1999 Altima New Car Test Drive
Nissan has always prided itself on building cars for people who like to get the feel of the road. It has succeeded once again with the Altima SE. It's a standout from the stable of the company's smaller mid-size sedans because it offers excellent handling in an affordable and comfortable car.
The Altima distinguishes itself from the pedestrian looks of most mid-size sedans. And it performs admirably. But the ultimate appeal is value. Nissan has touched all bases by creating a car that falls in between slightly bigger, higher priced mid-sized sedans and the more economy-oriented lower end of the category. With a price range of $17,000 to $21,000, it's difficult to find a better return on your investment.
The SE comes with a sport-tuned suspension that provides taut response, yet is damped well for rough pavement. The Altima SE corners well, brakes well and steers crisply. The Altima XE and GXE share the same stabilizer bars and the same independent suspension design as the SE, but the latter has shock and spring tweaks plus lower aspect ratio tires. The higher-priced GLE, meanwhile, is tweaked for a softer ride and more sedate driving experience.
All Altimas are powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out 150 horsepower.