2009 Nissan Altima Sedan Review | Edmunds.com
 

2009 Nissan Altima Sedan

 
 

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Nissan Altima Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 175 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

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…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (23 total reviews)


3 major failures within 50k

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I bought this car used at 40k miles, history was good. I have driven it for 50k miles (so at 90k now). Since I have purchased it, there have been 3 major failures, and also a recall that turned out to be nothing. The first major failure was the exhaust manifold cracking and needing to be replaced. An exhaust manifold should never crack that early, and the exhaust shop told me he has seen a lot of Altimas with this problem. Second major problem was the Electronic Steering Column Lock. This failure caused me to be stranded, as the car would not start. As of two days ago the final major failure occurred. Dealer is saying it is a rod bearing! STAY AWAY - much better options out there.




Big mistake, transmission out at

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I bought this car after was told it is sporty to drive. It might be sporty for old folks. The engine is loud as a jet taking of every-time you accelerate. My main issue with the car is highway driving. After driving on highway for more than two hours and then you decide to get off an exit for gas or a quick break, the car won't move. It has done that to me every time i had come to a stop after highway driving. It is very dangerous because the car won't move at all while the gear is on D and gas pedal pressed all the way down to the floor. Dealer wants to replace transmission. The second thing is this car is the worse vehicle for winter driving, especially in snow.




Bugs!! bugs!! bugss!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I have had a pretty fair experice with my Nissan Altima but a major dissapointment in this car is that when there is a problem with the vehicle the dealership seems unavailbale to fix it. I live in a rural area where bugs are prominent and it seems that my car as well as others around mine are extremly suscepitable to bugs being into the tail lights. They are very unsightly and nearly immpossibe to get out. When i contacted the dealer they told me that if the problem was not water they were not responsible for fixing my inconvience. I went to the nissan service area to see what I could do about this and they informed me that I would have to pay $500 each for new tail lights.



1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Disturbing horn/alarm

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

the altima 2009 is okay but one major pain: the remote key set. the horn button is awkwardly place that whenever the keys are in my pocket, the pad will often touch pocket contents or plain body and sound the alarm when I don't need it. I have to hold it all the time. can the next key pad be modified to ensure the alarm part is lower than other keys and cannot accidentally be triggered.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Crappy transmission

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

when i got this car it was awesome. then all of a sudden going about 30 mph car would shake and my mileage decreased from combined city and highway 25 to 19 mph. i repeatedly took it in and nothing wrong was found. although dealership felt the shaking right away. they couldnt fix it. repeatedly took it in. all of a sudden a service bulliten came out that this is the way the car is supposed to drive. b s. i say. i contacted nissan usa and tried to reason with them. and they told me yea thats the way it is. i am a car audio installer for more than 8 yrs, and i have worked on many nissan altimas like mine. they all drove great.. obviously there is something wrong. i trade piece o crap in.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Thee worst nissan ever owned!!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I have owned about 9 brand new nissan 10 used ones. from 1979 till 2009 5/pick-ups /3-200sx 5-altimas (2 have 200k onthem) 3/240sx and yes even my toys 2001 Skyline/2001 silvia S15 bluetop (stationed in Japanand now in the states with daddy) plus 3 sentras. never any problems at all!BUT! my 09 Altima 2.5s is the biggest dissappointment ever/ engine replaced at 30k for Knocking/ wears tires on rear evry 20k but alignment shows it is fine. now tranny at 59k and engine noise is back. real loud in mornings like oil is not getting up to top end. I am going to trade in ASAP on A Hyundai or VW Passat asap! I have owned my last Nissan.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 23
  • cty
/
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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