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


  • Luxury features
  • Notable gas mileage
  • Affordable price


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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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