The Altima is Nissan's entry in the mid size sedan category for 2007. While we drove the SE trim level, there are 3 Altima models to choose from: the 2.5 liter base and S versions and the top of the line 3.5 liter SL.
Styling on our test SE was set off by the headlight clusters that match the contour of the front fenders and roll downward punctuating the extremely clean front end. Sharply pronounced body lines run from the front fender, rearward, terminating at the taillights in a distinctive chiseled style that is topped off by a low profile rear deck spoiler. 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and a tilt/sliding power sunroof round out the exterior look of the four door sedan.
The SE comes with a 270 horsepower 3.5 liter V-6 engine coupled to the standard 6-speed manual or Nissan's constantly variable transmission. The 258 foot pounds of torque are delivered to the front driving wheels with braking force provided by 11 and a half inch four wheel discs augmented with ABS and traction control.
While a base 2.5 liter Altima can get as much as 35 MPG on the highway, our test car, equipped with the 3.5 liter V-6 yielded 22 MPG City and 28 on the highway.
Power adjustable front seats are standard on the SE model as is the leather wrapped adjustable steering wheel. For rear passengers the 60/40 fold down seat includes a center armrest and provides access to the large trunk.
Electronics abound as both high-end Bose multi-disc audio system and touch screen navigation are optional. There's also hands-free Blue-Tooth phone technology controlled from the steering wheel, an onboard vehicle computer and Satellite radio.
MSRP for the fairly well equipped base version of the SE is $24,000, and with its sport tuned suspension, responsive engine and excellent build quality, we found the Nissan Altima to be a definite contender in the competitive mid-size sedan market place.