Very mixed feelings about this car. On the one hand, it's hard not to really like something this pretty - it's a convincing Infiniti G37 knockoff - and this quick. And believe me, it is quick. The six-speed manual transmission is well worth the $2330, as it wakes up the ol' VQ and turns a well-mannered family car into a snorting, rorting beast capable of some very impressive second-gear pulls. There's more cause for celebration inside, where, despite some tacky faux leather and brushed aluminum trim, this Altima SR is far more mature than its predecessors. The small color screen on the non-navigation-equipped stereo unit is also a nice touch.
On the other hand, this Altima is noisy, unrefined, and still handles like an overpowered front-wheel-drive family car. That's despite the fact that its suspension is tuned so firm that it rattles interior panels over potholes. And though $30,320 is a good deal cheaper than the real-deal G37, it's quite a bit more expensive than similarly equipped, V-6 versions of the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Hyundai Genesis.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor