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$7,686 - $10,756
$20,550 - $31,200

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality interior materials
  • Balanced ride
  • Noisy base engine
  • Cramped rear seats




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Nissan Altima Overview

Reviewers wrote that the 2012 Nissan Altima’s standard four-cylinder engine is fairly powerful, but can be quite noisy during acceleration. A V6 engine is available, and critics said it delivers much better acceleration than the four-cylinder engine. The Altima sedan comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the Altima coupe comes with a six-speed manual or a CVT. The four-cylinder Nissan Altima sedan and coupe get an EPA-estimated 23/32 mpg city/highway, while the V6 sedan and coupe get 20/27. Both estimates are on-par compared with similarly powered cars in the class. Critics noted that the Altima’s suspension absorbs bumps in the road, body roll is well-controlled during cornering, steering is responsive and the brakes provide decent stopping power.

Some reviewers thought the 2012 Altima’s interior design is a bit bland, but most agreed that the materials are nicely textured and soft to the touch. The front seats are spacious and comfortable enough for most reviewers, but they said the rear seats don’t offer enough head- or legroom for tall passengers. Critics agreed that the Nissan Altima sedan has a spacious trunk, though they said the coupe’s trunk is quite small. Automotive journalists wrote that the Altima’s audio and climate controls are among the most user-friendly in the class. Standard features include push-button start and a six-speaker audio system. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, navigation, a rearview camera, a moonroof, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio and a USB port.

Other Cars to Consider

Critics agreed that the 2012 Honda Accord has spacious back seats compared to other affordable midsize cars’ rear seats. The Accord also has standard features that the Altima doesn’t, like a USB port. Reviewers were impressed with the Accord’s responsive handling, and the Accord has an excellent safety score for the class.

Test drivers agreed that the 2012 Toyota Camry’s standard four-cylinder engine is fairly powerful and quiet, and the Camry gets slightly better fuel economy than the Altima. Critics gave the Camry high marks for comfort, citing its smooth ride and spacious front and rear seats. They also appreciated its tasteful interior design and high-quality materials.

Compare the Altima, Accord and Camry »

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