Nissan says only minor changes will grace its gas-electric Altima Hybrid sedan, now in its second year of production.

The '08 Altima Hybrid continues to be powered by a version of Nissan's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, coupled to an electric motor/generator. The pair combine for a net rating of 198 horsepower. That power gets put to the road through a continuously variable transmission, via the front wheels. The fuel economy rating for the Altima Hybrid checks in at 35 miles per gallon in the city, 33 mpg highway.

As before, the Altima Hybrid shares most of its body and interior with the conventional, gas-powered Altima. For 2008, the changes to the Hybrid version include standard splash guards, a diversity antenna and factory-installed and activated XM satellite radio. (Subscription fees are not included.)

The Altima Hybrid is marketed for now only in the eight states that have the most potential for sales by Nissan's reckoning. They includeCalifornia , New York , Massachusetts , Connecticut , Vermont , Rhode Island , Maine , and New Jersey .


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Marty Padgett

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