Review: 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

Thursday July 23rd, 2015 at 12:77 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

By David Colman

Hypes: Zero Gravity Seats, Excellent Mileage
Gripes: Imprecise Steering, Pitchy Ride

Let’s say you prefer mild cuisine, vanilla ice cream and colorless clothing. Has Nissan ever got the perfect set of wheels for you. It’s called the Altima, it costs just $28,180, and it will serve your family with faithful, if innocuous obedience. With its spacious 109 inch wheelbase, and 15 cubic foot trunk, the Altima is perfectly suited to whisking 4 adults and 4 suitcases away for extended drives. This car shows its virtue on the freeway, where its CVT transmission slots soundlessly into its highest cruising range and the 2.5 liter inline 4 loafs along at 70mph without making a peep. When you arrive at your destination, you will give the gas gauge a second look, because the needle never appears to move from full to empty. In fact, this is not optical illusion. The 182hp motor sips fuel like a teetotaler sips wine: judiciously. On the freeway, this fully equipped, 3,130lb. four-door sedan returns a startling 38MPG. A series of lengthy trips around the Bay Area failed to dislodge the gauge needle from its seemingly permanent position at half full. You won’t do much complaining about the Altima’s overall rating of 31MPG.

2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

What you may complain about is this model’s inaccurate steering, excessive body roll in turns, and floundering response to acceleration requests. Let’s start with the feedback at the steering wheel. On a jaunt up Highway 101 with few curves I found myself constantly administering small course corrections to stay in my lane. Now mind you, this test sedan was equipped with a $1,090 Technology Package which provided, among other features, Lane Departure Warning. Every few seconds the LDW buzzer would activate as the Altima migrated hither and yon like a yacht tacking upwind. The solution to the problem is forgo the Technology Package, and pay real close attention to lane position, even when you’re driving this Nissan in a straight line. When the road gets curvy, the ultra soft suspension heels over onto its bump stops, the shocks cease to absorb bumps, and the middle-of-the-road Michelin Energy tires hang onto your prescribed arc with increasing difficulty. Nissan makes no pretense that the Altima 2.5 SV is a sports sedan.

2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

On the other hand, the soft suspension and pillow-like steering provide a cloud-calm ride that will eat up freeway miles faster than a bullet train. If you do a lot of I-5 cruising, the Altima is perfectly suited to your needs. The interior features what Nissan calls “Zero Gravity” seats. These offer a suspension system perfected in conjunction with NASA that makes you feel like you’re suspended over an air cushion rather than strapped into an unyielding bolster. The effect of this technology advance is much appreciated by your derriere. The interior fixtures of our test SV benefited from a $1,350 Convenience Package upgrade that added a power sliding Moonroof and a “Mood Lamp” in the roof console that will save you trips to the Disco joint or Studio 54. In fact, the interior of the Altima is a most hospitable space, with extra A/C vents added for rear seat passengers as part of the Convenience Package.

2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

The SV version of the Altima includes a Nissan Intelligent Key with a remote engine start feature. This means you can start the engine even when you are not seated in the driver’s seat, a nice bonus if you live in, or visit cold climes where pre-heating your car is a way of life.

However, we ran into one transient problem with the Intelligent Key when we returned to the locked Altima, used the key fob to unlock the doors, then pressed the engine start button on the dash. But the instrument panel informed us that it sensed an “incorrect” key and refused to start the car. So we climbed out of the Nissan, relocked the doors, then unlocked them, climbed back in and again pressed the start button. Once again we got the “incorrect” key read-out. So we scoured the owner’s manual for advice. The best it could offer was “See your Nissan Dealer.” After a few more minutes of “now what are we supposed to do?” the Altima finally decided it was OK to start. The problem never occurred again. But this episode certainly left us wondering about the dependability of such now common remote start systems. At the very least you should always carry a spare battery for your key fob transmitter.

2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

  • Engine: 2.5 liter DOHC, 16 valve inline 4 cylinder
  • Horsepower: 182hp
  • Torque: 180lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 27 MPG City/38 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $28,180
  • Star Rating: 7 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SL

Saturday October 11th, 2014 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SL

By David Colman

Hypes: Spacious Back Seat, Inviting Interior
Gripes: Needs To Lose CVT Transmission

The Altima is Nissan’s scrappy contender in the turbulent family sedan marketplace. When you’re battling mainstream heavyweights like Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord, you need something special to attract buyers to your product. Although the Altima 2.5 SL is nothing special to look at or drive, it still merits consideration due to its affordable base price of $27,775. Seven different tiers of Altima are available (2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SV, 2.5 SL, 3.5S, 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL). Base prices range from $22,010 to $30,660. Models designated 2.5 utilize a four cylinder engine rated at 182hp. 3.5 models upgrade performance with a 3.5 liter V6 good for 270hp. Our test Altima fell squarely in the middle of the price range, with its 2.5 liter four mated to a CVT transmission. This combination yields 31MPG in overall driving.

2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SL

The SL designation adds the following improvements to the base 2.5 Altima: integrated turn signal rear view mirrors, fog lamps, premium Bose sound system, heated leather front seats, driver adjustable lumbar support, and auto dimming rearview mirror.
In addition, our test SL added an $800 moon roof, $210 in floor and trunk mats, and $1,090 for a Technology Package that increased color display screen size from 5 to 7 inches, and added navigation, blind spot and lane departure warnings, plus moving object detection. The $30,830 price brings you a fully equipped long distance cruiser with few flaws. In a world full of attention getting designs, the Altima SL is sedate and inoffensive, rather than brash and boastful.

Comfort ranks high on the list of attributes here. Ride is plush, with good damping of road imperfections. Nissan’s tire selection contributes to the plush ride. The 215/55R17 Continental Pro Contact tires help absorb bumps, though at the expense of precise steering feedback. Although handling is hardly cutting edge, the Altima will tackle any back road without embarrassing itself. To prove the point, Nissan is running a pair of Altima coupes in SCCA’s hotly contested Pirelli Touring Car Series, where they are consistent podium finishers.

2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SL

The interior of the SL looks expensive. The seats in particular, offer outstanding support and comfort. Nissan calls them “zero-g” because they are so light to the touch that you feel like you’re floating on air. With the exception of the driver’s seat, each seating position has been thoughtfully supplied with overhead grab handles to ease entry and exit. The commodious rear seat offers so much legroom you could almost sneak a pair of floor mounted jump seats into the mix. The rear seats also fold down in a 40/60 split, opening a vast storage space to the 15 cubic foot trunk. A pair of buttons on the rear window sill control the seatback flop. In another thoughtful touch, these buttons contain key locks, thus restricting trunk access to intentioned adults rather than playful children.

No matter which Altima you select, you have no choice but to accept the CVT transmission. Anyone who enjoys driving soon learns to loathe this invention. While CVT insures excellent fuel consumption figures, it drains the joy out of operating the 2.5 SL. With just 2 selections available for forward motion (“D” and “Ds”). you have very little control over your Altima’s rate of acceleration. Of course, this will only matter to you if back road driving comprises part of your daily itinerary. In those circumstances, your inability to resort to higher engine speed via lower gearing virtually mandates you will never pull out to pass slower traffic. The CVT thus insures tediously strict conga line behavior on twisty roads.

2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SL

But aside from the pair of drivers who contest the Pirelli series, no one would think to buy this Altima for its performance potential. Rather, the 2.5 SL is a sedan that makes sense to the accountant in us all. Its parsimonious behavior starts at the dealership where you can buy it for just a tick over thirty grand. It continues through the life of the sedan, where the EPA estimates annual fuel cost to be just $1,700. That’s about the same as you’d pay for a new Mini Cooper ($1,650). And if you have a family of four to transport, there’s no question which car makes more financial sense.

2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SL

  • Engine: 2.5 liter inline 4, Double Overhead Cams, 16 Valves
  • Horsepower: 182hp
  • Torque: 180 lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 27 MPG City/38 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $30,830
  • Star Rating: 7 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S Review – Pushing the boundary of mediocrity

Tuesday October 11th, 2011 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: peter

2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
By Peter Newton

Pros:

  • Luxury features
  • Notable gas mileage
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Mushy handling
  • Sluggish acceleration


The Altima, assembled in Tennessee, is one of Nissan’s best selling cars in North America and provides some touches of luxury in a firmly positioned mid-size car. New for 2012 is the Value Package, available for the Altima 2.5 S model, which includes a Bluetooth® Hands-free phone system, automatic on/off headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel with steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, and passenger-side front-window one-touch auto-up/down.

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2010 Nissan Altima Coupe Review – Sedan Minus Two Doors = FUN

Wednesday May 12th, 2010 at 10:55 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2010 Nissan Altima Coupe
>> Review by Michael D. Leroy | >> Photographs by Derek Mau

Pros:

  • The Infiniti-like redesign is sporty and aggressive looking
  • CVT is smooth and non-intrusive
  • Great iPod integration with Premium package
  • Interior conveniences: large glove box and hidden front seat storage are nice

Cons:

  • Base 4-cylinder could use more oomph
  • Small trunk
  • HVAC and other controls look dated
  • Suspension could be more sporty

Let’s face it, sedans can often have quite sedentary and dull looks. Nissan must understand this, because the 2010 Altima Coupe is far more exciting to look at than its larger, 4-door laden, sister. Some people just like the look of two doors better. For those that cry foul at four doors, you are in luck. The 2010 model has undergone a refresh this year and is much improved.

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CarReview's 2009-2010 Hybrid Buyer's Guide

Monday October 26th, 2009 at 7:1010 AM
Posted by: ggaillard

Honda CR-Z

By Greg Gaillard

Hybrids Come of Age

Just 10 years ago Honda released the Insight as the first US mass market hybrid combustion/electric car.  Its two seat aerodynamic teardrop shape, light weight and focused engineering delivered spectacular fuel economy that generated quite a bit of media attention.  In the real world however, the Insight represented significant compromises in terms of utility, performance and perceived safety.  Launched at the height of the SUV boom alongside inexpensive gasoline, sales weren’t significant and to many people the Insight was another Honda engineering experiment; a car that Honda’s Asimo robot might drive, but not something American families would put in their garage.

What a difference a decade makes.  Last week the EPA released its annual Fuel Economy Guide for 2010 and hybrids swept the podium with 9 out of the top 10 MPG scores.  At least in terms of EPA ratings, hybrids are the drivetrain technology of the moment.  Perhaps more important than MPG is how the technology has evolved into a variety of solutions that can be used across a range of body styles without many of the original Insight’s compromises.

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2010 Nissan Altima Hybrid Pricing Announced

Friday October 2nd, 2009 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: tonyb

2010 Nissan Altima Coupe

The 2010 Nissan Altima hybrid, which goes on sale this coming Monday, will have an MSRP of $26,780. This is the fourth generation Altima, and apart from the hybrid drivetrain, it is only slightly tweaked from last year’s model. Speaking of drivetrains, the 2010 Altima will use a 2.5 liter four-cylinder with and electronically-controlled CVT tranny that cranks out 198 hp. Nissan says the new Altima hybrid will get an estimated EPA rating of 35 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Curiously, these figures aren’t all that much different form the 2009 model. Although the 09 also had a 2.5 liter inline four engine, it only put out 158 HP, and the fuel economy numbers of 35/33 city/hwy mpg were identical.

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2009 Nissan Altima Review – A young attitude with a mature demeanor

Wednesday April 8th, 2009 at 10:44 AM
Posted by: mash

2009 Nissan Altima Coupe

Review by Mary-Ellen Ash | Photos by Derek Mau

Pros:

  • Good suspension and steering = smooth handling
  • Very spacious interior for driver and passengers
  • Well insulated cabin keeps out the engine and road noise
  • Convenient cup and bottle holders
  • Nissan Intelligent Key system
  • Good fuel economy with the 4-cylinder engine

Cons:

  • Small trunk space
  • Slow acceleration with 4-cylinder engine
  • Hard to drop rear seats
  • Nasty blind spots

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2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid Review

Wednesday May 28th, 2008 at 8:55 AM
Posted by: kevinbfast

Nissan Altima Hybrid Overview Nissan Altima HybridSpecs
Nissan Altima Hybrid Consumer Reviews Nissan Altima Hybrid Photo Gallery

By Kevin Bowe

2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid

Pros:

  • Stylish good looks
  • Hybrid technology
  • Being less dependant on greedy oil companies
  • Touch screen console
  • Bluetooth® option

Cons:

  • A little pricey ($30k as tested, $25k base)
  • Sloppy handling through the corners
  • Small trunk
  • Noticeable transitions from electric to gas motor

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