This Altima 3.5SR test car is particularly well-optioned, with lush leather seats, navigation, a crystal-clear backup camera, a sunroof, and many other handy features. As it should be for $32K. All that nice stuff isn't quite enough to camouflage the fact that this is merely an average contender in the hotly contested mid-size class. Even though the engine is quite powerful and acceleration brisk, as Joe noted, the Altima's driving dynamics are pretty soft while the ride quality errs on the harsh side in some circumstances (for instance, high frequency small bumps at about 45 mph). Worse, when the suspension is working hard, a fair amount of noise makes its way into the cabin. Still, anyone who likes straight-line get-up-and-go should be satisfied with the V-6-powered Altima. The only way to get a stick-shift V-6 Altima, it should be noted, is to spring for the $5000 more expensive Altima coupe, but the sedan's CVT does its job very well.
The 3.5SR trim level, by the way, replaced the previous top-of-the-line 3.5SE trim for the '10 model year, which also saw the entire Altima lineup face-lifted.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor