Nissan's Altima midsize sedan has long been the company's bestselling car. The roomy interior, affordable price and good fuel economy make the Altima a pretty desirable package. The 2012 model year brings some new tweaks to the popular car, including revised pricing.

The Altima will continue to come in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a sporty two-door coupe. Starting price for the base Altima four-door sedan is $20,410, up just $140 from last year. That includes a 175 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with Nissan's continuously variable transmission. CVTs are more efficient than a traditional automatic transmission, and tend to offer better fuel economy.

Stepping up to the top-of-the-line SR model includes Nissan's 270 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, also mated to a CVT. Starting price for the SR is $25,430, up $320 over the 2011 model.

The base coupe comes with the same 2.5-liter engine as the base sedan, but the coupe offers a six-speed manual transmission as a cheaper alternative to the CVT. Base price with the manual is $23,600, and the CVT costs another $700.

The coupe is also available in SR trim with the 3.5-liter V6 engine. Starting price on the SR coupe with a CVT is $28,430. Interestingly, opting for the six-speed manual on the SR costs $2,330 more than the CVT.

The Altima Hybrid model has been discontinued for the 2012 model year. The hybrid was built using technology licensed from Toyota, and was only sold in California and the eight other states that follow California's emissions requirements. But don't worry if you're looking for an Altima hybrid. Nissan is just taking a break while it gets ready to release a new hybrid based off of its own technology.

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J. Mark Sternberg is an automotive journalist, car enthusiast and writer with a degree from the University of Arizona. Mark is a devoted Formula 1 fan and also enjoys boating, flying and attending the occasional track day.

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