2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid (686)


This week we’re looking at the 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid. Very nice. And I’m always thrilled when I can travel a long way between gas stops. I love Navigation systems and this one was easy to use. Try using one on a German car like BMW or Mercedes and you’ll know what I mean in contrast to this Nissan version. But Garmin portable Nav systems are even easier.

In the next few weeks I will report on the upscale sister car from Infiniti – the M45 and for a mere $25,000 more you can burn significantly more fuel with 16-21 mpg. I must admit it is sweet.

My son-in-law asked me what was my favorite car of all is. Know what? That is an impossible question to answer because it comes from my place in life. The answer I gave him was: you must first establish where you are. Are you married with children? Do you have an out of doors lifestyle? Will you be towing a boat, horse trailer, motorcycles? Will you need to transport elderly parents or very young children? Once you establish what you’ll be using the vehicle for you can narrow the search way down.

General Info:

Parts – n/a

Assembly – Smyrna, Tenn. – USA.

Class:  – Midsize

Cars: – 350Z, Altima, Altima Hybrid, Armada, Frontier, Maxima, Murano, Pathfinder, Quest, Rogue, Sentra, Titan, Versa & Xterra.

Handling & Performance:

Well, Nissan says it is the First Hybrid that drives like a Nissan. And you know what? I can’t dispute that claim because it is nearly impossible to detect you are driving a Hybrid. But you are and it’s a good thing. It is encouraging to experience fuel economy without sacrificing performance significantly when you get about 33 mpg. Thanks Nissan for allowing me to fuel less frequently.


Nice sedan styling that makes it even more likely you’d forget it is a Hybrid, that makes a case for why do Hybrids have to be funny looking. They don’t. Another is the Honda Hybrids that also look just like other Hondas.

Fit and Finish:

Very good. Just what I expected.


A lot for the money.

Conveniences and comfort:

Even without the options it is very well equipped. And I don’t think I’d opt for the expense of the upgrades when I could buy a top of the line Nav system like the Garmin for about $700, and the prices are rapidly coming down. $2,000 for a Nav system built in is just more than you need to spend and the Garmin is better than most standard equipment OEM versions, unless you want the rear view camera.

Consumer Recommendation:

There are a ton of standard equipment goodies which are personal choice items. Consider the cost savings of Nav systems noted above which can be purchased as low as $150.

Recognized Competition:

Nissan Altima Hybrid $25,070, Dodge Avenger $19-25,000, Chrysler Sebring  $19-32,000, Pontiac G6 $18-30,000, Saturn Aura $20-25,000, Subaru Legacy $20-34,000, Hyundai Sonata $18-24,000, Volkswagen Passat $24-38,000, Toyota Camry Hybrid $25,200, Mitsubishi Galant $20-27,000, Toyota Prius $21-23,000, Honda Accord $20-31,000, Mazda 6 $19-28,000, Ford Fusion $18-25,000.

Good News:

Wonderful fuel economy, nice ride, responsive power, regular sedan styling and with a 20 gallon tank you conceivably could travel 700 miles on one tank. Safety equipment is all standard.

Bad News:

Sold in only 8 states in the US in ’07, (reportedly California, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine— so even today you have to question available repair facilities. No mention from Manufacturer so it is a question you will want to ask.

Standard Equipment:

2.5 liter 4 cylinder 158 hp gas engine with net 198 horsepower with hybrid, Electronic variable trans, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with power assist with Brake force distribution, front & rear stabilizer bars, independent Multi-link rear suspension, dual power mirrors, 16” aluminum alloy wheels, halogen headlights, reclining front bucket seats, intelligent Key with push button ignition, dual zone climate control, power windows and locks, audio system with 6 speakers, cruise control with steering wheel mounted controls, tile and telescopic steering column, speed sensitive variable wipers, dual 12V power outlets, rear center armrest w/ dual cup holders, dual vanity mirrors, airbag system, front side impact air bags, supplemental side curtain air bags, vehicle dynamic control, traction control, child safety rear locks, lower anchor tethers, tire pressure monitoring system, Nissan immobilizer system and vehicle security system.

Options: Technology package including Nav system, XM satellite radio with XM traffic system, rearview monitor, leather appointed seats, heated front seats, 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar  support, rear spoiler, Bluetooth hands free phone system, Bose audio with 6 CD player with 9 speakers, MP3/WMA CD-ROM playback capability, Radio Data System, speed sensitive volume, heated mirrors with turn signals, auto on/off lights, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel mounted audio controls and remote keyless entry – ($6,400)

Gas Stats:

$2.99/ Gal avg. – January 28, ‘08


for more information.

35 City and 33 Highway MPG


MSRP $25,070 ($32,375 with options.)

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