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Nissan Altima Hybrid

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,893
New car, new discussion.

Calling all Altima hybrid fans!

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  • Have any of the auto mags published more inforamtion about the 2007 Altima Hybrid. I am considering this model, but can find little information. Even the NissanUSA site is vague about model specs. So far, all I know is the mileage and that it will have a touch screen navigation.
  • Here is a review by Motor Trend for the Altima Hybrid:

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedan/112_0409_2007_nissan_altima_hybrid

    I live in Washington DC so maybe I can buy one from Pennsylvania, but I am still leery of having my local Nissan Service Center 'learn' on my car. Maybe I should buy the car, then upgrade to a plug-in hybrid! Now there's an idea...
  • Let the discussion begin. You've heard the buzz, now the car has been released and is at Nissan Dealers in 8 states (California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) waiting for you to go test drive and buy. This discussion is aimed at all those who are interested in buying an Altima Hybrid, have bought an Altima Hybrid and would like to give feedback to those who are considering a purchase, and any other passers-by that want to check out the latest rumors/news on the car.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,893
    When I purchased my Versa last week here in central PA, I asked the dealer if they would be getting any hybrid Altimas. He said he didn't think so, but then again, it's pretty new and he may just be catching up! ;)

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,893
    image

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  • BTW...thanks you guys are great and super quick in setting this up. :shades:
    You'll have to cross the border into good 'ol New Jersey to get a look at one of these, as PA has not adopted the California Emmisions law, so they will not be offered in PA - Dealer was right. Sorry. :cry:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,893
    I dropped you an email too happy!

    I kinda thought my dealer was right since he's the same guy that sold us every car we've bought in the last 27 years!

    Looking forward to your input in the group here!

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  • My bad, I thought PA would sell the NAH. I tried to price one on Nissan's website, using a Trenton NJ zipcode, but no dice. I think my only option now is to cold-call a NJ dealership and get the straight scoop from them. Wish me luck, and I will post my findings here asap.
  • Annoying isn't it...You can't price them at all on the Nissan website, no matter what zipcode you enter. A dealer here in CA told me that every color that is available in the regular Altima would be available on the Hybrid. I'm a little skeptical about that, as most other Hybrids out there have limited color selections.

    There are really only 3 option packages for the Altima Hybrid. The convenience package, the connection package w/XM or Sirius, or the Technology package. With each upgrade you get all of the things in the lower priced packages. Here is the list for the pricing of the packages:

    http://www.nissannews.com/nissan/2007vehicles/altima_hybrid/07_hybrid_pricing.pd- f

    Here is spec sheet that describes what is in the packages:

    http://www.nissannews.com/nissan/2007vehicles/altima_hybrid/specs.shtml
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,798
    "Here is spec sheet that describes what is in the packages:"

    That is a big laugh, the "cargo capacity" is listed in pounds, rather than cubic feet. I wonder just how small the trunk is... :blush:
  • In the interior section you'll find that the trunk volume is 9.1 cubic feet, but I'll tell you the trunk is pretty dang small. That was the last thing I looked at during the test drive, and I tell you there isn't much space back there. I'd say it would fit 2 golf bags, or 2 normal size suitcases possibly stacked on top of each other. There isn't much depth to the trunk, but the height of the trunk is pretty substantial. The extra space you get in a regular Altima is taken up by the battery packs in the Hybrid. In addition, there is no folding rear seats for the same reason (battery packs). If a huge trunk is at the top of your list of "things you are looking for in a new car" then this isn't the car for you...
  • So the recommended gasoline grade is regular unleaded for this car, but does anybody have any idea why the compression ratio on the hybrid is up to 9.6:1 compared to the regular 2.5 L I-4 Altima at 9.5:1. My understanding is that it is exactly the same engine, so where is Nissan getting the 0.1 bump in Compression Ratio?
  • Start here:

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/nissan/altimahybrid/100851544/prices.html

    and you can build one with options and see Invoice vs MSRP.
  • In conjunction with Nissan's National Sales Race, www.nissanusa.com has finally been updated, so that you can build your Nissan Altima Hybrid on the website. A direct link to the build tool is here:

    http://build.nissanusa.com/configurator/en?service=external/SelectTrim&mo=2007:a- - - lt&bs=alh
  • When you select the Technology Package Option, the build tool automatically changes your interior selection back to a cloth interior. For every exterior color, except Metallic Jade, the tool changes the interior to Charcoal Cloth. For Metallic Jade, the tool changes the interior color to Blond Cloth. Hopefully, this is just a problem with the website, and doesn't present itself in the actual models. If it does, I think buyers are going to have a really hard time justifying $7250 for a Technology Package and not getting comfy Leather Seats. Fully Loaded means I get Leather Seats. Period.
  • Hi, I'm seriously considering purchasing an Altima hybrid in NY, however after looking at it, the dealer has been telling me that there is a 3,000 discount on the first three hybrids each dealership sells. Effectively after the first three are sold, the price of the vehicle goes up 3,000 dollars.

    Has anyone come across this before, because I'm 99% certain this is BS. Especially coming from a salesperson that vehemently denied that the hybrid system was of Toyota origin.
  • Some random thoughts.

    I like the looks and the price of the new Altima but wonder whether it will drive as boring as the Cambry. The initial reviews (collected on www.hybridcar.com) have 0-60 times that are slower than my Pilot. On the other hand that Motor Trend piece sounds like performance is not an issue. Everything about the Accord (which I know they don't make anymore) points to more performance oriented car. The prices for used Accords rival the new Altima and the Accords are better equiped. Also wonder about the mileage of the Altima as the Accord forums rip the Accord's mileage.

    Has anyone driven both?
  • It sounds like BS to me. I've never heard of such garbage. One thing to consider here too, is that the price on these cars is already near rock bottom, as the margins on hybrids aren't nearly as good as on regular vehicles.

    Also, it may very likely be that once summer rolls around and gas is around $3.50/gallon again the dealer starts to charge a premium for this car. That happened last summer during the mad rush of consumers to get a fuel sipping hybrid. So will there be a $3K price increase? Formally no. MSRP is set, and it's not going to be changed. Informally, you can bet if demand surges, the dealers (each one sets there own price) will start charging an upcharge. If this happens, look around and you may find a legimitate dealer that is not looking to rip you off. I know I did.
  • I've driven both of them. My opinion is that the Altima Hybrid drives (read suspension and handling) more like a sports car than the Accord Hybrid. But, if pure power is what you are after, than Accord Hybrid definitely has the edge with its beefy V6 Hybrid Powertrain. The bad side is you pay a huge gas mileage penalty when you move from a Inline 4 Cylinder Engine to a V6 engine. The decision that you'll have to make is:

    Accord Hybrid VS Altima Hybrid
    ~+60 HP Better Handling
    Real World
    ~25 MPG AVG ~35 MPG AVG
  • Thanks for the thoughts. Precisely what I wanted to know. I keep thinking that the Cambry is such a boring car that I was afraid that the Altima picked up that quality

    It actually reminded me that I rented a last generation Altima a couple of years ago and thought that the 4 cyl was somewhat peppy. I'll check the new one at the dealer and report back.
  • No problem. I personally have not driven a Camry Hybrid. I was infatuated with the new Camry when it was first released last year. I was convinced that my next car was going to be a Camry Hybrid, up until the LA Auto Show when I saw the Altima Hybrid. It's like Nissan just took what Toyota started and made it better. They tweaked on the Hybrid control software and mated the electric motor to their gasoline motor, and BAM +10 HP compared to the Camry. I still like the looks of the Camry, but I've been reading that the 4 Cylinder Camry has quite a few problems. Among those are a slow to respond transmission, poor paint quality, and bad form and fit causing rattling inside the cab. It sounds like Toyota has been learning a few things from GM. As they get bigger, Toyota's quality is bound to slip. Smaller companies that still have a lot to gain, typically, have better quality. On top of all that, if you are considering the hybrid market, keep in mind that the Federal Tax Credit for buying a Camry Hybrid is currently $1300 and after March 31, that drops to $650. Compare that to the $2300 Federal Tax Credit for the Altima Hybrid, and there are a lot of really GOOD reasons to get an Altima.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    hi, to answer some of the questions i read from this site

    the compression ratio is different because it's not exactly the same engine, they had to downsize it a bit in order to be able to fit the hybrid motor

    that 3000 "discount" was complete bs and wanted you to get in that car that day (scare tactic)

    i highly doubt these are high in demand cars, i ordered one in MASS and i got $1500 under msrp for a car with tech package
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    I am the very satisfied owner of a Camry Hybrid but I will add that I would have seriously considered an Altima Hybrid if it was available when a purchased. As a note, I bought my Camry Hybrid the last week of September 2006; just before the tax credit was halved.

    Unfortunately, I also do not live in a state where the Altima Hybrid is sold (but if it was available and I liked it, however, I would have traveled to a neighboring state to get it). Therefore, my comparisons are between a "normal" Altima and the Camry Hybrid.

    First off, I must address the issue of quality with the Camry. I had one problem, which I ranted and raved about: when I left it overnight at my dealership to have an accessory installed, it would not start the next day. Turns out, the workmen left one of my interior lights on overnight and it drained the battery by the next night. When they recharged the battery that night, the next day all was fine and I have not had one single problem since.

    Honestly, I attribute that "problem" to the dealership and, indeed, that is an issue with all hybrids: the cars will not start when the battery is drained or excessively low. And, being hybrids, you cannot just "jump" them but must recharge them.

    All in all, I think the quality of the Camry Hybrid is superior to that of the Altima. While you may be correct in that "Smaller companies that still have a lot to gain, typically, have better quality"; Toyota still has a lot to gain from making certain their hybrids are ultra-reliable.

    You may want to check the Toyota forums here, too. I think you will find that the new Camry Hybrid owners don't find nearly as much to complain about as the "regular" Camry owners.

    Personally, I like the interior of the Camry much better than the Altima. The new Altima is itself much better than the old model but I still don't think it quite matches that of the current Camry in terms of either style or quality. But that is, of course, a matter of personal taste.

    Driving wise, I was pleasantly surprised by the Camry Hybrid. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of Toyota's "neo-Buick" ride but I think the extra battery weight of the Camry Hybrid actually plants and balances the car better.

    Having said that, I still think the Altima rides better. The Altima is sportier than my hybrid but not quite as smooth. But all in all, I would prefer the Altima (but note again, I have not driven an Altima Hybrid to compare it to). It is a trade-off and, again, your preference may vary.

    I also must disagree that the engine(/hybrid/transmission combination) for the Altima is necessarily than that of the Camry Hybrid. The Altima Hybrid may have more horsepower but the latest EPA mileage report has the Toyota Hybrid very marginally rated better (43/38 for the Toyota compared to 42/36 for the Altima). Of interest, the latest issue of one of the car magazines has the Altima Hybrid averaging only in the mid-20's. A big disappointment, if true.

    I can personally attest to averaging over 35 mpg with my Toyota Camry and I am definitely not a passive driver.

    Plus, the 0-60 times reported so far in most of the car magazines have their respective times at about the same, if not the Camry as a little faster. This is interesting -- and has been especially noted by one of the car websites -- because the Camry Hybrid is actually the heavier car.

    You are correct about the tax credit. One thing to note is that if you are subject to the AMT, you might not get the full credit regardless. Also, historically Toyotas have had a better resale value than Nissans; perhaps ameliorating the tax credit disadvantage somewhat. But yes, generally speaking, the credit now for the Altima Hybrid is much, much better.

    Besides (or maybe despite) the above, other reasons to prefer the Altima Hybrid is the Technology Package. While it is expensive, the cost is somewhat ameliorated by the tax credit. And, unfortunately, Toyota does not have anything like the backup camera and "traffic sensing" XM radio/satellite NAV combination that you get with the Technology Package.

    All in all, its an interesting comparison between the Altima Hybrid and the Toyota Hybrid. And I personally think both are far better than the Honda Accord Hybrid.
  • Thank you for the insight into the world of Camry Hybrid - newcars.

    Let me first comment, that it is excellent to hear that the Toyota Camry Hybrid does not have some of the same problems as its gasoline only brother.

    Next, the quality problems that I mentioned were from www.edmunds.com and were actual problems reported by owners of the gasoline only 4 cylinder Camry. There is not much feedback available on Camry Hybrid. But, I digress.

    Of the problems that were noted, I'm not surprised that the transmission problem doesn't transfer to the Camry Hybrid because the Camry Hybrid gets a CVT compared to the 5 Speed Auto on Camry. That's good news. The form/fit problems in the interiors that some owners are complaining about, I expect to show up in some Camry Hybrids, unless the Camry Hybrid is assembled some place different then Camry. Same goes for the paint problems.

    Finally, let me address the fuel economy statement you made in your post. I don't know what magazine you saw those numbers in, but of the reputable magazines that are on the web, I have found no such information. The latest issue of "Automobile" puts the average gas mileage at 37 mpg for the Altima Hybrid. The mid 20s numbers you quote in your post, I think refer to the Altima, not the Altima Hybrid. Here are the latest links I could find to articles in the big Auto Mags.

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=4646
    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hybrid/112_0702_2007_nissan_altima_hybrid/
    http://www.automobilemag.com/auto_shows/2006_los_angeles/0611_2007_nissan_altima- _hybrid/index.html

    There is a lot of personal preference involved in making a decision as to which new car to buy. Some people will inevitably prefer the "neo-buick" ride of Camry Hybrid to that sportier ride of Altima Hybrid. Who knows I might be one of those people when I finally drive the car. Afterall, competition is a good thing...
  • That's great! You can special order these! AWESOME!

    Were you able to get your Altima Hybrid with the Technology Package and Leather? I've been searching the dealer inventories throughout the state of California, and I have yet to find an Altima Hybrid that comes with the Technology Package AND Leather. It seems if you upgrade to the Technology Package, you downgrade to cloth seats. I've seen the leather seats paired with the Connection Package w/XM or SIRIUS (HA-guess it doesn't matter which one you get now because they are merging), but no Leather on any Technology Packages.

    I think this sucks! If you get a car fully loaded, you should at least have the option of leather if you want it.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    Thanks for the reply, happy_hybrid_1.

    For the record, I agree with you on the quality problems (relatively speaking) of the "normal" gas-only Toyota Camry. You are correct, they are well noted. I'm just saying that I have neither heard nor personally experienced the same things about the Camry Hybrid. And I do expect that because hybrids are a major investment, market differentiator as a brand and strategic initiative for Toyota (unlike Nissan), I would not be surprised if they "go over the quality twice" for their hybrid automobiles as opposed to their gas-only counterparts.

    Maybe the Camry Hybrid is perceived to be of higher quality because relatively fewer Camry Hybrids are sold or because the quality is just better (or both); I honestly don't know. I'm just reporting what I have heard and personally experienced.

    As for the reportedly bad gas mileage for the Altima Hybrid, it is in the latest issue of Car and Driver, which is not posted on the Internet yet. I don't have a copy right in front of me but I believe it is the April 2007 issue. While noting (like the online articles you reference) what the EPA estimates for the new Altima Hybrid is, Car and Driver did an actual road test and reported that their actual mileage was in the mid-20's.

    While YMMV (literally ;) ) I will report that I have never experienced mileage as bad as the mid-20's in my Toyota Camry. Even when making short trips (less than three miles) on very cold days when I had to first warm up the car.

    By the way, I will also say that my Camry warms up faster than any car I have ever had. Or even just road in. I suspect that this is a feature of the hybrid system and is not unique to the Toyota Camry Hybrid, however; I sincerely hope that Altima Hybrid owners benefit from the rapid warming, too.

    But back to the issue of the actual reported mileage of the Altima Hybrid. Again, I do not have the issue in front of me at the moment but it is the latest issue of Car and Driver. It is towards the back of the magazine, in their "Short Takes" section (I think that's what it's called) of short (one or two page) automotive reviews.

    Interestingly enough, this same issue of Car and Driver did not have universally good things to say about their "Long-Term" Lexus 400h Hybrid.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    happy hybrid....

    the tech package includes the leather package. in actuality, the tech package is $2000 and the additional 5,500 is the connection package which includes leather

    i will be getting my car in 6-13 days, with all the bells and whistles (minus wind deflector, and i will be installing my own kick plates)

    i think most of the tech package hybrids will be delivered mid-late march.
  • langjie

    Thanks for the reply. There's still hope. I checked the online inventories of all of the Nissan Dealer's in SoCal, and only a few had a vehicle in their inventory with a Technology Package, and of the vehicles that had the Technology Package, none of them had Leather. I thought this was Nissan's way of reducing costs and increasing their margin by only offering the cheaper cloth seats on the super expensive Technology Package. Also, the build tool on Nissan's website won't let you combine a Leather interior with the Technology Package option, thus confirming the information that I found in the dealer's inventories.

    Hence this new information that you are describing is refreshing. Are you 100% sure that at least some of the Technology Package hybrids that hit dealers will come with Leather, and that it is not only available by custom order?
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    if you go to carsdirect.com website, and you try to build an altima hybrid, click on the tech package (it will say included contents of connection package) when you click on the connection package (halfway through the options, it will say leather appointed seats)

    also, if you just check off the tech package, it will say leather seats (included) under the "seat and seat trim" section

    also, if you go to http://nissannews.com/nissan/2007vehicles/altima_hybrid/specs.shtml
    nissan's official webpage for news, at the bottom, it will list out everything that comes with the packages

    i'm baffled by you telling me you've seen a tech package without navi (that seems more like the custom order one)

    long story short, i'm 100% sure that 100% of the tech packaged hybrid has leather (maybe the one you saw had an aftermarket navi)

    connell nissan in costa mesa, ca has a tech package hybrid, you can email them and ask them for yourself
  • bogdanbogdan Posts: 10
    Regarding fuel economy, I was curious about the article in Car and Driver, so I went to read it. Doing a quick scan, I saw that they were indeed reviewing the Altima Hybrid, not the gasoline-only powered Altima 2.5S and sure enough they claimed it compiled an average MPG of 23, 1 MPG LOWER than its 2.5S stablemate.

    Disappointed, I put the magazine down, but I could not understand how C&D's numbers differed so dramatically from other MPG numbers mentioned here. I then went back and carefully re-read the section where MPG was mentioned and only there did the reviewer confess that the testing included "test track trashing". I'm not sure what self-respecting automobile publication publishes MPG numbers on a hybrid after it's been running on a test track, but considering the overall negative tone of the article, I suppose that the reviewer really didn't want to like the car and was looking for every last shred of evidence to support his case. I can also safely assume that the total time spent at a test track by the average Altima Hybrid buyer would be close to zero.

    Having said that, doing some digging on the web came up with Road & Track's estimate at 37MPG:
    http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=4646

    Autoweek posted similar numbers (36.8MPG) in a blog:
    http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070216/FREE/70214003&Search- ID=73274861512255

    There was also some data from real-world users at www.fueleconomy.gov which posts numbers in the low 30s with a 40/60 mix of city/highway.

    For my part, I will probably wait for the Consumer Reports test. This is not to say that the CR test is any more valid, but at least their consistent testing methodology across cars ensures that they're comparing apples to apples.
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