2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Sedan


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Nissan Altima Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 198 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 35/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid

  • The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is an excellent choice for drivers who want a little fun between point A and point B. Too bad it's only sold in the eight states that have adopted California's emissions standards.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent fuel economy, sporty handling, precise steering, top-notch interior materials, high crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Can only be obtained in eight states, options are only offered in expensive packages, so-so backseat comfort.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid remains unchanged from the previous year, except for standard automatic door locks and four more exterior…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (32 total reviews)

150,000 and still going strong!

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I bought my hybrid in June of 2009 and as you can see by my mileage, practically live in it. It is a die hard. I have put on 2 sets of tires, but only one set of brakes and as of six weeks ago I'm no where near having to replace what the brakes. I drive in the mountains and on highways, so this car has seen just about everything. The only negative is the gas mileage. The difference between a regular Altima and what I had to pay for the hybrid will never be realized. In addition, oil changes and maintenance are a lot more. Would I buy another hybrid? Probably not. Would I buy another Altima? Yes.

Good car with some issues

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

It's a good car, with excellent MPG - I can get 37/g except in winter. How ever there are some issues. Internal design looks cheap, the Panic button is annoying (it's so easy for the horn to shout out). And just got an issue with the ignition switch: I could not start engine some times, and I was told I need $600.0 to get it fixed by the dealer!

No complaints after nearly three

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

We have had our 2009 NAH since June 2009. The on-board computer for mileage runs high, as many have noted. I just completed tallying my mileage after recording miles and gallons at each fill-up. After 24,000 miles, I have averaged 34.74 mpg, through all seasons, right in line with EPA estimates. With gas here at $4.20/gallon, I'm feeling fine. Overall, it runs like any gas-powered car. The shift from gas to electric is very mild and not an issue. The rest of the car is quite fine: good comfort, good power, good feeling of safety. Yes, the trunk is a bit small but that's the price for a hybrid. And I LOVE the fact that it goes into electric at the VERY long stoplights where I live.

Gas Mileage


  • 35
  • cty
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid remains unchanged from the previous year, except for standard automatic door locks and four more exterior color choices.


Hybrids and other green cars, though known for being economical and earth-friendly, have a reputation for also being rather slow, odd-looking and uninspiring behind the wheel. Bucking the trend is the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid. Although it has the outward appearance and driving manners of a conventional sedan, the Altima Hybrid sips fuel while keeping harmful emissions to a minimum.

Borrowing heavily from rival Toyota's parts bin via a licensing agreement, the Nissan Altima Hybrid shares a fair amount of technology and components with the Toyota Camry Hybrid. It has a Nissan engine -- a revised version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the regular Altima and a specialized continuously variable transmission (CVT). These improvements result in a more refined powertrain with better acceleration than the Camry Hybrid, while maintaining the same combined fuel economy.

On the subject of fuel economy, the Altima Hybrid excels, managing 35 mpg in the city and 33 in highway driving, according to EPA estimates. By comparison, the all-gas Altima four-cylinder gets only 23/31 mpg. While that's a hefty improvement for city driving, consider for a moment the Hybrid's higher price tag over the conventional Altima. It will take years of ownership to recoup the Hybrid's premium in fuel savings alone. At that rate, the Altima Hybrid would only appeal to those who plan on owning the car for quite a spell, or to the very eco-conscious.

Another drawback for the Altima, and indeed many of Nissan's models, is the structure and pricing for options. Unfortunately, options are not available individually, but bundled with other items into fairly large and expensive packages. Further complicating matters is that some packages are only available as supplements to supporting packages. This puts the Altima at a considerable price disadvantage compared to the Camry Hybrid.

Still, among the few green midsize sedans on the market, the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is our favorite, with its swift acceleration, sporty (for a hybrid) handling, miserly fuel consumption, comfort and practicality. Just make sure you live in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island or Vermont -- these are the only states where it is currently sold.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid sedan is available in just one trim level. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, a tilt/telescoping steering column, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, instrumentation unique to the Hybrid and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Options are combined into three major packages, each package requiring the purchase of the preceding package. The initial options in the Convenience Package include an eight-way power driver seat, automatic headlights, a rear spoiler and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls. The Connection Package, which requires the purchase of the Convenience Package, includes turn signals integrated into the outside mirrors, leather seats, heated front seats, rear air-conditioning vents, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with an in-dash six-CD/MP3 changer and satellite radio. The Technology Package add-on includes a navigation system with real-time traffic information, a rearview camera and a hybrid energy/fuel flow readout. A sunroof is the major stand-alone option.

Powertrains and Performance

The Altima's hybrid powertrain is essentially identical to Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive in both design and function. It combines a modified version of the Altima's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (which makes 158 horsepower in this application) and an electric motor capable of 40 hp and 199 pound-feet of torque. A specialized CVT is standard. The gasoline and electric power plants operate together or one at a time, depending on driving conditions, to optimize fuel economy and power. Together, they combine for a maximum 198 hp.

The EPA estimates the Altima Hybrid's fuel economy to be 35 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 34 mpg in combined driving. These numbers are comparable to the Toyota Camry Hybrid's. Yet another benefit for the Altima Hybrid is its qualification as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle, meaning it is one of the cleanest gasoline-burning cars. In performance testing, we clocked the Altima Hybrid from zero to 60 mph in an impressive 7.6 seconds.


Standard safety equipment for the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags and front-seat active head restraints. In crash tests, the Altima Hybrid was awarded the highest scores possible from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (five out of five stars) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ("Good" ratings) for both frontal- and side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Altima Hybrid offers a roomy cabin with first-rate materials that better the Camry's equivalents. Interior storage is plentiful, with several bins and large compartments, but trunk space is limited due to the Hybrid's battery pack. Compared to the conventional Altima's 15-cubic-foot trunk capacity, the Hybrid's capacity is squeezed down to 9 cubes. Front seats in the Altima Hybrid are comfortable and supportive, but rear seating can be a bit awkward for taller passengers. With the rear bench mounted fairly low to the floor and limited foot space, thigh support is compromised.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is a green car that doesn't compromise driving pleasure. While it certainly wouldn't be thought of as a canyon carver or a track-day candidate, this hybrid manages to retain much of the acceleration and road-holding prowess of the conventional four-cylinder Altima. Steering is notably precise, with ample feedback.

Talk About The 2009 Altima Hybrid

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Discussions See all Started By

I have two items on my 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid. Car has 41k miles and runs just fine. Today I had a plate that is connected underneath the passenger side seating area. The plate has a bunch of holes...

For a Nissan dealer to blame the engine problems known to occur and that have been discussed in this forum and elsewhere on use of regular gas is scandalous! The manual for my 2008 Altima Hybrid (whic...

I have been waiting for summer to improve my 2008 Altima Hybrid's mileage. I bought it brand new in January 2009 in MD where they seem to import them from New Jersey to sell onesey twosey in this non...