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7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Nissan Altima Review

The 2009 Nissan Altima is a good choice for used car shoppers who prioritize strong driving dynamics and good fuel economy.

Pros & Cons

  • Sport-sedan handling
  • Ample engine power
  • Competitive fuel economy
  • Sporty styling
  • Cramped back seat
  • Rubbery shifter with manual transmission
  • Tiny trunk in coupe

2009 Nissan Altima Overview

The 2009 Nissan Altima offers all the utility expected of a family car, and when it was new, test drivers said the Altima was actually fun to drive. Reviewers also liked its stylish cabin, sporty exterior and sufficient engine power. Add in the 2009 Altima’s strong safety scores and high fuel economy, and the Altima may appeal to a number of used car shoppers. 

The 2009 Nissan Altima is available in sedan and coupe body styles, but reviewers said both lack rear-seat head- and legroom, especially the coupe. Trunk space is tiny in the coupe, but average in the sedan. Some reviewers thought the interior materials lacked the quality level of some rivals, and the Altima’s manual transmission was universally disliked by test drivers thanks to its rubbery, imprecise shifter.

The front-wheel drive Nissan Altima has either a four-cylinder or V6 engine. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available on all sedan and coupe models, while a six-speed manual can be found on the Altima coupe and 2.5 S and 3.5 SE Altima sedan models. Six airbags and anti-lock brakes are standard on the 2009 Altima. Stability control was not available on four-cylinder models, though it could be added to V6 Altimas as an option when it was new.

See the full 2009 Nissan Altima specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Ford Fusion is good to cross-shop against the 2009 Nissan Altima because both cars have sporty handling and good driving dynamics. The Altima outshines the Fusion with better fuel economy, but the Fusion has a better safety score. The Fusion’s cabin and trunk are especially spacious, which is good if you are shopping for a used family sedan.

The 2009 Honda Accord is available in sedan and coupe body styles, just like the 2009 Altima. The Accord is practical, reliable and safe, which makes it a good used car for families and shoppers who aren’t concerned with sporty driving dynamics or styling. It’s not as fun to drive as the Nissan Altima, but test drivers liked the Accord’s smooth acceleration and strong brakes. Fuel economy in the Altima sedan is better than in the Accord sedan.

Compare the Altima to the Fusion and Accord »

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