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Avg. Price Paid:$11,444 - $11,444
Original MSRP: $25,480 - $25,480
MPG: 35 City / 33 Hwy
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2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid was new.

According to the majority, the interior of the 2008 Altima Hybrid is a pleasant place to be. However, critics agree buyers will be happier if they upgrade the somewhat bare-bones standard cabin with some of Nissan's practical and luxurious options.

CNET best explains the interior "is entirely a case of pay to play. For the base-level model the cabin is cleanly designed with good-looking materials and appointments, but from a tech perspective it is stripped down, with the only noteworthy features being a smart key and a single-disc CD player." USA Today's reviewer had a better equipped car, with "supremely comfortable leather seats, plenty of rear legroom and a luxury-car array of accessories." MSN's test car was similarly dressed. "I liked the Nissan accoutrements in the Altima Hybrid," the reviewer states. "These included supportive seats, an easy-to-operate and colorful navigation system that can be tilted to reduce washout in bright sun … and a spacious interior."

Seating

The 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid's seating is generally described as spacious and comfortable. Autosite says, "It's pretty roomy inside the Altima, with nice amounts of leg room, shoulder room and head room. Seats offer satisfactory support: nice, firm bolsters and a wide seat bottom for, um, larger loads." In the front seat, MSN finds "more front-seat legroom and headroom than a Camry," while About.com notes, "Contoured reclining leather-appointed heated seats for perfect drive positioning fit both of us to a T."

Most agree with the Sacramento Bee regarding the rear seat: "Three big bodies in the back might be a bit cramped, but I found the back-seat space to be fairly generous, even for my 6'4" frame." However The Truth About Cars represents the minority's opinion, saying "the rear bench's low cushion and fair knee clearance are merely acceptable for this class. Families with lanky, cranky teenagers will appreciate the airier quarters of the hybrid Camry and Accord."

Interior Features

Reviewers are pleased by the placement and quality of the controls in the 2008 Altima Hybrid. Autosite notes, "As far as the Nissan Altima Hybrid is concerned, there are few - if any - flaws in its control layout, and that includes secondary controls like the steering wheel and window controls." According to The Truth About Cars, "the quality of materials used is a bigger surprise; the dash is draped in rubbery, hide-like polymers, while the hard plastics elsewhere are low-gloss are tight fitting. Sure, the switchgear and bin lids feel a bit more brittle than a Toyota's, but unlike the last Altima's cabin, this one can't be described as 'toylike.'"

Standard features for the Altima Hybrid include a dual zone automatic temperature control, power windows and a multifunctional trip computer. The standard seat covering is cloth, but leather-appointed seats and door trim is optional. The car's standard audio system is an AM/FM single-disc CD player with six-speakers and an auxiliary audio input jack.

Although the car doesn't offer many standard creature comforts, test drivers have plenty of positive things to say about the optional ones. CNET explains, "Unlike the Camry Hybrid, the base-level Altima is stripped down in terms of cabin tech, and those wanting gadgetry will find themselves paying dearly for the option. Those who do make the investment will not be disappointed, as the Altima Hybrid borrows some of the high-end technologies from Nissan's luxury Infiniti marquee, including an outstanding voice-recognition system, a great Bluetooth hands-free calling interface, and an excellent Bose stereo."

Stereo and Entertainment

The Altima Hybrid's optional Digital Bose Stereo with an in-dash six-disc CD changer and nine speakers is described as sharp and crisp. According to CNET, the system "delivers far better audio quality than many other systems." Still others enjoy its ability to drown out outside distractions. MSN's reviewer didn't hear the hybrid technology's whirring sound when cranking the sound system, "and the sounds from the Bose audio system were impressively clear and strong." Autosite has the same take, noting "the audio system is crisp and sounds good when it's loud, - a necessary benefit considering the amount of noise that comes from the Altima Hybrid's powertrain."

Navigation

The 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid's optional navigation system is a 6.5-inch touch-screen with voice recognition with a DVD atlas. Reviews describe it as simple -- in a good way. MSN likes the "easy-to-operate and colorful navigation system that can be tilted to reduce washout in bright sun," and CNET likes some of the available perks in the system: "The Altima Hybrid's navigation system also features some advanced options -- including a 'Where am I' screen, which gives drivers information on their present location relative to major roads, and a 'Nearby Traffic Info' screen, which lists local traffic incidents by proximity."

Cargo

While the conventional Altima offers 15.3 cubic feet in the trunk, the hybrid model only has 10.1 cubic feet of available space. While most hybrid automobiles have diminished cargo capacity to make room for the hybrid battery, writers determine the Altima Hybrid doesn't compare well to its peers. As Forbes says, "If a cavernous trunk is a major criterion for your sedan, think twice about the gas-electric Altima and be sure to cross shop the Honda Accord Hybrid (discontinued after 2007), Saturn Aura Green Line and Toyota Camry Hybrid."

Review Last Updated: 3/10/09

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