Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: 2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

The Altima is Nissan's most important vehicle in its lineup. The 2012 Nissan Altima is ready to be phased out by the incoming 2013 model. The Altima competes against the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, VW Passat, Dodge Avenger, and the Chrysler 200. This is the first Altima I have been in since I drove the 2010 Altima 2.5 SL coupe. My tester was the 2.5 S trim coming in at $26,265.

The 2012 Altima is definitely showing its age. While the Altima isn't the ugliest vehicle in its class it is not the best looking. Many people will be fine with the Altima's conservative styling. I think the Altima does stand out in exterior colors such as red and white. My test was in Brilliant Silver.

I found the interior of the Altima to be good and effective. There is a mix of soft touch materials and plastics throughout the cabin. My tester came with the basic head unit, which I found easy to use and operate. The knobs and buttons are of good quality and were easy to reach and use. The interior color of my tester was charcoal which many people will like especially if they have children. The front cloth bucket seats are comfortable and supportive. The rear seats are just as comfortable and supportive. There is a decent amount of headroom and legroom available. With the drivers seat all the way back I still had enough legroom. The middle seat should only be used for a child. Overall I think the cabin works really well.

The Altima comes standard with Nissan's Intelligent Key and push button start. My test car had a power drivers seat, steering mounted audio controls, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth was simple and easy to use.

Behind the Wheel
The Altima is powered by a 2.5L four cylinder engine mated to a CVT (continuously variable transmission) that works really well. This 2.5L engine produces 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. I like V6 engines but the power of the four cylinder came on smoothly and didn't have me wanting more power. The Altima's ride is sporty which sets it apart from the competition. The steering is responsive which makes the Altima enjoying to drive. While driving the cabin remained quiet at most times but the droning sound of the transmission did appear. I found the visibility out of the windows and mirrors to be really good. The Altima is easy to drive which made me feel very comfortable behind the wheel.

The Nissan Altima does extremely well int he categories that matter to buyers which is why it has been so successful. The current generation Altima has been around since the 2007 model year. But that is changing with the 2013 model which is set to hit dealers soon. Since a new model is coming buyers who are looking for a midsize sedan should make their way to a Nissan dealership to get a good deal on a 2012 Altima (In the NC area make sure to visit my friends at Greenville Nissan). The 2012 Nissan Altima offers performance, fuel efficiency, and good reliability. A base 2.5 Altima starts at $20,550 and delivers 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

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