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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
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You'd think that with sever different versions available between two different engines, the Nissan Altima would have all of the latest and greatest features available. There are a few gaps between the models, though, and at least a couple features that aren't on the list at all.
The base Altima 2.5 checks in with cloth seats; power locks, mirrors and windows; push-button start and Intelligent key; folding rear seats, air conditioning; Bluetooth with streaming audio; and AM/FM/CD player with four speakers.
On the 2.5 S, Nissan adds a power driver seat; cruise control; six-speaker audio; steering-wheel audio controls; automatic headlights; On the 3.5 S, the Altima also gets 18-inch wheels and paddle shifters with a manual shift mode.
At the top of the lineup, the Altima SL comes standard with leather seating; nine-speaker Bose audio; heated front seats and steering wheel; an eight-way power driver seat; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; LED taillights and mirror-mounted turn signals; and heated side mirrors.
On both four- and six-cylinder Altima SV sedans, Nissan fits remote start; alloy wheels; a rearview camera; a more advanced Bluetooth system with inbound text reading and outbound pre-programmed responses for some phones (but currently not the Apple iPhone); a USB port; and satellite radio. This Altima's infotainment system also permits streaming from Pandora, and accepts mapping information from Google Maps, too. The 3.5 SV also adds fog lights, a universal remote, and a moonroof.
All Altimas also get a new Drive-Assist Display, which replaces the typical trip computer and related functions with a 4.0-inch LCD screen between the gauges, depicting the car--in the correct color--in a 3D-like effect. The display shows information on fuel economy, trip distance, tire pressures, audio functions, and directions when a navigation system is included.
Options include a navigation system with a larger 7-inch screen, a welcome step up from the last-generation Altima's puny LCD readout; remote start; and a rear spoiler.
The model lineup seems complex, but with so many features bundled together, the Altima's actually been packaged for simpler, more efficient assembly. It's also been configured to a target weight and price--which might explain why some versions omit things like rear-seat air vents or even an option for satellite radio, and why no versions can be fitted with a power passenger seat.
Nissan's updated the Altima's standard features to rival those in Korean sedans; the options list misses out on a few features.