08 Nissan Altima Coupe

08 Nissan Altima Coupe

A sporty new Altima coupe has joined the lineup.The coupe is a little smaller than the sedan, sprung a little tighter, and different enough in character that we have dealt with it in a separate New Car Test Drive review.Honda has the Accord Coupe.Toyota has a coupe, the Camry Solara.Nissan? Well, now it has one, too, the 2008 Altima Coupe.
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08 Nissan Altima Coupe

While we’re not completely convinced by Nissan’s argument, we were clearly impressed with the attributes of the 2008 Altima Coupe, after spending a day roaming along the northern reaches of the mighty Mississippi River. The two-door version of Nissan’s mainstay mid-size sedan could, indeed, pump some new life into the coupe market. In the crowded U.S. automotive market, nowhere is competition more fierce than the mid-size sedan segment, where nameplates like the dominant Toyota Camry and Honda Accord square off against a score of import and domestic competitors. It’s another matter entirely when we’re talking mid-size coupes. Sure, you’ve got some options, like Toyota ‘s Solara, but there’s nowhere near the range of choice you find in the four-door market. Why? Well, the folks who make their money prognosticating the automotive market will tell you it’s because there’s too little demand. But what if they’ve got things upside down? What if the problem is the lack of exciting offerings? That’s what Nissan is betting, as it brings to market its first-ever Altima Coupe.
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08 Nissan Altima Coupe

2008 Nissan Altima Details Interior The Altima’s airy cabin has a contemporary appearance supported by nicely textured plastic, lots of stow space and numerous soft-touch surfaces that contribute to its welcoming character. White-on-black main gauges are easy to read, the ancillary controls and center-stack switchgear is logically arrayed and the Altima’s generous glass area provides the driver with good sightlines to the outside world. The front buckets, although comfortable, could use a bit more lateral support. Even though the Altima skews to the smaller side of the official EPA “mid-size” category, its 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat can still accommodate two average adults or three kids while enhancing the flexibility and utility of its 15.3 cubic feet of trunk capacity. Exterior Even a quick glance shows that the Altima is rich in Nissan family cues, most notably in its grille, headlamp and taillamp treatments. However, the lines and contours of its crisply rendered sheetmetal display a bit more aggressive edge than you’ll find in the Sentra or Maxima. A well-defined shoulder ridge complements bold flaring on fenderwells that house 16-inch 215/60 tires on steel wheels on 2.5 and 2.5 S models and 215/55 rubber on 17-inch cast-alloy wheels on 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL versions. Only six-cylinder Altimas offer front fog lamps, which are standard issue on SL models but optional on SEs.
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08 Nissan Altima Coupe

2-Door Design The compact two-door featured an ergonomic, sporty interior with perfectly placed controls and body-hugging bucket seats, much like today’s performance coupe, the 370Z. The lower, lighter, leaner Z generates plenty of power—332 horses worth of it—and plenty of adrenaline in everyone who drives it. Explore the 370Z Performance Inspired by the engineering and performance built into every legendary Nissan Z, Altima Coupe was built to ensure that your drive would never be routine. Carrying on that tradition today is the Altima sedan, with its 3.5-liter V6, and the all-new 300-hp, fighter-jet inspired Maxima. Explore the Altima sedan Technology The virtually gearless Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission) will change your definition of what a transmission can do. It is always in the right gear, because it doesn’t even have gears. It constantly maintains the right amount of RPMs to keep you in the engine’s sweet spot, which is not only good for seamless performance, but great for efficiency. Learn more about Nissan’s Xtronic CVT
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08 Nissan Altima Coupe

Honda and Toyota have tended to offer coupes built off their bestselling Accord and Camry mid-size sedans, but Nissan has never produced such an Altima. Being late to the party, Nissan has certainly gone in with a bang: The Altima coupe is about as dramatic a piece of styling as you’ll see. Indeed, only the recent Pontiac G6 coupe comes anywhere near the edgy design of this new offering.
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08 Nissan Altima Coupe

Nissan has done a remarkable job of eliminating that rubberband effect that most other CVTs suffer through – where you hear the engine rev up while waiting for the car to catch up, much like a stretched rubberband. And there’s a manual mode that creates a series of artificial, gear-like steps, for more sporty driving. Spirited rideWith its lighter weight, the Coupe feels a bit more spirited, with 0-60 times in the mid-six-second range. To its credit, Nissan has also largely eliminated any torque steer, that annoying lurch often experienced when aggressively launching a front-wheel-drive car. But this is still a front-driver, unlike the similarly styled Infiniti G37. And you feel it under more aggressive maneuvers. That said, the combination of front struts and a rear, multilink suspension has been well tuned and proved both quick and responsive. Driving refinement has become a critical differentiator in the mid-size segment, and Nissan has responded well. The Altima Coupe is pleasantly devoid of wind and road noise, even pushing 80 mph.
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08 Nissan Altima Coupe

Inspired by the engineering and performance built into every legendary Nissan Z, Altima Coupe was built to ensure that your drive would never be routine. Carrying on that tradition today is the Altima sedan, with its 3.5-liter V6, and the all-new 300-hp, fighter-jet inspired Maxima. Explore the Altima sedan
08 nissan altima coupe 7

08 Nissan Altima Coupe

Performance Inspired by the engineering and performance built into every legendary Nissan Z, Altima Coupe was built to ensure that your drive would never be routine. Carrying on that tradition today is the Altima sedan, with its 3.5-liter V6, and the all-new 300-hp, fighter-jet inspired Maxima. Explore the Altima sedan
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Totally redone for 2007, Nissan’s mid-size Altima is even closer to the marque’s flagship Maxima in size and character. Spun from Nissan/Renault’s robust D-Platform architecture, this stylish front-drive four-door continues as the volume leader in the division’s lineup, having been joined by a gasoline-electric Hybrid variant as well as a new-for-2008 Coupe model (each reviewed separately). Even in conventional form, the Altima sedan covers a lot of competitive ground, offering four trim levels, both four- and six-cylinder power and the choice of a six-speed manual or Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). That wide selection helps it face off against the current best-seller, Toyota’s popular Camry, as well as the Chevrolet Malibu and Honda Accord — both all-new for 2008 and both formidable foes in one of America’s toughest market segments.
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While we’re not completely convinced by Nissan’s argument, we were clearly impressed with the attributes of the 2008 Altima Coupe, after spending a day roaming along the northern reaches of the mighty Mississippi River. The two-door version of Nissan’s mainstay mid-size sedan could, indeed, pump some new life into the coupe market.
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The coupe market could get another bump, however, when Honda launches an all-new version of its own Accord. That better-known model will automatically draw attention to itself. But, from Nissan’s point of view, that’s not all bad, if Honda gets potential customers thinking once again about coupes. While we’ve not yet driven the upcoming Accord, we think Nissan’s 2008 Altima Coupe will offer it good competition.
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The Altima Coupe made a statement all its own. It had a shorter wheelbase, a lowered ride height, sleek aerodynamic profile, and an overall sporty attitude. That attitude can still be found today in the Z® Coupe and Altima sedan.
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In the crowded U.S. automotive market, nowhere is competition more fierce than the mid-size sedan segment, where nameplates like the dominant Toyota Camry and Honda Accord square off against a score of import and domestic competitors. It’s another matter entirely when we’re talking mid-size coupes. Sure, you’ve got some options, like Toyota ‘s Solara, but there’s nowhere near the range of choice you find in the four-door market. Why? Well, the folks who make their money prognosticating the automotive market will tell you it’s because there’s too little demand. But what if they’ve got things upside down? What if the problem is the lack of exciting offerings? That’s what Nissan is betting, as it brings to market its first-ever Altima Coupe. “The market is shrinking because…the coupes out there are not very interesting or very good,” contends Nissan’s U.S. product manager, John Curl. So, is the Japanese maker’s sporty two-door, designed in Japan, and produced in the U.S. , what buyers are looking for?
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The Altima’s airy cabin has a contemporary appearance supported by nicely textured plastic, lots of stow space and numerous soft-touch surfaces that contribute to its welcoming character. White-on-black main gauges are easy to read, the ancillary controls and center-stack switchgear is logically arrayed and the Altima’s generous glass area provides the driver with good sightlines to the outside world. The front buckets, although comfortable, could use a bit more lateral support. Even though the Altima skews to the smaller side of the official EPA “mid-size” category, its 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat can still accommodate two average adults or three kids while enhancing the flexibility and utility of its 15.3 cubic feet of trunk capacity.

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