new Altima is the car that started Nissan's new design direction, and indeed is
responsible for the dramatic turnaround that we've seen in the company over the
last two years. And we all know that it takes more than a pretty face to sell
a car. It has to be good through and through.
Altima is a sharp, modern car that clearly is pursuing the edgier folks who don't
like to blend in. Whereas the old Altima had a droopy, rounded butt, the bustly
new tush is all angles and bold, chrome-slathered taillights that look like they
belong atop a squad car. The old one had high-radius surfaces that gave it a bloated
appearance. Not so the new Altima, which slices the retina with a wedge profile
and chiseled surfaces. And it's grown, too, with dimensions that finally fit right
into the middle of this generously sized class.
interior features fresh textures and shapes that are just as modern as those on
the exterior. Its seats are comfortable and there is plenty of space in every
direction (especially in back). There seems to be a little improvement in perceived
quality, but part of that may be due to the unconventional shapes and the difficulty
in rendering them in padded materials. We really like the sporty, deep-set instruments
and the intuitive ergonomics.
come with either a 180-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder that is good and strong, if
a bit coarse at high revs, The optional 240-hp 3.5-liter V-6 will have no problem
lighting up its front tires. You know which one is the most fun, although in truth,
the four is enough for virtually anyone.