With its distinctive exterior design, choice of powerful 4-cylinder or V6 engines, sport-oriented suspension and spacious interior, Altima instills passion with its robust performance and offers an escape from the traditional four-door sedan. Originally launched in 2002, the third generation Altima provides consumers with an unrivaled combination that has quickly made it Nissan’s best selling vehicle.
Refinements for the 2006 model year include the addition of four new packages – 2.5 Special Edition Package, Special Edition Premium Package, Comfort Package and Trip Package. In addition, factory installed satellite radio with a choice of XM® or Sirius™ providers is available.
Altima continues its performance tradition in 2006 with a choice of a 250-horsepower* 3.5-liter V6 engine or 175-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. For sport-minded drivers, a 260-horsepower Altima SE-R is available.
The Altima SE-R, introduced in 2005, is the sixth model in the 2006 Altima lineup (others include 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SL, 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL), yet in reality it stands alone with a special list of features and equipment designed for the sports enthusiast, such as forged 18-inch wheels, aggressive front fascia, rear spoiler, high-flow mufflers, large diameter chrome dual exhaust finishers and black leather-appointed sport seats.
Passionate Interior Environment
Altima’s large cabin again offers distinctive interior environments that encompass either cloth or optional leather appointments. Three interior choices are available: Charcoal, Blond 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. The gauges feature a Fine Vision meter illumination system for superior gauge visibility for the driver.
The gauge cluster features an available 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. Altima also offers an available DVD-based navigation system.
The most prominent difference between the SE-R and other 2006 Altima models is the SE-R’s 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 changes include sport-shaped front seats and headrests with perforated red or gray leather-appointed inserts and matching stitching on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob, dark chrome trim treatment and drilled aluminum pedals. The front seats are also heated, as are the SE-R’s outside mirrors.
For all Altima drivers, 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 roof-mounted map light and sunglass holder. Power windows and locks are standard and windows can be opened remotely via the 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. For 2006, Altima comes with available factory installed satellite radio.
Altima also features a large trunk with standard cargo net and improved trunk trim. The trunk measures 15.6 cubic feet.
From a safety standpoint, Altima comes equipped with the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), dual-stage front air bags, seat belt sensors with front-seat passenger classification sensor, front-seat side supplemental dual-stage air bags and available side curtain air bags. Front-seat active head restraints, 3-point rear seat belts for all seating with adjustable upper anchors, pretensioners and load limiters, emergency inside trunk release, front and rear crushable zones and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchors and tether system are all included in Altima’s long list of safety features.
Expressive Exterior Design
Altima’s exterior design is athletic and bold. Altima’s 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. 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 sporty front fascia, headlight bezel coloring, compact fog lights and dark window molding coloring. In the rear, the SE-R stands out with a unique rear fascia and spoiler, smoked taillights and large dual exhaust finishers. Also visible are 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, and also the Canton Mississippi plant using the Intelligent Body Assembly System (IBAS).
Abundant Performance with Advanced Engine Designs
Altima is powered by a 250-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with 249 lb-ft of torque. 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 12 consecutive years. V6-powered Altimas qualify for Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) status.
Also available on the 2006 Altima 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 2006 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 2006 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 3.5 SL and the 3.5 SE-R. The 2006 Altima comes with several new available packages for the 2.5 S.
The Comfort Package adds 8-way power driver’s seat, Vehicle Security System (VSS) and cargo net; Trip Package adds trip computer with outside temperature display, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel mounted audio controls, auto on/off headlights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, sunvisor extensions, speed sensitive volume control and auto up/down front passenger window; 2.5 S Special Edition Package adds both the Comfort and Trip Packages and new metallic film on the center console and special edition badge; Special Edition Premium Package includes the Special Edition Package contents and power glass sunroof with sunshade and alloy wheels.
The 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.
The Altima SE-R offers the 5-speed automatic transmission, side air bags and Traction Control System.
Other 2006 options include side air bags/ABS combination and side air bags/ABS/Traction Control combination.