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To help you get the most useful information on the 2010 Nissan Altima and 2010 Nissan Altima Hybrid, TheCarConnection.com brings you selected highlights from a range of reputable review sources in the sections of the adjacent full review. And for a quick take directly from TheCarConnection.com's editors, who have driven all the Altima models, you'll find a Bottom Line summary covering all the main points.
- Fuel efficiency with Hybrid or four-cylinder
- Handles responsively
- Simple but comfortable interior
- Strong acceleration from V-6
- Tight backseat
- Keyless ignition system is mandatory
- Hybrid powertrain uneasy in highway cruising
The Nissan Altima remains different from most other mid-size models on several levels. First, it offers (in sedan form) a limited-availability Hybrid model, as well as four-cylinder and V-6 models. Secondly, it has a sleek coupe body style in addition to the four-door sedan. The Altima was last completely redesigned for the 2007 model year and gets a styling refresh for 2010, including a restyled front end, some new interior materials, and a revised options list.
Even though it's been more than three years since the Altima sedan's complete redesign, it remains one of the better-looking mid-size four-doors on the market. Attribute that to its racy profile and relative simplicity in the details; unlike some other sedans, the Altima doesn't come across as overwrought. The Hybrid looks almost indistinguishable from the sedan, aside from low-key badging. But the Coupe is very distinctive; it's several inches shorter, with a much more tapered roofline and sculpted rear flanks, plus an altogether different treatment in back. The same holds true inside; the Altima's instrument panel is straightforward and simple, yet sophisticated and a little sporty. The overall look can be drab in some colors, but bright trim and bezels spice it up somewhat.
Across most of the 2010 Nissan Altima Coupe and sedan models, you have a choice of a four-cylinder or V-6 engine. The 2.5-liter four makes 175 horsepower and does just fine either with the six-speed manual (coupes only) or the Xtronic CVT automatic (both models). The CVT works better than most, even with the four-cylinder, with revs settling down to an economical level at cruising speeds, and revving higher when accelerating, yet avoiding the uncertain rubber-band feeling that some CVTs have. Underneath the hood of SR models is a 270-horsepower version of Nissan's well-regarded 3.5-liter DOHC V-6. With the V-6, the Altima feels refined and strong in either body style—although there's a little too much torque at times for the Altima to deliver smoothly through the front wheels. The Altima Hybrid gets an advanced full-hybrid system with the 2.5-liter engine, tuned down to 162 horsepower for improved efficiency; altogether the hybrid system makes 198 hp. That power reaches the road through a continuously variable transmission, via the front wheels. The driving experience, no matter which version, is on the sporty side, with great steering, and the sedan's suspension just absorbent enough to soak up most bumps.