The 2009 Nissan Altima is available as either a midsize sedan or a coupe. Trim levels for the sedan start at the bargain-basement level with the Altima 2.5. This Altima comes with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, cruise control and a trip computer. Noticeably absent is an audio system, although it is pre-wired with four speakers. This base model is only available as a sedan and by customer order. No options are offered.
The first step up from the base 2.5 is the 2.5 S trim level, which is available in either coupe or sedan format. Additions include a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack, keyless ignition/entry and various interior trim bits. Above the 2.5 S trim level is the 3.5 SE, which, as the name implies, sports a 3.5-liter V6. The 3.5 SE also comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, sideview mirrors with integrated signals, a power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, and wood-tone interior accents. The 3.5 SE coupe gets further adorned with 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, a sunroof and foglights.
The luxury-oriented Altima 3.5 SL is the most amply appointed trim level and is only available as a sedan. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, leather seats (heated for the driver and front passenger), metallic interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear passenger vents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, interior mood lighting, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with an in-dash six-CD/MP3 changer and satellite radio.
Options for the Altima are as difficult to comprehend as particle physics and come with more restrictions than a last-minute vacation reservation. A luxuriously appointed 2.5 S can be had with the addition of two different Convenience Packages — they contain many of the standard features found on the 3.5 SE. There’s also the 2.5 SL Package. Each of these requires purchasing the preceding package. The 3.5 SE can be augmented with a Sport Package as well as an SL-like Premium Package. The Connection and Technology Packages add conveniences like a navigation system with a rearview monitor, as well as additional SL-level items.