2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

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2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Buying Advice

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is the best car for you if you want the most fuel-efficient midsize hybrid car -- and you happen to live in one of only eight states in which the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is sold.

Should you buy a 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid or wait for the 2010 Nissan Altima Hybrid? No significant mechanical updates are on the horizon, but if you want the freshest styling, wait for the 2010 model. The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is basically a standard Altima sedan with a gas-electric powertrain, and Nissan appears ready to update the looks of the entire Altima clan for model-year 2010. Bear in mind any appearance changes would likely be revisions to nose and tail, and some cabin updates.

Nissan borrows this car’s hybrid hardware from Toyota, and it can’t acquire enough of it to sell the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid nationwide. So it sells it in California and the seven other states that have adopted California’s stringent emissions regulations: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. These eight states are also among the strongest markets for hybrid vehicles.

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Changes back to top

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid continues as a front-wheel-drive four-door sedan. Beyond its gas-electric powertrain, it’s distinguishing from a standard 2009 Nissan Altima sedan by unique Hybrid badges and the hybrid power-flow graphics that can be viewed on a dashboard display.

Changes to the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid are minor. The power door locks now automatically activate as the car begins to move. And there are four new exterior color choices: Red Brick, Navy Blue, Sonoran Sand and Mystic Jade.

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Prices back to top

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is offered in one model with a base price of $27,345. This is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and includes Nissan’s mandated $695 destination fee.

Standard equipment includes Nissan’s Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) antskid system, traction control, antilock four-wheel disc brakes, and 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The base price includes a dual-zone automatic climate control system with an Altima Hybrid-specific electrically powered air conditioner that continues to provide cooling when the gasoline engine is stopped.

Standard equipment also includes a tilt/telescoping steering column, cruise control, power mirrors and windows, an auxiliary jack for iPods and other digital media devices, and an outside temperature indicator. The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid also comes with keyless locking and ignition that allows you to keep the keyfob in your pocket, purse, or backpack while unlocking the doors and using a dashboard pushbutton to start the car.

Options for the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid include a $1,300 Convenience Package that contains a leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, eight-way power driver’s seat, and other features. The $3,100 Connection Package includes the Convenience Package and adds leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, and a Bluetooth hands-free phone system. The $2,000 Technology Package adds the navigation system with energy-flow display and a rearview monitor.

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Fuel Economy back to top

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is rated at 35 mpg city/33 mpg highway. The higher city mpg rating reflects fuel saved by shutting down the gas engine when the car is stopped or moving slowly. Combined with Altima’s standard 20-gallon fuel tank, the Altima Hybrid has a projected driving range of up to 700 miles between fill-ups. It uses regular-grade gas.

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Release Date back to top

Release date for the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is August 2008. The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is assembled at Nissan’s facilities in Smyrna, Tennessee.

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Competition back to top

2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid: Also a front-wheel-drive four-door sedan that combines a gas four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, though it uses a lower-cost system not as advanced as the Toyota unit in the Nissan Altima Hybrid. It cannot propel the Malibu on electric power alone and relies instead on shutting off the gas engine at idle for its primary fuel savings. This disadvantage is reflected in the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid’s ratings of 26 mpg city/34 highway, but also in a $24,500 base price that undercuts that of most rivals. Malibu’s next full redesign is due for model-year 2013.

2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid: Blends Camry’s laudable levels of refinement and roominess with a four-cylinder gas/electric-motor hybrid system very similar to that used in the Nissan Altima Hybrid. Fuel economy is rated at 33/34, base price is around $26,000. The Toyota Camry’s next full redesign is expected for model-year 2012.

2009 Saturn Aura Green Line: The Aura is the midsize-sedan offering from General Motors’ Saturn division and is based on the same design architecture as the Chevy Malibu. It duplicates Malibu’s hybrid system as well, packaging it in a slightly sportier body and selling it under the Green Line badge used on Saturn’s Vue Green Line compact SUV hybrid. Like the Malibu Hybrid the Aura Green is rated at 26/34 and priced to start around $24,500. Aura will likely get a cosmetic freshening for the 2010 model year, with a next full redesign due after model-year 2012.

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Next Steps