2008 Honda Accord Coupe vs. 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Comparison Test

2008 Nissan Altima Coupe

(3.5L V6 6-speed Manual)
  • 2008 Honda Accord Coupe vs. 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Comparison Test Video

    Watch the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe vs. 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Comparison Test Video on Edmunds' Inside Line | September 25, 2009

1 Video , 19 Photos

  • Article
  • Second Opinion
  • Top 7 Features
  • Data and Charts
  • Final Rankings and Scoring Explanation
  • 2008 Honda Accord Specs and Performance
  • 2008 Nissan Altima Specs and Performance

Nissan has been getting its fair share of attention with the 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe. Based on the 2007 Nissan Altima Sedan, the Altima coupe gets our attention, too. Great-looking, aggressively tuned and reasonably priced — not to mention quicker than you might think — this coupe has some of the hot-rod soul that you expect in a Nissan.

Then Honda crashed Nissan's party with the 2008 Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe. The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe brought us an epiphany. As we said sarcastically when we first drove it, "An Accord coupe can do your income taxes. If you need a root canal, Accord coupe is your car...but humpin' and pumpin' is not an Accord coupe's strong suit." And yet we realized that this isn't the Accord coupe we remember — it's fun. The Accord coupe proves that Honda knows how to put some life into a car built from a sedate sedan.

Wimpy no more, these two Japanese-brand coupes are trying hard to send a real message with the power under the hood, the tingle in the steering wheel and even the look of the sheet metal.

Transmitting a Message
These smaller-than-sedan passenger packages are both available with either inline-4 or V6 engine choices. We took the V6 enhancement for both of them; the choice you'd make if you were serious about driving.

We also chose a row-your-own six-speed gearbox for these cars. The truth is that very few of these cars will actually be sold this way. The vast majority of gearchanges in both Accord and Altima V6 coupes will be done via automatic transmissions (a traditional five-speed auto in the Accord and a continuously variable automatic in the Altima). We'd even argue that the Accord and Altima coupes are better cars with automatic transmissions — more poised, more refined, and in the Accord Coupe's case, slightly more fuel efficient.

Yet there's interest in the manual-transmission variants of these cars. Honda tells us that it expects 4,000 of the 20,000 2008 Accord V6 Coupes will come equipped with the manual transmission. Nissan says about 36,000 Altima coupes will hit the road, but less than 1,000 SE V6s will come equipped with a manual transmission.

Two Powerful Front-Drivers
The 3.5-liter SOHC V6 in the Accord produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, while the 3.5-liter DOHC V6 under the Altima's hood is good for 270 hp at 6,000 rpm. Despite the edge in torque output that the Nissan V6's 258 pound-feet has over the Honda's 248 lb-ft, the Accord feels as if it is the twist-meister here.

As we drove through the mountains to our test track, the Honda easily pulled the inclines at low rpm in 3rd gear. And thanks to new dynamic engine mounts, this V6 is smoother and quieter than the VQ-powered Nissan, too. That's something we never thought we'd write about an Accord.

Neither of these cars exhibits the kind of torque-steer effect you might expect with a powerful V6 driving the front tires. It seems that by either limiting engine torque with the miracle of the drive-by-wire throttle or utilizing proper driveline geometry, the usual right-hand steering-wheel isometric exercise to counter torque steer is a thing of the past.

At the dragstrip, these evenly matched engines produced nearly identical results despite as-tested weights that barely favored the 3,260-pound Altima by 138 pounds. The Altima made it first to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while the Accord trailed by a tenth of a second at 6.3 seconds. Once the quarter-mile arrived, the Accord had inched ahead with a run of 14.6 seconds at 101.6 mph, as the Altima trailed behind with an effort of 14.7 seconds at 99.2 mph.

A Not-So-Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Coupeville
We'll come right out and say we proudly own a 2007 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE with the CVT transmission as part of our long-term test fleet. A quick glance at its blog entries reveals that its formidable presentation, sporty ride and handling, ultraslick CVT and powerful engine all get very positive reviews.

So what the heck happened to this Altima coupe? A bolt had gone missing from the base of the Altima's center armrest that let it flop around, and sheared bolts within the pinch-stops on the driver's door allowed it to swing willy-nilly without resistance from detents.

The Altima's driveline also proved to be something of a mess. Clutch uptake was sticky and unpredictable. The transmission shift linkage felt like it was made of cartilage, and quickly moving the long-throw shifter felt as if we were dislocating the leg of some small animal. Eeew. The engine rocked in its spongy mounts, and each acceleration run produced so much drivetrain lash that the little barn door for the cubby at the base of the center stack popped open.

The Altima coupe's suspension tuning doesn't suit us at all. It's oversprung and underdamped, so the car hops over every pavement seam, then thumps against its damper bumpstops on the other side. Afterwards, the Altima refuses to settle down for some time, and once it does, another seam or pothole inevitably presents itself.

On the skid pad, the Altima coupe predictably posted the same lateral acceleration numbers as every Altima has before, with its Bridgestone Turanza EL400 tires (P215/55R17) finding terminal understeer at 0.81g. This Altima coupe couldn't come close to the faster, more controlled slalom speed of previous Altima sedans we've tested, however. This coupe rolled like a dog looking for a free belly scratch and it even lifted its inside tires off the ground at each cone.

Showing Some Self-Control
Whereas the Altima coupe bucked and protested as it ran up and down the test track, the Accord coupe was the picture of poise. With the exception of a rather tricky launch during acceleration tests and insufficient brake cooling, the Honda could have sped through the remainder of the track and road testing with us sitting on one hand.

The Accord's well-oiled shift linkage feels like just a more robust variant of what we'd expect to find in the enthusiast-oriented Civic Si. The variable-ratio power steering actually gives you a sense of what the front wheels are doing while the chassis makes child's play of both the skid pad and slalom courses. And we were happy to discover that this is one of a precious few Honda products whose Michelin Pilot HXMXM4 tires (P235/45R18) don't give up before an otherwise competent chassis does.

The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe not only outperforms the Nissan Altima coupe, but also easily surpasses the performance of previous Accord sedans and coupes.

Around town, the Accord coupe's ride is firm and sure-footed, and the car never produces the kind of storefront 10-cent pony ride that we feel in the Altima. The cabin remains quiet and hushed even as speeds increase, a testament to the Accord's efficient aero package and solid construction.

Of course, things were different when it came to braking performance. The Altima's four-wheel discs and tires were consistently mediocre in this testing, and produced stops that hovered around 135 feet without evidence of fading. The Accord's four-wheel discs and tires produced only one good stop from 60 mph with an effort of 128 feet, and the car's stopping distances grew as the brakes heated and faded noticeably. The third quarter-mile run at more than 100 mph was particularly memorable, as the brake system couldn't generate enough brake pressure to lock the tires sufficiently to even elicit a response from the ABS. Yikes.

It's Bigger Than It Looks, Really
Compared to their sedan counterparts, both of these blue coupes have endured several inches of embarrassing shrinkage. The Altima is apparently more susceptible to the cold hands of the reengineering process and contracts to a greater extent than the Accord in its sedan-to-coupe alteration.

Relative to each another, the Accord coupe is 8.4 inches longer from nose to tail, and its axles are 2.6 inches farther apart than those of the Altima coupe. The roof of the Accord coupe is about an inch higher off the ground, but its overall width is more than 2 inches greater than the Altima's.

Inside, the passenger accommodations of these two coupes are again eerily similar, varying by just fractions of an inch with the exception of front and rear shoulder room (where the Accord has a sizable advantage). Perhaps this is why it's easier to get in and out of the Accord's front and rear seats, and indeed the Honda's seats themselves are better contoured and more comfortable than those of the Nissan.

In the end, the Accord comes off smaller on the outside, yet bigger and more comfortable on the inside. This trait even extends to the trunk, where the Accord's admirable 11.9 cubic feet is both larger and more sensibly shaped than the Altima's mere 7.4-cubic-foot cargo hold that's accessed through an awkwardly shaped opening. Part of this volumetric disparity might come from the fact that the Accord carries a space-saver spare tire under the carpeted trunk mat, while the Altima has a full-size spare. Also, the Altima's rear audio speakers are located in the rear parcel shelf and hang down intrusively into the trunk space.

Riffing on a Theme
While the two coupes are parked alongside one another, you can't help but notice how similarly sized and shaped they are. It's as if both Honda and Nissan were given the same lozenge-shaped lump of modeling clay and asked to shape a coupe from it.

It appears Honda spent more time on the character of the Accord. There are far more daring slashes and contours that generate more visual interest than those of the relatively slab-sided Altima. We really liked the looks of the Altima coupe until we saw the Accord coupe. Same tune, better arrangement.

Those differences extend to the interior as well. The Altima's cabin is unmistakably Nissan, largely a derivative of the sedan. But the Accord's goes a step or two beyond what we expected and is far more interesting than what you find in the Accord sedan.

Picking a Winner
Even if this Accord coupe were more expensive than this Altima coupe, we think you'd be able to deduce our winner here.

Problem is that to compete on content, the 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE Coupe's $25,595 base price had to be inflated to $29,490 with the $3,200 premium package and $600 optional stability control system. That means the 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6's $28,945 base (and as-tested) price merely serves to underscore this coupe's overall superiority in this contest.

Perhaps we got a broken, tired or used-up Altima. Perhaps the contest should've been conducted with automatic transmissions. Perhaps this is an irrelevant contest. Anyway you look at it, however, the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe felt like it was engineered, designed and built to an entirely different, higher and better standard.

No contest. The Accord coupe is the one that's left, and the one that's right.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Senior Road Test Editor Josh Jacquot says:
I'm a big fan of Nissan's latest-generation Altima. We've had the four-door version in our long-term fleet for eight months now and I'm not the only editor who's come to appreciate its righteous combination of practicality and sportiness. A huge leap beyond the previous-generation car, Nissan remembered with this Altima that there's more to the midsize segment than simply having a powerful V6. Our sedan is fast, rides well and has good steering feedback and great interfaces for its audio, climate and navigation controls.

Which is why I was so awesomely confused by this Altima coupe's utter lack of cohesiveness. I had high expectations and this car simply let me down. Not only was it falling apart (we had two distinct quality control issues), but it had the undeniable feel of a "Friday" car. Its ride/handling compromise lacked the calculated control of our sedan, and its controls never offered the same tactile feedback.

Then I drove the Accord coupe. It was the car I was expecting the Altima to be. It had the sharp control feel, precise turn-in and taut body control I had anticipated in the Altima. It also had Honda build quality, intuitive audio and ventilation controls and equally sharp styling.

Maybe we got a "Friday" Altima and a "Wednesday" Accord, but the difference was dramatic enough to convince me. I'd buy the Accord.

Scoring of features is based upon whether our test vehicle was equipped with a particular feature as standard, optional and included in our as-tested price, optional but not included, or not available at all on that particular model.

A mini auxiliary jack for portable players is standard on both cars. Bluetooth connectivity (allowing hands-free telephony) is making its way into a surprising number of vehicles and is optional on both of these. It has been proposed that by the 2012 model year, electronic stability control will be required on all passenger cars, but for now it is not and remains a $600 option on the Altima coupe and standard on all Accord coupe models. Folding rear seats are handy, especially so in a coupe with limited cargo capacity. They're standard on both, but the entire rear seatback folds as one piece in the Honda (possibly displacing a rear passenger) and is split 60/40 in the Nissan. Audio systems continue to evolve with emergent technology, so MP3/WMA file compatibility is not yet universal: standard on the Accord coupe and optional on the Altima. Satellite radio has really taken off, and for those willing to pay for it, it's an option in either the Accord or Altima coupes. Xenon headlamps are clearly superior to halogens, but they're not even available in the Accord.

Features

Features
2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE V6
Aux jack S S
Bluetooth compatibility O O
Electronic stability control S O
Fold-down rear seats S S
MP3/WMA compatibility S O
Satellite radio O O
Xenon headlamps N/A O


Key:
S: Standard
O: Optional
N/A: Not Available

Auxiliary jack: In lieu of a dedicated iPod or other personal music player connection (such as a USB port), we'll settle for this 2.5mm mini jack.

Bluetooth connectivity: Bluetooth provides a way to connect and exchange information between devices such as mobile phones and car audio systems over a secure, globally unlicensed short-range radio frequency. The Bluetooth specifications are developed and licensed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group.

Electronic stability control: This technology can help prevent bad things from happening (such as the car going off the road) by automatically and selectively applying the brakes to whichever wheel(s) it deems necessary to correct oversteer (fishtailing) and understeer (plowing) and keep the car on its intended course. It can't, however, repeal the laws of physics.

Folding rear seats: A particularly useful feature that allows the trunk to effectively extend into the passenger compartment. There are both positive and negative attributes if the release mechanism is located within the trunk.

MP3/WMA compatibility: This allows playback of MP3-coded (compressed) audio files. Some people like the option of having 300 personally chosen songs (of lesser sound quality) on one CD rather than carrying around a stack of CDs.

Satellite radio: Satellite radio may cost a few bucks a month, but it offers a better variety of programming than traditional terrestrial radio, with distinct categories from which to choose. And unlike your favorite AM or FM station, the same satellite radio stations come in loud and clear from coast to coast — with the obvious exception of when the car can't "see" a satellite.

Xenon headlamps: Continuous, short-arc, high-pressure xenon arc lamps have a color temperature closely approximating noon sunlight and are used in, among other things, automotive HID headlamps.

Dimensions
Engine & Transmission Specifications
Warranty Information
Performance Information


Dimensions

Exterior Dimensions & Capacities
2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE V6
Length, in. 190.9 182.5
Width, in. 72.8 70.7
Height, in. 56.4 55.3
Wheelbase, in. 107.9 105.3
Curb Weight, lbs. 3,398 3,260
Turning Circle, ft. 37.8 36.1
Interior Dimensions
2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE V6
Front headroom, in. 37.4 39.7
Rear headroom, in. 35.9 35.6
Front shoulder room, in. 58.4 53.9
Rear shoulder room, in. 55.2 52.4
Front legroom, in. 42.5 42.5
Rear legroom, in. 33.0 34.4

Engine & Transmission Specifications

Engine & Transmission
2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE V6
Displacement,
liters
3.471 3.498
Engine Type SOHC V6 DOHC V6
Horsepower (SAE) @ rpm 268 @ 6,200 270 @ 6,000
Max. Torque, lb-ft @ rpm 248 @ 5,000 258 @ 4,400
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
EPA Fuel Economy City, mpg 17.0 19.0
EPA Fuel Economy Hwy, mpg 25.0 27.0
Observed Fuel Economy combined, mpg 21.0 20.0
Recommended Fuel Regular Premium

Warranty

Warranty Information
2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE V6
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Roadside Assistance Dealer Option 3 years/36,000 miles
Corrosion Protection 5 years/Unlimited miles 5 years/Unlimited miles
Scheduled Maintenance Not Available Not Available

Performance

Performance Information
2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE V6
0-60 mph acceleration, sec. 6.3 6.2
Quarter-mile acceleration, sec. 14.6 14.7
Quarter-mile speed, mph 101.6 99.2
60-0-mph braking, feet 128 133
Lateral Acceleration, g 0.83 0.81
600-ft slalom, mph 66.2 64.5

Final Rankings

Final Rankings
Item Weight 2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE V6
Personal Rating 5% 100.0% 50.0%
Recommended Rating 5% 100.0% 50.0%
Evaluation Score 25% 81.4% 69.9%
Feature Content 25% 71.4% 76.2%
Performance 15% 99.2% 91.4%
Price 25% 100.0% 98.1%
Total Score 100.0% 88.1% 79.8%
Final Ranking 1 2

Personal Rating (5%): Purely subjective. After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the vehicles in order of preference based on which he or she would buy if money were no object.

Recommended Rating (5%): After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the vehicles in order of preference based on which he or she thought would be best for the average consumer shopping in this segment.

28-Point Evaluation (25%): Each participating editor ranked both vehicles based on a comprehensive 28-point evaluation. The evaluation covered everything from exterior design to cupholders. Scoring was calculated on a point system, and the scores listed are averages based on all test participants' evaluations.

Feature Content (25%): For this category, the editors picked the top seven features they thought would be most beneficial to the consumer shopping in this segment. For each vehicle, the score was based on the amount of actual features it had versus the total possible (10). Standard and optional equipment were taken into consideration.

Performance Testing (15%): Both cars were put through a comprehensive battery of instrumented tests, including 0-60 acceleration, quarter-mile runs and panic stops from 60 mph. They were also run through a 600-foot slalom course to test transitional handling and around a skid pad to determine ultimate grip. The vehicles were awarded points based on how close they came to the best-performing vehicle's score in each category.

Price (25%): The numbers listed were the result of a simple percentage calculation based on the less expensive vehicle in the comparison test. Using the "as-tested" prices of the actual evaluation vehicles, the less expensive vehicle received a score of 100, with the remaining vehicle receiving a lesser score based on how much each one costs.

Vehicle
Model year2008
MakeHonda
ModelAccord
StyleEX-L V-6 2dr Coupe (3.5L 6cyl 6M)
Base MSRP$28,945
As-tested MSRP$28,945
Drivetrain
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Engine typeV6
Displacement (cc/cu-in)3,471cc (212cu-in)
Block/head materialAluminum alloy/Aluminum alloy
ValvetrainSingle overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)10.0:1
Redline (rpm)6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)268 @ 6,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)248 @ 5,000
Transmission type6-speed manual
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I = 3.933, II = 2.478, III = 1.700, IV = 1.250, V = 0.976, VI = 0.771, R = 4.008, Diff = 3.550
Chassis
Suspension, frontIndependent, double wishbones, coil springs and stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent, multilink, coil springs and stabilizer bar
Steering typeSpeed-proportional hydraulic-assist power steering, variable ratio
Steering ratio (x:1)13.08:1 mean
Tire brandMichelin
Tire modelPilot HXMXM4
Tire typeAll-season
Tire size, frontP235/45R18 94V M+S
Tire size, rearP235/45R18 94V M+S
Wheel size18-by-8.0 front -- 18-by-8.0 rear
Wheel materialAlloy
Brakes, frontVentilated disc
Brakes, rearSolid disc
Track Test Results
0-45 mph (sec.)4.3
0-60 mph (sec.)6.3
0-75 mph (sec.)8.6
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)14.6 @ 101.6
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)N/A
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)32
60-0 mph (ft.)128
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)66.2
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.83
Sound level @ idle (dB)41.3
@ Full throttle (dB)78.7
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)66.6
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsThe Accord coupe is difficult to launch without either excessive wheelspin or axle-hop. There's a surprising amount of torque that is capable of generating wheelspin throughout 1st gear and even into 2nd. Shifter action is light, precise and lacks sloppiness. Redline upshifts are greeted with a slight tire chirp and do not upset the Accord one bit.
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsThe pedal is firm and reassuring, with little-to-no ABS vibration. Tires lurched slightly under full-ABS stops, hunting for traction. However, the Accord's brakes began showing signs of overheating by the third 60-0 stop, and even more so when slowing after the third quarter-mile run, where ABS failed to pulsate and the pedal went soft.
Handling ratingGood
Handling commentsSkid pad: The Accord coupe feels well-balanced, with moderate understeer on the limit. Steering provides some tactile feedback regarding the vehicle's dynamic state. Slalom: Excluding the S2000, this is one of the only Hondas where the tires feel matched to the well-sorted chassis dynamics. Turn-in is confident, with quick yaw response and grip to spare. The car rotates with throttle manipulation and resists understeer well. Nicely weighted, quick-ratio steering complements the sculpted wheel.
Testing Conditions
Elevation (ft.)421
Temperature (F)74
Wind (mph, direction)8.0 NE
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)17 city/25 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)21 combined average (Best = 24.8, Worst = 17.3)
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)18.5
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,446
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,398
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)62/38
Length (in.)190.9
Width (in.)72.8
Height (in.)56.4
Wheelbase (in.)107.9
Track, front (in.)62.2
Track, rear (in.)62.3
Turning circle (ft.)37.8
Legroom, front (in.)42.5
Legroom, rear (in.)33
Legroom, 3rd row (in.)Not available
Headroom, front (in.)37.4
Headroom, rear (in.)35.9
Headroom, 3rd row (in.)Not available
Shoulder room, front (in.)58.4
Shoulder room, rear (in.)55.2
Shoulder room, 3rd row (in.)Not available
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)11.9
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)One-piece folding seatback; volume not specified
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion5 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistanceDealer option
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available
Safety
Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard dual front
Head airbagsStandard front and rear
Knee airbagsNot available
Antilock brakes4-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsBrake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard
Rollover protectionNot available
Tire-pressure monitoring systemStandard tire-pressure monitoring
Emergency assistance systemNot available
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested
Vehicle
Model year2008
MakeNissan
ModelAltima
Style3.5 SE 2dr Coupe (3.5L 6cyl 6M)
Base MSRP$25,595
Options on test vehicle3.5 SE Premium Package ($3,200), Floor Mats With Trunk Mat ($175), Vehicle Dynamic Stability Control ($600)
As-tested MSRP$29,490
Drivetrain
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Engine typeV6
Displacement (cc/cu-in)3,498cc (214 cu-in)
Block/head materialAluminum alloy/Aluminum alloy
ValvetrainDouble-overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)10.3:1
Redline (rpm)6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)270 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)258 @ 4,400
Transmission type6-speed manual
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I = 3.153, II = 1.950, III = 1.392, IV = 1.055, V = 0.809, VI = 0.630, R = 3.002, Diff = 4.133
Chassis
Suspension, frontIndependent, MacPherson struts, coil springs and stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent, multilink, coil springs and stabilizer bar
Steering typeSpeed-proportional hydraulic power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)16.2:1 mean
Tire brandBridgestone
Tire modelTuranza EL400
Tire typeAll-season
Tire size, frontP215/55R17 93V M+S
Tire size, rearP215/55R17 93V M+S
Wheel size17-by-7.5 front -- 17-by-7.5 rear
Wheel materialAluminum alloy
Brakes, frontVentilated disc
Brakes, rearSolid disc
Track Test Results
0-45 mph (sec.)4.3
0-60 mph (sec.)6.2
0-75 mph (sec.)8.9
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)14.7 @ 99.2
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)N/A
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)32
60-0 mph (ft.)133
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)64.5
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.81
Sound level @ idle (dB)39.2
@ Full throttle (dB)75.5
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)68.6
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsThe Altima coupe is fairly easy to launch by modulating wheelspin with the throttle. But the quickest run was with virtually zero spin. The shift linkage feels as if it's made of plastic and the shift strokes are long. Each redline upshift rocks the engine on its mounts and upsets the transmission and car a great deal.
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsThe Altima's pedal is prone to early jump-in, supplying more braking force than is expected with that amount of pedal travel. Despite noticeable tire howl during full-ABS stops, the distances were consistent and fade was not apparent.
Handling ratingAverage
Handling commentsSkid pad: Steering feels spring-loaded and not at all genuine. Tires begin howling early on, warning of the impending and severe understeer that follows. Slalom: The car rolls noticeably and picks up (and spins) inside tires past each cone with a chirp as they set down again. Steering does not provide sporty yaw response and understeer becomes the limiting factor here as well. While entertaining rotation (oversteer) can be provoked with aggressive steering and throttle input, it proved to be slower throughout the timers.
Testing Conditions
Elevation (ft.)421
Temperature (F)74
Wind (mph, direction)9.0 SE
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)19 city/27 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)20 combined average (Best = 23.7, Worst = 17.8)
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)20
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,205
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,260
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)62/38
Length (in.)182.5
Width (in.)70.7
Height (in.)55.3
Wheelbase (in.)105.3
Track, front (in.)60.9
Track, rear (in.)60.8
Turning circle (ft.)36.1
Legroom, front (in.)42.5
Legroom, rear (in.)34.4
Legroom, 3rd row (in.)Not available
Headroom, front (in.)39.7
Headroom, rear (in.)35.6
Headroom, 3rd row (in.)Not available
Shoulder room, front (in.)53.9
Shoulder room, rear (in.)52.4
Shoulder room, 3rd row (in.)Not available
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)7.4
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)60/40-split-folding seats; volume not specified
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion5 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistance3 years/36,000 mile
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available
Safety
Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard dual front
Head airbagsStandard front and rear
Knee airbagsNot available
Antilock brakes4-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsBrake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlOptional
Rollover protectionNot available
Tire-pressure monitoring systemStandard tire-pressure monitoring
Emergency assistance systemNot available
NHTSA crash test, driver4 stars
NHTSA crash test, passenger4 stars
NHTSA crash test, side front5 stars
NHTSA crash test, side rear5 stars
NHTSA rollover resistance5 stars
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