Premium Package ($2,380 -- includes leather upholstery and trim, driver power lumbar, heated front seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity, Bose audio, XM Satellite Radio, iPod/USB port, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear air vents); Sport Package ($2,370 -- includes rear spoiler, foglights, xenon headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, sunroof); Technology Package ($1,780 -- includes navigation system, Bluetooth streaming audio, DVD player, VTR jack); Floor and Trunk Mat Set ($175).
3,498cc (213 cu-in)
Double overhead camshaft
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
270 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
258 @ 4,400
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
Doesn't roast tires like previous Altimas with conventional automatics, so launches are consistent. CVT ramps up to 6,250 rpm by 50 mph and maintains throughout quarter-mile. Power seems to come on at 4,000 rpm. No torque steer at full throttle. Using Manual mode inserts artificial "shifts" and makes acceleration runs slower.
Noisy tires and steep jump-in from pedal. Faded only slightly in distance, though, and pedal remained firm. Lots of odor by last stop.
Skid pad: Understeers on the limit but can be coaxed back online by breathing off the throttle -- which is exactly what stability control does when on. Steering gets rather heavy. Slalom: Nicely tuned front-drive manners, meaning you can use throttle to adjust yaw (i.e., stab it on the straight bits and lift for rotation). Steering is responsive but heavy. ESP on is very intrusive with front brake applications.