Shopping for a new Nissan Altima?
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
plenty of comfort
Suspension soaks up minor road imperfections
Kelley Blue Book
interior storage is only average
The trunk fit our bigger contraptions pretty easily
The 2010 Nissan Altima sedan has an interior that comes across as positively functional, rather than gimmicky, with neat, attractive styling and nice materials, but its backseat could be tight for taller adults. Coupes give up several inches of useful cabin space and are quite a bit tighter in back, with headroom scarce.
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." 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 that "the rear bench is reasonably comfortable for those under six feet."
The 2010 Nissan Altima Coupe, however, is a different story in the backseat. There's not much chance of five adults squeezing into this sporty two-door. The front seats offer "good overall headroom and legroom," according to ConsumerGuide, like the sedan, but Edmunds notes that the Nissan Altima "Coupe's shrunken proportions take a significant toll on the backseat's head and leg space," while "the flat bench makes car-seat installation possible in a pinch."
Again with the Coupe, Kelley Blue Book reports that "it can, however, be enlarged by folding the 60/40 rear seat down." MotherProof warns that stowing much of anything in the cabin presents "a bit of a challenge," thanks to interior storage space that ConsumerGuide describes as "only average."
Also, while the conventional 2010 Nissan Altima includes a respectable amount of storage space, the same can't be said for the Nissan Altima Hybrid. Kelley Blue Book reviewers note that the "battery pack and other hybrid hardware add almost 400 pounds to curb weight and reduce trunk space by about 50 percent." Edmunds provides some firm numbers for that statement, observing that, "compared to the conventional Altima's 15-cubic-foot trunk capacity, the Hybrid's capacity is squeezed down to 9 cubes." Compared to its competitors, the Altima Hybrid offers "significantly less [trunk space] than the Malibu Hybrid's 15.1 cubic feet," states Cars.com. However, inside, the Hybrid is just as roomy as the sedan.
The instrument panel in either model has the intimate look and feel of a sports coupe without seeming tight, and controls are close at hand. Our only lingering complaint is that the tactility of the controls leaves something to be desired, as does the plethora of hard, drab plastics. Edmunds observes that the interior features "quality materials." Car and Driver testers feel "the dash and door-panel textures are exceptionally classy" on their V-6 sedan. 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 do vary somewhat between the trims, and for 2010, upholstery and some trims are upgraded.
ConsumerGuide says "interior storage is only average" in the Altima sedan. 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. Trunk space is good, though; Car and Driver finds that "trunk space is up 15 percent to 18 cubic feet, very large for the class," and the Altima's "glove box has been enlarged to steamer-trunk dimensions." ConsumerGuide points out that "the split rear seatbacks don't fold completely flat."
There's a lot more to love inside the Altima. 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.
Ride quality tends to be good, though a bit on the firm side, in any of the sedan models; the Coupe's shorter wheelbase can make the ride slightly more pitchy, however. 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. ConsumerGuide contends that while "tire, road, and wind noise are well controlled in sedans," they are "less so in coupes."
The 2010 Nissan Altima provides impressive comfort and space in sedan versions; with the Coupe, you'll be making some sacrifices in the name of style.