2009 Nissan Altima: What's new?
Redesigned in 2007, Nissan's hot-selling midsize sedan gets few minor tweaks. On the 2.5 base model that we drove, the trip computer and outside temperature gauge are standard. Newly added is a 16-inch wheel cover, black grille headlights, dual power remote side view mirrors, a/c with in-cabin micro filter, trunk-cancel switch and rear seat lock, driver's side vanity mirror, speed-sensitive variable intermittent windshield wipers and an automatic door lock system. At $1,240, the revised 2.5 S Connection Package now comes with a hands-free Bluetooth phone system, 6-disc in-dash CD changer with nine speakers, dual zone automatic climate control, among other features. Rest assured, this reliable ride still offers an inline-4 cylinder engine with 175 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 180 pounds-feet of torque at 3900 rpm. Equipped with a Continuous Variable Transmission system, the Altima retains an independent strut with coil springs up front and a multilink independent suspension system in the rear. A T-shaped grille with halogen headlights, body-colored fascias and side moldings, and dual chrome exhaust tips are noticeable on the exterior. Standard cabin amenities include a push-button ignition, 60/40-split fold down rear seat, four-spoke tilt-and-telescoping steering system, three cup holders in front center console, cruise control and rear armrest with dual cup holders. A virtual safety net is assured with standard dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes, front-seat active head restraints, three-point seatbelts with pretensioners and a tire pressure monitoring system. The safety features and high ratings, coupled with a smooth, reliable and roomy interior, make the Altima a no-brainer for potential sedan or coupe buyers.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.