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2010 Nissan Altima Coupe Credit: Nissan (Mike Ditz)
2010 Nissan Altima Coupe Credit: Nissan (Mike Ditz)

Buying Used 2010 Nissan Altima Coupe

Buying used: Back seat of Nissan’s pretty coupe is best for small kids Add to ...

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, it had virtually nothing in common with it.

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Featuring a front-drive drivetrain layout, the 2010 edition of the Altima Coupe came with two engine choices: a 2.5-litre four-cylinder or a 3.5-litre V-6. 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 V-6, 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 Altima Coupe was no exception. The 3.5 SR version, for example, 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 brakes 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 a little 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 U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a few. One concerns the Garmin navi system that may be part of the 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 these just concern 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 V-6.”

Market research firm 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 $8,000-$15,000, depending upon the model and equipment level. The four-cylinder S version seems to be fetching about $2,000 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.

Tech specs

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 and 3.5-litre V-6

Horsepower/Torque:

  • 175 hp /180 lb-ft for four
  • 270 hp/258 lb-ft for six

Transmission: Six-speed manual and CVT

Fuel Economy (litres/100 km): 10.2 city/7.3 highway (V-6 with CVT); regular gas

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

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