2004 Nissan Altima

midsize car / 4-door sedan

2004 Nissan Altima 4-door sedan
2002 Nissan Altima shown

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Moderate overlap front
Side

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2002-06 models

Tested vehicle: 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4-door

The Nissan Altima was redesigned for the 2002 model year.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has evaluated the crashworthiness of the Altima in two 40 mph moderate overlap frontal crash tests into deformable barriers. In the first test, the airbag deployed late. This led Nissan to modify the airbag crash sensors on 2002 models produced after March 15, 2002, plus Nissan initiated a service campaign to modify the sensors at its cost for the models produced earlier.

The Institute tested a second Altima with the modified sensor, and the airbag inflated much earlier. Ratings of the Altima are based on the results of the second test, except structural performance is based on both tests.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Restraints and dummy kinematics
Dummy movement was well controlled in the second test. The dummy rebounded into the seat without its head hitting any stiff structure that could cause injury. However, the driver's seat pitched forward slightly, tipped toward the door, and moved forward slightly on its inboard track, where the safety belt buckle is anchored.

Action shot taken during the second of two frontal offset crash tests.

The dummy's position in relation to the steering wheel and instrument panel after the second crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained well.

Dummy movement was well controlled in the second test. During rebound, the dummy's head hit only the head restraint.

Intrusion into the footwell was somewhat greater in the second test (pictured) than in the first test, and the brake pedal moved much farther to the left.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CEF0211 CEF0203
Footwell intrusion
Footrest (cm) 11 10
Left (cm) 15 14
Center (cm) 17 14
Right (cm) 17 12
Brake pedal (cm) 19 9
Instrument panel rearward movement
Left (cm) 5 2
Right (cm) 4 1
Steering column movement
Upward (cm) 3 3
Rearward (cm) 2 -2
A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 2 2

Driver injury measures

Test ID CEF0211
Head
HIC-15 145
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.1
Extension bending moment (Nm) 15
Maximum Nij 0.24
Chest maximum compression (mm) 28
Legs
Femur force - left (kN) 0.6
Femur force - right (kN) 2.1
Knee displacement - left (mm) 1
Knee displacement - right (mm) 0
Maximum tibia index - left 1.00
Maximum tibia index - right 0.69
Tibia axial force - left (kN) 1.1
Tibia axial force - right (kN) 2.6
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 51
Right 50

How the moderate overlap front test is conducted

Side

Rating applies to 2002-06 models

Tested vehicle: 2005 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4-door without optional side airbags

The Nissan Altima was redesigned for the 2002 model year. Beginning with 2005 models, door changes were made to improve occupant protection in side-impact crashes. (Nissan reported that these door changes would not significantly affect side-impact performance in models without side airbags; therefore, the overall side impact rating for 2002-05 models without side airbags is the same.)

When side airbags are optional, as in this vehicle, the Institute conducts the test without this option. If a manufacturer offering optional side airbags requests the Institute to conduct an additional test of a vehicle with this option and agrees to reimburse the cost of the vehicle, a second test is conducted. Nissan did not request such a test.

Rating applies to 2002-06 models

Tested vehicle:2005 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4-door

The Nissan Altima was redesigned for the 2002 model year. Beginning with 2005 models, door changes were made to improve occupant protection in side-impact crashes. (Nissan reported that these door changes would not significantly affect side-impact performance in models without side airbags; therefore, the overall side impact rating for 2002-05 models without side airbags is the same.)

When side airbags are optional, as in this vehicle, the Institute conducts the test without this option. If a manufacturer offering optional side airbags requests the Institute to conduct an additional test of a vehicle with this option and agrees to reimburse the cost of the vehicle, a second test is conducted. Nissan did not request such a test.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Driver head protection
The dummy's head was hit by the intruding barrier, producing high head injury measures.
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Rear passenger head protection
The dummy's head hit the window sill of the rear passenger door, producing moderately high neck injury measures. Hitting the window areas should be prevented.

View of the vehicle and barrier just after the crash test.

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing damage to the occupant compartment.

Action shot taken during the side impact crash test showing the driver dummy's head being hit by the intruding barrier.

A prominent dent indicates where the driver dummy's head hit the barrier.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CES0405
B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver's seat (cm) 4.0
Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.

Driver injury measures

Test ID CES0405
Head HIC-15 2,609
Neck
Tension (kN) 3.0
Compression (kN) 0.7
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 57
Lateral force (kN) 3.0
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 43
Average deflection (mm) 36
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 6.92
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 1.07
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 5.2
Acetabulum force (kN) 3.1
Combined force (kN) 7.9
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 1.8
L-M moment (Nm) 258
A-P moment (Nm) 55

Passenger injury measures

Test ID CES0405
Head HIC-15 443
Neck
Tension (kN) 2.3
Compression (kN) 0.1
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 25
Lateral force (kN) 1.3
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 43
Average deflection (mm) 34
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 3.35
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.70
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 0.6
Acetabulum force (kN) 2.0
Combined force (kN) 2.6
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 1.2
L-M moment (Nm) 109
A-P moment (Nm) -55

How the side crash test is conducted