Shopping for a new Nissan Altima?
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
Five-seat Altima has sufficient room in both the front and rear seats
The trunk fit our bigger contraptions pretty easily
Tire, road, and wind noise are well controlled
For a sedan that is marked by significant all-around improvements over the last generation, perhaps the most noticeable upgrades on the 2008 Nissan Altima have come in terms of comfort and overall build and materials quality. While it is still far from perfect, the Altima Nissan has definitely taken a step in the right direction.
The interior seating arrangement on what Edmunds deems a "powerful five-seater" is characterized by "plenty of comfort" in both the front and rear seats. Cars.com finds that "even though its swoopy styling might suggest limited cabin space, the five-seat Altima has sufficient room," and even rear headroom in the Nissan Altima "should be adequate for most passengers." Car and Driver adds that rear legroom "is up 3.1" inches," but "the cushion sits low." For those riding in the front of the 2008 Nissan Altima, ConsumerGuide says to expect "good overall headroom and legroom" when sitting in the front seats, which offer "very good thigh and lumbar support." They also comment in their review that "the rear bench is reasonably comfortable for those under six feet."
For a mid-size sedan, the 2008 Nissan Altima certainly offers full-size storage space. Car and Driver finds that "trunk space is up 15 percent to 18 cubic feet, very large for the class," while for 2008, the Nissan Altima's "glove box has been enlarged to steamer-trunk dimensions." ConsumerGuide agrees, writing that the "trunk is generously sized and shaped," although one drawback is that "the split rear seatbacks don't fold completely flat." Other than the oversized glove box, ConsumerGuide says "interior storage is only average." While Cars.com writes that "the flip-down center armrest has two cupholders," testers at Car and Driver mention that the Altima Nissan's keyless ignition means "the bulky fob now takes up a cupholder" if you want to avoid inadvertently pressing a button.
Interior materials and build quality on the 2008 Nissan Altima are an improvement over previous Altimas, with a few noteworthy exceptions. On the positive side, Car and Driver testers feel that "the dash and door-panel textures are exceptionally classy" on the 3.5 SE they tested, and Edmunds observes that the interior features "quality materials." However, ConsumerGuide says that the Nissan Altima's interior "isn't quite as rich as its use of soft-touch, textured materials would lead you to believe," and they find the "use of budget-grade plastics in the center console area" to be particularly "disappointing." Interior materials vary somewhat between the trims, as ConsumerGuide lists the 2.5 and 2.5 S as having "cloth upholstery," and though the 3.5 SE keeps the cloth seats, it adds a "leather-wrapped steering wheel w/ radio controls," while the 3.5 SL offers standard "leather upholstery."
Aiding driver comfort are the interior acoustics of the 2008 Nissan Altima. Edmunds says that "road and wind noise are subdued" on all trim levels, and ConsumerGuide affirms this, adding that "tire, road, and wind noise are well controlled."
The 2008 Nissan Altima offers a drastically improved interior and impressive cargo space, with only a few poor material choices.