This is Nissan's biggest promotional angle about the new Altima. Above everything else, they want everybody to know that the 2.5-liter models are rated at 38 miles per gallon. They're so proud of this number that a hybrid option isn't even of major concern at this point. And why would it be with 38 standard? In its class, the only two cars that are within distance of 38 mpgs are the hybrid Ford Fusion and the Chevy Malibu Eco, both of which are more expensive optional models, at 37. To compare, the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry are rated at 35, the Honda Accord at 34, and the VW Passat (non-diesel) at 31. This is a result of a new "smart" alternator, its redesigned CVT that has 40 percent less friction, a lower weight, and better aerodynamics.