With a choice of two powerful, efficient engines, the Nissan Altima Sedan is perfectly positioned for today's driving environment – maintaining its position as the best selling individual model in the Nissan lineup. Yet as Altima enters the sixth year of its refined fourth generation design, it may be its reputation for quality and value that has cemented its place among the leaders in mid-size sedan sales and segment share.
For 2012, Altima Sedan is again available in three well-equipped models designed to appeal to a broad range of buyer needs and budgets – the 2.5 CVT and 2.5 S CVT featuring a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder and the 3.5 SR CVT with a standard 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. Enhancements for the new model year include a new Value Package and the continuation of last year's Special Edition Package. Both are offered with Altima Sedan 2.5 S. In addition, a Dark Slate exterior color replaces the previous Metallic Slate.
A Distinctive, Sporty Design
For 2012, the Altima Sedan exterior again stands out against a field of conservative mid-size sedans with its distinctive, iconic, sporty design. It offers a "dynamic simplicity" with an aggressive stance, distinctive Nissan "T-shaped" grille, powerful front fenders, strong wedge character line, forward A-pillars and Nissan-family roofline.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and front fog lights are optionally available with the Sport Package (3.5 SR), while Altima-style taillights and dual exhaust finishers are found on all models. An aerodynamic rear spoiler is offered as part of the Special Edition and Sport Packages, along with fog lights. A power sliding glass moonroof is offered with the Convenience Plus and Sport Packages.
Altima's 109.3-inch wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs (with an overall length of 190.7 inches) help provide its agile maneuverability and contribute to its sporty, aggressive appearance. Altima's chassis layout also offers roomy front and rear interior headroom and legroom, plus ample cargo storage with 15.3 cubic feet of trunk space. Altima is available with 16-inch (optional on 2.5 S) or 17-inch (standard on 3.5 SR) aluminum-alloy wheels or 16-inch steel wheels with covers (2.5, 2.5 S).
Eight exterior colors are offered for 2012, including one new color – Dark Slate, which replaces Metallic Slate. Other available colors include Saharan Stone, Brilliant Silver, Tuscan Sun, Navy Blue, Super Black, Ocean Gray and Winter Frost.
A Refined, Entertainment-Focused Interior
The 2012 Altima Sedan once again emphasizes refined workmanship, attractive appearance and occupant comfort. It utilizes soft materials, such as padded armrests, and stylish chrome accents – with complementing fabrics and finishers for all interior colors (both cloth and leather-appointed). Altima's instrument panel features a Fine Vision gauge display for precise readability and the L-shaped flow of the instrument panel to the center console adds to a driver-oriented cockpit feel. The center console includes a triple front cupholder design, among the many convenient cup and bottle areas (up to nine total, including 20-ounce bottle holders in the door panels) and storage compartments, many of which are covered. Even the volume of the glove compartment is substantial and accommodating, measuring 0.46 cubic feet.
Three interior colors are available – Charcoal, Blond and Frost. The interior is offered in both high quality soft-touch suede-like fabric and with optional leather-appointed seating (2.5 SL Package, 3.5 SR Premium Package).
Along with the driver-oriented cockpit, Altima's interior is enhanced with an available Premium Audio Package that includes a Bose® AM/FM audio system with nine speakers, 4.3-inch color display, USB port with iPod® connectivity, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, MP3/WMA CD-ROM playback and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
Also offered is an advanced Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with 6.5-inch VGA color display (replaces the 4.3-inch display), advanced map data including speed limit advisories, Zagat Survey® restaurant guide, XM NavTraffic® and XM NavWeather™ (XM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Streaming Audio, DVD player and an RCA input for auxiliary audio/video connectivity.
Other available convenience features include an 8-way power driver's seat, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, automatic on/off headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power sliding glass moonroof, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, heated front driver and passenger seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control and rear-passenger air conditioning vents.
A Choice of Two Efficient Powerplants
Altima's exhilarating driving pleasure comes from a tuned combination of strong acceleration, responsive handling and dynamic sound – provided by advanced engine designs and the proven Nissan front-wheel drive "D" platform. Two powerplants are once again available in 2012. The iconic VQ35 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 is rated at 270 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and offers strong acceleration and a tuned, resonant sound quality.
Also available is a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder producing 175 horsepower (170 hp CAL), 180 lb-ft of torque (175 lb-ft CAL) and estimated Highway fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon It features a silent chain drive and a center-mounted balancer that effectively negates vibrations without taking up much space – combining ideal packaging and smoothness. Both engines feature continuously variable valve timing, modular engine design, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons and electronically controlled throttles. Altima's standard dual exhaust system utilizes large tube diameters and includes dual chrome-tipped exhaust finishers.
Nissan's advanced Xtronic CVT®, which is designed to create a true synergy between engine and transmission with smooth, responsive, fluid-feeling performance and efficient operation, is standard on all models. The CVT has been tailored specifically for use with the Altima.
The V6 CVT features a "Sport" mode controller with a high-speed central processing unit and Adaptive Shift Control with adaptive logic for fast shifting in both automatic and manual modes.
Altima's independent front suspension, with advanced geometry and shock absorbers with rebound springs, helps provide responsive handling and a comfortable ride. The subframe-mounted front suspension makes extensive use of lightweight aluminum parts, while an X-type upper cowl structure helps establish front body rigidity for suspension mounting. Altima also features a low engine-mounting position with a six-point pendulum-type mounting system and the half-shafts are set at equal angles and nearly parallel to the ground – virtually eliminating torque steer.
The rear multi-link independent suspension design separates the rear shock absorbers and springs for minimized friction and the shocks are in line with the center of the rear wheels, providing excellent damping and almost no harshness. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard. Altima 3.5 SR offers larger diameter stabilizer bars and unique spring rates and strut damping, as well as 17-inch cast aluminum-alloy wheels and P215/55R17 Bridgestone Turanza EL400 tires.
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS) is standard on all Altima models. Altima's standard twin-orifice vehicle-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system provides light steering effort at low speeds and a secure feeling at high speeds, along with a balanced, "on center" feel. Braking is provided by standard 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
The 2012 Altima Sedan comes equipped with a number of standard safety features, including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor, front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.
Other standard equipment includes front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, front seat Active Head Restraints, the LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren), Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Models and Manufacturing
The 2012 Nissan Altima is available in three well-equipped models: 2.5 CVT, 2.5 S CVT and 3.5 SR CVT.
The 2.5 CVT includes standard 175-hp 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine, Xtronic CVT®, 4-wheel power-assisted disc brakes (vented front), independent suspension, 16-inch wheels and tires, velour seat trim, power windows and door locks and more.
The Altima 2.5 S CVT includes features such as Nissan Intelligent Key®, push button ignition, AM/FM/AUX input 6-speaker audio system, driver and front-passenger seatback map pockets, driver's footrest finisher, power windows with driver side one-touch auto up/down and more.
The Altima 3.5 SR CVT model starts with the 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 and then adds 8-way power driver's seat, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, P215/55R17 all-season radial tires, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel audio controls, auto on/off headlights, manual folding heated sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals, dual illuminated vanity mirrors with extensions, one-touch auto up/down front windows and wood-tone finishers (Blond interior).
A number of option packages are also offered, allowing buyers to fine-tune the Altima to their precise needs – including the Special Edition Package with auto on/off headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel-mounted audio and ASCD controls, aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, rear spoiler and "Special Edition" badge. Also available are a Convenience Package, Convenience Plus Package, 2.5 SL Package and 2.5 S Premium Audio Package (all offered with the 2.5 S CVT).
The Technology Package, offered with the 2.5 S and 3.5 SR, includes the Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with 6.5-inch color monitor. The 3.5 SR Premium Package includes leather-appointed seats, leather-wrapped gearshift knob, power driver lumbar support, heated front seats, Bose? AM/FM/CD audio system with 9 speakers, 4.3-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, USB port with iPod connectivity, XM Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), MP3/WMA CD-ROM playback compatibility, Radio Data System (RDS), speed-sensitive auto volume, auto-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink Universal Transceiver, compass, mood lighting, rear-passenger air conditioning vents and metallic-texture finishers (charcoal interior).
Finally, the Sport Package (3.5 SR) offers Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control, power sliding tinted glass moonroof with tilt, sliding sunshade and one-touch open/close with auto-reverse feature, High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon headlights, fog lights and rear spoiler.
Altima is assembled at the Nissan North America Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi Manufacturing plants.