The new 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid family sedan will be initially sold only in eight “green” states of the U.S.A.
Citing lack of demand on hybrid vehicles that usually cost $3,000 more than a similar model that runs on gasoline, Nissan decided to offer its new Nissan Altima Hybrid in California, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine and New Jersey.
Although gasoline prices have just peaked at around $2.90 per gallon, the difference in fuel efficiency between a normal car and a hybrid seems to be not big enough to cover the premium that in some cases may be as high as 20-30 percent over the base price of a similarly packed ICE-powered vehicle.
In fact, at current prices it is more expensive to be green than to drive a normal car.
On the other hand, when you pay the premium for the hybrid-powered vehicle, you help the carmakers to partly offset the astronomic expenses they invest in research and development of the new-generation powertrains.
Just as the ‘conventional’ 2007 Nissan Altima family sedan, the new Nissan Altima Hybrid will be equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder internal combustion engine which is mated with the Xtronic CVT continuously variable transmission and coupled with an electric motor and a generator.
The car also makes use of energy captured from braking.
While the engine is basically the same, it is tuned for a lesser power output. Rated at 185 hp, it produces 27 horsepower less than the standard QR25DE installed in the normal version of the car.
Competing against the 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid and featuring the same Hybrid Synergy Drive system licensed from its rival, the Altima Hybrid will retail at a much lower price.
The base model will start at about $18,000 but the price will immediately go through the roof if you decide to add a $7,250 Technology Package with GPS navigation, a premium stereo, leather seats and this sort of entry-luxury stuff.
2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid technical specification
Body Type: 4-door sedan
Layout: front internal combustion engine + an electric motor
Engine: 158 hp @ 5200 rpm, 162 lb-ft (219 Nm) @ 2800 rpm, 2.5-liter, inline-4 + an electric motor
Transmission: Xtronic CVT
Top Speed: N/A
0 – 62 mph: N/A
Fuel Economy EPA city / highway cycle mpg (l/100 km): 35 / 33 (6.7 / 7.1)
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/Wheelbase) inches: 189.8 / 70.7 / 57.9 / 109.3
Ground clearance (inches): 5.6
Track (frt/rr): 61.0 / 60.8 in
Curb to curb turning circle (feet): 36.1
Curb Weight: 3471 lbs
Coefficient of Drag (Cd): N/A
Seating Capacity: 5 (2/3)
Cargo capacity, max (cu ft): N/A
Payload (max w/ occupants and cargo): N/A
Towing Capacity (max): N/A
Direct Competitors: Honda Accord Hybrid, Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid
See also: 2006 Lexus GS 450h hybrid sedan