A class leader, and rightfully so. The 2010 Nissan Altima is the brands global sales leader. This made in America Nissan competes against the likes of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in the US’s largest car segment, the midsize sedan. Especially with its optional V-6 engine, the Altima allows for the kids to be hauled around and still affords the driver some semblance of fun behind the wheel The Altima is available in Sedan, Coupe, or Hybrid formats. The V-6 included sport tuned suspension giving it better handling at a small sacrifice in ride quality. The four cylinder is more softly sprung but both are firmer rides than, say, the Camry. Another boon to the Altima as a driver’s car is that in coupe form, the manual transmission can be mated to either the four cylinder or the V-6. This is a rarity in this segment as the V-6 option usually demands an automatic transmission.

The two engines available on the Altima are the 2.5 liter four cylinder with 175 Horsepower or the 3.5 liter which produces 270 HP.

Bodystyle: Sedan
Engines: 2.5L I-4, 3.5L V-6
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: 2.5, 2.5 S sedan, 2.5 S coupe 6M, 2.5 S coupe CVT, 3.5 SR, 3.5 SR coupe 6M, 3.5 SR coupe CVT, Hybrid

The 2010 Altima receives prominent exterior modifications, notably a new hood with a “power bulge,” a restyled grille and front bumper, and fresh wheel designs. The coupe gets similar updates but also adds projector beam headlights. For added safety, VDC is standard across the board. Inside, updated gauges, a 4.3-inch color audio display, and a USB port with iPod connectivity are all standard.

Now in the fourth year of its current generation, the Altima is looking somewhat dated next to such progressive offerings as the Hyundai Sonata. That said the Nissan’s new “power bulge” hood and restyled fascia have freshened the Altima’s façade.

All Altimas get revised gauges, a standard 4.3-inch color audio display, and USB/iPod connectivity. Nissan’s next-gen navigation, with a 6.5-inch monitor, Zagat restaurant guide, traffic and weather updates, and Bluetooth streaming audio, is available as an option.

The sport-tuned Altima uses a front strut/rear multi-link suspension, 16-, 17-, or 18-inch wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and EBD, and speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion power steering. Engine choices include a 2.5-liter 175-horsepower four-cylinder, a 3.5-liter 270-horsepower V-6, and a 2.5-liter 158-horsepower four-cylinder plus 40-horsepower electric motor (198 horsepower combined), the last available only in the Hybrid sedan.

Every Altima is fitted with front, front-side, and side curtain airbags. Nissan’s midsize coupe and sedan also get front-seat active head restraints, stability and traction control, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

2.5, 2.5 S sedan, 2.5 S coupe (CVT): 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway
2.5 S coupe (manual): 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway
3.5 SR, 3.5 SR coupe (CVT): 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway
3.5 SR coupe (manual): 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway
Hybrid: 35 mpg city/33 mpg highway

  • Fun-to-drive hybrid
  • Sporty coupe
  • Roomy sedan
  • Strong value
  • Hybrid and 2.5/CVT fuel econ
  • Lack of personality
  • Aged styling

Mainstream player with dose of sport


  • Ford Fusion
  • Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Mazda6
  • Toyota Camry

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