipped with the optional V-6. And while some earlier applications of Nissan's continuously variable transmission (CVT) left me cold, this Xtronic CVT seemed to make good use of the V-6 and enables this car to achieve a respectable 27-mpg highway EPA rating.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor