2000 Nissan Altima Press Kit

2000 Nissan Altima Press Kit: Overview

2000 Nissan Altima Receives Substantial Refinements, Providing Enhanced Handling, Comfort, Quietness, Value

Though the second generation Nissan Altima was introduced only two years ago, the popular mid-size sedan reflects major changes for the 2000 model year, enhancing its competitiveness in the increasingly crowded mid-size sedan segment. The 2000 Altima continues to hold a unique position in the marketplace as a true “affordable luxury” sedan, but is now defined as much by its spirited performance and active safety abilities as its amenities, quality and competitive pricing.

Refinements to the 2000 Altima include a dozen styling modifications, more than 20 NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) improvements, 18 comfort and convenience enhancements, 11 engine hardware changes and a greatly revised suspension system – including the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) passenger car application of acceleration-sensitive strut valving.

“It’s unusual to make such an extensive hardware investment midway through a vehicle’s product cycle. But with the introduction of the all-new 2000 Maxima and winter debut of an all-new 2000 Sentra, we wanted to pump up Altima’s performance, luxury and value at the same time,” said Jed Connelly, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. “We now have the strongest sedan lineup in Nissan history – with Maxima, Altima and Sentra all feeling like they were cut from the same cloth.”

First introduced as a 1993 model, Altima has been best-in-class in J.D. Power and Associates’ Initial Quality Study (IQS) three of the past four years, an IntelliChoice “Best Overall Value” winner five straight years and a Consumer Digest “Best Buy” four times.

Exterior Design
For 2000, the North America-designed Altima’s exterior has been freshened with an aggressive new front fascia (with a distinctive lower treatment for the SE model), new grille and new integrated clear-lens headlights. The headlights include turn signals and cornering lamps in a one-piece, wrap-around design, giving Altima a longer, wider look. New clear lens foglights are standard on Altima SE and GLE models. The previous external radio antenna has been replaced by a rear window in-glass antenna for an improved overall appearance.

The vehicle’s front end has been lowered seven millimeters, giving the new Altima a slightly pronounced rake. New 16-inch wheels with lower profile tires for the SE, GLE and GXE (optional) models (standard 15-inch wheels for XE, GXE) provide a smoother, sporty silhouette. In the rear, a revised fascia with new bright red taillights and a new rear deck lid finisher continue the wider, more elegant styling theme. Overall length has been increased slightly (+2.1 inches).

The 2000 Altima’s coefficient of drag remains unchanged at a low 0.32. Body stiffness has been increased through use of a rear tunnel brace and front strut tower brace (on models with 16-inch wheels). Altima is assembled at Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation U.S.A. (NMMC) in Smyrna, Tenn., using the Intelligent Body Assembly System (IBAS) – the same method used to assemble the Infiniti Q45 – to produce panel fit accuracy within +/- 1.0 mm.

The 2000 Altima is offered in ten colors, including three new colors – Sandrift Beige, Alpine White Pearl and Green Emerald.

Interior Design
Inside, the 2000 Altima receives new front seats for improved cushion and seatback comfort, revised seat cloth for GXE and SE models, a new combination instrument cluster (which includes a LCD odometer with dual trip meters) and numerous other refinements – including a new center console with dual level storage and dual rear cupholders (automatic transmission vehicles only), a vehicle immobilizer security system and redesigned sunvisors with available HomeLink® Integrated Transceiver. Also offered are new audio units and an overhead sunglass storage compartment.

A Charcoal color cloth interior is now available in addition to the previously offered Dusk and Blonde interior colors.

Extensive attention was paid to reducing noise, vibration and harshness levels – including measurable improvements in wind, road and engine noise. Among the many NVH changes for 2000 are new outside mirror designs, use of expandable foam in the windshield pillars, roof rails, front doors and sills, thicker front door glass, new foam seals in the engine compartment, increased suspension mounting stiffness and a new driveshaft design with low friction joints (automatic transmission models).

Engine/Suspension
The most noticeable differences a driver will feel between the 2000 Altima and the previous year’s edition are in acceleration and handling. “The 2000 Altima feels much more spirited, from the first push of the throttle from a standing stop to the flatter cornering and firmer, sportier steering feedback,” said Connelly.

For 2000, the front engine/front-wheel drive Altima’s proven 2.4-liter in-line 4-cylinder powerplant has received subtle refinements that add up to a significant performance improvement – including a 0.8-second reduction in 0 to 60 mph acceleration (Nissan preliminary testing). Horsepower has been increased to a class-leading 155 at 5,600 rpm, while torque is rated at 156 ft-lbs at 4,400 rpm.

For this power gain, the engine’s cam profile has been changed to increase torque at low- to mid-range rpm levels. In addition, aluminum valve lifters, reshaped intake valves and reduced valve spring rates were adopted. The exhaust manifold was modified, and exhaust system backpressure has been reduced.

Dual-tipped platinum spark plugs with 100,000-mile service intervals have been added, and California-spec Altimas now meet California LEV emissions standards.

A 5-speed manual transmission is standard on Altima XE, GXE and SE models. Standard on Altima GLE and available on XE, GXE and SE is an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission.

Both transmissions feature new final drive ratios (3.823:1 versus 3.650:1 manual, 4.087:1 versus 3.619:1 automatic) for quicker acceleration. First through third gear ratios have been revised on the manual transmission, and the automatic features a refined shift schedule to improve acceleration from slow speeds.

The 2000 Altima’s responsive 4-wheel independent strut suspension with coil springs and rear Super Toe Control features an all-new acceleration-sensitive strut design developed by Monroe exclusively for Altima (available with 16-inch wheels and tires only). These struts automatically adjust dampening firmness, using an oil flow bypass valve to reduce compression damping at a preset vertical acceleration (0.5g), to improve handling without sacrificing ride quality.

Other changes include the addition of a front strut tower brace (16-inch wheel models), increased front and rear stabilizer bar diameters, increased front and rear spring rates (SE model) and low profile 16-inch tires (205/55R16).

Steering is provided by a power rack-and-pinion design. Both the power steering pump and steering gear have been refined to provide a firmer, sportier steering feel. Altima XE, GXE and GLE models offer power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes, with 4-wheel discs standard on the SE model. Optional on GXE, SE and GLE models is a 4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

Safety
Standard safety equipment includes second generation dual front supplemental air bags, as well as child safety rear door locks, child safety anchors and pipe-style steel side-door guard beams. Every Altima features 3-point front and rear seat belts (now including the center rear position) with standard pretensioners on the height-adjustable front belts. Front seat supplemental side-impact air bags are now offered as standard equipment on the GLE model and optional on GXE and SE models. An Immobilizer Enhancement System is optional on GLE and SE models.

Model Availability
Four models of Altima are again available for 2000: the entry level XE, value-oriented GXE, luxurious GLE and sporty SE. In addition to separate options, three special option packages are offered: the XE Option Package, the GXE Value Option Package (VOP) and GXE Appearance and Convenience Package.


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