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Nissan Altima, Sedan
Apr 11, 2004 (4:12 pm)
domestics be getting even in terms of reliabiltiy, but in other aspects of quality there not there.
Apr 11, 2004 (5:10 pm)
Nothing wrong with the tone of the conversation, but let's try to drift back toward the Altima - new folks who drop in might get frustrated by the lack of Altima talk. Thanks!
Apr 11, 2004 (8:51 pm)
Sorry! But to that end, now that the 2005 Altima is no longer a future vehicle (on the market for a month, with few 2004s left), perhaps all newbies and veterens should head over to the current Altima forum? I think its time this one gets closed (you recently closed the Solara convertible thread for similar reasons).
#167 of 193 bowke28 - FWD an issue
Apr 12, 2004 (3:48 am)
I do not want to try to turn this into a FWD vs RWD vs AWD forum. There probably is one already somewhere on Edmunds.
There has been much written about the pros and cons. Personally, most of my issues with FWD have to do with performance, handling and feel. Not such (also important to many) issues as interior space efficiency.
Also, my comments here primarily apply to cars such as the Altima V6 (SL / SE), but also apply to any car with FWD and over, say, 225 HP / TQ.
First, I absolutely consider the 2005 version of the Altima SE and SL to be a very nice car. It also does a good job of minimizing the inherent compromises associated with FWD.
The steering and handling feel are tough engineering challenges for FWD. With a typical FWD static weight distribution in the 60 / 40 range (some have even more than 60% on the front), this means that the front tires are carrying 50% more than the rears!! This is a lot.
Adding the driving torque to the duties of the front wheels is a significant additional task.
Torque steer is one typical result. This varies with a number of factors and can be minimized under many circumstances.
Handling: with the front wheels carrying so much more of the vehicle weight,
developing significant cornering force and then trying to also deliver acceleration torque typically just does not work well. No tire can generate both full lateral acceleration and full forward acceleration or full braking. (This is obviously also an issue with RWD, just less so - as if it is better balanced, as most sport sedans are, then the rear tires are not as heavily loaded nor as involved in turning.) This affects how enjoyable the car is to drive in a spirited manner, for instance, when accelerating out of a corner.
Braking: More important, in an emergency, the (heavily loaded) front tires are even more heavily loaded during hard braking. Adding an attempt to steer the vehicle typically creates an unstable situation. And no ABS or stability control systems can actually increase the maximum physical tire grip available.
Related: Acceleration from a stop - I experienced annoying wheel spin even on dry roads when I rented a 4-cyl (current series) Altima in the San Diego area a couple of years ago.
Also potential issues – but not as much of a concern for me: FWD often requires a large(r) turning circle.
Uneven Tire wear.
FWD, RWD, (AWD – I owned a VW Passat W8 (approx. 270 HP / TQ and AWD) each have their inherent pros and cons. And some engineering decisions affect how those pros and cons actually manifest in any particular vehicle dynamics. Just need to understand them and choose based on your own requirements and desires.
Again, the Altima deals with these issues reasonably well. Just not well enough for me.
Still impressed . . .
#168 of 193 ABS and braking
Apr 12, 2004 (4:31 am)
"And no ABS or stability control systems can actually increase the maximum physical tire grip available."
This is not correct. The amount of "tire grip" is strictly a function of the tire/road coefficient of friction. If the statement was "an expert driver may be able to produce shorter stopping distances without ABS than with ABS" it would be correct. The key word here is expert. For 99% of the driving public, ABS will not only product shorter stopping distances, it will allow the driver to steer to avoid an accident. Not only do locked wheels not produce the shortest stopping distances, you can't steer them either.
Regarding the Altima, IMO ABS ought to be standard on at least the high end models (3.5 SE & SL). I think it's ludicrous that the $27K 3.5SL has everything but the kitchen sink standard yet you have to pay another $1000 or so to get ABS. It sends the message that Nissan thinks creature comforts (e.g., leather & sunroof) are more important than safety.
#169 of 193 New interior
Apr 12, 2004 (4:32 am)
Does the 2005 interior really address the previous version issues of the interior being low rent and cheap looking? I haven't seen a new one close up yet.
#170 of 193 Re: New interior [lmacmil #169]
Apr 12, 2004 (5:24 am)
Clearly, they have addressed the interior issues.
Whether or not they have addressed these issues to your satisfaction would be a very personal judgment call.
My opinion is that they have done an excellent job in this respect - as well as regarding noise control.
Seeing over 100 2005s on the local lot on Saturday . . .
Apr 12, 2004 (5:27 am)
One annoyance I noticed on my test drive: The tach is rather small, has a small 'sweep' and mounted low to the left. This is likely only an issue for someone using the man-u-matic function.
Otherwise really liking the Atlima's man-u-matic implementation . . .
Apr 12, 2004 (5:30 am)
The only unimproved aspect is the poor grade of cloth that covers the seats in non-leather equipped models. Otherwise, kudos, Nissan, for listening!!
#173 of 193 nissan uses...
Apr 12, 2004 (7:10 am)
a completely different type of upholstery on the non-leather models...its not really cloth anymore. its the same material as the armada "cloth". its very comfortable, and seems more durable. time will tell, but i like it alot.