2011 Al­tima 2.5S sedan

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE CAR PAGES -

Bot­tom line: As in­di­cated by the 2011 Al­tima and the many com­pact sedans on dis­play at the Washington Auto Show, com­pe­ti­tion in the fam­il­ysedan seg­ment has grown more in­tense. The Honda Ac­cord and Toy­ota Camry re­main good. But they are no longer nec­es­sar­ily the best, es­pe­cially when it comes to value for dol­lar. Se­ri­ous com­par­i­son shop­ping is needed here. Ride, ac­cel­er­a­tion and han­dling: Dry-road ride is very good. Han­dling is ex­cel­lent on dry roads and sur­pris­ingly good — self-cor­rec­tive — in snowy, slip­pery weather. Dry-road ac­cel­er­a­tion is good. Head-turn­ing quo­tient: Sporty, at­trac­tive; main­stream mi­nus the bore­dom. Body style/lay­out: The Nis­san Al­tima is a com­pact front-en­gine, front-wheel-drive gaso­line­fu­eled car with four side doors and a tra­di­tional notch­back trunk. The Al­tima also is avail­able as a coupe. Trim lev­els in­clude the base 2.5, mid-level 2.5S and top-of-the-line 3.5SR. A hy­brid Al­tima (gas and elec­tric) is avail­able. En­gine/trans­mis­sion: The car comes with a stan­dard 2.5-liter, 16-valve di­rect-in­jec­tion in-line four-cylin­der en­gine with vari­able valve tim­ing and lift (175 horse­power, 180 foot-pounds of torque). It is mated to a con­tin­u­ously vari­able (no fixed gears) au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Ca­pac­i­ties: There are seats for five peo­ple. Lug­gage ca­pac­ity is 15.3 cu­bic feet. The fuel tank holds 20 gal­lons of gaso­line (reg­u­lar is rec­om­mended). Mileage: The fed­eral rat­ing is 23 miles per gal­lon in the city and 32 on the high­way. Waste: I burned five gal­lons idling in snow-trapped traf­fic. Safety: Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes four-wheel disc brakes (ven­ti­lated front, solid rear), anti-lock brake pro­tec­tion, elec­tronic brake-force dis­tri­bu­tion, side air bags, rear head air bags, and elec­tronic sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol. Price: The base price on the 2011 Nis­san Al­tima 2.5S is $22,070. Dealer’s in­voice price on that model is $20,692. Price as tested is $24,610, in­clud­ing $3,020 in op­tions (on­board nav­i­ga­tion with high-def­i­ni­tion backup cam­era, pre­mium sound sys­tem, Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, Sir­ius satel­lite ra­dio) and a $760 des­ti­na­tion charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $22,995. Con­sumer re­bates were avail­able at this writ­ing. Check with your lo­cal dealer.

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