2012 Nissan Altima Coupe Review
The 2012 Nissan Altima Coupe would be a fine choice if it were merely a reliable and fuel-efficient commuter. But the Altima is not a fine choice: it is an excellent one. What might otherwise have been another uninspiring, bland car is set apart from the rest of its class by an elegant design and the understanding that excitement does not have to come at the expense of practicality.
The mid-sized coupe and sedan market is full of extremes. There are the light roadsters, which can turn on a dime and sprint at the slightest provocation, and the reliable workhorses that shuttle families to and fro with no fuss. The 2012 Nissan Altima Coupe has taken the best of both, and that philosophy is reflected in its design. The exterior is aggressive, with bold arches and strong edges that give the car a distinctive character. The body benefits from the coupe model, which creates a cleaner and more refined profile.
The interior follows the same suit with above-average material quality for the Altima’s price range. The coupe is, however, a bit cramped and less-suited to long trips with a full cab. Overall, the 2012 Altima feels like a much more expensive car than it really is.
That dichotomy between staid and exhilarating extends even into the powertrain, where two different engines provide two different experiences. The base model’s 2.5-liter engine uses its 175 horsepower to accelerate from zero to 60 in 8.5 seconds. This is better than most mid-sized coupes, but those looking to pick up the pace will want to opt for the 3.5-liter V6 instead. The V6 in a manual coupe reaches 60 in an impressive 6.5 seconds, making it one of the fastest cars on the road. A continuously-variable automatic transmission comes standard, but a manual is also available.
The 2012 Nissan Altima Coupe is the kind of car that makes carrying home the groceries a joy. There’s almost nothing to criticize, and its widespread popularity in the USA is a testament to Nissan’s success. Anyone who expects a little more from his or her daily driver should look no further.
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