2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid Tests Consumer Interest

The Hybrid is rated at 35/33, and in a mix of city and highway driving with plenty of non-green full-throttle application, I got 33.

Published: 25-Jun-2008

The third generation Altima, introduced in model year 2002, saw the transformation of the car from a strictly four-cylinder sedan at the small end of mid-size category to a full-line nameplate, with four- and six-cylinder models sized at the upper end of the class. If it then more nearly resembled the most popular cars in that most popular class, an all-too-easy path to potential obscurity, the Altima differentiated itself in its style and demeanor, both more exciting than the conservatism of the mass-market brands. This, and a lineup with a good variety of choice, helped the Altima to become Nissan's top seller.

From a distance, fourth-generation Altima, which debuted for 2007, looked like a restyle of its immediate predecessor. It was much more than that, as it was based on a new chassis architecture, Nissan's "D" transverse-engine, front-wheel drive platform, with improved rigidity and suspension design. Engine choices were the standard-for-the-class inline four or V6, both with a little more personality than competitors, and available with (depending on model) a six-speed manual or continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

Nissan further differentiated the Altima from midsize genericness with the mid-year introduction of the Altima Coupe, which I dove earlier this model year and found to be pleasantly entertaining, even with the 2.5-liter four, and quite practical. With styling that hints at its cousin, the Infiniti G coupe, is in no way a two-door sedan.


The 308 HDi hybrid has a combined fuel economy of 3.4 litres/100km (69 mpg) and emits 90g of CO2 for every 100km travelled.

A four-wheel energy regeneration and drive system has been adopted which includes in-wheel motors in the front wheels in addition to one 150 kW rear-axle mounted electric motor.

Under the new 2008 standards, EPA estimates that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will get 27 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. This is 10 mpg better in the city than the regular gasoline models will receive.


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