2011 Nissan Altima

Model Overview

"Fun for the whole family!" is usually something promised by amusement parks and buffet restaurants. With few exceptions, that advertising come-on doesn't usually apply to family cars. Well, the 2011 Nissan Altima is one of those exceptions. Depending on which version they select, mom and dad will get some enjoyable driving dynamics from an Altima, all without subjecting the kids to a harsh ride or a cramped rear seat.

The Altima's fun factor depends largely on which engine you choose. The V6 version -- known as the 3.5 SR -- comes standard with a sport-tuned suspension that trades some ride comfort for sharper handling, making this Altima feel more like a sport sedan than a family sedan. The four-cylinder-powered Altimas are understandably less thrilling, though they are still more involving to drive than many rivals, thanks to the Nissan's communicative steering and composed chassis. As a bonus, the Altima is also available as a coupe for those who might want sleeker styling in exchange for some practicality.

Another perk of the 2011 Nissan Altima is the availability of plenty of high-tech luxury features, such as a hard-drive-based navigation system with music storage, a rearview camera, Bluetooth streaming audio and xenon headlights. Unfortunately, those features often come bundled in expensive packages, which in some cases must be paired with other packages. This often makes it virtually impossible to pick only the options you want and skip those you deem frivolous. Another potential downside are the Altima's backseats, which aren't quite as roomy as those found in the larger cars in this class. That said, most will likely find the Altima's "just right" size to be a major contributor to its relatively nimble feel.

In the final analysis, we consider the 2011 Nissan Altima to be a good choice in this very competitive segment. That said, there are many rivals worth checking out, including the well-rounded 2011 Ford Fusion, the ever popular 2011 Honda Accord, the enjoyable 2011 Mazda 6, the stylish 2011 Hyundai Sonata (and related Kia Optima) and the unknown but impressive 2011 Suzuki Kizashi. But should you ultimately choose the Nissan Altima, you'll be pleased, especially if fun in a family sedan is a requirement.

Nissan Altima Consumer Reviews By Year:
2011 Nissan Altima

NEW FOR 2011

Other than a slight shuffling of option packages, the Nissan Altima is unchanged for 2011.


Responsive steering


Complex options structure.

41 Total User Reviews

Average Rating

By new altima on February 27 @ 11:00 am
Good, get the back up camera option
Have had this car less than a week. Traded in a 2004 bmw 3 series so adjusting to the smaller engine and front wheel drive is a change, but I'm enjoying this car. It is very comfortable to drive and I love the interior that looks just like an infiniti interior. I highly recommend getting the back up camera though because backing up is difficult. You can't see the back of your car so you have no idea where you are. I also regret not getting the satellite radio which is part of the same package. Get this package!

By Matt in Chi-Town on December 6 @ 3:00 am
Nice Wheels
Just purchased my first foreign car. Built in Tennessee, it is more American than most domestics. Impressive looks and nice, punchy driving experience. Beware the Bluetooth, capability is limited. Great music options and great gas mileage. Really looks great, something I thought I'd never see in a Japanese designed automobile, especially in this segment.

By butch1946 on November 11 @ 12:04 am
2.5S w/special edition pkg.
This seems to be a solid car. Got it a month ago and have 1000 miles on it. No complaints. Gas mileage is 26 mpg which is in town and rural combined. My v6 accord got 21 mpg for the same type driving. Overall a very good car.

By lilmiss34 on June 14 @ 7:53 pm
So far loving my car...
I have had this car for just over a month and have over 1300 miles on it and thus far have had no issues. I drive highway about 60% of the time and between highway and city I am averaging about 26-30MPG. Came from a V-6 Honda Accord Coupe which took some getting used to with the change in HP, but this Altima has got some good power to it for a 4-cyl. If you can do it, get the Bose sound system, difference between that and the standard radio is very noticeable. The rear camera is very helpful too. Only tire noise I have noticed is on older highways, not an issue with the radio on low. Also, check your ins company for GAP coverage, it is hugely cheaper than the one the dealership offers!

By rng4 on August 11 @ 5:57 pm
2011 Nissan 3.5SR coupe
We traded-in a 2008 Coupe 2.5S for this 3.5SR. Coupe. The 2008 was a great car , with great mileage, reasonable acceleration for a 4 cyl and very comfortable on trips for 2 people. The 2011 appears to share the same characteristics as the 2008, however appears to have a glossier paint job than the 2008, backup camera is standard and quality is just as good or better. 3.5 liter is quiet, smoother and quicker than the 2.5 liter. This probably as close to the infinity (M37) that I can afford.

By mrsrrn21 on July 5 @ 3:51 am
I am in love!!
I recently purchased the Nissan Altima 2.5 S. This was the first time I purchased a new vehicle and I did my research and test drove many cars. I drove the Camry, Optima, Cruze, Mazda 3, Fusion, etc, but I knew when I sat in the Altima that it was made for me. This car out did the competition in style, performance, and the fact that it was just fun to drive. The CVT is smooth and I barely notice when the car is shifting gears. The features are stylish and I love the intelligent key technology. The inside is sleek and classy. There is plenty of leg room in the back! So far, I am avg. 25 MPG city, stop and go driving, which is great! Im in love! Will do another review later in the year.

By hakkincac on February 24 @ 6:10 pm
Proud Owner
I love my new 2011 Nissan 2.5s Sedan. The only thing I'm upset about is the engine makes somewhat of an ugly noise, however, it goes away once the CTV engine 'warms up'. I don't get 23 MPG, I get about 20 city, still haven't put it on a highway yet. Having said that, it really is a clean looking, nice car for the money. More importantly, I think the look will last, while other models will look odd in years to come, like the Sonata. I did test drive other cars, including Camry and Accord. Neither of them were as nice to drive as the Altima. Furthermore, neither had the handling and 'sporty' look and feel of the Altima. All in all, the Altima is a great choice and a good car.

By neilgphoto on June 29 @ 12:53 pm
Enjoying my new car!
I've never been compelled to write a review of my car until now. It was a toss up between the Altima or the new Sonata (which I still REALLY like the styling of). However, after paying attention to the cars on the road, the Sonata's seem to be everywhere!! Sure, there are also a lot of Altima's, but I think it will stand the test of time. The engine is smooth, and the CVT transmission is just bizarre to get used to. When driving "nicely", you can actually accelerate to 60 mph without revving past 2000 rpm - almost at a constant engine speed. Around town, the computer says I'm getting 26mpg. After driving the CVT, it was weird driving our van and feeling the shifts!

By altimaowner6 on March 12 @ 8:14 pm
2011 Altima w/ SL package
I recently purchased a 4-cyl. 2011 Altima with the SL package and the Bose premium sound package w/ backup camera. I love this car and I am very happy with my decision after putting about 500 miles on it. I was on the fence between the Sonata and the Altima for a while, but ultimately decided I liked the styling and smooth ride of the Altima better. A small part of me wishes I went with the V6 but it was signifiantly more money and I wouldn't be averaging 26 miles per gallon as I am with the 4 cylinder. The 4-cyl. offers plenty of power 95% of the time. I recommend the SL package and Bose system which produces outstanding sound quality, and I would also add a spoiler.

By jwh204 on June 21 @ 5:38 pm
A lot of value for the money
I looked at the Accord, Camry, Sonata but ended up picking this sedan. The combination of style, performance and fuel economy are hard to beat. I agree with other reviewers that style will age better in time. I had to get used to the CVT but the 4 cylinder has a lot of power and the vehicle rides and drives very well. I haven't found anything that I don't like about the car yet - I was driving a '00 Pathfinder and was getting horrible gas mileage - not so with the Altima. I got the convenience package which is very helpful with the power seat and leather wrapped wheel. Overall, for the money, I think this is a solid car and you can't go wrong.

By lilmiss34 on May 19 @ 7:25 pm
Still loving my car!
I have now had my 2011 Altima SL w/ convenience plus package and Bose system for just over 5 months and 5200 miles and am still very happy with it! I am averaging about 29-30MPG total (I still ride highway about 65% of the time) between highway and city. People still compliment me all the time on the quality of the sound system. Handles well (even in sudden flooding rain), ride is smooth and comfortable.

By cars_geek on August 12 @ 10:31 am
Perfect Mate :)
I had this car for more than a month, and I did cruise till now about 2500KM, compared to its main competitors (Camry, Mazda6, Accord), it is overall having the magical formula that those 3 competitors couldn't mix perfectly. It is Stylish, high performance, comfortable, excellent cargo space, fantastic 9-speakers Bose sound, and great fuel economy. And add to all that, it has a very very good dealer here in UAE. If you are looking for a family sedan, or a stylish young car, Nissan Altima has the perfect blend.

By reedy06 on July 24 @ 5:24 am
Smooth, quiet ride
Searched for a roomy family sedan with power, good fuel economy, comfort, latest technology all while having a smooth and quiet ride. After online research, we test drove the Volvo S60 T5, Hyundai Sonata LTD, Buick Regal CXL, Acura TSX w/NAV, and the Toyota Camry XLE. Given our strict criteria, the Altima SR V6 beat the competition. The CVT engine is something that you need to drive to experience. This car is by far the quietest ride in the backseat than any of the others we drove. After 1,000 miles, we are getting 25 mpg in combined highway and local driving. The bluetooth handsfree system and iPod connectivity was the best we found amongst the cars we tested.

By bvetmed on August 31 @ 9:11 pm
Aviod this car
Since purchasing this car new, I have had nothing but problems. The moon roof hose kinked causing water damage of carpets. Nissan repaired the hose but refuses to clean carpets or covering the cost of cleaning the carpets. The acceleration has become sluggish even on premium gasoline. Navigation system has towns listed as both "town of XXX, state" and XXX, state". For any given address searched, one will work, one will result in a "no information available". Also the navigation does not assume you want a point of interest near you. It will list all even those > 80 miles away. Heated seats take greater than 10 minutes to warm up. AC is very good and cabin climate control is great. H

By realleah on January 26 @ 7:29 am
Better than my Lexus 300
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my sporty new Altima 2.5 SL, with heated seats, sunroof and xm radio and it's getting 27.5 MPG in the city! That's more than the sticker said! I have bought a lot of cars and dealt with a lot of car dealers. Buying a car should be fun and enjoyable! It really was this time, thanks to Ben Coates and his team at Go Nissan Southwest. Whenever I'm ready for a new car, I'll be back.

By jrallen on April 1 @ 4:47 pm
Awesome car
Wow this car is great. I got the 3.5SR becuase I like a car that has some get up and go. I was suprised at the power of this car. My past 2 cars were a 2000 Audi A6 2.7T and a 2006 BMW 325xi and this thing has them beat. The technology in this car is awesome too. I got all the packages available and they are worth the money. I have had the car for 8 months now and 14,500mi and haven't had a problem except for the home link which was fixed fast.

By ofcourse1 on September 30 @ 9:31 am
super nice car
I have had my Altima for a year now, and am 90% happy with it. The seats are pretty good, but after about 6-8 hours on the road, start to show their inadequacy. I have put over 26,000 miles in a year, and not had any issues. Very quiet, does well at high speeds, great a/c and heat, love the Bose and the keyless entry/start. Not perfect when it comes to tracking a straight line at high speed. Needs micro-corrections frequently, and the computer screen should have been recessed into the dash to avoid glare from the sun when the backup camera is in use. Would definitely buy another one.

By hbgmama on March 7 @ 3:00 pm
Better value than Honda and Toyota, Pleasantly Impressed!
I was in the market for a used car because I didn't think we could buy new with our budget. But we stumbled upon the Altima on sale and 0% financing. I love this car and am so happy with our purchase. The maintenance is inexpensive (previously drove a used Suburban). The car drives so nicely and gets great gas mileage. We bought the basic, basic model, but it still has A/C and power windows, which are luxuries in my opinion. The seats are microfiber-ish and after almost 2 years of owning the car, the light grey upholstery is not stained (thank you, OxyClean!) I bought plastic floor mats (a must with kids). We installed our own stereo and 4 speakers. Great job, Nissan!

By darthbimmer on March 3 @ 8:12 am
One of the better cars in its class
My company provided me this car when I was on assignment for a few months. I drove it 2500 miles. It's not the kind of car I would buy for myself (I owned a BMW M3 at the time) but it's good for what it is: It's a large compact with room for 4. It's comfortable around town and on the open road. It has reasonable looks and a decent interior. Even with the 2.5 engine it's got enough handling that a "car guy" like me won't lose his mind driving it. Friends who have young families or are empty-nesters said they might buy this car.

By bailey26 on August 14 @ 2:22 pm
2011 Altima
I test drove quite a few cars in this same class and by far the Nissan was the best choice. It's comfortable, steering and handling are tight, the fold down seats in the back are easy to use. The features that I have are all easy to access and easy to use.

By nissanfan65 on June 22 @ 11:09 pm
Best Altima yet and I should know, this is my 4th one!
This is my 4th Altima since 2005. I came to the Altima after my first Nissan, which I also loved, a 2002 Maxima GLE. I had no intention of getting an Altima until the dealer let me drive one while my Maxima was being serviced. When I returned the next day to pick up my car, I started getting that "itch" to trade and that started my love affair with the Altima. I've only bought the top of the line V-6 models and have always found them to be as luxurious as the Maxima with better fuel economy. I am constantly getting comments about how nice the car looks and I love the performance. People in Mustangs and Camaro's are surprised when all they can see is the back of my car!!!

By mikeanddawn on June 28 @ 2:15 pm
NO problems, awesome car
this is my wifes car, we got the coupe with ALL the option packages. it makes the car pretty awesome to look at and to drive. people admire it all the time. we have about 25,000 miles on it and have had not ONE issue !!!!! pretty amazing for $27,000 with FOUR option packages !

By az66bug on November 3 @ 7:18 am
Get out of my way with the 3.5SR
We bought this brand new and always get a new car every 3 years - I can say this one we are keeping longer. Love this car, especially over the re-designed model that looks like a Camry. I was completely sold on the Acura TL but wasn't 100% happy with the bold body style change so decided to check out the Altima after I drove in my buddy's 2010 3.5SR. This car saved me thousands compared to the Acura and besides the savings I love this powerful rocket. Have had it 3 years now and not in the least bit sick of it, will continue to enjoy my Altima for years to come (I hope).

By Jim Drummond on October 16 @ 3:07 am
Reliable so far at 71,200 miles (July, 2017)
Very powerful with the V6. Averages 23-24 in town and 29-30 on the highway, good for a V6. Power is terrific. Passes with ease and no hesitation from the CVT. The visors are a bit small and do not really block the sun very well on the driver's side. New Michelin tires cut mileage about 1 mpg but improved handling. Had the pin stripes replaced which made a great improvement as the originals were fading. (To be expected after five years.) Paint holding up well other than some touch-up needed due to our seasonal "Love Bugs" causing spots on the hood. Have replaced the battery and tires and have the oil changed every 5,000 miles. So far, that's all that's been required.

By Jim Drummond on March 2 @ 6:02 pm
Better than expected
I have the V-6 and it is a rocket ship. I cannot see why anyone would want more power. The CVT, so far, has been smooth and trouble free. (I can only hope it stays that way.) I have driven friend's BMW's, Mercedes and Volvos and swear this Altima handles better than any of them. Getting 23-24 in town and 28-29 on the highway which I find remarkable for a powerful V-6. I bought it used with 9,000 miles and just turned 50,100 with no issues so far. Only have replaced the air filter, battery, cabin filter, tires and regular oil changes. As a "Certified Used Nissan" I have the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty and hope never to use it.

By Georgie Porgie on August 10 @ 4:03 am
Traded in for Toyota Highlander
Technology has improved over my model.

By JWestie85 on June 7 @ 5:56 am
Want to hate it... but just can't...
Ok... Here's the deal... The only way to go with an Altima is the 3.5 V6. After reliability and quality issues with our 03 3.5 SE, I swore, never again for Nissan. The 03 was quick and also luxurious, but simultaneously felt like it could just explode at any minute. Example: We spent $1,700 on electrical issues (straw that broke the camel's back) "NEVER AGAIN!" I shouted. Until.... My wife started wanting another one. "Here we go" I thought. Surprisingly though, the 2011 consumer reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Did Nissan really up their game? We took a chance and bought high mileage, but seemingly well kept one. (High mileage, as in 148,000). I've got to say, it's been a great car. Styling is not my favorite as Mr. Magoo could even tell that it's going to date fairly quickly with all of it's Transfomer's body lines, however, premium wheels seem to help aesthetics tremendously. Bottom line, I set out desiring to utterly despise this car, but it's just not possible. After 2 years of ownership, all we've had done is brakes, oil changes and a new set of tires. Nissan has proven to me that automakers can change.

By Liladhar Talele on April 4 @ 6:18 am
Nisaan Altima 2011

By Patrick McClatchey on July 24 @ 4:10 pm
Comfortable, Reliable, Roomy Sedan

By Ben on May 29 @ 7:30 pm
Great value and performance
I purchased my 2011 Altima 2.5S Special Edition three and a half years ago with 12K miles on it. The vehicle now has just over 60K miles, and has been a great value. The only repairs to the vehicle are the issues with the exhaust welds and heat shield (common issues on 07-12 Altima's), but that was covered under warranty ($900ish otherwise). The car handles very well and is downright fun to drive! Great acceleration even for a 4 cylinder thanks to the CVT transmission. Average between 27-28 MPG mixed driving. The front seats aren't terribly uncomfortable, but aren't anything fantastic either. The sound system is quite good for a stock system. I replaced the stock head unit with a touchscreen Pioneer with Bluetooth and it's a fantastic combo. Just had the 60K service completed, here's to another 60K miles!

By Emily McDonald on September 3 @ 8:49 am
Put about 50k miles with no problems
This is my 2nd Altima, which I purchased after my 2002 Altima starting costing me more money with repairs at ~130,000 miles. I bought it from a dealer with 32k miles on it, and it had previously been a rental car. I've got about 85,000 miles on it and have owned it for 3 1/2 years. It's required ONLY routine maintenance - changed the oil regularly, new brakes, new tires, etc. I love how roomy it is, the trunk is huge and plenty of space for driver and passengers. It handles well in the snow and rain. I drove it in upstate NY for a couple years with all-season tires and never got stuck. I've taken it on a few long road trips, and the seats can be a little uncomfortable after awhile (but what car isn't a little uncomfortable after 8+ hours!). I'm planning to keep this car for a few more years and then maybe move on to my 3rd Altima.

By JMM on February 17 @ 4:00 pm
Style with Performance
Sits low to the ground, so if hip or leg problems it can be an issue. Overall great car. 2011 was best year for Altimas. Easy access to controls and woderfully supported seating.

By Dave on December 7 @ 10:08 pm
Great car
I bought this vehicle after owning a 2001 chevy blazer for 3 months. I bought it with 20k miles after 4 years it has 100k never gave me a problem. Gas is amazing. I was 18 at the time and it still looks amazing. Great car the only issue i am starting to have is the transmission which according to mechanics it held up great since i have a tendency to torture my car. And they say it can hold up to 60k miles more

By Olivia Melton on January 27 @ 8:02 am
Nissan, my first NEW car!

By CD on November 22 @ 4:26 am
This is my 3rd Nissan and I'm done.
My last 3 cars have been brand new Nissan's and each one has been progressively worse as far as maintenance. Trade-in value is horrible and they are over-priced.

By Jason on October 12 @ 9:35 am
Awesome Car!
This has been an awesome car for me! I am the 2nd owner and bought it with 11k miles. There is now 132k miles on the vehicle and the only issue I have had was a wheel bearing needing replaced. Everything else has been perfect! I have only replaced the brakes once, the battery and a couple of sets of tires. The car accelerates quick and handles great. I wish they still made the coupe!

By david HARRINGTON on May 21 @ 2:32 pm
Owner Review
Great value

By Steven on June 28 @ 12:15 pm
Middle of the Road, Not Without It's Problems
Acceleration, braking, handling, steering are all about average, not a fan of the 4 cylinder and the CVT is too noisy. Fuel economy is OK. Car feels plastic-like inside and out, though quality of materials and interior design is not bad. Front seats are comfortable, rear seats are OK. Car could be wider inside. For a modern car it has little features (no bluetooth!). Have had transmission and engine issues, as well as issues with the tire pressure sensors. CVTs are not cheap to replace! Would not buy again, but it's a fine middle of the road car for most people, just doesn't fit my needs as much as other cars/trucks. I drive my other vehicles usually and leave this one as a third car.

By Martha Hudson on January 12 @ 7:37 pm
Sexy coupe
I love my Altima coupe. Only real complaint is very poor headlights on low beam and little heat directed to feet

By Jason on February 8 @ 4:25 am
Chick magnet!
This car has exceeded expectations. I have owned several coupes in my lifetime. This car is the best in the price bracket that I have owned.

By AltimaGuy on August 5 @ 10:29 pm
Bought new, worth nothing now. It's all good
I NEVER planned to keep this car longer than 18-24 months. Anyone remember how the economy was 2011, 2010, 2009? I do, VERY WELL. Nevertheless, I did buy a Mercedes after this (just as a reference) and yet despite my wish for an SUV and going through a few motorcycles since, I still kept my Altima. It's retail value was always so low. That's horrible as an owner, excellent for a buyer. I have not had any problem at all since I bought it. I'm at 123,000 mile on this car. When I first bought the car, I had to replace a cable that connects to the battery but at that time, I always took it to the dealer for their $20 oil changes. I blame them for not seeing the corrosion on the terminal before it got to be that bad that it needed to be replaced. I made them pay for it from what I remember (labor, I paid a few bucks for the cable as an agreement). I've never had any trouble with the CVT transmission, and I actually LOVE it. If it were to go bad, it would have went bad under warranty. And I'll be honest, I've never had it serviced...same damn fluids since 2011. This car has really made me think twice about Nissan, what I used to think of as the cheapy version of Toyota. Today, I think of Nissan as the higher tech (interior and engine) of the two. BTW, the gas mileage is AMAZING on this thing, especially if you go slow, but even if you speed.

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