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2010 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SR Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Featured, Nissan, Test Drives

Usually when you think of a sports coupe the Nissan Altima does not pop into your head immediately. Nissan has set out to change that way of thinking with the latest Nissan Altima Coupe SR.

The new 2010 Nissan Altima Coupe SR is a blast to drive. It reminds me of the time spent with the Infiniti G37 Coupe. The firm ride from the sport tuned suspension of the Altima Coupe was quite surprising in that it provided a decent ride while keeping the car firmly planted to the road during hard cornering.  I would say the ride gets a bit harsh on bumpy roads but nonetheless it did not beat me up as bad as the Nismo 370Z. With a wheelbase of only 3 inches shorter than the Altima Sedan, the Altima Coupe’s ride is still smooth when necessary.

For a front-wheel drive sport coupe, the Nissan Altima holds its own and then some. The 270 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs of torque 3.5-liter VQ series V6 engine provides well enough power to overcome vehicles at highway speeds without any second thoughts. Our test vehicle was equipped with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, which is an excellent choice over the optional CVT transmission. Even though the CVT transmission is a worthy choice, it still does not match the performance that can be had with a 6-speed manual that has the proper gear ratios. Our experience with CTV transmissions in previous tested Nissan vehicles has been pleasing.

With the new Altima Coupe, Nissan has attempted to mimic the styling of the Infiniti G37 coupe, which is not a bad idea. On the outside the front has been slightly redesigned for this year, leaving everyone still guessing if it is a new Altima or Maxima coming down the road. The soft lines running down the rear roofline into the rear trunk differentiates the Altima Coupe from the Sedan. Unfortunately, the Altima Coupe suffers from subtle blind spots.

An inside look at the Altima Coupe is pleasing to the eyes and very functional. The red leather seats equipped in our test vehicle add a nice luxury appeal that one would only think to find in more expensive sport coupes. The red leather seats make a bold statement. The power driver’s seat is not difficult to adjust to find a comfortable position. The manually adjusted passenger seat is a different story due to the lack of height adjustability. The black leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter along with the dark padded dashboard accents adds a nice appeal to the interior. Finding quality interior materials is a major plus. Nissan has come a long way in this area and has done a great job. It shows in the Altima Coupe.

The rear seats of the Altima Coupe are usable but rather tight when you attempt to seat two adults. Accessing the rear seats is a difficult task as well with the front seats not providing much forward travel. This may be due to the front seats being somewhat ‘beefy’ which is not a bad thing for front passengers as the seats are very supportive.

Fit and finish of the Nissan Altima Coupe SR is excellent. Everything flows well inside and out. The light aluminum hood and trunk may push the Altima off as a cheap car but the weight savings is more of a functional design aspect rather than a sign of quality of craftsmanship. Most materials used in the Altima have a quality feel to them.

Performance is what you get in the Altima Coupe SR. Even though the Altima is front wheel drive, you should not let it fool you into thinking it is a pushover. With enough power on tap, the Altima Coupe 3.5 SR can actually get you into trouble. Nissan has virtually eliminated torque steer in their front wheel drive V6 equipped vehicles. We first took notice of this from the test drive of current Nissan Maxima. With a clutch that was neither too soft nor too firm on our 6-speed test vehicle, you could stick it in any suitable gear for the speed you are traveling and be assured that the Altima is serious about performance. The Altima Coupe is no 370Z but a softer front-wheel-drive variant of it.

Including a new “SR” group in the lineup of Altima’s was a great idea. Many enthusiasts went crazy when Nissan introduced an Altima SE-R in 2004. The SR somewhat takes its place for those who are concerned about performance in a mid-sized sports coupe. If you are in the market for such a vehicle, then you should not overlook this one. The 3.5 SR standard equipment list is long with only one option on our test vehicle being the floor & trunk mat set. Altima Coupe SR packaging includes the notable features of the Bose audio system w/ 7 speakers, 8-way power drivers seat, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-appointed seats in red, 4.3-inch color screen with backup camera, HID headlights and intelligent key system. You get all of this priced at $30,495 which is not bad at all.



Price: Base 3.5 SR 6-speed manual $29,600 As-Tested 30,495
Type: Midsize Coupe
Where Built: United States
EPA Class: Subcompact Cars


Length: 180.9 in.
Width: 70.7 in.
Height: 55.9 in.
Wheel Base: 105.3 in.
Curb Weight: 3294 lbs.
Gross Weight: 4586 lbs.

Front Head Room: 37.2 in.
Front Hip Room: 54.2 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 53.9 in.
Rear Head Room: 35.6 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 52.4 in.
Rear Hip Room: 47.6 in.
Front Leg Room: 42.5 in.
Rear Leg Room: 34.4 in.
Luggage Capacity: 8.2 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 6
Base Engine Size: 3.5 liters
Base Engine Type: V6
Horsepower: 270 hp
Max Horsepower: 6000 rpm
Torque: 258 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4400 rpm
Drive Type: FWD
Turning Circle: 36.1 ft.
0-60mph: 6.5 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 20 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Manual: 18 mpg / 27 mpg / 21 mpg
Range in Miles:
Manual: 360 mi. / 540 mi. / 420 mi.


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