Nissan Altima 2.5 -- a review
With the Saab in for repairs from the collision, I was provided a rental car from the other driver's insurance company. The rental is a new (1700 miles) black Nissan Altima 2.5. I am not sure if it is a 2007 or 2008. I've been tooling around in it since Monday morning, and I must say that if I had to buy a car tomorrow, I'd give the new Altima serious consideration.
This Altima has the automatic transmission that lets you shift at your option (my old Sebring had this too), and it is also offered in 6 speed manual. The engine is just a 4cyl, and a V6 is offered, but the 4 is decently powered -- not quite as nimble as my Volvo S40, but no slouch. Antilock brakes are standard, and there are side curtain airbags. The car is comfortable, the seats are wide and firm. The dash and controls are well laid out. There are many cupholders and compartments, and two different outlets for plugging in the toys.
The base stereo system has a nice full sound, though I read that a Bose system is also offered. The base stereo includes a CD player and an auxillary port for an mp3 player. The Altima comes with keyless ignition standard, and that is pretty sweet.
The backseat offers adequate room. Even with the front seat all the way back, I could sit behind it alright (and I'm 6'2"). Though the slope of the roof over the backseat made the headroom a little tight for me.
The car gets great mileage, especially for its size. And the car just looks good. Walking up to it in the parking garage parked next to a BMW and a Lexus, I didn't feel like it was out of place.
The only things I really didn't like about the car: the front door opens so wide that it is hard to reach the handle to pull it closed. The trunk hinges are rather large -- so be careful when you load up the trunk -- the hinge could swing down and crush whatever is directly underneath it. And finally -- I've gotten so used to headlights that turn on automatically, I kept forgetting to manually turn on and turn off the headlights.
I'm not going to trade anything in tomorow and buy an Altima, but like I said, if something happened to one of the other cars tomorrow -- I'd give it a serious look.