The Nissan Altima is manufactured by Nissan and is a mid-sized car. The Altima is a continuation for the Bluebird line that the company has offered since the year 1957. The competition for the Altima is mostly the mid-sized sedan class in the U.S and includes the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. In 2011, the Altima became the second bestselling car of the United States.
Historically, the Nissan Altima has been more luxurious and powerful than the Sentra and less powerful than the Maxima. The Nissan Altima is only manufactured in the United States and sold in both North America and South America as well as Australia and in the Middle East. For the other global markets, Nissan uses the Nissan Teana, which is a related mid-sized sedan that sits between the Maxima and the Altima in terms of size.
The first generation of the Nissan Altima was offered from 1992 through 1997. It was based on the Bluebird SSS, but the original style came from the California design studio in the year 1989. The original name for the car was the Stanza Altima that appears in early owner manuals for the vehicles. The 1993 models have stickers that read Stanza in small letters located to the left of the Altima emblem that is on the lid of the trunk.
Each of the Altima models has a 150 horsepower engine combined with a 4 speed automatic of 5 speed manual transmission. The suspension is made of struts that have stabilizer bars located at either end. The Altima is considered to be one of the larger compact cars, seating 4 adults quite comfortably. The trim lines consisted of the XE, GXE, SE, and GLE. Some of the options included molded mud guards, gold emblem package, as well as a pin stripe.
The current Altima is available with one of two engine choices, the 2.5 liter is standard, and 4 cylinder offers a gas mileage of 31 miles per gallon, while the 3.5 L offers a gas mileage of 25 miles per gallon. Each are equipped with a variable automatic transmission.
There are currently 7 trim levels from which to choose. The base model offers several nice perks including keyless entry and ignition and Bluetooth audio. The 2.5 S add on an upgraded stereo system and a power driver seat. The 2.5 SV includes automatic climate control, alloy wheels, and the touchscreen interface. The fancier 2.5 SL offers a Bose stereo system and leather upholstery.
The 3.5 S has many of the same features of the 2.5 SV, but also has larger wheels. The 3.5 SL offers xenon headlights and all of the SV and SL models are available for the tech package that includes a larger touch screen, navigational system, and voice control as well as several other electronic safety features such as blind spot monitoring.
The Nissan Altima has been on the market for almost two decades, starting out as a smaller sedan and then eventually becoming the full size family sedan that is offered on the market today. The vehicle is in its 5th generation and the 3rd generation being the key shift to more mainstream specifications and dimensions.
Nissan emphasizes the fact that the Altima is fun to drive, and most people will find that this is true. The significant evolution of the features, frugality, and finesse of the Altima has made it one of the top choices in this popular area of vehicles. While many of its competitors are definitely worth a look, the current Nissan Altima is set up to be the benchmark.