2008 Nissan Altima Sedan Interior
This interior review was written when the 2008 Nissan Altima Sedan was new.
Nissan made a concentrated effort to improve the Altima cabin's comfort, quality and functionality with its 2007 redesign. Though a good interior score reflects the positive strides toward a more accommodating space, the Altima still falls in the middle of a large and competitive class for its interior, and experts give the cabin mixed reviews.
- "The Altima's airy cabin has a contemporary appearance supported by nicely textured plastic, lots of stow space and numerous soft-touch surfaces that contribute to its welcoming character." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Altima's interior ambiance isn't quite as rich as its use of soft-touch, textured materials would lead you to believe. The use of budget-grade plastics in the center console area is also a disappointment. It's still pleasant inside, though." -- Consumer Guide
- "While the Altima's new clothes might not set it dramatically apart from its predecessors, the interior will. It is a more sophisticated, integrated design than before, beginning by replacing the ubiquitous corporate multi-function steering wheel with one that has pleasing form and shape." -- Road and Track
- "In truth, what you notice first about the base Altima is that it's a peaceful place to conduct business. The 175-horse 2.5-liter four hums serenely, tire thrum is distant, and the rush of wind goes unnoticed. At idle and at wide-open throttle, the cockpit is nearly as quiet as that other exemplar of solitude, the Toyota Camry." -- Car and Driver
Test drivers enjoy the Altima's comfortable front seats, noting they offer enough support and space to make long trips tolerable.
- "The front seats in both the sedan and coupe are excellent, offering a vast range of adjustment -- particularly in models with power seats -- and a good mix of comfort and support."-- Edmunds
- "Seats are good. Squirming space is adequate." -- USA Today
- "Even though its swoopy styling might suggest limited cabin space, the five-seat Altima has sufficient room in both the front and rear seats. The optional leather front bucket seats are comfortable and driver visibility is good." -- Cars.com
- "Seats have very good thigh and lumbar support, though some testers complain that the seats lack a supportive contour. … the rear bench is reasonably comfortable for those under six feet." -- Consumer Guide
Some express disappointment concerning the space offered to back-row passengers, especially in comparison to the competition.
- "The rear seats are more than adequate for a mid-size sedan." -- The Auto Channel
- "The 2008 Altima is roomy on the inside. I was able to install and uninstall my son's rear-facing car seat easily enough in the backseat with space left over for two moderately sized adults (OK, maybe one should be on the small side)." -- Mother Proof
- "All the judges, however, agreed that the Altima's backseat was the most surprising (read: roomy and comfortable), given that it offers the least headroom and legroom." -- Motor Trend
- "Anyone who regularly plans to carry adults in the rear seat will find the Chevy Malibu, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry all offer a bit more usable 'stretch space' in the aft quarters than the slightly smaller Altima package." -- Kelley Blue Book
Reviews say the 2008 Nissan Altima's interior features have improved in quality -- but the quantity is still sparse for the lower trims. Further, adding what some call necessary options can get pricey.
Fortunately, you can find a portable navigation device that costs significantly less than the Altima's version, and still offers the same features. Check out our GPS reviews to find out which units have large touch screens and voice recognition.
- "The base sedan is the 2.5, powered by a 175-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. This is a pure stripper -- no radio and no air conditioning -- and only available as a customer order, priced from $18,955." -- Car and Driver
- "Both the coupe and sedan come with a long list of available luxury and technology features, but they are put into large, expensive packages that often must be lumped together with other packages. … If you want to keep the price low, we'd normally suggest going light on options, but unfortunately, Nissan makes it just about impossible to do this. It's like going to a salad bar and being offered a choice of either dry lettuce or a 4-gallon bucket of Ranch." -- Edmunds
- "The redesigned interior has a lot of upscale touches, like a soft-touch dashboard surface and chrome detailing on the air vents. … One of our test car's dashboard speaker covers and a right-side vent weren't perfectly aligned, but the quality of most materials is among the best in this class." -- Cars.com
- "The dash design, center stack, console and everything inside is as simple as can be but has a feel of quality -- not luxury car level of quality, but quite good for a mid level sedan. Controls and gauges are also simple and all make sense. Going to the manual was not required for any functions, at least the ones I used." -- The Auto Channel
Stereo and Entertainment
- Mother Proof's reviewer notes the Altima features "a sound system that displays the radio station and time in easy-to-read, large characters. … Also standard is something that's much less necessary, but still nice to have: keyless ignition. As a woman busy with work, motherhood, wifehood and whateverhood, the exact location of my keys tends to elude me right when I'm trying to get out of the house." -- Mother Proof
- "The Bose audio sounded great, but the test car's system had something amiss with the tuner. I never got it to work right." -- Arizona Republic
- KBB lists the 2.5SL Package as one of its favorite features. "This fashionable extras group gives buyers who want a more fuel-efficient four-cylinder Altima 2.5 S virtually all of the main upscale trappings of a 3.5 SL, adding leather upholstery, power and heated front seats, a moonroof, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, HomeLink universal garage-door opener and numerous lesser luxury touches." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Audio and climate controls are simple to operate in models without the available navigation system. The navigation system isn't easy to program, and it absorbs and complicates audio functions." -- Consumer Guide
- Family Car reviewers liked the Altima's nav system. "The excellent Nissan-Infiniti GPS navigation system is an available option on more models now. … the navigation system now includes Real-Time Nav-Traffic. Nav-Traffic allows you to receive up-to-the-minute traffic information surperimposed right on the map display. It will also tell you where any traffic tie-ups are located due to accidents, construction, or just plain too many cars on the road." -- The Family Car
The Altima is class competitive with its 15.3 cubic feet of offered trunk space, and numerous options for cabin stowage. But several describe the release straps for the Altima's 60/40 split seats as difficult to reach.
- "Even though the Altima skews to the smaller side of the official EPA 'mid-size' category, its 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat can still accommodate two average adults or three kids while enhancing the flexibility and utility of its 15.3 cubic feet of trunk capacity." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The Altima's trunk measures 15.3 cubic feet, which is average for the class, but it shrinks to 13.1 cubic feet with the full-size spare tire that's included with the optional stability system." -- Cars.com
- "The rear split-bench seat is admirable in theory, but loses its luster when one has to reach deep into the trunk to reach the release straps, a feat which must be accomplished while simultaneously pushing the seat backs forward. In a word, it's awkward, and there are more convenient designs out there." -- Autobytel
- "This is one of the worst seat back release systems I've seen on an otherwise nicely designed car." -- The Auto Channel
- "The interior glove compartment, cupholders and middle console also had enough room for me and my traveling circus, and the trunk fit our bigger contraptions pretty easily." -- Mother Proof