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STYLING | 8 out of 10
the front view gets into an argument with the side view when they meet in the front fenders”
Car and Driver
the Altima's airy cabin has a contemporary appearance”
Kelley Blue Book
The annoying, seemingly misaligned tunnels are gone
Car and Driver
The 2009 Nissan Altima offers strong styling cues and a practical interior that give it a distinct flair.
The exterior of the 2009 Nissan Altima has been trimmed somewhat from the older version, with Cars.com noting that, at "189.8 inches long, the Altima sedan is 2.5 inches shorter than the previous generation." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that most writers feel the smaller dimensions are a styling bonus. Road & Track testers comment that it allows the Altima Nissan's designers to add "more character...along the car's flanks." Kelley Blue Book raves about the exterior on the Altima Nissan, which is "rich in Nissan family cues, most notably in its grille, headlamp and taillamp treatments," but at the same time, it sports "a bit more aggressive edge than you'll find in the Sentra or Maxima." However, not all reviewers appreciate the sheetmetal, as Car and Driver laments "the way the front view gets into an argument with the side view when they meet in the front fenders" and points out "there's nothing cautious about the Airbus-theme taillights either."
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that interior styling goes from being an area of complaint to one of compliment. Kelley Blue Book best captures overall reviewer sentiment, saying "the Altima's airy cabin has a contemporary appearance" and "logically arranged" interior controls that make driving in the 2009 Nissan Altima considerably more intuitive than in some other cars. Car and Driver notices that "although the instrument cluster still shows you three dials, the annoying, seemingly misaligned tunnels are gone, replaced by a single-lens grouping of much improved graphics." MotherProof reviewers appreciate the "sound system that displays the radio station and time in easy-to-read, large characters," and ConsumerGuide praises the "large and legible gauges." ConsumerGuide reviewers also find that the "audio and climate controls are simple to operate in models without the available navigation system," though when equipped with the navigation system, it "isn't easy to program, and it absorbs and complicates audio functions," they note.
The 2009 Nissan Altima is available in four trim varieties with few external differences. Edmunds lists the available trims as "base 2.5 (by customer order only), 2.5 S, 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL." Edmunds goes on to say that the external differences between the trims consist of 16-inch wheels on the 2.5 model, while the "sporty 3.5 SE" offers "17-inch alloy wheels" and "power-folding side-view mirrors with integral turn signals," and the 3.5 SL adds "16-inch alloy wheels" and "xenon HID headlights."
Nearly everyone looking for a sedan will find the styling of the 2009 Nissan Altima attractive and contemporary.