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Nissan Altima – Good size, Good Features

There was a time when I really liked the Nissan Maxima.

It had a renowned V6 engine, it toured nicely, it was a big car of course and it had a good level of comfort.

It’s not that I didn’t like the later models it’s just that they looked, well, bland and competitors had caught up.

All this has now history because Nissan has stopped selling them in Australia.  They have bought the Altima into our market.  They claim that it is not a replacement for the Maxima stating that it is a medium sized vehicle.

But it is still pretty big.  Is it a good family size sedan and how will it go against the Toyota Camry, the Mazda6 and a bevy of other competitors.

Let’s ask Brent Davison from the Newcastle Herald and the Illawarra Mercury.

  • It is a good sized car with plenty of room in the back.  I liked sitting in the back seat and having good support under your thighs.  A lot of cars leave you with your knees in the air and you cannot relax by getting support under your legs.
  • Had some nice features inside the car – 7 inch touch screen for entertainment and four inch screen for vehicle data.
  • Comes with two engines:
    • a 2.5 litre four cylinder – 127kw@ 6000 and 230nm @ 4000
    • and a 3.5 litre V6 – 183kw@ 6400  and 312nm @ 4400
    • The four cylinder had to work hard with the CVT – it toured quite nicely but accelerating was noisy and felt  laboured.
    • The handling was soft.  I found some tyre squeal at moderate speeds.
    • Sales so far this year (up to the end of April) was 366 which equates to about 1,100 for the whole year.  The Maxima sold 748 last year but it did not sell practically any in the last three months of the year. So the sales of the Altima are hardly an improvement.
    • The Camry is a way out in front in sales – for the cheaper Medium sized sedans (less than $60,000) it has over 40% of the market.
    • Doesn’t have a V8 although this car is the basis for their V8 supercar.

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