2008 Nissan Altima 2.5SL 2.5L gas from North America


So far, truly excellent


A tire is out of balance

A screw fell out of the center console. Easily replaced.

General Comments:

So far, with 8700 miles on the car, I wouldn't expect trouble. But from some reviews of various cars, that is apparently not the case. The car is reliable, smooth, comfortable, even luxurious with the tan leather interior. We are averaging 26-27mpg (all cold weather driving in Minnesota) on a new engine. That is a mix of city and highway--mostly highway. At 175 hp and 180lb ft of torque, the engine pulls like a V6. In fact it has the same performance numbers as some competitors' V6s. Every time I drive the car I annoy my wife by announcing my undying love for it. It's just plain an excellent car. The dealership has been great to work with both in the purchase and servicing (oil changes and tire balancing) of the car. They gave us higher than any book value I could find for our old Civic and dropped their price on the Altima to $24,600. That price reflects a $1400. discount plus 1.9% financing for 60 months. This is a 2.5SL (leather interior, dual zone climate control, aluminum wheels, trip computer, auto-dimming mirror with compass, moonroof, power driver's seat, express up and down on both driver and passenger power windows, etc.) with all the accessories (trunk organizer, first aid kit, sunroof visor, aluminum step plates, upgraded floor mats, a spoiler, and a trunk mat).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2008

17th May 2008, 07:58

I am the original reviewer. We have 10500 miles on the car now with no trouble except the slight imbalance in one tire that has gotten no worse, so we're just living with it. Mileage has been coming up all spring and now we are getting an average of near 30 mpg. We drive mostly highway (75% or so). Using the engine computer (which is only accurate when it's warm--like now) it looks like 34-35mpg on the highway going 65-70mph should be very achievable. One oddity is that it looks like we would get 40mpg+ if we could maintain 55mph. That's interesting. I'd like to test the theory on some long empty back-roads sometime. Anyway still enjoying this car. I've read other comments about an odd side to side swaying motion in their cars. I certainly can't feel it. The only time I feel anything like that is when there is a strong side wind or the road surface reflects the motion. I'll try to post later to keep everyone up to date.

2008 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL from North America


Excellent value, great performance


Dealer did not include a couple of accessories that are listed on the sticker.

General Comments:

I was skeptical of the CVT, but it has proven to be the best all around transmission. This is coming from someone that normally prefers manual transmissions, but the CVT is incredibly responsive. It eliminate all my complaints about automatics. The 2.5 has just enough refinement too, and there's enough sound deadening to prevent the CVT from droning.

Handling and steering feel are excellent and perfectly weighted. Firm at high speeds, very light at low speeds for easy maneuvering.

Compromise between ride and handling are ideal. Wind and road noise are well controlled, and the engine is barely heard when cruising except at low RPM's.

Nissan should consider active engine mounts or noise canceling when the engine is running under 1500RPM for economy.

The seat are the best, but are overall supportive and comfortable. The quality of the leather and interior is very good.

Bluetooth and upgraded Bose stereo should be standard with the SL package. We did not get the connection package.

The base 6 speaker stereo is pretty good. Much better than the last Altima we had. It should have a 6 disc changer standard on the SL (see Bose comment above)

The manual mode on the CVT works better than expected. Downshifts are very smooth and quick.

I like the hill descent control, and it increases RPM when going downhill to help maintain speed.

The engine has amazing bottom end power for a 4 cylinder. It can climb up a 10% grade and still lug along at 1500RPM with the torque converter unlocked. This might be the perfect transmission for a full size pick-up if they can get it to handle the torque. The wide spread of gear ratios would be perfect for towing, with less need for a low range.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2008

6th Apr 2008, 12:13

I also have an 08 Altima. What a great car! I think that this car and the new Malibu are tops in the class from my own test drives. We average around 26 mpg--which no one else in the class can touch with their standard (non-hybrid) models. Plus this 4 cyl has the same 0-60 time as a number of 6cyl competitors. The leather is beautiful and really upgrades the interior which is simple and elegant. The only problem so far is that one tire is out of balance. FYI this comment is at 8000 miles.