2009 Nissan Altima Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Nissan Altima Coupe

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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 No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Nissan Altima

  • The 2009 Nissan Altima bundles contemporary styling, athletic driving manners and a cozy cabin in either coupe or sedan varieties. The smart execution of the Altima places it among our top picks for sporty family cars.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong engines, smooth and responsive continuously variable transmission (CVT), responsive steering, attractive styling inside and out, high-grade interior materials, high crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Stability control unavailable on four-cylinder models, mediocre rear seating comfort, complex option grouping.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Nissan Altima receives only minor changes. Base models have a few more standard features this year, including power mirrors and a trip computer. Available options now include dual-zone climate control with rear vents and a sunroof as a stand-alone option.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (29 total reviews)


Great value and performance

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 2dr Coupe (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

If you love the G35 but not the price, this is your car. Other than badging and the grill, it is nearly identical. Same 3.5 liter engine that's in the G35 or 350Z. A little less bling than the G cars, but I spent THOUSANDS less for more or less the same car. It is front wheel drive instead of rear wheel drive, as the G is. OK, so "real" sports cars are rear wheel drive. Fine. I prefer the front wheel drive for bad weather situations and this car is still a rocket. Absolutely no problems with it. Good build quality.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great purchase

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 2dr Coupe (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I have owned this car for 15 months and have been extremely please with it. I have not had to take it in for a single issue yet (have just been doing oil changes and rotations). This is a great looking car and the exterior has held up perfectly with no paint issues (live in SW FL so no salt/sand on the roads). My question to those who don't like the power or CVT: did you even bother to test drive before purchase? This (at least the coupe) has been a get-what-you-see experience. I liked what I saw and 15 months (16,000 miles) of trouble-free and fun driving has been rewarding. If you want fast, buy a Vette. If you like the look of the coupe and the features, this car is a winner.




Lemon

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 2dr Coupe (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Within 2 months of ownership of this new car, battery replaced and died 4 times, brakes and rotors replaced AND went out 6 times, paint on trim is peeling, multiple electrical issues. A real lemon and a dangerous vehicle to drive. I know 3 other people who purchased their 2009 Nissan Altima 2 dr Coupes in the 2.5 and 3.5 versions who have been having similar issues.




Blindspots

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 2dr Coupe (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I've had my car for almost 1 year. It's a good looking car. Drives well. I have not had any mechanical problems. The blind spots are bad - especially when turning.




Battery failure

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 2dr Coupe (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Be aware that something is draining the battery on high end Nissans faster than the charging system can recharge unless you drive it on a regular basis for at least 15-30 minutes. Suggest staying away from Nissans if retired or you do little driving. Know of three new Nissans two 2009 Altima and one 2010 Maxima where battery has failed within 30 days after purchase. My uncle's has failed three times even after a new battery was installed. Mine has failed twice. Would get rid of it but don't want to take the financial hit. Joined AAA.




Great commuter

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 2dr Coupe (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

Bottom line is this is a great commuter car. It is comfortable, gets great gas mileage (28-32), has plenty of power compared to its competition, pleasure to drive (i didn't mean fun, you might fall asleep). I think it out performs the competition all away around. I drove them all. Some small issues I have are: the engine noise in the cabin(its a screamer if you like to drive on the harder side). The CVT can be annoying. It truly does sound like a motor boat. You'll have to use autostick to calm her down. Also the brakes are extremely grabby, be prepared, you'll get used to it though. Handles great in the rain with contiprotrac tires. Overall great car for the money!



Full 2009 Nissan Altima Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Nissan Altima receives only minor changes. Base models have a few more standard features this year, including power mirrors and a trip computer. Available options now include dual-zone climate control with rear vents and a sunroof as a stand-alone option.

Introduction

The term "family car" generally stirs up connotations of fun trailing far behind function. Add the term "sporty" and one assumes it's the same old car with bigger wheels, a rear spoiler and maybe some body cladding. Such is not the case with the 2009 Nissan Altima. Instead, the Altima is more of a sports-oriented car with the conveniences of a typical family car.

Available as either a coupe or sedan, the Altima delivers plenty of behind-the-wheel stimulation as well as enough comfort and tranquility to satisfy all five occupants. The coupe, which Nissan added last year, is more than just a sedan with two doors lopped off. It rides on a shorter wheelbase and has its own distinctive styling -- from a distance, you might think it's an Infiniti G37 that hasn't quite come out of adolescence. As you would hope, the coupe's smaller size makes it a bit sharper in terms of handling and road feel, though it does comes at the expense of rear passenger comfort.

Both Altima body styles can be luxuriously appointed with an impressive array of options, but those options are typically part of large and pricey packages. These feast-or-famine packages are further complicated by being conditionally paired with other packages. This structuring makes it difficult, if not downright impossible, to pick and choose among options you would consider essential or frivolous.

Despite its inconvenient options structure, the 2009 Nissan Altima is still a prime choice for a midsize sedan or coupe. Its closest competitors include the Ford Fusion, the Honda Accord (also available as a coupe), the redesigned Mazda 6, the Saturn Aura and the Toyota Camry. All are worthy choices, but if you want your "family car" to have some "sports car" in it, the Altima is definitely worthy of your attention.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Nissan Altima is available as either a midsize sedan or a coupe. Trim levels for the sedan start at the bargain-basement level with the Altima 2.5. This Altima comes with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, cruise control and a trip computer. Noticeably absent is an audio system, although it is pre-wired with four speakers. This base model is only available as a sedan and by customer order. No options are offered.

The first step up from the base 2.5 is the 2.5 S trim level, which is available in either coupe or sedan format. Additions include a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack, keyless ignition/entry and various interior trim bits. Above the 2.5 S trim level is the 3.5 SE, which, as the name implies, sports a 3.5-liter V6. The 3.5 SE also comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, sideview mirrors with integrated signals, a power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, and wood-tone interior accents. The 3.5 SE coupe gets further adorned with 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, a sunroof and foglights.

The luxury-oriented Altima 3.5 SL is the most amply appointed trim level and is only available as a sedan. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, leather seats (heated for the driver and front passenger), metallic interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear passenger vents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, interior mood lighting, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with an in-dash six-CD/MP3 changer and satellite radio.

Options for the Altima are as difficult to comprehend as particle physics and come with more restrictions than a last-minute vacation reservation. A luxuriously appointed 2.5 S can be had with the addition of two different Convenience Packages -- they contain many of the standard features found on the 3.5 SE. There's also the 2.5 SL Package. Each of these requires purchasing the preceding package. The 3.5 SE can be augmented with a Sport Package as well as an SL-like Premium Package. The Connection and Technology Packages add conveniences like a navigation system with a rearview monitor, as well as additional SL-level items.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Nissan Altima offers two engine choices. Altima 2.5 models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 175 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Altima 3.5 models have a 3.5-liter V6 that pumps out 270 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Most models (except for the base 2.5 and 3.5 SL) are offered with a standard six-speed manual transmission, with a CVT as an option.

Altimas with the four-cylinder engine can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in the mid-7-second range, which is certainly quick for this segment. The more powerful V6 brings that time down to 6.2 seconds for the manual transmission and 6.6 seconds for the CVT. Fuel economy is surprisingly prudent, considering the healthy power output. The four-cylinder manages 23 mpg in the city/31 on the highway and 26 mpg combined. The V6 turns in 19/26/22 mpg. These figures are for Altimas with the CVT, but the manual transmission's gas mileage is essentially the same.

Safety

Occupant protection is handled by standard front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Antilock disc brakes are standard across all Altimas, but traction control only comes on the 3.5 models. Stability control isn't offered on 2.5 models and it's optional on the 3.5.

In government crash tests, the Altima sedan has been awarded the highest rating (five out of five stars) for both frontal- and side impact protection. The coupe was awarded four out of five stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars in side-impact tests. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests resulted in a top score of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the 2009 Nissan Altima offers a quiet and attractive cabin made with top-notch materials. All coupes come with a hand brake and sportier seats with more side bolstering, unlike the sedan -- which has more traditional seats and a foot-operated parking brake on CVT models. With the smaller coupe dimensions, front headroom is reduced and rear seating is compromised. Front seats in all Altimas are superb -- especially when the power seats are optioned -- offering a high degree of comfort and support.

Driving Impressions

The sport-oriented suspension and precise steering provide enough exhilaration to satisfy driving enthusiasts while still managing to deliver a civilized, comfortable and quiet ride. The four-cylinder models should provide sufficient power for the majority of drivers, while the V6's 270 hp is enough to thrill more spirited pilots.

We actually recommend the CVT over the six-speed manual. It is by far the best CVT we've tested, thanks to its responsiveness and use of available power. The manual gearbox falls short, with its sudden clutch engagement, weak shifter and sloppy gear selection. In addition to the manual transmission, the Altima's brakes could also use some improvement. Pedal feel is positive, but stopping distances from 60 mph were only average for this class, requiring 126-134 feet.

Talk About The 2009 Altima

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs