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Nissan Altima Hybrid Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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  • Finaly arrived.... after two dealers and almost 5 months of total wait time;
    sonoma red, blonde leather, tech package, sunroof, carpet floor mats, kick plates, moonroof wind defelctor.

    Dealer picked it up somewhere in NJ where they're being delivered from the factory, and apparently everyone's fighting for them when they get unloaded.

    Car is great. Drives great. Perfectly quiet, then engine kicks in, hardly noticable.
    It does take little bit time to learn how to drive it in electric mode as much as possible.

    Oh, and Nissan offers 3.9% financing for hybrids at the moment.

    Best of luck for those still waiting! :shades:

    Karol
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    GRRR. Good luck while I still wait. Rub it in. Enjoy
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    5 months to the day I ordrered on June 12th, I received the VIN number of the car. Small advances. While the delivery date has now been said that it is officially December 7 (I was told end of November) he still feels their is a possibility it could come in by the end of November. What do you think?

    Does anyone know a site I can track it?
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    Can you give us a more detailed impression now that you have had it a few days?
  • Hi emgr,

    The car is awesome. It takes little getting used to but I've had it for few days now and it's just great.

    Everyone who gets in or stands around it is impressed how quiet it is - almost silent. You can comfortably cruise up to around 20+ mpg before engine kicks in, without pressing gas pedal too hard. If you drive on a highway and let the car roll, the engine will shut off at 40mph and below. It's like driving a go cart.

    If the engine is cold (I'm in NY and it's around 40-50) the gas engine will probably kick in when you start the car, especially when you put the heat on. Once the engine warms up (couple of minutes) it will shut off.

    The battery gets used all the time, if you drive on a highway and floor it, you'll see the battery gauge hit 50kw and up - it's using the battery to give the 4 cylinder engine a boost. When you let the car roll again (or break) the battery needle drops below 0 - now it's charging - back and forth all the time. Dealer said it drives like V6 but I didn't drive Altima with V6 so can't really confirm. Did drive other 4 cylinder cars in the past and Altima hybrid is so much better.

    So far I've been getting 33mpg. I don't know how other people can get 40mpg on it. I would say it's a big challenge to get 37mpg+. I did get 58pmg for first few miles driving back from the dealer as I was stuck in heavy traffic and was only using the battery. Now it's around 33pmg which is still pretty good for a big car. Hopefully the engine will wear in little bit and it will get better.

    The interior is great by the way. I don't know how people can compare it to Camry - Altima is so much better. Just go to a car show and jump in from Altima to Camry back and forth couple of time and you'll see.

    GPS is great, screen is awesome, back up camera makes parking the car a breeze, traffic updates are OK, reads tags from your mp3 files from recordable CD (check manual for detail info). Leather, sunroof are great too... did I mention the car is great?

    Oh yeah... truck is on the small side. And make sure you check your tire pressure after picking it up. Apparently pressure is lowered for better grip during transportation. Dealer mentioned it was checked and the low pressure light should go off in two days. It didn't so I checked it, pressure was way too low. Corrected it, the warning light went off in few miles. The engine temperature light freaked me out at first - but it comes on when the engine is cold when you start the car. Goes away in few minutes.

    I hope yours coming soon. Let us know!
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    karolpl7. That was a good report. I can't wait. Have you tried to do Pulse and Glide to increase mileage at all? Let us know how things continue to go. I really enjoy reports like yours. I will do the same...whenever I finally get it. At least I have a VIN number.
  • Ha... never tried Pulse and Glide, in fact never heard of it but does sound interesting. I had to actually read this page.
    ..but anyway, I don't think it will work on a crowded highway where everyone goes 70-80 and if you start slowing down for no reason you'll have some angry people zooming by. It might work on a long trip highway that's virtually flat over long run and there's no traffic to interfere with 'pulse and gliding'. I might try it on a long overnight trip one day.
    Main point is to ENJOY the car and don't go too crazy trying to save every drop of gasoline out of it. Nissan's site realisticaly states that hybrid gets 35/33mpg (I'm getting 33 overall so far) -that's still better then 23/31mpg for a 4 cylinder and 19/26 for V6!

    Enjoy the ride.
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    Your right. If you do pulse and glide on the highway you will see people telling you that your #1 with their finger. It si more for city roads and rural. But 33 is good and not even broken in yet. Sounds like you may well match the new EPA figures. You seem to already be. Also what did you finally use as your tire pressure? What does the side walls say for maximum pressures that you can use although you would take it that high.

    Also there as been a lot written about the difference between the Camry and the Altima regarding how they respond to the swtich from electric to engine startup and back again. It is said the Altima shuttres compared to the Camry. How noticeable is it when the engine comes on and is it distracting?
  • Hi emgr;

    Side walls say 35psi for all tires. My tires were 27-30 from the dealer (hence the low pressure warning light). I got them all to 35, warning light is off now.

    I did drive Camry hybrid so I can't compare both as far as difference in noise when switching from gas to electric. I liked the overall interior/exterior look of Altima so never bothered with the Camry (but that's only my preference).

    If you pay attention to the engine you will hear slight vibration when switching into the gas mode -it's like going over a tiny pathole. After a while you will forget about it. I do still try to drive on battery as much as possible, so I don't accelerate much and don't speed up if I know I will stop on the next block - so the gas engine doesn't kick in just to shut itself off again in next 5 seconds. Once the gas engine kicks in I don't drive that efficiently any more. I'm still toying with the car basicaly.
    I wish the car could run on the battery little bit longer but I guess you have to balance out the battery consumption, the heat it generates etc.

    Found this page with nice pictures of red hybrid.
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    karolpl7

    35 psi for maximum pressure listed on the side wall seems would have expected the side wall to say something between 45 and 50 psi. What type and brand of tires are on your Altima? Sorry if I am making you look.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    continental contisports. i think 35 is the recommended pressure. i forget the maximum but i think it's around 45 psi
  • They aren't selling the hybrid in Minnesota, so I ordered it at the nearest dealer I could find. That was in Albany,New York. Picked it up in mid June, drove back to the TwinCities and have been in love with it since. It is a quality vehicle, and I have lots of new and used car experience, including the purchase of a Riveria - my last american car. Mileage is great, I am filling the tank once a month, and find the anger and stress of visiting a gas station is greatly reduced. I would buy this car again in a second. One funny experience I had driving the car to Minnesota, stopping one night in Indiana. There was a lot to learn about the car and so when I parked the car for the evening and unloaded suitcase etc. I did not have the radio on - unusual. Locked the doors, (the horn did not sound) which surprised me, but checked in for the night. In the morning there was a trail of water under the car, which I discovered was from the air conditioning - - the car had been running all night. As it was silent, this taught me to always check to be sure I have turned it off. It still took less than two tanks of gas to get from New York to Minnesota. And, the stereo (Bose) is the best I have ever heard- even my wife who does not care about music likes it and allows me to have it on louder than I have in previous vehicles. Buy one!
    :shades:
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    the horn does sound now though...right? lock+unlock on the keyfob for 3 seconds?
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    Wow ! Now that's what I call devotion and determination. It is not available yet in PA either so I went 60 miles into NY and ordered mine. I hope to have it in a few weeks. We'll see.

    Frankied, how do do you find the switch between electric and gas? Is is noticable as some of the mags have suggested?
  • I've had mine for about 4 months, for reference.

    The switch is noticeable, but not dramatically so. The car doesn't make major jerks when it turns on or off, but you can usually feel it. Frankly, I prefer it this way--coming from driving a manual prior to this car, it lets me keep "in tune" with the car similar to how shifting did previously.

    The complaint I do have is more when the car is stationary (ie, at a stoplight), particularly when the car is warming up. Sometimes, the engine will turn on (again, often when the car is warming up) and it seems like they didn't do a good job of engineering the switch when the car isn't moving; it feels like the car wants to start going immediately and doesn't realize for a split second that it should be in "neutral", so the car jerks briefly. It's a fairly minor complaint, I guess, but it'd be one thing I would hope they'd improve in the 2008 or 2009 models.

    I'm overall extremely happy with the car. I've averaged around 33-34 mpg, with a range of 31-36, while generally driving normally (not pulsing and gliding or similar tricks). I love the feature set the Tech package comes with. If I had to make my list of complaints, I'd say the one listed above, the common complaint that the trunk is too small and also that the build quality on the interior roof is sub-par, as I've gotten a number of occasional rattles from the roof area. That's really about it, though.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    are you sure the rattle isn't your sunglasses? that's mine
  • keitha3keitha3 Posts: 124
    I just recently added the Altima hybrid to my list of potential cars to buy later this year. Hadn't been on my list, but at the recent auto show here in Sacramento, sat in one and loved the thing.

    Agreed that the inside looks a lot nicer than the Camry and that the leather quality betters Camry as well. Have been reading many posts and reviews which indicate that its ride is much more to my liking than the Camry as well.

    I don't fault people for going with the Camry hybrid. It too is an excellent choice, but for me, if I go hybrid, I'll probably go in Nissan's direction. Then, we'll be an all-hybrid family as my wife owns the Prius.

    Your review was excellent and made me more excited about the possibility.
  • I would agree about the small rattle/jerk when the car is stationary and the engine decides to come on all of a sudden (heat is on and the battery is very low). That does catch you by surprise sometimes, but that's also due to the fact that you expect the car to continue to be totally silent. If you stand on a traffic light, have all windows closed and music off... it's dead silent.
    The 'rattle' is hard to notice once you drive. I often look for the 'EV' sign if the car is going electric or gas.

    Car is so quiet you can sneak up on people around you. I did it to a friend today, he was amazed.

    I think the 'rattle' (which you can't feel 90% of the time anyway) is a small price to pay.
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    That's very good to know. I think I have read the Camry does the same but less noticeable on some.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    i don't get a rattle (besides my sunglasses)

    my chairs squeaks but my car never rattles
  • Yes,
    the hors does sound when locking the car. However, as I discovered, if the car is running it will lock, but will not give the horn sound. :) :)
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    ok, cool, good to know!
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    As a future owner of an Altima Hybrid with Tech in about 3 to 3 weeks (I hope), what you do you like most and least? probably this belongs in another thread but I will ask it here and let the mods move it if they want.
  • Not unless I've somehow managed to store my sunglasses above the rear passenger seat when I otherwise thought they were in front of my eyes! :)

    My sunglasses (when in the cubby above the center console) do also rattle occasionally, but not to the point where it's an annoyance.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    ok, i'll listen for it, but i don't think i've ever heard rattles from back there
  • We've had our NAH since mid-August. It has almost 8K on it now. We got the full-boat Tech package with leather. Passed on the kick panels and wind deflector (dealer told us they weren't worth the money oddly enough). The two things that took some getting used to were 1. The slight (VERY slight) shudder when the engine starts at a stop light. 2. The sensitivity of the gas pedal.

    The shudder is really, really nothing of any significance. It probably wouldn't spill a brimming cup of water in a cup holder more than a drop or two. It's just something that's odd for people who are used to feeling vibrations of an idling engine at a stop. If a full-on gas engine did that bump, you wouldn't even pay attention to it. It's just weird to go from dead silent (other than the quiet whir of some cooling fans, to a slight vibration.

    The sensitivity of the gas pedal (we were used to drivng a big, V-6 SUV) just took some getting used to. At first, when we were driving, the car was constantly surging, until we realized it was our driving style. Keep a steady foot on the gas, and the car stays steady as she goes.

    Overall, the only complaint we have (a minor one) other than the shoe-box sized trunk, is the environmental (cooling/heating) system for the car. It tries to be too smart, and sometimes does things you don't want it to do, and can't figure out how to stop. Not really sure if that's a bug in the controls, or if we're just stoopid.

    We went to a party the other night. Pulled up at friends' house to find a brand new BMW 5 series sitting there with the dealer tags still on it. We traded sitting in each other's car. I'll take the Altima, thank you very much. The beemer drivers were oddly silent after sitting in our car. The only thing they could say is they liked the lines of their beemer better. OK. I'll give them that. They're styled very well. But the NAH is no slouch. Looks pretty cool. My only wish is that they'd extended the wing on the trunk over the headlights like the old 80's era Supra wings. The short wing makes the car look kind of clunky from the rear. I actually like the Altimas WITHOUT the wing, better, but you get the wing when you get the tech package, so eveyrone knows you've got the top drawer stuff, I guess...
  • I am likely going to buy a new NAH, and I want to get all the bells and whistles. Looks like few if any 2007s exist. Any experience with Carsdirect.com? What are some of the latest best prices out there? Is the government tax incentive still in effect?
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    no new 2007 nah's exist with all the bells and whistles...you need to get a 2008
  • I went through Carsdirect and had a great experience, although I would suggest knowing exactly what you want (since there's no test drive involved, etc), and you will probably have to give them two color choices. I was able to get my first choice, though.
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    Without calling the dealer daily, is there a way to track a new Altima order before delivery?

    I have the Vin number.
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