‘09 Altima Hybrid Update
Beating out the Toyota Camry for best midsized hybrid when it was first released in 2007, not many buyers are even aware that Nissan makes an Altima Hybrid. Currently only offered in states that meet California’s CARB emissions standards, the hybrid is available at dealerships in Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, and California.
Contracting with Toyota to use their “Hybrid Synergy Drive” technology, the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid has an EPA rating of 35 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Starting at around $26,500, you can expect to pay about $5,000 more than the non-hybrid model, which they average will take about 3 years to recoup if gasoline averages $3.00 at the pumps. To get the fully loaded Hybrid that offers built-in navigation system with traffic updates, Bose nine-speaker surround sound system, six-disc in-dash player, MP3 connectivity, rear-view camera, and Bluetooth capability, you can expect to pay closer to $35,000.
While fuel economy is estimated to be very comparable with the Toyota Camry, the overall driving performance is another story. The 2009 Altima pairs a 2.5-liter four cylinder gasoline engine producing 158 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, with an electric motor generating 40 horsepower, 199 pound-feet of torque and 1500rpm. Overall, the net horsepower of a Camry runs 187, while that of the Altima runs at 198.
Not only does it throw more power, but the Nissan Altima Hybrid features what they call “Vehicle Dynamic Control,” which showcases anti-sway bars, traction control, and a stability program. Unlike many vehicles with electric power steering, Nissan did performance drivers proud without over-powering the electric steering, allowing for a true on-the-road feel.
As previously stated, the Altima hybrid is currently only offered in a few states, but if you don’t reside on the West or East Coast, don’t cross the Altima off your list just yet. Nissan has stated that all authorized Nissan dealers have the training and equipment necessary to fully service any of their hybrid models. So, while it may be a pit of drive to pick one up, the new Altima is easily maintained wherever you live. (On a related sidenote, I recently visited with a midwest Nissan dealer that had a used Nissan Altima hybrid for sale. The salesperson advised me that their dealership was not yet able to offer service and maintenance on hybrid Altimas.)
In addition to having an excellent performance rating, the 2009 model scored a 9.9 out of 10 for their safety and security rating. Not bad for families looking to be economical and safe. Speaking of economical, Nissan, in an effort to see that any buyer wanting to get themselves into the new 2009 Hybrid can do so affordably, is currently offering some outstanding financing options to interested buyers. With APR at 0.0% for 60 months or 2.9% for 72 months, or $3,250 cash back, or as a lease at $309 for 39 months, Nissan is doing everything they can to make their vehicles more environmentally and price tag-friendly for consumers. This offer was in place for a limited time as of June, 2009 at this address.
Comment by Doug on 6 November 2009:
Your analysis of recouping the $5,000 in just 3 years if the price per gallon of gas is $3.00 is not correct by any means. If the hybrid gets 34 MPG and the non-hybrid get 22 MPG (edmonds.com) the MPG variance is 12.
15,000 miles / yr
divided 34 mpg
= 441 gallons/yr
15,000 miles / yr
divided by 22 mpg (edmond.com)
681 - 441 = 240 gallon/year savings
240 gallons x $3 = $720 savings per year
$5,000 / $720 = 7 years!!!