in 2009 Affordable Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $10,280 - $14,855
Original MSRP: $19,900 - $29,380
MPG: 23 City / 32 Hwy
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2009 Nissan Altima Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Altima's passenger cabin is competitive within a huge class of cars, but trails what the leaders in the segment have to offer. The cabin is attractive and functional, but built with some hard plastics. To make matters worse, the Altima sedan's back seat is smaller than the class average.

  • "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
  • +"Whichever model you choose, you'll find deep and nicely supportive seats, a reasonably quiet cabin, clearly readable analog gauges, generally well-located and simple-to-operate controls and -- for a coupe -- pretty good visibility over your shoulders for safe lane-changing and for backing out of parking stalls." -- Newsday


The Altima's cabin is a comfortable place to spend time, with class-competitive space and supportive front seats. The rear, however, is cramped. It offers some of the smallest dimensions in this class, even in sedan form. The Coupe's back seat is no place for adults.

  • "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
  • +"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
  • "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
  • "The rear seat is a bit tight for a car in this class, with marginal headroom for six-footers." -- Motor Week
  • "With two adults in the front, the cab is very comfortable. Put those same adults in the back and there is bound to be a fight. The space is very limited back there, with headroom lacking because of that sloping roof line." -- Detroit News

Interior Features

The Nissan Altima can be purchased with all of the amenities buyers have come to expect in the midsize class -- but that will cost you. Reviewers say that base Altimas are sparsely appointed, and though the optional equipment is up to the standards of the class, it increases the price dramatically.

  • "The sporty theme is profitably blended with a tech-y one. Dials and buttons glow in a racy orange, and the cabin is swathed in techno-looking plastics that actually feel good to the touch. You almost get the sense that interior designers studied the cabins of much-higher-end Audis when putting this together." -- Business Week
  • " From a usability perspective, the Nissan Altima's radio controls are top notch. Sure, we'd like a rubber grip on the large center power/volume dial and a knob instead of buttons for tuning, but at least they're big and easy to reach. As are the buttons for the clock, presets, and all other functions." -- Autobytel
  • "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." -- 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 Altima's 15.3 cubic-foot trunk is similar to what other midsize cars offer, and its passenger cabin offers plenty of storage compartments. But reviewers say the Altima's 60/40 split seats are difficult to operate.

  • "The sedan's trunk is generously sized and shaped. Lid hinges intrude deeply into the cargo area. Low liftover eases the loading of bulky items, though the split rear seatbacks on conventional models don't fold completely flat" -- Consumer Guide
  • "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

Next Steps: 2009 Nissan Altima

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