Originally launched in 2002, the third generation Altima was designed to provide an exciting alternative to the otherwise ordinary mid-size sedan segment. In 2005, Altima bolsters that concept with a dramatic overhaul to the most popular Nissan vehicle. Refinements for the 2005 model year include several styling enhancements, new exterior colors, a totally revamped interior for a higher quality look and feel and newly available features such as a DVD-based navigation system.
Altima also continues its performance tradition in 2005, with the Altima’s V6 engine refined to produce five more horsepower (250 hp) and a new performance-oriented Altima SE-R model added to the lineup for the first time. The new SE-R model’s standard V6 engine receives an additional performance increase to 260 horsepower.
For 2005, the Altima continues to lead the segment with its unmatched blend of performance, style and value. “For the past few years, Altima has been an absolute all-star in the mid-size sedan segment and the dramatic improvements for 2005 feed that momentum,” said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. “The enhancements made to Altima’s exterior and interior bring a new excitement and even higher quality to an already great car. And the addition of the SE-R takes Altima into a whole new level of visual and driving excitement.”
Passionate Interior Environment
The interior upgrades for the 2005 model year are designed to emphasize the harmony between driver and machine. The interior of the Altima is redone with enhancements made from top to bottom. New interior improvements for the 2005 model year include a new instrument panel design, center console, trim finishes, 3-spoke steering wheel, seat material, headliner and added chrome accents and chrome door handles.
Altima’s large cabin again offers distinctive interior environments that encompass either cloth or optional leather appointments. The three interior choices feature the colors Charcoal, Blonde and Frost.
The instrument panel, designed to fall away from the occupants for increased leg room and improved ingress and egress, is a high tech design with a three-gauge “cockpit” instrument pod with added chrome accents for 2005. The gauges feature a fine vision meter illumination system for superior gauge visibility for the driver.
The gauge cluster features a multi-function trip computer, which includes an odometer, twin trip meters and a display for outside air temperature, driving time, average speed, fuel consumption and distance to empty. For the first time, Altima offers an available DVD-based navigation system.
For the driver, there’s a tilt and telescoping 3-spoke steering wheel and gated automatic transmission shifter with a formed gearshift knob design. HVAC and audio controls are grouped in a simple unit that reduces visual complexity for the driver.
Additional features include a power port inside the center console storage area for a mobile phone, large cup holders that can hold up to a standard size one-liter bottle, roof-mounted map light and sunglass holder. Power windows and locks are standard and windows can be opened remotely via key fob for cabin venting.
Audio systems include a standard 6-speaker AM/FM/CD with an available in-dash 6-disc CD changer with radio data system (RDS), speed-sensitive volume control and steering wheel audio controls. Optional is a Bose® premium audio system with 8 speakers and AM/FM/in-dash 6-disc CD changer with RDS, speed-sensitive volume control and steering wheel audio controls.
Altima also features a large trunk with standard cargo net and improved trunk trim. The trunk measures 15.6 cubic feet.
The interior of the Altima SE-R model differs from the other 2005 Altimas with the addition of a unique three-pod center-mounted gauge package, similar to that found on the legendary Nissan Z®, with volt meter, oil pressure and fuel consumption gauges. Other SE-R exclusives include sport-shaped front seats and headrests with perforated red or gray leather inserts and matching stitching on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob, dark chrome trim treatment and drilled aluminum pedals. Also, the SE-R’s front seats and outside mirrors are heated. Altima SE-Rs equipped with the standard short throw linkage 6-speed manual transmission also feature a new gearshift knob.
From a safety standpoint, Altima comes with standard dual-stage supplemental air bags that sense seatbelt use and collision severity and deploy accordingly. Optional are front seat side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted side-impact curtain air bags for front- and rear-seat occupant head protection. Also standard are front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchors and tether system.
Expressive Exterior Design
“Altima buyers don’t want to blend in, they want to stand out. They don’t settle for practical, they go for excitement and style,” said McNabb.
Altima’s new exterior facelift gives it a more athletic, bolder look. For 2005, Altima features new headlamps and taillights, a restyled smooth front fascia with a distinctive raised hood design, Nissan family grille, chrome accents on SL models and new wheels.
Altima’s captivating design begins with its wedge shape with high waistline and pronounced character lines. An arched silhouette slanted back window and integrated front and rear bumper shapes give the sedan a fluid, smooth form. Newly styled, large 16- and 17-inch wheels give Altima a performance look with an aggressive stance.
Finely crafted combination headlights, with optional xenon bulbs on V6 models and large round taillights give Altima an upscale appearance. Green-tinted UV-reducing solar glass enhances Altima’s luxury look, helps protect interior fabrics and improves passenger comfort.
The Altima SE-R model adds an array of special styling features, including a new front fascia, headlight bezel coloring, compact fog lights and dark window molding coloring. In the rear, the SE-R stands out with a new rear fascia and spoiler, smoked taillights and large dual exhaust finishers. Also visible are the new side sill spoilers, silver painted front and rear disc brake calipers, with the SE-R logo on the front calipers. SE-R badging is located on the rear of the vehicle.
Altima is assembled at the award-winning Nissan North America Manufacturing Smyrna and Decherd Tennessee plants using the Intelligent Body Assembly System (IBAS).
For 2005, Altima adds two new exterior colors – Majestic Blue and Coral Sand – among a choice of nine total exterior colors selected to complement the sedan’s body and personality. The SE-R is offered in exclusive Code Red, as well as Super Black, Smoke and Sheer Silver.
Abundant Performance with Award-Winning Engine
Altima's 250-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with 249 lb-ft of torque offers an increase of five horsepower and three lb-ft of torque over the 2004 model. The Altima SE-R’s standard 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine has been tuned to offer 260 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. The SE-R also offers a performance exhaust system with large outlet pipes.
The 3.5-liter V6 is part of the VQ engine series, which has been recognized as one of the “Ten Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World magazine for 11 consecutive years. V6-powered Altimas qualify for Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) status.
Also available on 2005 Altimas is a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder producing 175-horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. This engine, called QR25, features a silent chain drive and a balancer system that effectively negates vibrations without taking up much space – combining ideal packaging and smoothness. All 4-cylinder models meet the latest U.S. federal government emissions standards (FED Tier2 Bin5) and available PZEV standards for units sold in California (and other states with California-certified vehicles). Emissions equipment causes nominal reductions in horsepower (from 175 hp to 170 hp) and torque (from 180 lb-ft to 175 lb-ft).
Both engines feature continuously variable valve timing, modular engine design, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons and electronically controlled throttles.
Backing either engine is a choice of 5-speed manual (not available on 2.5 SL 4-cylinder models), 4-speed electronically controlled automatic (4-cylinder models) or 5-speed electronically controlled automatic with manual shift mode (standard on 3.5 SL, optional on 3.5 SE). A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the Altima SE-R (with the 5-speed automatic transmission optionally available).
Automatic transmission-equipped V6 Altimas offer an available traction control system. This system uses a combination of throttle, fuel cutoff and shift schedule to help aid traction in off-the-line starts and slippery situations. A 20-gallon fuel tank is designed to provide a long range between fill-ups.
The 2005 Altima features a front suspension design with extensive use of aluminum parts, which is eight percent lighter than a comparable steel design. A cradle-type frame with an offset coil spring and lower transverse link layout provides better handling and riding performance, cutting 30 percent of lateral forces acting on the front suspension.
The rear multi-link independent suspension was adapted from the Japanese-market Nissan Skyline supercar and is similar to Infiniti’s flagship Q45 sedan. The rear shocks and springs are separated for reduced friction and the shock is in line with the center of the rear wheels, providing better damping and less harshness. In addition, the rear suspension is approximately six percent lighter than the rear suspension in the previous generation Altima.
All 4-cylinder Altimas come with 215/60R16 tires on either steel or aluminum-alloy wheels and V6 models feature standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 215/55R17 tires.
The SE-R comes with 225/45R18 Y-speed rated summer tires mounted on unique 18-inch forged alloy wheels.
Braking is provided by standard 4-wheel disc brakes with an optional 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). ABS-equipped Altimas feature two advanced braking systems - Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), which optimizes brake force depending on load condition (passengers and cargo) and Brake Assist, which senses hard or panic pedal application and helps provide maximum braking capacity.
Braking for the SE-R is provided by large (12.60 x 1.10t front, 11.5 x 0.35t rear) 4-wheel disc brakes with standard 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).
Models and Options
The 2005 Nissan Altima is available in six well-equipped models – the base 2.5, mid-grade 2.5 S, luxurious 2.5 S with SL Package, and the V6-powered 3.5 SE, the all-new 3.5 SL and the 3.5 SE-R. The 2005 Altima comes with several available packages.
The 2.5 S features three convenience packages. The Convenience Package features alloy wheels, 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel mounted controls, trip computer, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, speed-sensitive volume control, auto on/off headlights, auto up/down front passenger window and vehicle security system; Convenience Plus Package, which includes the contents of Convenience Package plus power glass sunroof with sunshade; and Premium Convenience Package, which includes the contents of Convenience Plus Package plus Bose® audio system with AM/FM radio and 6-disc in-dash CD changer, radio data system and satellite radio capability.
The new Altima 2.5 S with SL Package features an available power glass sunroof and DVD-Based Navigation Package.
The 3.5 SE features several exciting equipment packages, including a Sport Package, which includes sunroof and spoiler; Sport Plus Package, which includes sunroof, spoiler, Bose® audio system and xenon headlights; Leather Package, which includes a Bose audio system, sunroof, heated leather-appointed seats, automatic temperature control, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror and heated outside mirrors; Leather Sport Package, which includes the Leather Package, spoiler and HID xenon headlights; and the Navigation Package.
The fully equipped 3.5 SL offers a single option, the Navigation Package, with DVD-based navigation system and speed-sensitive wipers.
Other 2005 options include side air bags/ABS combination and side air bags/ABS/Traction Control combination.