2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 V6 | road test

Posted on Nov 23, 2008 by

Altimate Addiction

I am addicted to Coupes,
don’t know why but am sort of the two-door man. My first car was a
two-door Coupe and so was my first 4×4. So when it came to handing
down the keys of the Coupe V6 test car, my editor knew
exactly who would like that most.

When engineers
designed the 2007 Altima Sedan last year, they had the Coupe planned
right from the start. They never had a 2-door Coupe in the Altima
lineup before, but this time they knew they wanted one. They were
tired of losing Coupe sales to the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry
(the Camry Coupe is called the Solara and is yet to make its
appearance here in the Middle East).  So Nissan took the wealth
of engineering already invested in the Altima Sedan and created this
gorgeous Coupe.

The prospect of having to
get behind the wheel of this black lithe V6 Coupe over the next
couple of days did bring in some kind of muted excitement.

Take a quick glance and
if you are one well acquainted with Nissan and its luxury arm –
Infiniti, the Altima Coupe will pass on fairly well as the love child
between an Infiniti G37 Coupe and a Nissan Altima Sedan. Although
Nissan’s starting point for the new car has been the Altima Sedan,
the Coupe is chipped out of an entirely new block.

Instead of the standard
methodology of dropping a Coupe body onto a Sedan chassis and doing
the trimmings and installing a set of really long doors, Nissan has
actually shaved 4 inches off the Sedan’s wheelbase (105.3 inches).
And to go with the new underpinnings, Nissan went a step further and
designed a whole new set of body panels instead of working from the
Altima Sedan’s parts bin.

And so, the sexy Coupe
body is shorter and lower than the Sedan. Front and rear overhang has
been reduced, and the ride has been tailored for a sportier
demeanor.  Width is unchanged from the Sedan, which gives the
car a more planted look and feel, as well as allowing the sharing of
more components like the dash panel. While most of the mechanical
components are the same between the Sedan and the Coupe, with the
exception of the aluminum hood, all the major body panels are new and
not shared with the Sedan.

Move inside and the
similarities to the Sedan sibling are easily recognizable. The front
seats on the Altima Coupe differ from that of the Sedan in that they
are more sculpted to better hold you in place when negotiating a
tight curve or when engaged in a spirited cornering maneuver. There
is also what Nissan likes to call “kangaroo pouch” located on the
bottom lip (sitting area) of the front seats, which is great for
storing mobile phones, keys and other small items.

There is also an inboard
release handle for the passenger seat that is easily reachable by the
driver or rear seat passengers for tipping the seats down for entry
and exit. But trust me, the rear seats are crammed when compared to
that of the Honda Accord Coupe, which falls in the same league as
that of the Altima Coupe. Getting in and out of the rear seats was a
tricky affair as the front seats did not slide down well (mainly due
to the extra bolstering on the seat sides) and the door opening was
not wide enough either. Rear seatbacks are split 60/40 and folds down
to form a nearly flat load surface that is level with the boot floor.

 

 

Being a six-footer, I
mostly tend to keep the seats to the lowest possible sitting
position. But I couldn’t do that with the Altima Coupe as the car
offered no such setting. Whoever the driver is, will have to make do
with the set position and that’s it! Maybe because there is no
height adjustment for the seats, there ain’t any fore and aft
adjustment for the steering wheel either, just standard up and down
setting only. Seated at the wheel, you are offered 5 different types
of textures on the dashboard. I wonder what Nissan designers were
thinking when they did that – maybe trying to take the monotony out
of the otherwise ‘Plain-Jane’ dashboard. The air-conditioner as
always in a Nissan is excellent.

Under the hood of the
3.5SE Coupe is the same tried and tested 3.5-litre V6 that is found
in everything from the Nissan Murano crossover SUV to the Middle
East-sans Nissan Maxima family Sedan. Power is fed to the front
wheels through an Xtronic CVT with 6-speed manual shift mode. The
set-up works great for the Coupe and unless you are a
performance-seeking driver who likes to drive near the limits of the
car’s capacity from time-to-time, a front wheel drive car is much
safer and more predictable.

Even though the 3.5
exhibited great reflexes, the Altima Coupe V6 is quite capable of
keeping all that horses out of the way and under control if you just
wanted to have a relaxing drive cruising down the highway while
listening to your favorite track on the i-pod compatible music
system. Wind noise at any practical speed was a distant memory and
road noise was well controlled. The ride was firm but supple and the
seats were comfortable and supportive.

The V6 variant came as a
whiff of fresh air. It behaved confident and precise to my demands
and stood up to expectations in terms of response and handling. From
steering to acceleration to braking, this car felt like it was
connected directly to my brain. The throttle responses were nearly
instantaneous without being the least bit touchy, which was a case in
point with the 4-cylinder Nissan Altima Sedan that I drove a while
ago. The Altima V6 Coupe displayed sharp steering response with no
lost motion and the brakes kept up with all that power –
calculative and secure.

For the few days that I
had the V6 Coupe with me, I thoroughly enjoyed driving and would
definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable
fun-to-drive mid-sized Coupe.

Technical Specifications
Model2008 Nissan Altima Coupe SE
Type2-Door Coupe, Front-Wheel Drive
Engine3.5-litre V6
Power285 Bhp
Torque366 Nm
Transmission6-Speed Xtronic CVT
PriceAED101,000

* Prices are indicative and may vary at the time of purchase. All prices are ex-Dubai showrooms. Please check with your local dealer for current prices and offers.

 

One Response to 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 V6 | road test

  1. Memory Improvement Reply

    October 7, 2014 at 10:06 am

    The set-up works great for the Coupe and unless you are a performance-seeking driver who likes to drive near the limits of the car’s capacity from time-to-time.

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