2010 Nissan Altima Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 175 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Nissan Altima

  • The 2010 Nissan Altima is an excellent pick for a midsize sedan or coupe, particularly if you're looking for something with some sporting flair.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Responsive steering, capable chassis, solid cabin construction, loads of electronics features, sedan's perfect safety scores, available coupe body style.

  • Cons

    Smaller backseat than rivals, coupe's wonky manual shifter, complex options structure.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 Nissan Altima has been refreshed with a restyled front fascia and standard stability control. There is also a newly upgraded sound system with an iPod interface, while the navigation system has been enhanced with a larger touchscreen, additional real-time satellite information, Bluetooth audio connectivity and digital music storage. Finally, the 3.5 SE model has been renamed 3.5 SR and loses its available manual transmission in sedan form.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (151 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Nissan sucks

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima

Let me just say that, one shall never buy Nissan. If you need your warrenty honored, you will have to spend more on your inspections and work around that Nissan will recommend before they agree to pay for it. I have Altima 2009 with bad transmission. Nissan support recommended 1800 worth of work around and it still has a problem and they are not honoring the warrenty. Nissan users, please lets get togather and sue Nissan. It shouldn't be selling these cars in USA because they are treating customers really bad.




Glad i bought it

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima

I bought my 2009 Nissan Altima new. I was looking for a new car and went to a local car show, where they had many cars of the type I was looking for (sedans). I’m 6’5” tall, my first concern was whether I fit or not. Either not enough head room or not enough leg room eliminated 90% of the cars. Price range, basic features, comfort narrowed it down to this car. I chose the bigger engine for more control and better handling. I have almost 60,000 miles on it now and I still love the car. I did have a problem with the front windshield cracking within the first month; they replaced it without any problem. This car has been well worth my investment.




2009 altima hybrid--disappointed

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima

I really wanted to like this car. Even though it wasn't originally sold in the Midwest where I live, I had a dealer get one for me back in 2010. Over the weekend, my car stranded me with the infamous steering column issue. I couldn't get it started in the Mall parking lot...no prior warning lights, etc. Upon trying to start it, the red "key" light came on. Today they fixed it under the "extended warranty" which should've been a recall. The dealer did tell me the parts aren't always in stock, and some customers had to wait a month for a part and repair. Bad job, Nissan. The romance is over, and I'm kicking you to the curb.




I love my 09 nissan

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima

very fun to drive around in, and my comfort level in this car is excellent!!! I added on 20% window tint and all the girls turn their heads to look at me. What can I say this car just feels right for me. My last car didn't feel right at all. The engine is very quiet, and it is a undercover powerhouse best 4cly engine I have ever had, even comes with dual exhaust. I don't understand all these bad reviews because I absolutely love the car and have had zero problems since I bought it (not to mention it was a rental before I got it). I got it at 33,668 miles for 14,147$$. I love this car if you are considering purchasing this car I would say this would be the most efficient car you can get.



2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Altimas are not reliable and

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima

The air compressor clutch failed on my Altima with only 52,000 miles on it.The cost to repair it is $1000.00 and Nissan has refused to cover the cost of repair because they say that my car is "outside of its warranty parameters." Two reputable mechanics have informed me that it is unheard of for a car with such low mileage that has been impeccably maintained to have a air compression clutch failure.Nissan is not willing to look beyond the warranty parameters and see this as an ethical, good business, customer service issue.They are basically saying that even if the mechanics of the vehicle fall apart after the warranty period, Nissan will not stand by its vehicle.




3 major failures within 50k

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Altima

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.



Full 2010 Nissan Altima Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Nissan Altima has been refreshed with a restyled front fascia and standard stability control. There is also a newly upgraded sound system with an iPod interface, while the navigation system has been enhanced with a larger touchscreen, additional real-time satellite information, Bluetooth audio connectivity and digital music storage. Finally, the 3.5 SE model has been renamed 3.5 SR and loses its available manual transmission in sedan form.

Introduction

"Fun for the whole family!" is usually attached to large buffet restaurants or miniature golf courses, but occasionally it applies to cars. Yes, it's possible for Dad or Mom to have a modicum of fun behind the wheel without squishing Junior into a cramped backseat and jostling him around with a firm ride. There are a few such candidates in the family sedan category, with the 2010 Nissan Altima being one of our favorites. As a bonus, it's also available as a coupe for those who don't need a whole family to tag along.

The amount of fun you'll have will somewhat depend on whether you choose the four-cylinder engine or the V6. The latter comes standard with a sport-tuned suspension that trades some ride comfort for sharper handling, making the V6-powered Altima 3.5 SR model feel more like a sport sedan in family-friendly clothing. The four-cylinder car is more sedate due to its softer suspension and considerable power deficit relative to the V6. Still, all Altimas will be more involving to drive than sedans purely focused on comfort, such as the Hyundai Sonata or Toyota Camry.

For 2010, the current-generation Altima receives its first significant update since its debut back in 2007. This includes a restyled front end and the welcome addition of standard stability control across the board. Nissan has also upgraded the stereo, navigation and Bluetooth systems, making the Altima one of the most high-tech models in the midsize sedan and coupe markets.

Unfortunately, that equipment comes in expensive options packages, which in some cases must be paired with other packages. This structuring makes it difficult to pick and choose among options you would consider essential or frivolous. Another downside to the Altima is its backseat, which isn't quite as roomy as what you'll find in other top models. Then again, bigger isn't always better, as the Altima's "just right" size is a major contributor to its athleticism.

All said, we consider the 2010 Nissan Altima to be one of the class leaders -- especially with the V6. There are some other models we'd strongly suggest checking out -- the highly impressive Ford Fusion, the perennially popular Honda Accord, the enjoyable Mazda 6 and the new Suzuki Kizashi come to mind -- but should you choose a Nissan Altima, it will surely provide plenty of fun for the whole family.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Nissan Altima is available in sedan and coupe body styles. The hybrid-powered Altima sedan is reviewed separately. The base sedan is the 2.5, which is sparsely equipped and only available by customer order. Standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning and a trip computer. No options are available and a stereo is not included, but the car is prewired for one with four speakers.

The 2.5 S trim is available on both sedan and coupe. It adds to the base car keyless ignition and entry and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The 2.5 S coupe adds 17-inch alloy wheels. You can get more equipment with the 2.5 S Convenience package, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels (sedan), an eight-way power driver seat, automatic headlights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

The 2.5 S Convenience Plus package (sedan only) adds a sunroof and dual-zone automatic climate control. The 2.5 S Premium Audio package (sedan only) adds a nine-speaker Bose stereo, a color display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, an iPod interface and satellite radio. The 2.5 S Premium package for the coupe essentially adds all the optional content listed above.

The 2.5 SL package for the sedan adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and rear A/C vents. The SL package is known as the Leather package on the coupe; it lacks rear A/C vents but gains xenon headlights.

The 3.5 SR adds a V6 engine, 17-inch alloy wheels (18s for the coupe), a sport-tuned suspension, heated side mirrors and the contents of the 2.5 S Convenience package. The 3.5 SR Sport package available on the sedan adds a sunroof, xenon headlights, a rear spoiler, foglights and dual-zone climate control. The 3.5 SR Premium package available on both cars essentially includes all the 2.5 S coupe Premium package, SL package and Premium Audio package items.

The Technology package available on the 2.5 S and 3.5 SR trims of both sedan and coupe includes a hard-drive navigation system, real-time traffic and weather updates, Bluetooth streaming audio and digital music storage.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Nissan Altima features two engine choices. The 2.5 models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 175 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is mandatory on the sedan, while the coupe gets a standard six-speed manual transmission and the CVT as an option. EPA estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined with the CVT and 23/31/26 with the manual.

The 3.5 SR models get a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 270 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This engine gets the same transmission choices as the 2.5. In Edmunds performance testing, a 3.5 sedan went from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds. The coupe with the CVT did the same sprint in 6.7 seconds; with the manual, it dropped to 6.5. EPA fuel economy is 20/27/23 for the CVT and 18/27/21 for the manual.

Safety

Every Altima comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Altima 3.5 with 17-inch wheels (regardless of body style) came to a stop from 60 mph in about 130 feet, a performance deemed average by our testing team.

In government crash testing, the Altima sedan received a perfect five stars for frontal protection, while the coupe got four stars. Both models got a five-star side rating, however. The Altima sedan received the best possible rating of "Good" in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2010 Nissan Altima offers a quiet and attractive cabin made with top-notch materials, though the overall appearance is a little dour, especially in black. All coupes come with sportier seats that feature more side bolstering than the sedan's relatively flat chairs. Controls are straightforward, even with the optional navigation system, and updates made for 2010, including items like Bluetooth streaming audio and an iPod interface, keep the Altima current in the rapidly evolving world of in-car electronics.

Space is quite good in the Altima, although rear headroom is a little tight compared to some competitors, and the back headrests are built into the seatback rather than being adjustable. Legroom also trails the competition by the numbers, though in practice the Altima is plenty roomy in this regard. The coupe's backseat, however, is notably cramped, particularly if you compare it to the one in the Honda Accord coupe; however, it's acceptable for brief jaunts with one or two average-size adults. The sedan offers a decent 15.3-cubic-foot trunk, while the coupe is significantly smaller at 8.2 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2010 Nissan Altima is really a tale of two cars. The four-cylinder will be the choice of many, but our opinions are divided on the CVT, with some editors complaining that it makes the engine seem overly noisy and labored during acceleration. Four-cylinder cars also lack the sport-tuned suspension of the V6 model. A less special driving experience is the result, though you do get a more comfortable ride quality out of the deal, and the chassis is still sportier than the norm for this segment.

The V6 is a different matter. The CVT is much better suited to the more powerful V6, and the sport suspension pairs with precise steering to make the Altima drive like a discount sport sedan. The coupe is available with a manual transmission, but despite this model's intended sportiness, we'd stick with the CVT. The manual gearbox has a sudden clutch engagement and sloppy gear selection.

Talk About The 2010 Altima

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 23
  • cty
/
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs