2012 Nissan Altima Review
Automotive journalists think the 2012 Nissan Altima is a fine choice for midsize car shoppers, but they say that other cars offer better performance and more features for the same price.
The 2012 Nissan Altima falls in the middle of the class in most areas. Its base engine is adequate for daily driving and it offers a comfortable, soft ride. If you prefer a more dynamic daily driver, test drivers suggest shopping rivals.
With newer, more stylish cars in the class, the Altima is starting to look dated. Some critics still think it has an aggressive look, while others say it looks a bit boring. The Altima’s interior is where it shines.
Test drivers like the high-quality materials and attractive styling.
One big downside that is mentioned many times among automotive journalists is the Altima’s expensive interior features. Very few features are standard on the base sedan model, which means buyers have to add option packages to get things like a stereo or Bluetooth. Reviewers point out that adding these packages can get pricey fast and that some features are bundled into a package with other features that some shoppers may not want.
Despite its few negatives, the automotive press says the 2012 Nissan Altima still has a lot going for it. They like the Altima’s comfortable ride and CVT transmission. In a highly-competitive class, the Altima has a hard time standing out, but most test drivers think the 2012 Altima is still a solid choice among affordable midsize cars.
Other Cars to Consider
The Honda Accord is another good choice among midsize cars, thanks to its reputation for outstanding reliability. The Accord beats the Altima with some of the highest initial quality ratings from J.D. Power and Associates. While the Altima doesn’t have a bad reputation for quality, if top reliability scores are a priority to you, the Accord is a better choice.
If you’re looking for a midsize sedan that’s roomy like the Altima sedan, yet more fun to drive, the Mazda6 is worth a test drive. Reviewers say it provides one of the most engaging driving experiences among midsize cars, with sharp handling and precise steering that auto writers love.
Nissan Altima: The Details
The 2012 Nissan Altima is available as a sedan and a coupe. Nissan discontinued the Altima Hybrid for 2012. The Altima sedan comes in three trim levels: 2.5, 2.5 S and 3.5 SR. The Altima coupe is available in two trims: 2.5 S and 3.5 SR. The Nissan Altima is mostly unchanged for the 2012 model year. See the full list of 2012 Nissan Altima specs.
- "All models fall a bit short of class leaders for powertrain refinement and rear-seat room and comfort. These weaknesses are fairly minor, and as such, Altima is still worthy of consideration." -- Consumer Guide
- "The 2012 Nissan Altima is a solid pick for a midsize sedan or coupe, particularly if you're looking for something with some sporting flair." -- Edmunds
- "A solid contender in the midsize market, the Altima continues to improve with age. The interior, once the car's Achilles' heel, is now well-appointed and awash in soft-touch materials, satin finishes and plush pieces. It is well-furnished.” -- AutoWeek
- "Even with improved content and standard stability control, the Altima remains reasonably priced. ... That's a lot of car for the money." -- Road and Track