The Nissan Altima is not a replacement for the Maxima, despite the former arriving as the latter departs. That’s the word from Nissan, which reasons that the Altima is a medium car while the Maxima is a large car, despite the former measuring 4885mm, some 35mm longer than the latter. Nissan speaks openly about its determination to avoid the Altima being dumped into the declining large-car segment, so strong now is the negative perception of what was for decades most popular class.
Regardless, the Thai-built Nissan Altima is still a family car of the traditional kind, offering loads of rear legroom and interior storage space, an effortlessly comfortable highway ride, and a sweet six-cylinder-petrol engine. The entry-level Nissan Altima is reasonably equipped, coming standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and keyless entry with push-button start.
With metallic paint the only option for the ST, a jump to the ST-L is required to get the likes of Bluetooth audio streaming, satellite navigation, rear-view camera, parking sensors, leather-accented electric seats, and the NissanConnect web-linked app-based smartphone integration system.
With the exception of the flagship $45,390 Altima Ti-S, all grades are equipped with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 127kW of power at 6000rpm and 230Nm of torque at 4000rpm – aligning the Altima closely with the 133kW/231Nm 2.5-litre Camry Altise and the 129kW/225Nm 2.4-litre Honda Accord, though slightly off the pace of the class-leading 138kW/250Nm 2.5-litre Mazda 6.
The 1435kg Nissan Altima is the lightest of the bunch – thanks in part to its segment-exclusive lightweight aluminium bonnet, roof and boot lid panels – undercutting the Mazda 6 by 27kg, the Camry by 30kg and the Accord by 75kg. With claimed combined cycle fuel consumption of 7.5 litres per 100km, Altima narrowly beats all but the Mazda (6.6L/100km), and the petrol-electric Camry Hybrid (5.2L/100km).
Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013