Safety » 8
SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Five stars, frontal impact; five stars, side impact
Good, frontal offset impact; Good, side impact
Stability control not available on four-cylinder models
The 2008 Nissan Altima offers a mixed bag for safety-conscious shoppers. While the 2008 Nissan Altima performs admirably in crash tests, its list of safety features is not quite up to par.
One of the best determinations of a vehicle's overall safety is how well it performs in crash tests, and in this category, the Nissan Altima is an all-star. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency that oversees government crash testing, awards the 2008 Nissan Altima a full five stars for both front and side impacts. Even more impressive is the fact that these ratings apply for both driver and passenger protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) confirms the NHTSA results, and in IIHS tests, the Altima performed equally well. The 2008 Nissan Altima has earned the IIHS's highest rating, "good," for both frontal offset and side impact collisions.
When it comes to safety features on the Nissan Altima, most of the usual amenities appear, but there are a few noteworthy exceptions. Beginning with what you'll find on the Nissan Altima, Edmunds writes "front-seat side airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags are standard on every 2008 Nissan Altima." Furthermore, with the Altima, Nissan offers "antilock brakes" as "standard on the 3.5 sedan trims" and base 2.5, and "optional on the 2.5 S sedan." One of the omissions that reviews read by TheCarConnection.com noticed is that stability control is available only as an option, and only on the 3.5 trims, which leads ConsumerGuide to "wish Nissan would make an antiskid system standard on all models."
Another redeeming safety quality on the Altima Nissan is the driver's sight profile. Several reviews read by TheCarConnection.com praise the visibility from within the cabin, with Kelley Blue Book writing that the "Altima's generous glass area provides the driver with good sightlines to the outside world." ConsumerGuide adds, "visibility in sedans is very good to all directions."
A strong crash-test record and great visibility are moderated by the 2008 Nissan Altima's lack of a standard antiskid system.