The new 2002 Nissan Altima comes in four trim packages: 2.5, 2.5S, 2.5SL, 3.5SE. In this latest revision by Nissan, the Altima becomes larger than both the Accord and Camry. With the 4-cylinder 2.5 liter packages, the base includes nothing. Purchasing the S will get you air conditioning, keyless entry, and cruise control. Another thousand dollars or so and you have the SL model which comes with alloy wheels, leather, power seats, a security system and premium sound. If you have a hunger for more power, the only choice is the 3.5SE. The 3.5 liter engine makes 240 horsepower and 246 ft-lbs. torque. Both manual and automatic transmissions are available, but to take full advantage of a powerful and lightweight car like this a 5-spd is the way to go. The 3.5 is the same engine used in the Nissan Maxima since it was increased by half a liter last year. The 2.5 only gets 3 more MPG than the 3.5. Nissan's reputation for building reliable, sporty and practical sedans is drawing more and more customers every year. With a price under $23,000 the 3.5SE is one of the best bargains on the new sedan market.

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