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The Altima is Nissan's bread-and-butter commute car, a midsize sedan with a comfortable amount of interior room, suitable for a wide range of uses. This hybrid version adds to the four- and six-cylinder engine versions in the line-up.
The car's styling is mostly mundane, although it features some attractive Nissan elements, such as the nicely curved fenders.
The Altima Hybrid uses a slightly bigger gas engine than its main rival, the Toyota Camry Hybrid. But the hybrid system is licensed from Toyota, and nearly identical to that found in the Camry Hybrid.
The high curve to the roofline makes the front seats in particular feel spacious, while rear seat room is more than adequate.
We were particularly surprised at the Altima Hybrid's handling, made stable by antisway bars.
The trunk is shallow, probably because of the hybrid battery pack taking up room behind the rear seat.
Six thousand dollars worth of options, mostly interior, are available to add to the $26,000 base price. This car has all of them except the navigation system.
The design of the steering wheel, with its two horizontal and two lower spokes, is very good. The switchgear is also well-thought out.
Being a hybrid, this car gets an electric boost gauge instead of a tachometer, and a battery level gauge.
The continuously variable transmission only has two forward modes, Drive and Braking.
This car is equipped with a smart key, which means you can leave the key in your pocket and start it with this button.
The upgraded stereo in this Nissan Altima Hybrid includes a six disc in-dash changer which can read MP3 CDs.
Bluetooth is also present, but the display leaves something to be desired, as it offers minimal feedback.