Nissans front-drive compact sedan sees few changes for what is likely its last year in its current form. A larger, redesigned Altima is expected for the 2002 model year based on the midsize Maxima platform. The new model will be available with four-cylinder and V-6 engines and compete directly with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
The Altima was last redesigned for the 1998 model year and is built at Nissans plant in Tennessee.
This year, a Limited Edition Package is a new option for the GXE model. The package includes a power drivers seat, remote keyless entry and a security system as its main components.
The Altimas overall length of 186 inches makes it about 9 inches longer than the Nissan Sentra and nearly 6 inches shorter than the midsize Maxima.
Nissan says the Altima holds five people with its two front bucket seats and a three-place rear bench, but trying to fit three adults in the back squeezes everyone. Base XE models lack a folding rear seatback for expanding cargo space, but all other models have one.
Under the Hood
The Altima comes with a 155-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a choice of four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmissions.
Antilock brakes are optional on all models except the XE, and side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard on the GLE and optional on the GXE and SE.