Since its 1993 introduction, Altima's strength has been its slightly smaller size, lower price, and more nimble handling than the mid-range, mid-size Nissan Maxima, Toyota Camry, or Honda Accord. Faster, roomier, and more sophisticated than a compact, Altima has offered a real, between-floors alternative that some people find just right. That's why we were a little surprised when Nissan redesigned the Altima last year, making it longer and more powerful than before. But we needn't have worried, because neither the extra inches nor the increased horsepower diminished the Altima's unique charm. In fact, the newest Altima is sleeker-looking and quieter, yet even more responsive than before. For 2001, Nissan has focused on making Altima an even better value, with a new Limited Edition option package for the already value-oriented Altima GXE.