By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
Nissan Altima Coupe

Day 1:

2008 Nissan Altima Coupé
Click Image to Enlarge

Welcome back from the holidays, all. The holiday season has come and gone, and once again, it seems like the year just whisked by. This week I am testing the new 2008 Altima Coupé 2.5s — I’ll apologize upfront for the photos of a dirty car with snow on it, it has been close to -30 Celsius the past few days here and believe it or not, the car was clean 20km before I took the photos.

I haven’t driven a true coupe in a while; the last true coupé (low-slung, two door and sporty) I tested was back in March of 2007 when I drove the BMW 335i. The first thing I noted when stepping into the driver’s seat of the Altima Coupé was the low-slung seating position — very sports car-like.

2008 Nissan Altima Coupé
Click Image to Enlarge

Whether you are seeing it coming towards you or driving away from you, the Altima Coupé is immediately distinguishable from the sedan. The headlights are more sculpted into the front fenders and at the rear, the same treatement is used, with the taillights flowing with the rear quarter panels. The front of the vehicle is a little high for my tastes; the best viewing angle for this vehicle seems to be from the rear three quarter.

The Altima Coupé comes standard in 2.5s trim with a 2.5-litre DOHC four-cylinder engine which produces 175hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Then there is the 3.5SE, available with a 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 270hp and 258 lb-ft of torque — plenty enough to rip the wheel from your hands. Also standard on the 2.5s is a six-speed manual transmission, though my tester though is equipped with the optional CVT (continually variable transmission) with a 6-gear manual shift mode, for an extra $1200.

Also added to my tester is the premium leather package, for $2500. This package seems like quite the deal, actually, adding leather seating surfaces, leather-wrapped gear shift, dual-zone climate control, auto dimming rearview mirror, Bose audio system with six-CD hanger and nine speakers. What is unfortunate is that you cannot seem to get the 2.5s with both the 6-speed manual and this great package — you must opt for the automatic transmission.

Of course, the Altima Coupé comes with a ton of other standard features including: 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with EBD, 16″ aluminum alloy wheels, 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, six airbags and the intelligent key with push-button ignition. Let me just say the intelligent key system and heated seats are two features you grow to love in the winter.

2008 Nissan Altima Coupé
MSRP as tested inc. destination & delivery: $32,923

For more information on Nissan and the Altima Coupé visit Nissan Canada

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