Unlike the sedan, the 2011 Altima Coupe is offered in only two trim levels, dictated by the engines that power them. For the 2.5 S trim, that means an aluminum, DOHC inline four-cylinder with variable valve timing. It offers 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. With the standard traction control it’s not going to get away from you, but manages to do its job with little aggravation. The Coupe offers your choice of a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission, the latter of which is the better choice. 17-inch alloy wheels are an inch larger than those on a comparable Altima sedan and are stopped by four-wheel antilock discs. Inside, you’ll find air conditioning, cruise control, a CD/MP3 player, and a full power package including keyless access and start. There’s a digital media connection as well and a center console for storage. The sloping rear glass gets a defogger, too, but no wiper. Six airbags are complemented by front seat active head restraints, but hopefully obviated by the standard stability control.
The 3.5 SR trim of the 2011 Altima Coupe gets an all-aluminum 3.5-liter VQ engine with DOHC design and variable valve timing good for 270 hp at 6,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. It’s been voted to Ward’s 10 Best Engines list several times and offers a major power upgrade from the 2.5 S. If you choose to go with the continuously variable transmission, you’ll also get an 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated power mirrors with integrated turn signals, and a power sunroof. Automatic headlights are included here, as well as foglamps. A sport suspension means you’ll stick in the corners with more composure, helped along by larger 18-inch alloy wheels. However, if you go the six-speed manual route, there are even more options to be had. Dual-zone automatic climate controls are an upgrade here, along with leather upholstery for the now-heated front seats. The controls on the steering wheel now operate a Bose CD/MP3 player with USB, satellite radio, and Bluetooth. A rear-view camera is added here as well, and the automatic headlights are now Xenon units. Safety remains the same with six airbags, front-seat active head restraints, four-wheel antilock discs, and traction and stability control.