Nissan Altima Coupe
Review: Four-door sedans are great for taking yourself and your
friends and family somewhere in comfort and safety. But sometimes you
want a little more style and performance to go with it.
You arenít looking for
a Corvette or a Porsche, but youíll happily sacrifice the convenience of
rear doors for a car with tighter handling and more driving pleasure.
Thatís where the Altima Coupe comes in.
The Altima sedan is
proving to be a worthy competitor in the midsize sedan market, but the
coupe is much more than a sedan with two doors missing. It sits on a
four-inch shorter wheelbase, is ten inches shorter overall, and its roof
top is more than two inches closer to the pavement. You donít need to
crawl into it like a sports car, but the pose on the road, both to the
driver and the guy on the sidewalk admiring it, is lower and sleeker.
The boattail rear
roofline helps, it has a fastback shape thatís more laid back than a
sedan. The more aggressively styled hood and nose are new for 2010 too,
and show some homage to the esteemed stylists at BMW. Seventeen-inch
alloy wheels are standard.
On the outside, Altima
coupes share only their undulating hood with the sedan. But under the
hood, both cars use the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6.
My Navy Blue tester had the smaller one. Itís remarkable how much oomph
you get from a four these days, its 175 horsepower (170 horses in
California) move the 3,125-pound car along with enthusiasm. The V6
boasts 270 horsepower, but I say, if you donít need it, why bother?
My tester earned EPA
fuel economy numbers of 23 City, 32 Highway, and I averaged 24.6 mpg.
Good news on the green front, EPA numbers are 6 for Air Pollution and 7
for Greenhouse Gas, but thereís also a California model that earns 9.5
for Air Pollution. Buy that one.
Altima Coupe comes in 2.5 S and 3.5 SR models, with your choice of a
manual six-speed transmission or an automatic in the form of a
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A chance to shift your own
gears in anything besides an economy subcompact is a treat today.
Nissan is big on the
CVT, which uses bands instead of gears, offering an infinite number of
possible ďgearĒ ratios for maximized efficiency. Effortless to drive,
the CVT, despite putting out unexpected moans, is smooth and effective.
The revs easily drop to 1,500 rpm in town, hardly working the engine at
all. The CVTís electronic brain knows the best way to use engine torque,
so unless you are one of the dwindling group of manual shifting
enthusiasts (count me in) it works just fine.
Cars today come pretty
well equipped in their most basic configurations, and this Altima is no
different. You get power assistance for windows, mirrors and locks.
Thereís a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Use the trip computer to
figure your mileage. The car works with your Bluetooth communication
device. The intelligent key sits in your pocket while you push the Start
Thereís always more,
and thatís what the Premium Package gives you for $2,070. It includes XM
Satellite Radio and a new-for-2010 Bose seven-speaker audio system with
a handy USB port for your iPod. However, the systemís 4.3-inch display
screen is surprisingly small and hard to read, my only complaint. You
get a power moonroof with this package too. Thatís great for ensuring
that you get your daily dose of vitamin D!
My tester had the
Convenience Package, too ($1,070), which includes the nice leather on
the steering wheel and the audio controls at fingerís reach on it. The
eight-way power driverís seat is a nice touch and the auto-on headlights
The Altima Coupe has a
very sporty cousin, the 370Z, and the dashboard reflects a little of
that aesthetic. A trio of circular air vents over the driver-oriented
center console echoes the classic Z triple gauges and the Fine Vision
gauges themselves give an easy-to-read, upscale look. The 370Z is a more
thundering ride, but the Altima Coupe is no mere grocery-getter.
Prices start at $23,660
for the manual-equipped 2.5 S and run up to $30,820 for the 3.5 RS with
a manual. Both prices include destination charges. My tester came to
The coupe shape is a
little less practical than a sedan, but the lower, sportier design work
well for young couples, of any age, who occasionally want to take a pair
of friends along.
I normally get
accustomed to a car after a week of driving it, but the Altimaís taut
suspension, responsive control and smooth cruising made it one I wasnít
eager to surrender.
By Steve Schaefer ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
The 2010 Altima Coupe is Nissanís answer to an adult sports car. Two
doors, a stick trans, plus a power moonroof, and your all set for a
drive down the coast or a ride to the lake. This car is a smooth package
of nice style, good looks and price. With 2 engines, 2 transmissions and
several power and technology packages to choose from, you can own a
great looking car with the options and drivetrain that will make you
smile every time you drive it.
Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The 2010 Nissan
Altima Coupe Review provided by:
Tony Leopardo ©
AutoWire.Net. ďTony the Car GuyĒ is an automotive writer, editor
and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or
comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
www.autowire.net - And remember: ď You Are What You Drive Ē
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Column Name: This is a
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Topic: The 2010 Nissan
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