2010 Nissan Altima Coupe

First unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto show, in 2006, and put on the market in 2008, Nissan’s Altima Coupe was – and still  is – one of the prettier cars on the road. It was pleasing to the eye from just about every angle, and although it may have resembled Infiniti’s G37 two-door, had virtually nothing in common with it.

Featuring a front-drive drivetrain, the 2010 edition of the Altima Coupe came with two engine choices: a 2.5 litre four cylinder or a 3.5 litre V6. These powerplants were also found in the four-door sedan version of this car, and in addition to a six-speed manual, a CVT was the only other transmission choice. By now, Nissan was committed to this gearless transmission, and people got it, whether they liked it or not.

The Altima Coupe was not really a high-octane road-scalder, but more of a nicely-appointed, moderately upscale two-door with a good standard equipment level, and, if you chose the V6, reasonably lively – but not earth-shattering – performance. Much like contemporary rivals such as the Honda Accord Coupe or Toyota Solara, it had enough power on tap to keep things moving, but not enough to get drivers in over their heads right off the bat,

Nissan has always tended to market its cars in packages, and the 3.5 SR version, for example, of the Altima Coupe could be had with the Technology Package, which included a voice-recognition navi system, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear-view camera, among other things.

You could also order things like leather interior, heated front seats, tilt-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, dual zone climate control, and a dynamic vehicle control system. There was also a power sunroof, and push-button start was standard equipment. All versions came with four-wheel disc brake and ABS as well as a full roster of safety equipment.

A word about back seat room. In a nutshell, you won’t find any. Small children  and dogs may like it back there, but it’s snug behind the front seats. The Altima Coupe was really a two-seater, despite the fact that Nissan claimed it’d accommodate up to five adults. On the other hand, the back seat did feature a 60/40 folding feature, which was handy, since the trunk has a scant 210 litres of cargo capacity.

No safety recalls are on file with Transport Canada, but the US National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has a few. One concerns the Garmin navi system that may be part of the aforementioned Technology package. The 750 Nuvi model of this item apparently has lithium batteries that are prone to overheat and possibly burst into flames. This glitch is widespread throughout the industry and isn’t just confined to Nissan products. NHTSA also has recalls for front suspension components of the 2010 Altima, but, at this point, this just concerns the sedan model.

NHTSA has some 41 technical service bulletins listed for the 2010 Altima, though they aren’t specifically aimed at the Coupe model. Still, better safe than sorry, and some of these bulletins include: issues with the rain-sensing wipers, a warning about the temperature level of the transmission fluid in the CVT, unpredictable engine “knock”, problems with the push-button start, and a warning not to disconnect the vehicle’s battery while the car is running. 

Aside from issues with the electrical system and brakes, the 2010 edition of the Altima fares reasonably well with Consumer Reports. It gets a “good bet” designation from this group, and an above average used car prediction rating. Comments from owners include: “Lots of noise from the CVT, particularly during acceleration”, “seats could be more comfortable”, “it would be nice if Nissan offered options on an individual basis instead of only expensive packages”, and “love the V6”.

Marketing researcher, J.D. Power is a little less enthusiastic and the best they can give the 2010 Altima Coupe is an “about average” grade, right across the board.

From a base price of  about $27,500 in 2010, the Altima Coupe has dropped in value by about $8000 – $15,000, depending upon the model and equipment level. The four cylinder S version seems to be fetching about $2000 to $4000 less than the SR V6 and there is no real difference in value between the CVT and the six-speed manual transmission versions.

2010 Nissan Altima Coupe

Original Base Price: $27,348; Black Book: $19,250 – $21,675;  Red Book: $18,375 – $22,575

Engine: 2.5 litre four cylinder & 3.5 litre V6

Horsepower/Torque:  175 hp / 180 ft. lb. & 270 / 258 ft. lb.

Transmission: Six-speed manual & CVT  

Fuel Economy (litres/100 km): 10.2 city/7.3 hwy. (V6 w. CVT) Regular gas.

Alternatives:  Honda Accord Coupe, Toyota Solara, Ford Mustang, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Mazda RX8.


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