DRIVEN: 2014 Nissan Altima SV

Jeff Vaughn reviews Nissan sedan

(WXYZ) - Looking for a daily driver that won't disappoint? The Nissan Altima SV is a good option.

In the days of driving the Altima, I found the 4-door sedan to be a great point A to point B car offering excellent MPGs and easy to use controls.

This car isn't going to turn heads. It's not flashy and the brown one provided to me by Nissan certainly fits with the wallflower grocery-getters seen in suburban parking lots across the country.

Get a door ding. No big deal. Decide to let the car go without a wash until next week. Who cares. This car isn't built for show or speed, it's built to get you to work and back home. It's a long-hauler, and a short-tripper. It's a gas sipper.

The 2014 Altima has nice exterior lines and stays true to the third generation models introduced in 2002 but offers a rounded, more aerodynamic look. The 2014 model's exterior is appealing. Its interior is not.

The inside is understated and offers nothing for this reviewer to applaud. This SV offered no leather, no heated seats and no clock. But I overlooked the lack of luxury when using the controls and voice activated system.

The Nissan Altima was peppy on side streets, cornered adequately, but performed poorly on the highway. 

Here's a list of my LOVES, LIKES and DISLIKES:       

LOVE: The voice activated controls. The NissanConnect hands-free technology is the best I have experienced in a car. My voice commands were heard each time and the system never dropped or delayed any of my requests. The cell phone pairing was quick and when calling up names verbally gave me the correct contact each time. Impressive and appreciated at a time when most disappoint.

LOVE: The MPGs. This full-size sedan is great on gas consumption. It's listed as 27/38 but during my trips back and forth from work (mostly highway) the Altima averaged around 40 mpg. Impressive.

LIKE: The quiet ride. The Altima is far from a luxury car, but its cabin is as quiet as an empty church.

LIKE: Acceleration. This is a zippy sedan from a straight stop. Although it's slow to get to highway speeds, it has good mid-range pick-up and quickly paces to surface street speed limits.  

DISLIKE: Unstable at highway speeds. Take the car to 70 mph and I experienced a shimmy that forced me to put both hands on the wheel.  The Altima lacks a solid feel on the highway.

DISLIKE: Baby seat difficulty. The Altima appeals to families, so I was surprised that there's not a better way to secure a baby seat on the rear bench seat. This company's NASA-inspired seats has all the hooks necessary, but I found them deep behind the cushions, difficult to attach, and even harder to secure as the clearance between the seat and back cushion were too tight and hampered the process. I have secured my son's seat to many, many cars, and this was by far the most difficult.         

The Nissan Altima is offered at a starting price of $22,010.   

For more on the Nissan Altima, click here .

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