by Amy Lillard
What drives car buyers in today's society? Smart sizes, efficient fuel use, practical capability and of course, the hidden perks and guilty pleasures. In our continuing series, we examine the most popular cars in America.
May 17, 2007 - An upstart among other family sedans, the Nissan Altima has expanded and diversified, and is shooting up the bestselling car ranks.
Introduced in 1993, the Altima is a practical five-passenger family sedan that has gone through four design generations. The 2007 and 2008 models represent the fourth generation, one that appeals to car enthusiasts for strong styling and increased performance and improves upon previous design.
The Altima is available with a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 or a 175-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The four-cylinder Altima models are the 2.5, 2.5S and 2.5SL. The V6 comes in the 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL trims. The new model sports some recent innovations in car marketing, including standard “push-button start”, Bluetooth capability for cell phones, and more.
With the new design generation, the Altima also took a giant step forward by offering a Coupe. The Altima Coupe is Nissan's first two-door Altima. Two engine options are available: a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 or the QR25DE, a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder. Reviewers note that the sedan blends the look of the Nissan's 350Z sports car and the sophisticated G37 coupe from Infiniti, Nissan's premium brand. The sporty model lends style and performance to the Altima that has many reviewers giving the coupe a strong thumbs-up.
Following the direction of the Altima's main competitors (the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and others), the fourth generation also offers a Hybrid model. The Altima Hybrid Electric is Nissan's first hybrid car, and features some of Toyota's hybrid technology (although Nissan has future plans to develop hybrids in house). The hybrid is currently only available in certain states, including California and several East Coast states. The Hybrid Altima features a 2.5 L QR25DE engine, CVT and electric motor/generator.
The Altima sedan starts at just under $19,000. Features can drive the cost to over $30,000 or more. The 4-cylinder version of the coupe will base at $20,490, while the 3.5-liter V6 will base at $24,890.
For a complete one-stop look at current Altima features and specifications, visit
A frequent contributor to ERATE® since 2006, Amy Lillard is a freelance writer specializing in turning complex information into useful tips and tricks for readers. For questions or topic suggestions, contact Amy at [email protected]
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