2012 Nissan Altima

When it comes affordable midsize cars, the 2012 Nissan Altima proves that it is one of the better choices.

There are definitely other cars in its class that offer greater value for your money.

Nevertheless, the new Altima provides adequate performance and comfort for your daily driving needs.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $20,550.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 20 gallons (75L) MPG: 23 city / 32 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 190.7 in. (484.3 cm) Wheel Base: 109.3 in. (277.6 cm)
Height: 58 in. (147.3 cm) Width: 70.7 in. (179.5 cm)
Curb Weight: 3180 lbs (1442 kg) Ground Clearance: NA
Luggage Capacity: 15.3 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 16 Valve 4-Cylinder DOHC Displacement: 2.5 Liter
Horsepower: 175 HP Max RPM: 5600 RPM
Torque: 180 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm Transmission: CVT Automatic
Available Trims & Engine
Option:2.5S MSRP: $22,710; MPG: 23 city / 32 hwy
Option:2.5S Anniversary Pkg MSRP: $23,660; MPG: 23 city / 32 hwy
Option:2.5SL Package MSRP: $26,750; MPG: 23 city / 32 hwy
Option:3.5SR V6 MSRP: $25,570; MPG: 20 city / 27 hwy

Engine

Two engines are available for the 2012 Nissan Altima. They are the 4-cylinder 2.5 engine and the V6 3.5 liter engine. We prefer the latter because it delivers 270 horsepower and 258 lbs/ft of torque. All models are only available with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

What is good about the CVT is that it can use unlimited gear ratios to drive the car forward, consuming the least amount of fuel possible. Bringing power in one consistent line, the CVT in the Altima is one of the most advanced. The V6 engine consumes 27 mpg for highway and 20 mpg for city driving.

Performance

Having driven the V6 3.5 liter model, we can definitely say that the Altima performs well. It can definitely get you where you want to go every day. Other test drivers claim that it is even more fun to drive than the Hyundai Sonata (MSRP $20,795; 24 city / 35 hwy) and Toyota Camry (MSRP $22,055; 25 city / 35 hwy).

The car accelerates well and is efficient in passing, thanks to its advanced CVT. And although it is not the fastest or the sportiest in its class, it surely is one of the most comfortable cars to drive. It is also worth mentioning that the V6 comes with a sport tuned suspension which makes the driving experience better.

Exterior

The looks of the new Altima seem to be a little dated, although you can still see the aggressiveness in it. Perhaps if the design was introduced years ago, it can be described as fresh. Nissan can definitely improve this aspect in its next editions of the Altima.

Interior

The overall interior of the new Altima is satisfactory. It may not provide lots of space for tall drivers but it has some surprises for the technology oriented motorists. The central console has many features that car shoppers are looking for.

Like any other car, interior upgrades come with a price. There is not much to tell about the seat styling because it is very basic. But if you like simplicity, you will certainly like seat design.

There is adequate space for the driver and the front passenger but taller rear passengers may have little legroom and headroom. Children will not have problems with the rear seats but full grown adults may. The Altima is indeed a family sedan.

Safety

The new Altima has already been tested by the federal government and receives an overall score of 4 out of 5. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Altima "good" in front crash tests and side crash tests. In roof strength and rollover tests, the IIHS gives "acceptable" to the Altima.

The new Altima comes with standard safety features such as traction control, pressure monitoring system, and airbags.

Reliability

The 2012 Altima comes with the Nissan standard 3-year warranty and a 5-year powertrain warranty.

Pros

We give credit to Nissan for putting a lot of thought in providing a capable chassis, responsive steering, quiet ride, and numerous electronic features. It is good to know that the Altima is available in coupe, too.

Cons

The rear seat of the Altima is not ideal for full grown adults.

The 2012 Nissan Altima has the competitive edge and may also be compared to the Chevrolet Malibu (MSRP $22,110; 22 city / 33 hwy).

Overall Rating
78 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Nissan Altima isn't as roomy as the newest mid-offerings, but as a coupe or as a sedan, it's one of the best-looking and most sporty mid-sizers.”Car Connection

“Sedans have nicely damped body motions and direct steering. The brakes offer good stopping control, though one test model suffered from touchy pedal action. Coupes have sharper moves all around but are not as nimble as you might expect.”Consumer Guide

“The Altima is one of our top-scoring family sedans.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The key to the 2012 Nissan Altima Sedan's longevity is a rigid body structure that helps boost the car's sporty driving characteristics.”KBB

“Responsive steering; capable chassis; quiet ride; many available electronic features; available coupe body style. Smaller backseat than rivals; complex options structure.”Edmunds