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2008 Nissan Altima Photo
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$18,243
BASE MSRP
$18,620
Quick Take
The 2008 Nissan Altima is a little sportier, though not less sensible. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features

Flared fenders and sculpted headlights resemble Nissan's 350Z sports car

Cars.com »

Sporty yet mature-looking lines

Mother Proof »

The annoying, seemingly misaligned tunnels are gone

Car and Driver »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$18,620 $28,670
MSRP $18,620
INVOICE $18,243 Browse used listings in your area
4-Door Sedan I4 Manual 2.5
Gas Mileage 23 mpg City/32 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas I4, 2.5L
EPA Class Midsize
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.4 out of 10
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The Basics:

The seasoned car reviewers at TheCarConnection.com have read the best competitive reviews on the new 2008 Nissan Altima to pull together this definitive review. TheCarConnection.com’s editors also drove the 2008 Nissan Altima to help bring you the most useful information on the Nissan and compare it with the many other mid-size sedan models.

The 2008 Nissan Altima is largely carried over, after the Altima bowed for 2007 with a sleek new body that rides on a wheelbase one inch shorter than the previous version. Underneath the hood, the Altima sports a 270-horsepower version of Nissan's well-regarded 3.5-liter DOHC V-6, making this generation the most powerful Altima ever. And the big V-6 can also be paired with a six-speed manual transmission, unlike the ritzier Maxima sedan, which shares the same running gear but comes only with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Standard versions of the Altima are powered, as before, by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 175 horsepower. This engine may also be teamed with the six-speed manual gearbox, or you can choose the Xtronic CVT.

With either of the engines, the Altima feels decidedly sportier than much of the competition. We especially like the "shiftless" CVT transmission, which operates seamlessly, reduces noise in cruising, and actually seems more responsive than a normal automatic. With a rather taut suspension, it feels especially sporty, yet rides well enough to soak up most bumps. The 2008 Nissan Altima has an interior that feels positively functional, rather than gimmicky, with neat, attractive styling and nice materials, but its backseat could be tight for taller adults.

For 2008, standard equipment has been bolstered on the Nissan Altima. The Intelligent Key with Push Start Ignition--a system that allows you to keep the "key" in your pocket and use an ignition button to start the engine--is now standard. Bluetooth is an option, and a rearview monitor and navigation system are also available. Factory-installed XM Satellite Radio is another option on the 2008 Nissan Altima.

All model levels get front, side, and curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes are now standard across the line. Electronic stability control is still not offered on the four-cylinder models. The 2008 Nissan Altima has performed well in both sets of crash tests, with top five-star results in the federal tests and Good ratings from the insurance-affiliated IIHS--except for Marginal ratings in the seat-based rear-impact test.

Likes:

  • Base four-cylinder model is peppier than rivals
  • Very fuel-efficient with four-cylinder and CVT automatic
  • Especially torquey V-6 can keep up with some sports-cars
  • Crisp, responsive handling

Dislikes:

  • Back-seat not especially roomy
  • No way to avoid gimmicky keyless ignition system
  • Four-cylinder models don’t include stability control
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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7.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
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