Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima has some big changes to the drivetrain, offering all-wheel drive for the first time and replacing both engines in the car’s lineup. The new base engine is a 2.5L 4-cylinder, like the one it replaces. However, the new engine makes more horsepower (now up to 188) while also reducing noise, vibration and harshness over the one it replaces. Power is sent to either the front wheels or to all-four wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT.) The optional engine in years past was a V6, but Nissan have opted instead to replace it with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, offering better fuel economy while making similar power. Once again, a CVT is used to send power to the front wheels, though all-wheel drive is not offered with the turbocharged engine.

The Nissan Altima is offered in several different trims: S, SR, SV, SL and Platinum make up the main trim levels, as well as an Edition ONE version for the first year it goes on sale.

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Nissan Altima

The 2020 Nissan Altima is a stylish mid-size sedan with the comfort and features that families want as well as exclusive content they can’t get elsewhere. Along with a spacious cabin and contemporary tech, the Altima is the only sedan in its class with optional all-wheel drive. Nissan also provides a cutting-edge engine called VC-Turbo that attempts to maximize fuel efficiency and performance. Despite these game-changing options, the Altima faces stiff competition from several highly regarded competitors. While alternatives from Honda and Mazda are handsomer and handle better, the Altima still offers surprising athleticism along with Nissan’s loyal following. Source: Car And Driver

The base S version is still relatively well equipped, even if it doesn’t come with all of the driver assistance technology available on some of the more expensive models. Standard features on the S include cruise control, automatic headlights, push-button start, a power adjustable driver’s seat, an 8-inch color touchscreen display, a Siri Eyes Free mode, Bluetooth, 4 USB ports, speed sensitive volume controls, an intelligent forward collision warning system, a rearview camera, a hill start assist system and an automatic emergency braking system.

The SR trim adds a dose of sportiness by including 19-inch wheels, a sport tuned suspension, paddle shifters and LED headlights.

Buyers opting for the SV trim get Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist system, which aids drivers by taking care of some of the more mundane tasks of driving for them. For instance, ProPILOT Assist can keep a specific distance from the vehicle ahead, even in stop and go situations without any input from the driver. It will also help steer the car, subtly keeping the car within its lane. While the system doesn’t offer a fully autonomous mode, it is part of the way there and should significantly ease the stresses of a daily commute.

Stepping up to the SL trim adds a navigation system, SiriusXM Satellite radio and a bigger Bose stereo featuring 9-speakers. In addition, the SL trim has leather lined seating surfaces and a power adjustable front passenger seat.

The Platinum trim includes a memory function for the driver’s seat, additional interior accent lighting and an around-view monitoring system which uses several cameras to give drivers an unparalleled view over what’s going on around them.

After a full redesign last year, the Altima receives a few minor updates for 2020. Nissan is including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and high-beam assist for entry level S and SR models. Also new this year are memory function sideview mirrors and Piano-black trim pieces on SV, SL, and Platinum trimmed vehicles.

Sharp new styling; innovative driver assistance technology; practical; relatively fuel efficient; available all-wheel drive

Unlike rivals such as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, the Altima offers features those two don’t: all-wheel drive and a unique VC-Turbo engine. While the benefits of the latter are hard to quantify, we do recommend adding all-wheel drive for $1350 on the already attractively priced Altima SR. Along with a sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels that make this family sedan more fun to drive, the SR model has more standard driver assists and several better features than the cheaper base model. We’d also spring for the Premium package that adds heated mirrors, heated front seats, and a sunroof.

The Nissan Altima is a mid-sized sedan competing in what could be the most crowded and difficult segment in America. Its competitors include the venerable Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. The Altima could even make sense for people cross shopping compact cars who are worried about having enough interior space, or who want the better ride quality that comes with a longer wheelbase. However, potential owners who want luxury features without paying luxury car prices, may also find what they’re looking for among the higher trim levels of the Altima, particularly since their driver assistance technologies are somewhat unprecedented in this price bracket.

Despite the Nissan’s unconventional turbocharged engine and uncommon all-wheel drive, it’s nowhere near as fun to drive as the Mazda 6 or pretty much any Accord. The Altima SR receives a sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels that make it more entertaining on twisty sections of road. However, these upgrades also reduce the ride quality found on regular Altima models. Surprisingly, the top-of-the-line Platinum model we drove had more cornering grip than the all-new 2019 BMW 330i xDrive we tested. The Nissan also had a comfortable ride that prevented any shudders over undulating pavement. Its steering system was precise by family-sedan standards and doesn’t add effort to emulate steering feel. The Altima’s brake pedal had linear feedback and prompt responses to our input. We recorded an emergency-braking distance (70 mph to zero) of 170 feet, which is competitive with the similarly equipped Accord and Camry.

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