2012 Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
I've driven 6K miles in my 2012 Altima 3.5.
Overall, the car has good acceleration, and is very responsive.
The only odd concern is that at 30 MPH (the first time I drive it each day), there is a clunk. It sounds like I ran over a rock and it hit the undercarriage. I returned to Nissan 2 times to have it checked, and was told that it is the ABS Actuator, and the sound is 'normal'.
I find it hard to believe the engineers at Nissan would allow this.
Check this if you test drive an Altima.
Dashboard controls are easy to read, and appealing at night.
When you get the top model (3.5 v6, and sport pkg), it would be nice to have upgraded wheels.
Either different wheels or chrome wheels would differentiate the top model from the others...especially since ther are so many 2.5 altimas on the road.
It's normal its the CVT engine... It does that to adjust the gears automatically on an automatic... Read up on CVT engines... Even my 2012 Sentra does this... for the first time at 15mps Auto locks kick in and lock the doors than at 25-30 you hear a boom sound from the engine its the shifts working and doing its job.
During a service visit at Nissan due to this situation, I was told by the supervising Nissan technician the "clang" is not a problem with the CVT engine but is the ABS self test and is normal.
I later found the description of the reason for this "clang" in the 2012 "Owner's Manual" titled "Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) on Page 5-25.
Even the service in-take people were not aware of the reason.
Mileage not as good as my previous 2008 Altima 2.5 model.
Thank you for posting about the ABS "noise" I look every time thinking I hit a bottle or can.
I was freaked out that there was something really wrong with the car.
Now I can drive to my out of town business trip with some reassurance it's not going to have a problem along the way!
One reason you might not be getting mileage as good as your '08 model is that the car now has added weight from stability and traction controls. Another is that it takes a few months for a car to break in and achieve its best mileage. After 3 years my '09 2.5s averaged 23 mpg, and that's 90% driving short distances on hilly roads.
Just traded in the '09 (lease) for a '12 with the Anniversary Package and noticed the difference in handling. The car now drives more like my sister's Mercedes S500 (except it doesn't have the Mercedes terrible turbo lag). I will say its lost some of its sportiness compared to the '09 (which might be a good thing. Not sure most people would like the jackrabbit starts and over the top breaks) but it drives like a much more solid car, smoother starts and stops, quieter breaks, better foam in the seat bottoms, and seems to grip the road better around corners. Wind noise seems to be less at freeway speeds. Love the extras the Anniversary package adds, auto dimming rear mirror, auto headlights (although I still find myself turning them on and off manually, only had the car for 2 weeks now). The only other difference between the two model years is the engine hood styling which I'm back and forth as to which I like better.
All in all I prefer the '12 to the '09. (just wish it had more legroom for my 6'4" frame, I bought the Altima for the better legroom compared to competing models but still need more, I'm all leg.