Reviewers unanimously like the 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid (Base MSRP: $26,800) for its pleasant handling, livable interior, good fuel economy and reliable track record. At the same time, newer hybrids like the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid (Base MSRP: $28,600) and 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (Base MSRP: $25,795) are considered better overall by experts as they achieve higher fuel economy and are more stylish inside and out. Furthermore, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is cheaper.
The 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid is also only available in 11 states, so many shoppers may have a hard time locating one; it is sold in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland and New Mexico.
Since the Nissan Altima Hybrid carries on unchanged for the 2011 model year (and since its introduction, really), visit our full report on the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid (*Est. $26,650) for comprehensive details and expert analysis.
The Altima Hybrid gets good fuel economy, but not the highest among midsize hybrid sedans. The EPA estimates that the Altima Hybrid will achieve 33 mpg in city, highway and combined driving. While this is good among typical gasoline powered midsize sedans, newer midsize hybrids post significantly better fuel economy numbers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tested the Nissan Altima Hybrid, and gives it the highest rating of Good for frontal offset and side impact crash tests. Roof strength and rear crash protection get the lower rating of Acceptable. The 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, both preferred by reviewers, earn IIHS's Top Safety Pick designation for scoring Good in all test categories. The Nissan Altima Hybrid sedan also performs well in National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing: rollover resistance and front crash protection are both rated at 4 out of 5 stars, while side crash protection gets a full 5 star rating. Overall, NHTSA gives the Altima Hybrid a 4 star rating out of 5 for safety.
ConsumerReports.org includes the Nissan Altima Hybrid in its sedan ranking, which includes both hybrid and nonhybrid vehicles. In addition to driving impressions, ConsumerReports.org supplies reliability data and owner satisfaction data.
Review: Sedans, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
The editors of Edmunds.com enjoy the Altima Hybrid's agile handling and precise steering, as well as its well-built and functional interior. They lament that it's only available in 11 states and come to the conclusion that while the Altima is a good vehicle it is ultimately "overshadowed" by more widely available competitors.
Review: 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid, Editors of Edmunds.com
3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
With front and side crash protection rating of Good and roof strength and rear impact protection rated at the lower Acceptable, the IIHS places the 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid below many other midsize competitors. Expert-preferred hybrids like the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the Ford Fusion Hybrid are both awarded the Top Safety Pick designation.
Review: Midsize Moderately Priced Cars, Editors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid earns an overall safety rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Rollover resistance and frontal crash tests both result in a 4 star out of 5 rating, while side impact protection is rated at the highest 5 star rating.
Review: 5-Star Safety Ratings, Editors of SaferCar.gov
The Nissan Altima Hybrid achieves an estimated 33 mpg rating in city, highway and combined driving. This is good fuel economy, but newer midsize hybrid competitors and many new economy cars get as good or better fuel economy.
Review: 2010 Hybrid Vehicles, Editors of FuelEconomy.gov
Aside from some cosmetic tweaks, the 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid is the same as it was in 2009, when we produced a comprehensive analysis. Observations here continue to apply. Links lead to a variety of expert reviews of the Altima Hybrid.
Review: 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid, Editors of ConsumerSearch, May 2009