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2010 Nissan Altima Trims

2.5

Avg. Price: $14,932

Even though it’s considered the base trim of the lineup, the 2010 Nissan Altima 2.5 sedan features a wealth of standard appearance, comfort, and convenience amenities, including 16-inch steel wheels, seating for five, velour upholstery, power windows, door locks, and mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, and steering-wheel-mounted cruise controls. In an odd contrast to traditional equipment for sedans at this price and sophistication level, the 2.5 contains the wiring for a four-speaker audio system, but not the actual units, which are dealer-installed accessories. A significant stand-alone option for the 2.5 is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, with floor mats and an aluminum kick plate also optional. In any case, even if the trip is silent, it’ll be eminently safe, with such standard safety equipment as four-wheel ABS, newly standardized traction and stability control, dual front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, active front headrests, and a remote anti-theft alarm ensuring passenger protection.

Powering the 2010 Altima 2.5 is a standard 2.5-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) inline four-cylinder (I4) engine that comes under the tutelage of a well-regarded continuously variable transmission (CVT). This powerplant will deliver 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque to the tune of 23/32 mpg. Curiously, all-wheel-drive is not offered for any trim level.

2.5 S

Avg. Price: $14,185

One trim level above the 2.5 is the 2010 Nissan Altima 2.5 S. This midlevel, front-wheel-drive, five-passenger sedan comes with a standard single-CD player and six speakers installed, as well as the Intelligent Key remote entry system and push-button start. Options Packages for the 2.5 S include The Technology Package, Premium Audio Package, Convenience Package, and Convenience Plus Package, each of which contains such items as a power moonroof, power-adjustable driver’s seat, DVD navigation system, rearview camera, Bose premium audio components, Bluetooth audio and communications technology, as well as front fog/driving lights, depending on the particular packages chosen. Rear-seat DVD entertainment, a rear spoiler, and a portable navigation system are stand-alone options and accessories also available with the 2.5 S.

As with its base sibling, the 2.5 S is equipped with a standard 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). Capable of 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque, the 2.5 S, available only in a front-wheel-drive configuration, is estimated to get 23/32 mpg.

2.5 SL

Avg. Price: $16,058

The 2010 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL front-wheel-drive-only sedan is somewhat of an anomaly. Essentially a loaded version of the 2.5 S trim, the SL carries such additional amenities as 16-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, power-adjustable driver’s seat lumbar support, auto on/off headlights, Bose nine-speaker premium audio, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and a universal garage door opener. Classified as an Option Package by Nissan as well as many reviewers, the 2.5 SL is nonetheless the recipient of all the Altima’s higher-level optional equipment and accessories, including the Technology, Premium, and Convenience Packages, in addition to front fog/driving lights as a safety option.

Equipped with the identical 175-hp, 180-lb-ft/torque 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine (I4) as its lower-level siblings, the 2010 Altima 2.5 SL delivers 23/32 mpg under the management of its standard continuously variable transmission (CVT).

3.5 SR

Avg. Price: $17,202

Nissan’s 2010 Altima 3.5 SR trim replaces the 2009 3.5 SE and SL levels. As the top-end trim level, this five-passenger sedan boasts such standard goodies as 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A significant additional option for the 3.5 SR is the Sport Package with a power moonroof, Xenon HID headlights, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

As intimated by its moniker, the 2010 Altima 3.5 SR is equipped with a 3.5-liter variable-valve-timed V6 engine that’s well-matched to the standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). Capable of pounding out 270 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, the V6 obviously loses some of the inline four's fuel efficiency, and mileage drops to a still-manageable 20/27 mpg.

Hybrid

Avg. Price: $15,083

As far as standard amenities and options go, the 2010 Nissan Altima Hybrid front-wheel-drive sedan resembles the 2.5 S trim level. However, it does add 16-inch alloy wheels, singular hybrid instrumentation, and automatic dual-zone climate control to the list of standard equipment, while offering the same options and packages as the 2.5 SL.

The heart and soul of the 2010 Altima Hybrid are its 158-hp, 2.5-liter hybrid inline four-cylinder (I4) engine, 40-hp electric motor, and continuously variable transmission (CVT). These components combine to give the Hybrid the 199 lb-ft of torque necessary to move this vehicle from a dead stop to 60 mph in an impressive 7.6 seconds. Regenerative braking and the gas-burning I4 hybrid engine combine to recharge its nickel-metal hydride battery, allowing the electric motor alone to power the Altima Hybrid for short distances at low speeds. As is traditional with hybrid systems, the 2.5-liter I4 shuts down at stops and restarts when the accelerator is pressed.