2007 Nissan Altima Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Strong performance from V6 models, smooth and responsive CVT, attractive cabin design with quality materials, generous interior room front and rear.
- Stability control not available on lower trim levels, mediocre comfort levels in backseat.
After raising the family sedan performance bar with the last-generation Altima, Nissan steps up its efforts in cabin refinement with this year's redesign. The result is one of our top picks in this segment as the 2007 Nissan Altima provides dashing style, entertaining driving dynamics and a welcoming interior.
Although not the most glamorous segment, the family sedan class is undeniably very important to carmakers due to its high volume and high visibility. Nissan played it safe with the first Altima (which debuted in the early '90s) with modest dimensions and four-cylinder power only. Five years ago Nissan gave the Altima an extreme makeover that turned it into the sport sedan of midsize family cars, thanks to a well-sorted suspension and the availability of Nissan's potent and refined 3.5-liter V6. Sadly, the cabin wasn't as highly polished, filled as it was with a lot of hard plastic and bland design. That all changes for this year, as the all-new 2007 Nissan Altima adds a healthy dose of style and refinement to go along with its sporting character.
This year's styling revamp, which features 350Z-style headlamps and a sweeping roof line, gives the Altima a more hunkered-down, sportier stance than before. The Altima's previous big weakness, its rather downmarket interior trim, has been fully addressed. The use of more supple and richly grained materials in the cabin goes a long way toward giving the 2007 Altima's cabin a polished, refined and much more welcoming ambiance.
Already a highly respected engine in terms of refinement and performance, the "VQ-series" 3.5-liter V6 gains more power this year. The stats are 270 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, giving it considerably more output than most competitors. Also noteworthy is the Altima's new continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan has been building CVTs for a few years now but this is the first one we've sampled that works well enough to justify its existence in lieu of a traditional automatic.
Overall, we believe the 2007 redesign has established the Nissan Altima as a premier choice once again. It bests the Mazda 6, another sporty favorite of ours, in terms of passenger room and power. It's also more refined than other midsize sedans like the Mitsubishi Galant and Chevy Malibu. And while the Accord and Camry are as accommodating as the Altima, they don't quite match the Nissan in terms of overall driving enjoyment. For family sedan shoppers interested in a vehicle that brings some enthusiasm to the daily grind, the new Altima is one of our top recommendations.
2007 Nissan Altima models
A midsize sedan, the 2007 Nissan Altima comes in four trims: a base 2.5 trim (by customer order only), 2.5 S, 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL. The base version comes with a 175-hp four-cylinder engine, 16-inch wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry/starting, cruise control, a split/folding rear seat and a telescoping steering wheel. The 2.5 S adds air-conditioning, a CD player and MP3 input jack, a trip computer and intermittent wipers. The sporty 3.5 SE comes with a 270-hp V6, a sport-tuned suspension with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, power-folding side-view mirrors with integral turn signals, a power driver seat, wood-tone accents and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The 3.5 SL goes the full luxury route with leather seating, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, Bluetooth connectivity, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 16-inch alloy wheels, xenon HID headlights and a Bose audio system with CD changer and satellite radio.
Options include an SL package for the 2.5 S that essentially adds all the features of the 3.5 SL minus the V6. Available on all but the base Altima is a technology package that bundles a navigation system with a rearview monitor. Many of the SL features can be ordered on the 2.5 S and 3.5 SE trims either à la carte or through packages.
Performance & mpg
The front-wheel-drive Altima is powered by either a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque (on the 2.5 trims) or a 3.5-liter V6 with 270 hp and 258 lb-ft (on the 3.5 trims). All but the 3.5 SL come with a six-speed manual transmission, while a CVT is standard on that trim and optional on all others except the base car.
In our tests, a 3.5 SE with the CVT ran to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. The CVT provides quick, smooth acceleration and powerful passing ability without any of the "freewheeling" effect we've noticed on other, less-sophisticated CVTs. Despite all the power on tap, the Altima V6 exhibits no torque steer under hard acceleration. Fuel economy is impressive on four-cylinder/six-speed cars; they're rated at 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway. Nissan Altimas with the V6/CVT combination have an average rating of 22/28.
Front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes and a tire-pressure monitor are standard on every 2007 Nissan Altima. Antilock brakes are standard on the 3.5 trims and optional on the 2.5 S. Only the 3.5 trims are eligible for traction control (it's standard) and stability control. (It's optional.)
With its sporty suspension tuning (especially in 3.5 SE guise) and quick steering, the 2007 Nissan Altima provides enthusiasts with one of the most enjoyable family sedans available. Ride quality is comfortable throughout the line, with the 3.5 SE having a firmer but still agreeable personality in that respect. Strong performance from the V6 models should more than satisfy those who like a kick in the pants when they boot the gas, and the four-cylinder provides perfectly adequate acceleration. Braking performance is the Altima's main dynamic weakness. Pedal feel is progressive, but during instrumented testing, we measured a 134-foot stop from 60 mph, which is about 10 feet longer than most rivals'.
The 2007 Nissan Altima features a spacious cabin (rear-seat legroom is best-in-class) and plenty of soft-touch materials that are miles ahead of the hard plastics used in the previous generation. All Altimas have "Intelligent Key" keyless entry and start, which allows owners to get in and drive away without removing the key fob from their pocket or purse. There are plenty of cupholders and storage cubbies, including a fairly large one located in front of the gear shifter. Although a tilt/telescoping steering wheel is standard, it's awkward to adjust, as one must hold the adjustment lever with one hand while pushing or pulling the wheel with the other. As spacious as it is, the Altima's backseat is not necessarily the most comfortable in the midsize family sedan class, as its low-mounted bench denies thigh support to taller adults. Additionally, foot space is tight under the front chairs and the head restraints are nonadjustable. The seat does have a standard split/folding rear feature, providing extra cargo capacity should the 15.3-cubic-foot trunk not be enough.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
- Side Impact TestNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More About This Model
The Altima is arguably the most important Nissan product of the last decade. If you go back a mere 10 years and look at Nissan circa 1996 you'll see a company struggling to survive in the North American market. The Z was about to die. The "premium" products coming out of Infiniti were lackluster at best, and nothing in Nissan's future portfolio indicated a turnaround was anywhere on the horizon.
Fast-forward to the New York auto show — spring of 2001. Nissan rolls out an all-new Altima that offers more interior space, more horsepower and considerably more attitude than the former family sedan benchmarks from Honda (Accord) and Toyota (Camry). Can you say "shift-paradigm"?
Fast-forward another five years to spring of 2006. The Z-car is back, there's a full-size Nissan Titan challenging the domestic trucks, and the Infiniti G35 is openly threatening BMW's 3 Series. Yet the Altima's claim to fame remains the most impressive of them all: It is among the top five best-selling cars in the U.S.
Nissan obviously hopes to continue, and even build upon, the car's success with an all-new 2007 Altima. We were lucky enough to road test an early production model before the 2006 New York Auto Show unveil, and we have a solid picture of how the redesigned Altima will fit into this ultracompetitive segment.
All-new from the platform up
Starting with an all-new "D" platform, Nissan lowered the engine, upgraded the front suspension geometry and improved the shock absorbers for better steering response and handling. The new engine location allows the half shafts to be mounted at equal angles to reduce torque steer, while a new upper cowl structure provides increased rigidity at the front-suspension mounting points. The rear suspension continues to use an independent, multilink design and antiroll bars are mounted at both ends of the car.
Base Altimas utilize 16-inch steel wheels with 215/60 tires, but 17-inch alloys wearing 215/55 tires are available on the 3.5 SE models. The 3.5 SE also features a sport-tuned suspension and larger antiroll bars. Much of the 2007 Altima's improved rigidity comes via the use of high-strength steel throughout the platform, as well as a 1-inch-shorter wheelbase. Despite these structural gains the new model is only 55 pounds heavier than the current car.
With a proclaimed engineering target of creating "the best performing front-wheel-drive sedan in the world," we had rather high expectations for the new Altima. What we got was a noticeable uptick in steering feel and feedback and an overall sharper, more nimble car. The improved front suspension tuning, along with the new speed-sensitive, power rack and pinion steering system, provides a precise and linear steering response that rivals the class leader in this area — Honda's Accord.
Adding to the Altima's fun factor is a more powerful 3.5-liter V6. Final SAE horsepower figures have yet to be released, but expect the peak number to come in around 265, a 15 horsepower increase over the current model's V6. Reduced internal friction and improved cylinder head cooling contribute to the increase in horsepower while also providing a more refined engine note. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder gets a bump in compression ratio, an improved balancer system and a larger intake manifold, but final numbers for this engine are similarly pending.
More impressive than either engine is the new Xtronic CVT. This is the same unit found in the Murano SUV, but it has benefited from an upgraded "Sport" controller that uses adaptive logic to adjust shift patterns under varying conditions.
As a rule we haven't been too impressed with CVTs, but our brief experience in the Altima suggests this technology is finally ready for prime time. While technically not "shifting" at all, this CVT made the most of both the four-cylinder and V6 engines' power and torque. When rolling into the throttle, or climbing a hill, the CVT allowed the engines to rev quickly and build power before executing a simulated — and very positive feeling — "upshift."
Nissan has been pushing CVT technology for over a decade. It feels the improved efficiency and smoothness offered by this transmission design represents the wave of the future. The company expects to sell 1 million CVTs globally, every year, by 2008. If they all work this well we'll happily contribute to that number. Buyers still not sold on the merits of CVTs can select a six-speed manual transmission for either engine.
It's what's on the inside that really counts
While we appreciated the 2007 Altima's structural and drivetrain improvements, I think everyone can agree on where this car really needed a redo: interior quality. As paradigm-shifting as that 2002 Altima was, it never threatened the segment leaders in terms of cabin environment. For this redesign Nissan wanted to "build on the strengths, address the weaknesses" of the current model.
Tapping on the new Altima's dash and door panels confirmed Nissan did its homework. The previously rock-hard plastics have given way to well, supple plastics. Seat leather and interior controls are also clearly improved. It's not like you'll confuse the Altima's interior with an Aston Martin's, but the car can finally stand toe-to-toe with Accord and Camry cabins.
For instance, our test car was equipped with dual-zone climate controls and the temperature knobs had a confident, weighty feel as we turned them back and forth (also a slick temperature display inside the knobs). The gauge cluster and radio displays have a significantly brighter and more polished appearance, and the available Intelligent Key system allows for push-button engine starting.
Other options include a nine-speaker Bose audio system and a Bluetooth hands-free phone system. Of course there's still that Nissan-esque folding door over the storage pocket at the base of the center stack. But the one on our test car actually worked smoothly without feeling like it was about to break off in our hand.
It's also worth noting that although Nissan shortened the car's wheelbase by 1 inch during its redesign, the Altima's total interior volume remains the same. This was accomplished by reworking the firewall location and trunk layout, yet trunk space remains about the same.
All-new car, same old mission
Nissan wants the 2007 Altima to be among the top three selling cars in the U.S. Beyond the improvements listed above, the company will add a hybrid model during the winter of 2007 as part of its goal. These enhancements will probably maintain the Altima's standing in the market, but with an all-new Camry (and Camry Hybrid) hitting showrooms, along with increasing pressure from upstarts like Hyundai and Mazda, getting Altima on the sales podium will be an uphill battle.
Nissan doesn't appear concerned, however. The Altima has been part of uphill battles before.
Used 2007 Nissan Altima Overview
The Used 2007 Nissan Altima is offered in the following submodels: Altima Sedan. Available styles include 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M), 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M), and 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned Nissan Altima models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine or a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 270 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2007 Nissan Altima comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2007 Nissan Altima comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2007 Nissan Altima?
Price comparisons for Used 2007 Nissan Altima trim styles:
- The Used 2007 Nissan Altima 2.5 S is priced between $7,899 and$7,899 with odometer readings between 91165 and91165 miles.
- The Used 2007 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE is priced between $6,950 and$6,950 with odometer readings between 126085 and126085 miles.
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Which used 2007 Nissan Altimas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2007 Nissan Altima for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2007 Altimas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,950 and mileage as low as 91165 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2007 Nissan Altima.
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Should I lease or buy a 2007 Nissan Altima?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.