The 2009 Nissan Altima benefits from a well-designed, attractive interior design and decent seating and cargo space, though the quality of the materials and trim is a potential weakness.
Car and Driver testers feel "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 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."
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." 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."
Other than the oversized glove box, ConsumerGuide says "interior storage is only average." While Cars.com reports 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. For a mid-size sedan, the 2009 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 2009, the Nissan Altima's "glove box has been enlarged to steamer-trunk dimensions." ConsumerGuide agrees, declaring the "trunk is generously sized and shaped," although one drawback is that "the split rear seatbacks don't fold completely flat."
The interior acoustics of the 2009 Nissan Altima are quelled enough to improve the driving experience. Edmunds says "road and wind noise are subdued" on all trim levels, and ConsumerGuide affirms this, adding that "tire, road, and wind noise are well controlled."