Nissan Altima is offered in four trim levels: 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SL and 3.5 SE. Two engines are available. Base, S, and SL models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The SE features a powerful 3.5-liter V6, essentially the same engine used in the Nissan 350Z and Maxima.
The base 2.5 model ($16,850) comes standard with power windows, a green-tinted solar glass windshield, power steering, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, fold down center armrests front and rear, a 60/40 split folding rear seat and an in-glass antenna. Stereo and air conditioning are not part of the base package, however, and other options are limited to chrome wheels, automatic transmission and fog lights.
The 2.5 S ($18, 700) adds air conditioning, power mirrors, remote keyless entry with remote trunk lock, an eight-way adjustable driver's seat, cruise control, a six-speaker audio system, seatback pockets and a lock for the split rear seat. This is the most popular Altima, and Nissan offers several option packages to further increase its appeal. The Convenience Package ($1,680) features alloy wheels, 8-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, trip computer, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, speed-sensitive volume control, automatic headlights and a vehicle security system. The Convenience Plus Package ($2,500) adds a power glass sunroof with sunshade to the other goodies, while the Premium Convenience Package ($3,300) ups the ante with a Bose audio system that includes a six-disc in-dash CD changer.
The 2.5 SL ($23,200) is the luxury Altima. It has most of the features offered in the Convenience Packages and comes standard with an automatic transmission, heated leather seats, a power driver's seat and simulated wood trim. The only convenience option is the sunroof ($850). For those who want all the goodies without the big engine, this is the car.
The 3.5 SE ($23,149) comes with the V6, 17-inch alloy wheels, wider, speed-rated tires, a performance-tuned suspension, fog lights, and dual chrome exhaust tips. A Leather Package ($ 3,000) includes the leather upholstery, Bose audio system, sunroof, heated front seats, and heated mirrors. The Sport Package ($1,250) adds a sunroof and rear spoiler; the Sport Package Plus ($2,600) includes the sunroof, spoiler, Bose premium audio, and xenon headlights. The Leather Sport Package ($3,900) combines the Leather Package with the spoiler and xenon headlights. The top of the line is the Altima SE with the Premium Leather Package ($4,000).
Altima's prices this year reflect a fairly modest increase of $201 on all models compared to 2003. To its credit, Nissan has kept option prices essentially the same. The automatic transmission ($500) has actually decreased in price.
The 3.5 SE with automatic can be ordered with traction control, which is packaged with front side-impact and full-cabin head protection airbags, as well as ABS ($1,100). The S, SL and SE manuals offer the other safety gear ($800) without traction control. Unfortunately, the side airbags and ABS aren't available on the base Altima.