My previous car was a 1993 Altima, which is generation one, year one for the Altima in the states. It had 130,000+ miles on it when I traded it in. I got the all-new-for-07 Altima. I leased it, with 15,000 miles per year. The leasing deals they offer are fantastic, and the level of service I got from my local dealer was also top-notch.
The car is a huge departure from my old one in terms of design, performance and comfort. It comes standard with key less entry with push button start, and an auxiliary jack for my iPod.
The car also has a CVT automatic transmission, which made me nervous at first, but I actually really love it. It is very smooth and makes the most out of the 175 horsepower that the 2.5 puts out. It actually feels like it makes much more power than it does. My salesperson chalks that up to the fact that you do not wait for the transmission to down shift when you need extra power for passing. You just put your foot down and it goes.
The ride is smooth. Much smoother than my old Altima. The wheelbase is much longer on the new generation so I expected it to be a smooth rider. The seats are a bit firm, but supportive. I got the convenience plus package, so I get power seat, auto headlights, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, alloy wheels and a power moonroof. I chose the Metallic Jade color because I know that by the end of my two year lease, I'm going to be seeing these cars everywhere I wanted to get something that was different and more rare. It's an attractive color on the car, in my opinion.
There is just one thing I don't like about the car and that is the steering feel. The car has a speed-sensitive steering system so that at low speeds (i.e. a parking lot) it's easy to turn the wheel and maneuver. However, at higher speeds it is supposed to tighten up, but in my opinion it doesn't tighten up quite enough. It's something that I will have to get used to. It could be too, that after driving my '93 model for so long that I simply am not used to driving a modern car.
I would highly recommend the new Altima over the Camry, Accord and Aura. The Altima is a better looking car with more cool touches, like the push button start with Nissan's Intelligent Key. Plus, Nissan's lease deals are always good and when I bought my Altima, special financing rates were also available. They weren't on the other cars though, and I was quoted prices $50-$100 more per month on the same lease term with the same mileage.
Give it a try, you will most likely love it!