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ROAD & TRAVEL New Car Review: 2007 Nissan Altima

2007 Nissan Altima Road Test Review : Stirring Emotion

Carlos Ghosn is the 51-year old Brazilian in charge of reviving the fortunes of Nissan Motors since 1999. He has defied typical American business etiquette by shaking hands with every employee he meets. He passes up power breakfasts for staying home and eating with his four kids. He also believes it’s possible for people to fall in love with a car based on how it looks upon first glance.

ROAD & TRAVEL New Car Review: 2007 Nissan Altima Exterior

Attractive design is not just a stylistic element; it’s a vital component that incites people to get inside the car. So it comes as no surprise that the fourth generation 2007 Nissan Altima has distinctive styling, a new DVT transmission, and is available with a Hybrid engine. All this, while boasting a MSRP of $17,250 – $29,350 makes it a viable competitor to the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, and the Toyota Camry upon launch.

Carlos Ghosn's ideal of positioning Nissan as rival to BMW is working. Minimalist lines are used judiciously to give the car an aggressive, meditative flair. The dual creases on the hood highlight engine performance, the triple cluster headlights make the front appear clean and resolute, the integrated front and rear bumpers simplify the car's minimalist appeal, and the double-deck tail lights are placed higher on the trunk giving it a performance car feel. The end goal is that the "sports oriented" 2007 Altima stirs more emotions than its predecessor.

You'll forget that the 2007 Nissan Altima is a four-door family sedan once you get inside the car. No matter where you sit, you'll be surprised by the supportive, sculpted seats, motorcycle-inspired gauges, chrome accents, and the gated shifter. The dashboard features a sporty three-pod instrument layout and an uncluttered center stack. (It's important to note, the new Altima has 103 cubic feet of space; trunk space is exemplary at 15.6 cubic feet.) There is ample space to transport four full-size adults in comfort around town. Additionally, the 2007 Altima has earned 5 Star Safety Ratings for front-impact protection. It would be nice if the manu-facturer had included the side impact airbags, and traction control as standard equipment. We strongly recommend you consider adding them to further solidify Altima’s position in side collisions.

ROAD & TRAVEL New Car Review: 2007 Nissan Altima Interior

Looking cool when standing perfectly still, the Altima is powered by a 2.5-liter inline four cylinder with 175 horsepower in the base model. The slightly more expensive 3.5-liter inline six cylinder engine has 250 horsepower at 249 pound-feet of torque. For even greater performance, the SE-R is tuned to further push the envelope to 260 horsepower at 251 pounds/feet of torque. In our testing, the Altima performed well with excellent handling and acceleration with the 2.5 inline four. The new transmission (DVT) is extremely quiet and enhances driving is the optimum position. The downside was the slightly noisy cabin; the Altima lacks the superb sound isolation found inside the 2007 Toyota Camry. However, the new suspension, and wider tires give the car a stiffer ride with a more robust feel. For buyers seeking a quieter, softer ride consider the Camry. For buyers desiring a louder, sporty car with awesome handling, consider the Altima.

When first introduced in 1993, Altima was available in two trims and came with one 150 horsepower engine. Today, it is available in six trims and four engines – including the Hybrid. Under the tutelage of former Renault chief, Carlos Ghosn, Nissan has been successful at bringing the "spirit of driving" back to its cars.

The 2007 Nissan Altima’s distinctive styling, reputation for reliability, upscale interior, and high-driving quotient predicts future popularity. The new car has been vastly improved. By 2008 Nissan wants to move 4.2 million vehicles per year globally. The 2007 Nissan Altima will be a large part of that equation as it significantly challenges what we expect from the four-door sedan.