Vehicle Profile: The 2011 Nissan Altima
A “competent” midsize sedan will get from point A to point B. But if you prefer a car that looks, feels and drives like something special, then drive the sedan that got its sporty attitude from the brand that builds the legendary Z sports car. The Nissan Altima delivers everything you’d want in a midsize sedan – room, comfort, safety, excellent fuel economy and reliability – with an extra accent on driving fun that’s simply lacking in the competition.
Who says? According to Car & Driver magazine, the Altima, with its standard 175-hp 2.5-liter engine and Xtronic™ continuously variable transmission (CVT), can zip from zero-to-60 mph in under eight seconds, among the quickest cars in its class. The Xtronic CVT delivers ultra-smooth acceleration in all situations. It also helps the Altima achieve an impressive 32 mpg in highway driving. Couple that with the MSRP of just $20,270 and you’ll enjoy outstanding value from the day you buy the Altima.
Next, consider the Altima’s four-wheel independent suspension, which uses a sophisticated multi-link arrangement at the rear wheels. You can feel the difference between that technology and the simpler strut-type setup used on a Toyota Camry on one test drive. The Altima offers crisper handling than Camry, yet still delivers smooth ride comfort.
For even more performance, choose the Altima 3.5 SR model with its 270-hp V6 engine. Or, for maximum fuel efficiency, choose the Altima Hybrid, which delivers quicker acceleration than the 2.5-liter models and 33 mpg in both city and highway driving.
Some cars that emphasize “sporty” tend to skew a bit away from comfort, but that’s not the case with the Altima. Nissan devoted the same level of attention to interior comfort and convenience as it did to performance. The driver-oriented layout gives the Altima the feel of a sports coupe from behind the wheel. (And if you really want a sports coupe, the Altima is available as one.) The Altima’s sleek styling doesn’t compromise interior roominess, and Altima also provides a generous 15.3 cubic foot trunk.
You’ll see and feel the Altima’s refined workmanship in its soft-touch interior materials, chrome accents and complementing fabrics. And here’s a bonus: The Altima interior is available in three colors – Charcoal, Blond and Frost – while some competitors offer just two.
The 2011 model continues the Altima’s tradition of blending efficiency with unexpected luxury. The luxurious SL Package for the 2.5 S adds leather-appointed seats (heated in front), a leather-wrapped shiftknob, an illuminated center console and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Thoughtful interior details make every day driving more practical. The three cupholders in the center console are among the nine total in the car including 20-ounce bottle holders in the door panels. Numerous covered storage compartments lets you keep valuables away from prying eyes, and, at nearly half a cubic foot, the glovebox can hold a lot of gloves or other items.
Want infotainment? The Altima delivers with the available Premium Audio Package that includes a Bose® AM/FM audio system with nine speakers and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. You control it all through a 4.3-inch color display, and you add your favorite music via USB port with iPod® connectivity, CD player with MP3/WMA playback and XM® Satellite Radio. The package adds extra safety and convenience with a RearView Monitor.
The available Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with 6.5-inch color display includes a 9.3GB Music Box® hard drive for music storage and playback; you can “rip” songs from your favorite CDs right to the car. You also get advanced map information including Zagat® Survey restaurant guide, XM NavTraffic® and XM NavWeather™. Bluetooth® Streaming Audio, DVD player and an RCA input for audio/video connectivity bolster the system’s entertainment value.
The 2011 Nissan Altima gives you everything you need in a midsize sedan, plus a dose of sportiness that’s a hallmark of the Nissan brand. One test drive is all you need to feel it.
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