I own a 2005 model Altima 2.5 S Type-2. Bought just a month back, and has done just 2000 Kms in Doha. A city in the middle eastern country Qatar.
It took me more than a month to study and research, enabling me to make a decision on which car to buy. The cars that were under consideration were the Camry, Accord and Altima.
Being a person with hands on experience of this new Altima, I felt a review posted would definitely be helpful to anyone on a similar endeavor. Hence this effort.
On a comparative scale, Altima stands out from the Camry and Accord in terms of looks. Altima has a luxurious appearance that's better than an Accord. The interior also is excellent, but here and there the materials and fixtures are not up to the mark. I have noticed few fittings so loose that I wonder why Nissan over looked these minute things.
The floor mats provided are not exactly fitting the contours of the Altima.
Lighting arrangements are good.
The middle head rest in the rear seat would have given a bigger look, it does not mean that the provided head rests, especially the front ones serve their purpose. The latest head rest as we see in Renault cars are much better for the eyes and its purpose.
The air conditioner is good, but be aware that only the high notch model comes with an automatically controlled one. The air vents for the rear passenger do not seem effective as the cold air loses all its momentum when it reaches the rear.
Side consoles on the door and vanity pockets are not very useful.
The telescopic and tilt steering is a real utility. Camry and Accord base models do not come with this.
Indicator switch gives a tick - tick sound reminding you of its activation, and it is pleasant also.
The speedometer and dash board is one of the things that attracted me. It is a new and sporty compared to the other two.
The passenger side air bag is placed in such a way that it leaves no seams on the dash board, which is amazing, but I am afraid that the entire dash board cover needs replacement if activated.
Certain amenities like the trip computer, auto focusing head lamps, control switches on steering wheel, passenger side seat adjustments etc, which are appearing in all their catalogs camouflaged as standard accessories, are available only on the top end model.
It has a bold look from the front, but one steel pipe is visible through the grills from the front in an awkward manner. Nissan should have concealed this pipe instead.
The left and right rear view mirrors are not broad enough to accommodate a panoramic view behind, and also the object appears too close compared to my experience with other car mirrors.
The large tires give it a huge look, and it enhances driving comfort and road grip.
The 6 CD changer is excellent, but nowhere could I trace its manufacturer, but in one catalogue I read that it was tuned by Bose.
The keyless entry comes with a hatch opener, which is very convenient.
The upholstery used is quite impressive, and seems durable.
Dimensionally Altima is the longest of all three. Width wise it is third, the Accord being at the top. This hardly matters.
The suspension seems quite sturdy and good. The steering response is good, but at low speeds the road unevenness is slightly transmitted to the driver through the steering wheel.
The power steering in most Nissan vehicles is designed to be realistic, which means it is not effortless like in the Accord and Camry. Fact of the matter is realistic power assistance gives better control and safety.
The braking is good, but only ABS comes in most models. The EBD (Electronic brake distribution) is available only in high notch models. I have tested braking at a speed of 130 Kms only.
The automatic gear though variomatic gives a slight jerk on gear changes, and jerks considerably when the acceleration is reduced suddenly at low speed after giving it the throttle once. This situation occurs occasionally on busy roads.
Superiority I found in the Camry and Accord is its quiet operation. Altima between 2000 to 4000 rpm gives a slightly humming noise, which is acceptable considering its added power with its competitors. At speeds above 80 Kms, the vehicle is smooth and it is stable like Camry.
The 2500 cc engine should give a trouble free operation for 2 Lakh kms I believe. Fuel consumption is around 10 to 11 Kms on the highway, but reduces considerably to 7-8 Kms in city driving.
The engine console is quite stylish like any American vehicle. Even inside the engine console, there are some utility parts and coverings made of cheap quality materials, which is very obvious. The trunk interior is not so impressive, which looks like a makeshift arrangement with hard boards and pieces of carpets.
Any new buyer who has these three cars (Camry, Accord and Altima) in mind, should definitely consider the Altima for being the most trendy car with the repute of Nissan. Keep in mind that a model change is due for the Camry and Accord, and I feel it is inevitable for them, to survive now without that.