In the 17 years since the Nissan Altima made its debut in the heart of the Nissan sedan lineup, the vehicle has grown substantially in size, power, technology and, with more than 3.1 million units produced to date, in popularity and sales. The Altima lineup has also expanded to include Altima Coupe and Altima Hybrid models. Once positioned as “the cure for the common sedan,” Altima today still holds a unique place in the mid-size sedan segment, leading in the most recent (2009) J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS) and offering levels of performance and style that reinforce the concept that “quality doesn’t have to be boring.”
Now, for 2010, Altima takes another leap forward with a major revision to its fourth-generation design with new exterior styling, refined interior treatments and enhanced technology and entertainment features — including an advanced available Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with 9.3GB Music Box hard drive for digital music storage and playback and standard 6.5-inch color touch-screen display.
“As Nissan’s best-selling global nameplate, Altima continues to attract new buyers looking for its unexpected combination of performance, quality, style, dependability, value and fuel economy,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “Altima is the practical choice for people who want more than a practical car. With the major enhancements and fresh new styling for 2010, there are more reasons than ever to choose Altima.”
The 2010 Altima Sedan is available in three well-equipped models designed to appeal to a broad range of buyer needs and budgets: the 2.5 CVT and 2.5 S CVT with standard 175-horsepower 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder, and the 3.5 SR CVT with a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The 3.5 SR replaces the previous 3.5 SE model.
Altima is built on Nissan’s advanced “D” platform, with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) now standard on all models. The 2010 Nissan Altima also offers a range of comfort and convenience features, including available Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with audio streaming and RearView Monitor.
New Exterior Styling Adds Fresh Appeal
Though Altima was completely redesigned for the 2007 model year, Altima receives a significant number of refinements for 2010 — including a restyled hood, grille, front bumper and rear license plate finisher, and new 16-inch and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheel designs. These changes add a greater visual volume to the front end, especially the hood, and provide greater differentiation between the Altima Sedan and Altima Coupe.
“Our goal is to never let Altima get stale, or boring, which means constantly investing in keeping its look fresh and appeal high,” said Castignetti. “We’re also dedicated to keeping Altima’s quality at the top of its segment, following Altima’s top ranking in the 2009 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS).”
The refreshed exterior styling embraces Altima’s distinctive, iconic, sporty design. It offers a “dynamic simplicity” with an aggressive stance, distinctive Nissan “T-shaped” grille, powerful front fenders, strong wedge character line, forward A-pillars and Nissan-family roofline, Altima-style taillights and dual exhaust finishers on all models. High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights are optionally available with the Sport Package (3.5 SR).
The 109.3-inch wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs (with an overall length of 190.7 inches) enhances Altima’s agile maneuverability and contribute to its sporty, aggressive appearance. Altima’s chassis layout also offers roomy front and rear interior headroom and legroom, plus ample cargo storage with 15.3 cubic feet of trunk space. Altima is available with 16-inch (optional on 2.5 S) or 17-inch (standard on 3.5 SR) aluminum-alloy wheels or 16-inch steel wheels with covers (2.5, 2.5 S). Eight exterior colors are offered: Tuscan Sun, Navy Blue, Sonoran Sand, Dark Slate, Super Black, Radiant Silver, Ocean Gray and Winter Frost.
A Refined Interior with Focus on Entertainment
The 2010 Altima continues to emphasize refined workmanship and the use of soft materials, such as padded armrests, and stylish chrome accents — with new fabrics and finishers for all interior colors, along with a revised Blonde interior color (both cloth and leather-appointed). The seam stitching has been revised on cloth seats and the automatic transmission lever has a new finisher design. Gauge illumination has also been changed to white illumination.
Altima’s instrument panel features a Fine Vision gauge display for precise readability and the L-shaped flow of the instrument panel to the center console adds to a driver-oriented cockpit feel. The center console includes a triple front cupholder design, among the many convenient cup and bottle areas (up to nine total, including 20-ounce bottle holders in the door panels) and storage compartments, many of which are covered. The volume of the glove compartment is also substantial, measuring an accommodating 0.46 cubic feet.
Three interior colors are available — Charcoal, Blonde and Frost. The interior is offered in both high quality soft-touch suede-like fabric and with optional leather-appointed seating.
Along with the exhilaration provided by the driver-oriented cockpit and high levels of Altima performance, the “entertainment factor” of Altima’s interior has been upgraded for 2010 with a new available Premium Audio Package that includes a Bose® AM/FM audio system with nine speakers, 4.3-inch color display, USB port with iPod® connectivity, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, MP3/WMA CD-ROM playback, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately) and RearView Monitor.
Also offered is a next-generation Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with 6.5-inch VGA color display (replaces the 4.3-inch display), 9.3GB Music Box for music storage and playback, advanced map data including speed limit advisories, Zagat restaurant guide, XM NavTraffic® and XM NavWeather® (XM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Streaming Audio, DVD player and an RCA input for auxiliary audio/video connectivity.
“Technology and connectivity are important to Altima buyers, so we’ve added the latest in 08IT features to our navigation system — so you can check traffic, weather, restaurants or just sit back and enjoy premium audio selections from the hard drive or your mobile player,” added Castignetti.
Other available convenience features include an 8-way power driver’s seat, automatic on/off headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power sliding glass moonroof, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, heated front driver and passenger seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control and rear-passenger air conditioning vents.
A Choice of Two Efficient Powerplants
Altima’s exhilarating driving pleasure comes from a tuned combination of strong acceleration, responsive handling and dynamic sound — provided by advanced engine designs and the proven Nissan front-wheel drive “D” platform.
Altima’s independent front suspension with advanced geometry and shock absorbers with rebound springs provides responsive handling and a comfortable ride. The subframe-mounted front suspension makes extensive use of lightweight aluminum parts, while an X-type upper cowl structure helps establish front body rigidity for suspension mounting. Altima also features a low engine-mounting position with a six-point pendulum-type mounting system and the half-shafts are set at equal angles and nearly parallel to the ground — virtually eliminating torque steer.
The rear multi-link independent suspension design separates the rear shock absorbers and springs for minimized friction and the shocks are in line with the center of the rear wheels, providing excellent damping and almost no harshness. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard. Altima 3.5 SR offers larger diameter stabilizer bars and unique spring rates and strut damping, as well as 17-inch wheels and tires.
Two powerplants are once again available in 2010. The 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 is rated at 270 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and offers strong acceleration and a tuned, resonant sound quality. The V6 features minimized friction, superior cylinder head cooling and twin knock sensors.
Also available is a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder producing 175 horsepower (170 hp CAL) and 180 lb-ft of torque (175 lb-ft CAL). It features a silent chain drive and a balancer system (with balancer changed to a center-mounted location for excellent NVH) that effectively negates vibrations without taking up much space — combining ideal packaging and smoothness.
Both engines feature continuously variable valve timing, modular engine design, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons and electronically controlled throttles. Altima’s standard dual exhaust system is designed to reduce exhaust backpressure by 35% on the 4-cylinder and 50% with the V6 (over the previous generations). Both systems utilize large tube diameters and include dual chrome-tipped exhaust finishers.
Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVT, which is designed to create a true synergy between engine and transmission with smooth, responsive, fluid-feeling performance and efficient operation, is standard on all models. The CVT has been tailored specifically for use with the Altima.
The V6 CVT features a “Sport” mode controller with a high-speed central processing unit and Adaptive Shift Controller with adaptive logic for fast shifting in both normal and manual modes. The adaptive logic feature delivers the best shift pattern based on the driving environment and driver’s actions. It utilizes 700 programmed algorithms to adjust to differing conditions, such as uphill or downhill driving, as well as adapting to three styles of driving — economy, normal and sporty.
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS) is now standard on all Altima models.
Altima’s standard twin-orifice vehicle-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system provides light steering effort at low speeds and a secure feeling at high speeds, along with a balanced, “on center” feel.
Braking for the 2010 Altima is provided by standard 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), which optimizes brake force depending on load condition (passengers and cargo). A variable ratio pivot brake pedal provides a rigid feel at freeway speeds and less sensitive, more controllable operation in city driving.
The 2010 Altima Sedan comes equipped with a number of standard safety features, including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors, front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.
Other standard equipment includes front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, front seat Active Head Restraints, the LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren), Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Models and Manufacturing
The 2010 Nissan Altima is available in three well-equipped models: 2.5 CVT, 2.5 S CVT and 3.5 SR CVT.
The 2.5 CVT includes standard 175-hp 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine, Xtronic CVT, 4-wheel power-assisted disc brakes (vented front), independent suspension, 16-inch wheels and tires, velour seat trim, push button ignition, power windows and door locks, a long list of standard safety features and much more.
The Altima 2.5 S CVT adds features such as Nissan Intelligent Key; AM/FM/AUX input 6-speaker audio system, driver and front-passenger seatback map pockets, driver’s footrest finisher, power windows with driver side one-touch auto up/down and more.
The Altima 3.5 SR CVT model starts with the 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 and then adds 8-way power driver’s seat, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, P215/55R17 all-season radial tires, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel audio controls, auto on/off headlights, manual folding heated sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals, dual illuminated vanity mirrors with extensions, one-touch auto up/down front windows and wood-tone finishers (Blonde interior).
A number of option packages are also offered, allowing buyers to fine-tune the Altima to their precise needs — including a Convenience Package, Convenience Plus Package and Premium Audio Package, for the 2.5 S CVT. The Technology Package, offered with the 2.5 S and 3.5 SR, includes the Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with 6.5-inch color monitor and the 9.3GB Music Box hard drive.
The 3.5 SR Premium Package includes leather-appointed seats, leather-wrapped gearshift knob, power driver lumbar support, heated front seats, Bose® AM/FM audio system with 9 speakers, 4.3-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, USB port with iPod® connectivity, XM® Satellite Radio, MP3/WMA CD-ROM playback compatibility, Radio Data System (RDS), speed-sensitive auto volume, auto-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, compass, mood lighting, rear-passenger air conditioning vents and metallic-texture finishers (charcoal interior).
The Sport Package (3.5 SR) offers Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control, power sliding tinted glass moonroof with tilt, sliding sunshade and one-touch open/close with auto-reverse feature, High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlights, rear spoiler with integrated CHMSL and fog lights.
Altima is assembled at the Nissan North America Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi Manufacturing plants.