2008 Nissan Altima Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Nissan Altima Sedan

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Nissan Altima Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 270 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Nissan Altima

  • Thanks to its dashing style, entertaining driving dynamics and welcoming interior, the 2008 Nissan Altima is one of our top picks for a sporting family sedan or midsize coupe.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong engine performance, smooth and responsive continuously variable transmission (CVT), quick steering, good-looking cabin with quality materials, coupe's sporty styling.

  • Cons

    Stability control not available on four-cylinder models, mediocre backseat comfort, Nissan's annoying structure of options packages.

  • What's New for 2008

    An all-new coupe model joins the 2008 Nissan Altima lineup. It features the same set of powerful engines and impressive transmissions but offers unique exterior styling, sportier suspension tuning and slightly smaller proportions.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 6 people found this review helpful

Poor shock absorbers

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

We live in a condo complex that has 5 speed bumps. The car scrapes bottom when carrying 4 passengers or if the trunk is full of personal items. Also have had problems with tire wear and more noticeable after having rotated the tires.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Pleased at 16k

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Bought car 3/08 and now have over 16k. So far no trips back to the dealer. Getting 24mpg in suburban driving and averaging 30-31 highway at 70-75mph. Very happy with gas mileage with all this power. Continental tires have provided smooth quiet ride to go with extremely quiet engine, which compliments a great sound system. Have found seats very comfortable for long drives. Gauges and buttons easy to use/follow. Trunk plenty spacious and nice having fold down split rear seats. Worth having the leather seats (heated - works great) and the other additional options like heated mirrors. Worth it. Debated between the 4 & 6. Worth it to pay for the 6 for the quiet and powerful engine




Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

The car is very comfortable and roomy. I have owned the car for a year now. Handling, brakes, acceleration are excellent. Parking takes a bit of prep because it is longer than the VW I used to drive. I would give this car a 9/10 rating.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Buyer beware

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Purchased this car after considering Acura TL among the usual suspects in the same price range. I wish I had sprung for the extra 5000 dollars, as it seems like a bargain after five months of ownership. Nissan's interior quality is shameful to be generous.This car has more rattles than Mazda I traded in. Panel gaps and sagging interior pieces are too numerous to mention. It is very fast and reasonable handling/ride and provides good 24.5 miles per gallon. Nissan has now gone on my never will buy again list.




Disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

The vehicle is noisy and the ride is rough. I have been back to the dealership and they told me that tire complaints are common. Nissan is using sub-standard tires trying to keep costs down!




No regrets

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

It has been 3 months and 3 thousand miles since my purchase. The car rides smooth and quiet. I test drove a 4 and it had enough power but I was willing to sacrifice some mpg for a very quiet 6. I'm noise sensitive. Getting 24 mpg suburban driving, highway 28-29 with a ton of get up and go! Bose sound system is fabulous with the quiet engine. Interior feels very spacious. Dash not cluttered. Controls nicely positioned. Nice leg space. Trunk offers plenty of suitcase and stuff space. Good sight lines through rear window when backing up. The transmission is very smooth, quiet, and easy to get used to. No need for a stick shift.



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Full 2008 Nissan Altima Review

What's New for 2008

An all-new coupe model joins the 2008 Nissan Altima lineup. It features the same set of powerful engines and impressive transmissions but offers unique exterior styling, sportier suspension tuning and slightly smaller proportions.

Introduction

Ever since its 2002 revival, the Nissan Altima has been a very popular choice for consumers interested in a sport-oriented family sedan. In particular, the previous-generation car was known for its athletic handling and performance. Unfortunately, it was also known for its low-buck interior and excessive road noise.

When Nissan redesigned the Altima sedan last year, it focused on keeping the car's sporting credentials intact while simultaneously addressing its faults. The new Altima's significant dynamic and interior improvements contributed to a powerful five-seater that provided plenty of comfort and driving excitement for those looking for a lot more than basic transportation.

The 2008 Nissan Altima adds to this pedigree with an all-new coupe model. More than just a regular Altima with a pair of doors lopped off, it's very close to being a junior Infiniti G37, in both appearance and performance. The two-door features unique body panels (it shares only the hood), a shorter wheelbase and overall length, and a revised suspension for even sportier handling.

Both the coupe and sedan come with a long list of available luxury and technology features, but they are put into large, expensive packages that often must be lumped together with other packages. For example, if you want satellite radio on a 2.5 S Sedan, you must spend $1,200 for the Connection Package, which then must be ordered with the $500 CVT, the $3,850 2.5 SL package and $300 antilock brakes. The Technology Package on the 3.5 SE is $6,400. If you want to keep the price low, we'd normally suggest going light on options, but unfortunately, Nissan makes it just about impossible to do this. It's like going to a salad bar and being offered a choice of either dry lettuce or a 4-gallon bucket of Ranch.

Although its options pricing is a little shady, the 2008 Nissan Altima is now an even more versatile (and attractive) choice in the always competitive midsize segment. The Altima coupe competes closest with the new 2008 Honda Accord coupe. Both vehicles providing a compelling mix of sport and practicality that other midsize coupes don't come close to matching. Meanwhile, the Altima sedan continues to be a very desirable midsize family car, especially for those who want one with a good amount of sporting potential. Either body style should be near the top of a shopping list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Nissan Altima is available as a midsize sedan or coupe. The sedan is available in four trims, with the number indicating its engine: base 2.5 (by customer order only), 2.5 S, 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL. The base 2.5 comes with 16-inch wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry/starting, cruise control, a split/folding rear seat and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. The 2.5 S adds air-conditioning, a CD player and MP3 input jack, a trip computer and intermittent wipers.

The sporty 3.5 SE comes with a sport-tuned suspension with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, power-folding side-view mirrors with integral turn signals, a power driver seat, wood-tone accents and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The 3.5 SL goes the full luxury route with leather seating, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, Bluetooth connectivity, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 16-inch alloy wheels, xenon HID headlights and a Bose audio system with CD changer and a choice of satellite radio providers.

The Altima coupe comes in only 2.5 S and 3.5 SE trim levels that are consistent with the sedan version. However, all coupes come with antilock brakes and sport seats with more aggressive bolstering.

The Premium Package on the coupe models and the 3.5 SE Sedan (it's known as the SL package on the 2.5 Sedan) includes essentially all the additional features of the 3.5 SL Sedan. Available on all but the base Altima sedan is the Technology Package that bundles a navigation system with real-time traffic and a rearview monitor, but it must be ordered with the Premium Package for an eye-bugging total of $6,400.

Powertrains and Performance

The Nissan Altima is powered by either a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 175 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque (on the 2.5 trims) or a 3.5-liter V6 with 270 hp and 258 lb-ft (on the 3.5 trims). All but the 3.5 SL Sedan come with a six-speed manual transmission, while a CVT is standard on that trim and optional on all others except the base sedan.

The four-cylinder engine provides enough giddy-up for most buyers ¯ zero to 60 mph is achieved in the mid-7-second range. In our tests, a 3.5 SE sedan with the CVT ran to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds, while a six-speed manual coupe we tested did it in 6.2 seconds. Fuel economy is impressive considering the car's power; four-cylinder/CVT sedans have a 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway rating. Nissan Altimas with the V6/CVT combination have an average rating of 19/27. Manual transmission fuel economy is virtually identical.

Safety

Front-seat side airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags are standard on every 2008 Nissan Altima. Antilock brakes are standard on the 3.5 sedan trims and all coupes, and optional on the 2.5 S sedan. Only the 3.5 trims are eligible for traction control (it's standard) and stability control (optional). In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the Altima sedan received a top five-star rating for its protection of occupants in frontal and side impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2008 Nissan Altima sedan and coupe feature a quiet, handsome interior constructed of quality materials. The coupe differs from the sedan by having a hand-operated emergency brake for all trim levels (CVT-equipped sedans come with a foot brake) and more aggressively bolstered front seats. Taller drivers will find the coupe a little tight on headroom, though. In addition, the coupe's shrunken proportions take a significant toll on the backseat's head and leg space, though it still offers seatbelts for three and the flat bench makes car-seat installation possible in a pinch. The front seats in both the sedan and coupe are excellent, offering a vast range of adjustment ¯ particularly in models with power seats ¯ and a good mix of comfort and support.

Driving Impressions

With its sporty suspension tuning (especially in coupe and 3.5 SE sedan guise) and quick steering, the 2008 Nissan Altima provides enthusiasts with one of the most enjoyable midsize coupes and family sedans available. Ride quality is still comfortable throughout the line, and road and wind noise are subdued.

Strong performance from the V6 models should more than satisfy those who like a kick in the pants when they boot the gas, and the four-cylinder provides perfectly adequate acceleration. A six-speed manual is standard, but its clutch engagement is abrupt and its shifter feels unsubstantial and moves through its gates with all the precision of a $10 Folex watch. We don't make this recommendation often, but we'd opt for the continuously variable transmission instead. Easily the best we've come across, this CVT does an excellent job of maximizing each engine's power, while responding rapidly to throttle inputs.

Braking is the one area in which the Altima could be deemed mediocre. Pedal feel is progressive, but during instrumented testing, we've measured stops from 60 mph in the 126-134–foot range, which is only average for this class.

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Talk About The 2008 Altima

2008 Nissan Altima Discussions See all Started By

I just bought a 2008 Altima Sedan 2.5S and is under 200 miles. Today, I finally looked under the hood along with the manual book in my hand to learn the whereabouts of all fluid locations.. to my sur...


mable91367
mable91367
01-22-2007
Hi, Do anyone have any information on the 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe? I saw it at the Los Angeles Car Show, and I really do like it. When will it be available?...


dkruck
dkruck
06-24-2008
I installed an aftermarket stereo in my 2008 Nissan Altima. Now my airbag light located on top of my fuel gauge has started flashing intermittenly and will not shut off even after I hook the stock ste...



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