2000 Altima New Car Test Drive
Nissan's Altima is just right for some folks: smaller, more nimble and less expensive than the Maxima, Accord, Camry and other mid-size cars, yet faster, roomier, more comfortable and more sophisticated than compact cars. It handles like a sports sedan.
For 2000, the Altima boasts a lot of changes that make it an even better car than before. For starters, it's nearly three inches longer. Fresh styling gives it a sleeker look. And refinements are everywhere, many aimed at reducing noise and harshness. The engine has been tuned for more power, the transmissions have been improved, steering response is sharper, and the suspension is firmer. If you can't justify the expense of a Maxima, the Altima is an excellent choice.
Four models are available and all come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.
The basic XE is $15,140, but to get air conditioning you'll need a $1,999 option package that also includes a CD stereo and cruise control.
The $16,340 GXE adds luxury touches including a folding rear seatback, a lifting adjustment to the driver's seat, and fancier wheel covers. The GXE offers a $999 option package with air conditioning, larger tires, CD stereo, cruise control, power locks, remote entry, lighted vanity mirrors, variable wipers, and a new overhead console with map lights and sunglasses holder.
Traditional with Nissan is the SE sport model, which gives you the largest wheels and tires, a firmer suspension, rear disc brakes, a monster 6-speaker CD stereo, and a driver's seat lumbar support. The SE is $18,640.
The top-line GLE has a softer, more luxurious ride quality than the sporty SE. And it comes with power seats, side airbags, leather seats, and an automatic transmission for $20,390.
Automatic transmissions are available as an option on XE and GXE for an additional $800, but add $950 to the cost of an SE.