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Friday, Sep 19, 2014
Autos

Nissan Altima coupe: What's new for 2009?

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Though mostly a carryover from last year, the front-wheel-drive Altima coupe undergoes a few minor tweaks. Notable on the V-6 engine are revised 18-inch alloy wheels. Also, automatic door locks are standard in all models as well as a high-gloss paint job on the front grille and Intelligent Key.

Just into its second year of production, the 3.5-liter V-6 engine offers 270 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 258 pounds-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. It is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission or a 6-speed manual. Suspension is made up of an independent strut with coil springs in the front while the rear gets a multilink independent system. The five-passenger ride retains the seamless power rack-and-pinion steering and sizeable 11.7-inch vented front and 11.5-inch solid rear disc brakes.

Occupants are kept safe by standard dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, front seat active-head restraints and pretensioners, three-point seatbelts for all, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, traction control, energy-absorbing steering column, front and rear crumple zones and tire pressure monitoring system.

Based on a unibody structure, the coupe's wheelbase is short by 4 inches, length by 7.1 inches and height by 2.5 inches than the sibling sedan. A five-sided grille lies between halogen headlights and fog lamps underneath. Enhancing the coupe's bold appearance is the raked windshield, large taillights and dual exhaust tips. The cabin is comfortable and airy, especially the eight-way power driver's seat. The 60/40-split rear seat opens up plenty of cargo and trunk space. Also standard in the 3.5-liter powertrain are a power slide and tilt moon roof, four-spoke leather steering wheel, trip computer with outside temperature display and cup holders in center console. A covered bin under the dashboard can hold quite a few of your personal belongings.

With tremendous power at its command, the Altima coupe makes for a sporty, athletic, bold-looking and entertaining ride. That the car is produced by the reliable carmaker Nissan is a plus.

ALTIMA COUPE (3.5 SE)
Tires: P235/45R18 all season
Wheelbase: 105.3 inches
Length: 182.5 inches
Width: 70.7 inches
Height: 55.3 inches
Weight: 3,308 pounds
Fuel capacity: 20 gallons
City: 19 mpg
Highway, 26 mpg
Base priced: $26,890
Price as tested: $31,560
Web site: www.nissanusa.com


Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.

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