could say the Altima sedan has spent some time in a gym. This gutsy, sporty version
for '04 definitely has plenty of muscle. Nissan officials tout its excitement,
not just its purpose as five-passenger transportation. While essentially the same
as a year ago, Altima still commands the road with performance and style.
it's no slouch, commanding more interior and trunk room than most competitors,
but still sleek by design, with smooth and powerful lines for a commanding presence
even when standing still. This isn't a car for the cautious. You just know it
will take off in a blast of speed, with the four-speed automatic or five-speed
manual in gear.
powering the '04 are led by a 3.5-liter V-6 for the top SE trim level, that delivers
245 horsepower and 246 lb-ft of torque. It's part of Nissan's VQ engine series
named one of the "Ten Best" from Ward's Auto World for nine consecutive
years. A 2.5-liter DOHC generates 175 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. Nissan
offers a wide range of Altima's depending on the budget. The entry level base
with automatic at $17,350 is $500 more than the manual version. But moving up
to S, SL or SE levels makes it well-appointed, topping off at $23,250.
options are convenience, leather and sport packages. Available addons include
a rear spoiler, power glass moonroof and head curtain airbags for the three up
models. Despite its heavyweight presence riding on 16-inch or 17-inch wheels,
this Altima is eight percent lighter, thanks to front suspension aluminum parts.
Consider it a tough, trendy looker, to accommodate a wide range of vehicle budgets.