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#8

in 2011 Affordable Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $13,090 - $19,180
Original MSRP: $20,270 - $30,540
MPG: 23 City / 31 Hwy
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2011 Nissan Altima Interior

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

Reviewers are satisfied with the 2011 Nissan Altima’s interior. It’s not the most spacious or fitted with top-notch materials, but it does have a lot of tech options that many shoppers are looking for. Reviewers caution, however, that optional technology packages bring the Altima's price up quickly.

If you want to comfortably fit five people in this sedan, you should look for other options. Try the Ford Fusion.

  • "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." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Another perk of the 2011 Nissan Altima is the availability of plenty of high-tech luxury features, such as a hard-drive-based navigation system with music storage, a rearview camera, Bluetooth streaming audio and xenon headlights." -- Edmunds
  • “I love the color combo of this Altima. The dark maroon paint and black interior make for a classy package. The seats are soft and adjustable and all the controls are in the right spots.” -- AutoWeek

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Seating

Most reviewers say seating in the 2011 Altima sedan and Altima coupe is cramped. The sedan has the roomiest seats up front, so the driver and front passenger shouldn’t have a hard time finding a comfortable position. Front seats in the coupe, however, are short on leg- and headroom, which is a result of the two-door body style. Back seats in both the sedan and coupe are tight, but the coupe’s rear row is the least comfortable. If you need to, you can fit three passengers in the back seat, but adults won’t have enough leg- or headroom.

  • "Good overall headroom and legroom in sedans, though the very tall may want more seat travel. Coupes have less headroom. Seats have very good thigh and lumbar support, though some testers complain that the seats lack a supportive contour. The steering wheel tilts and is telescopic to aid in driver positioning." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Another potential downside are the Altima's backseats, which aren't quite as roomy as those found in the larger cars in this class. That said, most will likely find the Altima's 'just right' size to be a major contributor to its relatively nimble feel." -- Edmunds
  • "The cabin has ample room to seat five, though those in back pay for Altima's coupe profile and low roof line. An occasional bump on the old bean when getting in or out and when riding. Not sure who insisted on coupe profiles on sedans, but bet his name is ‘Shorty.’" -- Chicago Tribune

Interior Features

The 2011 Nissan Altima has a lot of interior features that are impressive for a car in this price range. Unfortunately, optional features like a Bose sound system, a rearview camera, navigation and Bluetooth are in expensive packages -- you can’t pick and choose the features you want. If you buy one, you get them all.

The $1,150 Convenience Packages adds an eight-way power adjustable drivers seat, power windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel-mounted controls. The Convenience Plus Package is also $1,150, but only has three features: a moonroof, manual folding outside mirrors with turn signal indicators and dual-zone automatic climate control. The Premium Audio Package is $1,240 and has Bluetooth, a Bose audio system, a rearview monitor, satellite radio, MP3 playback and iPod connectivity. Finally, the $1,780 Technology Package adds navigation, XM NavTraffic and weather, DVD playback capability, streaming audio via Bluetooth wireless technology, steering wheel-mounted navigation menu controls and auxiliary audio and video input jacks.

Individually, these packages are fairly priced, but there’s a catch. If you buy one tech package, Nissan makes you buy another, and pretty soon, you’re paying about $30,000. For instance, if you get the Convenience Plus Package, you have to get the Convenience Package as well, which brings the Altima to $25,110. The Premium Audio Package requires Splash Guards ($135) and the Convenience and Convenience Plus Packages, bringing the price to $26,485. Finally, if you add the Technology Package, Nissan requires that you buy seven packages (Splash Guards, Convenience, Convenience Plus, Fog Lights, 2.5 SL Package, Premium Audio and Rear Spoiler), bringing the Altima to $30,485.

If you choose the base trim, you can only add Bluetooth for $280.

  • "On all, the climate controls are handy. On models without the navigation system, the audio deck is a model of convenience and simplicity. The same goes for the car's wireless cell-phone link and MP3/iPod integration." -- Consumer Guide
  • "This Bluetooth phone system is far from the cutting edge, as it won't import a phone's contact list, forcing you to dial by telling the voice command system the actual phone numbers." -- CNET
  • "Luckily for me, the sound of my 'singing' voice was drowned out by the outstanding Bose sound system." -- AutoWeek
  • "Another perk of the 2011 Nissan Altima is the availability of plenty of high-tech luxury features, such as a hard-drive-based navigation system with music storage, a rearview camera, Bluetooth streaming audio and xenon headlights. Unfortunately, those features often come bundled in expensive packages, which in some cases must be paired with other packages. This often makes it virtually impossible to pick only the options you want and skip those you deem frivolous." -- Edmunds

Cargo

The Nissan Altima sedan has 15.3 cubic feet of space -- a number that is on par for family sedans. You can increase space if you use the 60/40 split rear seats, but reviewers say they’re not easy to fold. They are, however, pleased with the number of interior cubbies the Altima offers. There’s plenty of space for cell phones, stashing your iPod and storing other odds and ends.

If you’re considering the coupe, you should know that it isn’t as spacious, and only holds 8.2 cubic feet, a number that’s small in comparison to other coupes on the market. The Honda Accord Coupe, for instance, has 11.9 cubic feet of trunk space.

  • “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. Coupes have non-intrusive strut-style hinges, but the trunk is small, narrow, and shallow. Interior storage is only average." -- Consumer Guide
  • "There are lots of little nooks and crannies to store things. There are up to nine cup holders, and right below the stereo, there's a space that can be quickly closed up to hide the iPod or other music player. Cars need function, places to set down your cell phone, hold your cup of coffee and keep things safe. While the 3.5 SR may feel sporty, it remains a car that could carry a family around, too." -- The Detroit News
  • "The trunk is spacious, and lumber or skis can be accommodated by reaching in back and tugging the release cords to lower the back seats. How about a release lever in the cabin?" -- Chicago Tribune

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