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Unlike some midsize sedans, the Altima can have either four-cylinder or V6 power.Five trim levels are offered: base, S, SV, sporty SR, and top-shelf SL.Each comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, making 179 horsepower.Fuel economy on the highway is rated by EPA at an impressive 39 mpg.
Only Altima SR and Altima SL sedans offer the 3.5-liter V6, which develops 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque.
Both engines mate with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is tuned for peak efficiency.With V6 power, the CVT can provide virtual gear ratios, mimicking a conventional automatic.
Not much is included with the base sedan, but the S model adds a proximity key and a 5-inch color LCD screen for the audio system.Altima SR features upgraded suspension tuning and bigger alloy wheels, suggesting a modest revival of the sporty nature that marked early Altimas.SV, the mainstream model, adds blind-spot monitoring and remote engine start.Leather upholstery and Bose speakers are among the premium extras in SL trim level.
All Altimas have a 4-inch LCD information screen ahead of the driver, as well as Bluetooth audio streaming.Nissan's navigation system, available for SV and SL versions, gets a 7-inch video screen and a selection of smartphone apps.
Named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Altima earned five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its frontal and side-impact crash testing.A four-star rating was given for rollover resistance (a calculated figure).
Availability of advanced safety technology isn't quite as impressive.Only the SL edition can be equipped with forward-collision warning that includes automatic emergency braking, for instance, and it comes in a costly option group.With the optional Tech Package, the Altima earned a Superior score from IIHS for frontal crash protection.
Still, Nissan offers a number of safety items, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.A rearview camera is standard on all but the base model.
That's Right, $850 DRIVES!
- Child Safety Door Locks
- Driver Airbag
- Front Side Airbag
- Interval Wipers
- Keyless Entry
- Passenger Airbag
- Power Windows
- Side Head Curtain Airbag
- Steel Wheels
- Steering Wheel Mounted Controls
- Telescopic Steering Column
- Tire Pressure Monitor
- Traction Control
- Trip Computer
- Vehicle Stability Control System
- AM/FM Radio
- Power Door Locks