No more concepts, no more spy shots, no more sightings, no more waiting. The 2008 Altima Coupe is on dealer lots right now, today. I watched an Azure Blue one roll off a transport truck on May 25th – this car is as real as they get. It won’t be around in great numbers for a while ( maybe ever? ) but you can see one and drive one if you get lucky enough to find a dealer with out that’s not pre-sold.
So, does this car stand up to all the hoopla surrounding it’s release? Yup, absolutely, no doubt, YES. To say that the 08 Altima coupe is gorgeous is like saying that a McLaren F1 is pretty quick. Imagine taking the Nissan 350Z, polishing up the exterior, making it look cleaner, and much nicer, and you have a general idea of what to expect. My expectations were very high, and I can say without hesitation that the coupe looks even better in person than it does in pictures.
If you’re familiar with the Altima sedan, then you pretty much know what to expect inside – a pretty fantastic interior. Visibility is a little week, owing to big c-pillars and a smallish rear window. Driver’s seat is comfy, though the back’s a little tight. Probably a tad smaller than an Accord coupe ( my current ride. ) Kids should be able to hang out back there without too much trouble, though I wouldn’t recommend stuffing adults back there for long trips. Also, the trunk is downright small. It’s not very deep vertically, which means nothing large is fitting inside. Groceries shouldn’t be a big problem though, and that’s all most folks would need it for.
Let’s take a look at some specs, and then see what everyone else thinks about the new Altima coupe –
2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Specs
- 175 HP 2.5 liter 4 banger
- 270 HP 3.5 liter “VQ” DOHC V6 Available, and recommended
- 6 speed manual or slick CVT
- Shorter, vertically and length-wise, compared to the Altima sedan
- Side and curtain airbags standard
- Base price under $21 grand
- EPA Says : 23 mpg city / 31 mpg highway ( 4 banger with CVT )
2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Reviews
Edmunds reviews the 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe and writes – ‘When you set out to buy a midsize front-wheel-drive coupe, you have to be willing to make some tough choices. If you’ve got a specific craving for a more decadent rear-drive car like the Ford Mustang GT or Mazda RX-8, you shouldn’t ask an Altima coupe to satisfy it. But if you’re willing to admit that ride comfort, fuel economy and interior spaciousness are important, then the 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe is one of the best options out there. Among the current population of V6 front-drive coupes, the 3.5 SE is by far the best drive.’
Autoweek reviews the 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe and writes – ‘But with a relatively soft suspension setup (strut front/multilink rear with antiroll bars at both ends), the coupe exhibits a noticeable amount of roll through the turns, certainly more than you would anticipate from a car with sporting intentions. Also, its front all-season tires can’t meet the demands of steering and putting down power at the same time, particularly when moving from a standstill, a problem that plagues many front-drivers. And as with the Altima 3.5 SE (you’ll read about its entry into our long-term fleet in an upcoming issue), steering effort was way too light at 75 mph, offering about as much resistance as you’d expect to find at parking-lot speeds while offering virtually zero feedback.’
Note: I’ve driven many 2007 Altima sedans, and none have experienced much, if any, body roll in turns, even excessively fast ones. When compared to a Camry or Accord, the lack of body roll in the Altima is very very noticeable. I’ve yet to *drive* the 08 Altima Coupe, but I don’t expect it to be much different.