Following its total redesign for the 2007 model year, the Nissan Altima Sedan continues to set individual sales records as Nissan’s best-selling sedan. Designed with the goal of being the best-performing front-wheel drive sedan available globally, the latest generation Altima is built on Nissan’s advanced “D” platform. For 2009, Altima Sedan is again available with a choice of two engines: the award-winning VQ-series 3.5-liter V6 or the powerful 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder.
Refinements for the new model year include revised standard features for the base grade, revised option package content and three new exterior colors. New standard features on the Altima base model include a new 16-inch wheel cover design, black grille highlights, the addition of dual power remote-controlled sideview mirrors and a standard trip computer and outside temperature gauge. Other base model enhancements include air conditioning with in-cabin microfilter and front side window demisters, trunk cancel switch and rear seat lock, dual sun visors with driver’s side vanity mirror and speed-sensitive variable intermittent windshield wipers.
All 2009 Altimas also receive a new automatic door lock system. The Altima 2.5 S features revised Connection Package content, including dual zone automatic temperature control and rear A/C vents. The Altima 3.5 SE now includes standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, fog lights and rear spoiler. There are also new stand-alone moonroof and 3.5 SL Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) packages
The 2009 Nissan Altima Sedan is available in four models: 2.5 (CVT), 2.5 S (6MT, CVT), 3.5 SE (6MT, CVT), 3.5 SL (CVT).
The 2009 Nissan Altima also offers a range of comfort and convenience features, including standard Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition, available Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, RearView Monitor and Nissan Navigation with XM NavTraffic® real-time traffic information (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
“The 2009 Nissan Altima is positioned in the mid-size sedan segment, but it has the looks, quality, driving performance and available features of a much more expensive vehicle,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “Featuring standard Nissan Intelligent Key®, available Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, XM® NavTraffic™, RearView Monitor and more – along with outstanding acceleration and handling – Altima is truly in a class of its own.”
Distinctive Altima Styling
The 2009 Altima’s exterior styling is a continuation of Altima’s 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, Altima-style taillights and dual exhaust finishers on all models. High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights are standard on 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL models.
The 109.3-inch wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs (with an overall length of 189.8 inches) enhances Altima’s 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 or 17-inch alloy wheels and 16-inch steel wheels with newly designed covers for 2009. Eight exterior colors are offered, including new Sonoma Sunset, Majestic Blue and Sonoran Sand.
Attention to Quality and Detail
The 2009 Altima continues to emphasize refined workmanship and the use of soft materials, such as padded armrests, and stylish chrome accents. Interior noise levels are minimized by the advanced “D” platform and increased sound insulation.
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 cup holder design (CVT-equipped models), 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. The volume of the glove compartment is also substantial, measuring an accommodating 0.46 cubic feet.
Thee interiors colors are available – Charcoal, Blonde and Frost. The interior is offered in both high quality soft-touch suede-like fabric and with leather-appointed seating. Among the innovative passenger amenities for the class are available Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition, Bose®-developed audio system with nine speakers, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Rearview Monitor and dual-zone automatic temperature control.
Other available convenience features include an 8-way power driver’s seat, automatic on/off headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power sliding glass moonroof, XM® Satellite Radio, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, heated front driver and passenger seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control and rear-passenger air conditioning vents.
Sport Enthused Platform and 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 front-wheel drive “D” platform, which offers improved body rigidity over the previous design.
Altima’s advanced independent front suspension with dynamic geometry and shock absorbers with rebound springs provides 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 SE offers larger diameter stabilizer bars and unique spring rates and strut damping, as well as 17-inch wheels and tires.
Two powerplants are available in the 2009 Altima, the 14-time Ward’s “10 Best Engines” award-winning VQ-series V6 and an inline 4-cylinder. The 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. The V6 features minimized friction, superior cylinder head cooling and twin knock sensors.
Also available is a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder producing 175 horsepower (170 hp CAL) and 180 lb-ft of torque (175 lb-ft CAL). It features a silent chain drive and a balancer system (with balancer changed to a center-mounted location for excellent NVH) 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 is designed to reduce exhaust backpressure by 35% on the 4-cylinder and 50% with the V6 (over the previous generations). Both systems utilize large tube diameters and include dual chrome-tipped exhaust finishers.
Smooth, Efficient Xtronic CVT®
The 2009 Altima is offered with a choice of two transmissions with both the V6 and 4-cylinder engines. A 6-speed, narrow-gate manual features low friction, short shift stroke, high torque capacity and close gear ratios covering a wide range. The Xtronic CVT® is designed to create a true synergy between engine and transmission with smooth, responsive, fluid-feeling performance and efficient operation. The CVT units utilized with both engines have 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 Controller with adaptive logic for fast shifting in both normal and manual modes. The adaptive logic feature delivers the best shift pattern based on the driving environment and driver’s perceived intentions. It utilizes 700 programmed algorithms to adjust to differing conditions, such as uphill or downhill driving, as well as adapting to three styles of driving – economy, normal and sporty.
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS) is available as an option with Altima 3.5-liter V6 equipped models.
A Harmony Between Structure, Steering and Braking
The 2009 Altima’s sturdy body structure includes extensive use of Ultra High Strength Steel, which is utilized in many locations around the vehicle, including side-impact areas.
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 secure, “on center” feel.
Braking for the 2009 Altima 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), which optimizes brake force depending on load condition (passengers and cargo). A variable ratio pivot brake pedal provides a rigid feel at freeway speeds and less sensitive, more controllable operation in city driving.
Altima models equipped with the 4-cylinder engine are equipped with 16-inch wheels (steel wheels with covers on 2.5 and 2.5 S, aluminum-alloy wheels are optional on 2.5 S) and P215/60R16 tires.
The V6-equipped Altima 3.5 SL comes standard with 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while the Altima 3.5 SE features 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and P215/55R17 tires.
Five Star Safety
The Altima has received the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) highest rating - 5 stars - for front-impact and side-impact crash safety.*
The 2009 Altima Sedan comes equipped with a number of standard safety features, including Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors, 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 2009 Nissan Altima will be available in four well-equipped models: 2.5, 2.5 S, 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL. The 2009 Altima is assembled at the Nissan North America Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi Manufacturing plants.
*Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). Model tested with standard side air bags.