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Nissan Altima

(2002 - 2006)  Rating

Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima has a strong performance, sporty handling and expressive styling

Engine Engine power Fuel consumption Fuel type 0-100 (0-60) Top speed
2.5 i 16V 175 hp 9.2 l/100km Petrol 8.6 s 180 km/h
3.5 i V6 24V 248 hp 10.8 l/100km Petrol 7.1 s 200 km/h
3.5 i V6 24V SE-R 260 hp ~ 11 l/100km Petrol 6.5 s ?

Body type Sedan
Number of doors 4
Number of seats 5
Engine position Front
Driven wheels Front
Length 4 860 mm
Width 1 790 mm
Height 1 470 mm
Wheelbase 2 800 mm
Ground clearance ?
Weight (normal) 1 350 kg
Weight (max) ?
Boot space (min) 440 l
Boot space (max) 440 l
Fuel capacity 76 l


   The third generation Nissan Altima was produced between 2002 and 2006. This car was facelifted in 2005. In 2007 it was replaced with the new model.

   The entry-level 2.5-liter petrol engine delivers rapid acceleration and is most suited for this car. The 3.5-liter V6 unit is the same engine used in the Nissan 350Z. The SE-R model comes with the same unit, but tuned to give more power. In short the Nissan Altima comes with more powerful engines from the same displacement than it's competitors, providing stunning performance for this large family car.

   It rides well over most surfaces, but feels stiffer than most of the cars. It's wide track is intended for stability at high speed and sporty handling do no adds comfort as well. Nissan just made it's emphasis on performance rather than comfort.

   There are also some wind and road noises present, while the driver and passengers might also feel some vibrations, going over the rough surface. Even the 2.5-liter engine is a bit loud.

   In the United States Altima is Nissan's best selling vehicle. Consequently it's servicing is cheap and resale values are better than average. However it's fuel consumption is only average, if not worse than that.

   With the 2005 facelift the Nissan Altima received a redesigned interior, as it received the most complaints. It's assembly quality was much improved. The new redesigned interior is much nicer than before. Materials and trim finishes are also greatly improved. Most of the controls are easy to find with minimal distraction.

   Even tall drivers will find themselves comfortable in front of the steering wheel. It has adjustments for height and reach. The seat is supportive and has eight-way adjustments. The front seating position is slightly higher than average.

   The Nissan Altima boost a spacious interior. There is plenty of legroom for all passengers. Headroom is also sufficient and even tall adults will find themselves comfortable. The boot is well shaped and large enough. The rear seats can be split folded for added versatility. A longer wheelbase also leaves plenty of room for large doors.

   Twin front airbags are standard, but that's it. Side and curtain airbags are optional even on the expensive models. Anti-lock brakes with traction control are also optional. Vehicle security system is optional.

   There are four trim levels available for the Nissan Altima. The entry-level S trim comes with front and rear electric windows, electric mirrors, air conditioning. Upgrading to the SL trim adds alloy wheels, heated seats, leather upholstery, trip computer, security equipment. The SE trim gets a performance tuned suspension and other goodies.


   Advantages: The Nissan Altima has a strong performance, sporty handling and expressive styling. It is spacious and comfortable as well.

   Disadvantages: Most of the safety equipment is optional. Poor cabins isolation. Ride is not as comfortable as on most rivals.

   Verdict: Fun to drive, but it doesn't come at the expense of practicality.

   Also consider: Dodge Charger, Pontiac Grand Prix.


Video of the Nissan Altima
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Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima

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