The 2011 Nissan Altima is one of the rare exceptions in automobiles that provides the safety and excitement a family looks for in an enjoyable ride. With various versions available, the children can be comfortable while the parents revel in an exhilarating driving experience. The level of fun will also depend upon the engine choice of V-6 and four-cylinder models in either the coupe or sedan body style.
The four-cylinder-powered Nissan Altima may be better for the more conservative driver, though the composed chassis and communicative steering are definite advantages. The 3.5 SR versions, which are the Altima’s V-6 models, are more fun for sharper handling, thanks to the sport-tuned suspension of the Nissan sedan.
Featuring the high-tech luxury additions of rearview camera, xenon headlights, and the navigation system that is hard-drive-based, the 2011 Nissan Altima is not lacking in technological benefits. The backseats of the Altima was noted as less-than-roomy, even in the sedan model. Choosing the coupe models would give the more sleek styling but at the expense of some practicality. Overall, the Nissan Altima is quite worthy of a test drive to feel the driving dynamics and excellent steering, along with all of the innovative technology of the vehicle.
Body styles: coupe, sedan
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic, six-speed manual
Models: Nissan Altima 2.5 S Coupe, Nissan Altima 3.5 SR Coupe, Nissan Altima 2.5 Sedan, Nissan Altima 2.5 S Sedan, Nissan Altima 3.5 SR Sedan
The 2011 Nissan Altima remains unchanged for 2011 with the exception of a few slight changes in option packages.
The 2011 Nissan Altima 2.5 sedan is the base model and can only be ordered by the customer. The standard features included are keyless entry and 16-inch wheels of steel. The 2.5 S models add 17-inch wheels of alloy on the coupe and keyless ignition on both sedan and coupe.
A variety of optional packages are available on the 2.5 S, like the package called Special Edition. It adds to the exterior appearance with a rear spoiler, foglights, automatic headlights, and alloy wheels. Opting for the Convenience package, the vehicle will get the previous features and will include the driver seat with eight-way power adjustments.
For the sedan models, there is a Convenience Plus package that adds a sunroof, along with the folding side view mirrors with integrated turn signals. Also, for sedan models, the rearview camera is included with the package called Premium Audio. The SL package on the coupe comes with interior features and xenon headlights for enhancing the exterior.
The 3.5 SR models will come with the V-6 engine, along with heated side mirrors and either 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels, depending on sedan or coupe. The package called 3.5 SR Sport on the sedan comes with xenon headlights, a sunroof, and foglights.
The 2011 Nissan Altima has a well-constructed cabin made of high-quality materials and comfortable seating. The legroom trails its competition, even though it is quite fine for a couple of adults in the rear seat. Trunk space is decent with about 15.3 cubic feet in the sedan and 8.2 cubic feet in the coupe. The interior of the 2011 Nissan Altima can be enhanced with numerous packages and standard features.
Beginning with the base sedan S model, the features included are full power accessories, cruise control, steering wheel with tilt-and-telescoping functionality, a trip computer, and air-conditioning. The base model can only be customer ordered.
Upgrading to the 2.5 S will get the auxiliary audio jack, CD player, and six-speaker stereo, while there are optional packages that will add many interior features. Special Edition adds the audio controls on the steering wheel that is leather trimmed, and Convenience package will add illuminated vanity mirrors on the extended visors and the power driver sear.
Convenience Plus includes automatic dual-zone climate control; Premium Audio package will give the car Bluetooth connectivity, a Bose nine-speaker stereo with color display, iPod interface, and satellite radio. Another great package option is called Technology package that adds the hard-drive-based navigation system, Bluetooth digital music storage and streaming audio, weather updates, and real-time traffic reporting.
All of the 3.5 SR models incorporate most of the package items as standard features, along with the climate control and the V-6 engine.
Performance & Handling
The 2011 Nissan Altima is available with a choice of two engines. The base 2.5 models have the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which can produce 175 horsepower with 180 lb-ft of torque. The sedan has a mandatory continuously variable transmission automatic, whereas the coupe can choose between an optional CVT and six-speed manual that comes standard. As for the 3.5 SR Altima models, there is an installed 3.5-liter V-6 capable of producing 258 lb-ft torque and 270 hp with the transmission options that are the same as the base 2.5.
Speed tests vary between the models. Zero to 60 mph achieved in respectable times of 8.5 seconds with the 2.5 S sedan, 7 seconds with the 3.5 sedan, and fastest of all was the CVT coupe getting up to speed in a short 6.7 seconds.
Every one of the Altima vehicles come standard with traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, side curtain airbags, and front side airbags. During testing of braking abilities, the Altima 3.5 can fully stop in approximately 130 feet from a speed of 60 mph. This performance is about an average braking ability among vehicles of the segment.
Within the government testing, however, the Nissan Altima has not yet been rated since the newer 2011 testing procedures were set in place. Testing from 2010, which isn‘t really comparable, the Altima sedan obtained the very top rating of five stars in side-impact and head-on collisions. Likewise, the Altima coupe received five stars in side impacts but only four for frontal impacts. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the rating ""good"" for side crash tests and frontal-offset crash testing.
EPA Fuel Economy
Nissan Altima CVT: 23/32 mpg city/highway
Nissan Altima manual: 20/27 mpg city/highway
- Available in a coupe or sedan body style
- Responsive steering
- Solid cabin construction
- Very capable chassis
- Lots of electronic features
You Won't Like
- Complex options
- Smaller backseat than any of its competition
Sporting flair in either sedan or coupe models
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