Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 Altima Coupe Review

This Altima felt to me like a relatively sparsely equipped model, with its cloth seats, four-cylinder engine, and lack of navigation. The only readily apparent option was the CVT automatic, which I'd skip.

The Nissan Altima is back again, in both coupe and sedan styles. The base price for the 2011 sedan is $19,900. Despite what logic might dictate, the 2011 Altima Hybrid is not the highest-priced Altima offering. The "2011 Altima "3.5 SR coupe has that honor at $24,740.

Nissan hasn’t veered from the 2011 Altima foundation built on two gas engines and a gas-electric hybrid. The majority of Altima purchasers select the four-cylinder engine. The 2011 Altima 2.5 sedan and 2.5 S sedan and coupe are equipped with a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter I-4. 2011 Altima coupes are available with a choice of the CVT or a six-speed manual transmission, regardless of engine size.

The Altima is a nimble ride overall, agile and quick. Nissan currently offers a three year, 36,000 mile basic warranty, a five year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty, and a five year, unlimited mileage corrosion warranty on its Altima models.

Nissan dug into the QR family of engines for the 2.5-liter aluminum inline four-cylinder that powers the Altima Coupe’s 2.5 S trim. The 3.5-liter VQ engine in the 3.5 SR trim has an aluminum block and heads, DOHC design, and variable valve timing.

The Coupe offers a six-speed manual or a shiftable continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is clearly the better option.
An abbreviated wheelbase means more agility in the curves for the Altima Coupe, and it's quite sprightly for a front-wheel-drive car.

Legible, reachable controls make the interior of the Altima Coupe a joy to navigate.

Front, front-side, and curtain-side airbags, antilock four-wheel disc brakes, and stability and traction control are standard features for every Altima, and while NHTSA test results have yet to be released for the 2011 Altima Coupe due to a change in testing procedures, 2010 results show five-star ratings for all but frontal crashes, which earned four stars.

The Altima Coupe's 3.5-liter engine is a winner, providing performance and relative efficiency with a nice level of refinement that has gotten the attention of owners and Ward’s alike. It's a shame there isn’t a serviceable manual transmission, but the CVT offers a useable alternative.

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