Styling, performance, affordable price
If there's one market segment that's going south nowadays, it's the 2-door coupe segment. Whereas they embodied American luxury 30 years ago, they now seem to lose favor with consumers.
So, why is Nissan introducing a 2-door variant of its popular Altima midsize sedan? According to company execs, there are still buyers who look for this type of car. They are convinced that the new Altima coupe will be successful as it's not a mere sedan with two doors missing.
Sexy and seductive
In terms of styling, Nissan designers did an outstanding job to say the least. Shorter than the sedan, the coupe sports higher shoulders and a striking rear end with larger brake lights. It's as head-turning as some of the exotic cars that recently graced the parking lot of Auto123.com. On the road, people kept waving at me and giving me the thumbs up. Clearly, this machine has the looks.
Here's a funny anecdote: I drove to a GM dealership with a colleague to pick up another test vehicle, but one employee asked me to park somewhere else. He was kidding, of course -- at least I thought so. One thing's for sure: the Pontiac G6 next to our Altima was furious!
In short, the new Nissan is sexy and seductive while remaining affordable. It shares many design cues with the 350Z but costs $20,000 less.
Two capable engines
Our tester, a 3.5 SE model, was powered by the wonderful 270-hp V6 of the new Altima sedan. Powerful, responsive and roaring, this 3.5L is one of the best V6 engines on the planet. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) even seems to get along very well with this mill; it makes the most out of the latter's power.
This coupe is fast, as evidenced by its time of 7 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. As for fuel economy, you can average 10.5 L/100 km if you don't drive aggressively. Otherwise, expect this figure to reach 12 or even 13 L/100 km. The base 175-hp four-cylinder engine delivers better fuel economy and a decent performance.
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2008 Nissan Altima Specifications
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