The Nissan Altima is a four-door sedan—a mid-size family vehicle that sits in one of the most competitive new-car niches. Sold in base, S, SV, SL, and SR trim levels, the Altima is a rival for vehicles such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, as well as the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, and many others.
The Altima nameplate has been on the market for two decades, but today’s car bears little in common with its predecessors. Upsized and designed specifically to fulfill the demands of American consumers, the Altima is Nissan’s most decidedly mainstream vehicle. Originally a compact sedan, and later reinvigorated with a healthy dose of performance, today’s Altima shoots for the mainstream—it’s affordable, comfortable, and fuel-thrifty.
After a reasonably thorough makeover last year, the Altima soldiers into 2017 unchanged.
While previously available as a coupe, today, the Altima is sold only as a four-door.
The latest Nissan Altima
Previewed at the 2012 New York auto show. the current Nissan Altima went on sale that same year as a 2013 model. Essentially carried over for the 2014 and 2015 model years, the Altima retained the inline-4 and V-6 engines of the previous generation, as well as its continuously variable transmission (CVT).
On 182-horsepower 4-cylinder cars, improvements to the CVT nudged the sedan to an EPA-estimated 38 miles per gallon highway. among the best in its class. The thirstier 270-hp V-6 added paddle controls and programmed “shift” points to the CVT that simulate the feel of a conventional automatic gearbox. Excellent seats and a tightly assembled interior are among the highlights of the current generation of Altima sedans.
The Altima sedan was largely unchanged for the 2015 model year. A mid-cycle refresh came in the 2016 model year; with no major powertrain changes, the updates brought a new front end with a Maxima-like grille, some modified interior trim, and a revised suspension designed to improve ride quality. Some minor retuning to the car’s transmission, combined with some aerodynamic tweaking, boosted highway fuel economy for all 4-cylinders other than the SR, which rides on sportier tires, to an impressive EPA-rated 39 mpg.
A new SR model with sporty transmission programming and a stiffer suspension setup has also been added.
The new Altima sedan also adopts more safety and technology. with standard Bluetooth and streaming audio, and available wide-angle rearview camera, lane-departure warning systems, and satellite radio. The IIHS gives the Altima its Top Safety Pick+ accolade, and the NHTSA agrees with five stars overall (albeit four stars in the government’s rollover test).
Introduced in 1993, the Altima has grown from its original compact-class size to a mid-sizer, and from a mediocre offering to a very good one. The 1993-1997 and 1998-2001 Altimas were compact sedans powered by 4-cylinder engines, offering a 5-speed manual gearbox or 4-speed automatic. They were the successor to the Stanza sedan, and did well for Nissan against the Toyota Corolla.
When the third-generation Altima launched in 2002, it was the first of a new wave of dramatically styled Nissan models, drawing great acclaim for its distinctive lines. That 2002-2006 model offered a 2.5-liter inline-4 and a 3.5-liter V-6, with standard 5-speed manuals or automatics (a 4-speed for the four, a 5-speed for the V-6). The sportiest SE-R model included not only the 250-hp V-6, but also unique suspension tuning, 18-inch wheels and tires, and some styling flourishes to set the car apart from standard Altimas.
Restyled for 2007, the Altima continued as a more design-forward alternative to the average mid-size sedan, like the popular Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, as well as the up-and-coming Hyundai Sonata and domestic competitors like the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu. It was most notable in this generation for displacing the Maxima as Nissan’s biggest sedan, though the vehicles actually shared much of their running gear. It also added a two-door model that gave the Honda Accord Coupe one of its few real rivals.
In 2010, the Altima received a mild refresh consisting of a new grille, improvements to interior materials, and added options. At the time, the engine choices were a 175-hp, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder in base models and an optional 275-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. The standard transmission in both the sedan and coupe was a CVT, while coupe buyers could also select a 6-speed manual.
Nissan offered an Altima Hybrid from 2007 through the 2011 model year. It used a 162-hp, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder paired with a licensed version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system found in the Prius and others. Fuel economy was rated by the EPA at 35 mpg city, 33 highway. The gas-electric Altima was offered only in a handful of states. Nissan removed the Altima Hybrid from the lineup to focus its green efforts on the then-new Leaf all-electric hatchback.
The two-door model survived through the end of the 2013 model year but has not been replaced alongside the latest Altima sedan. For its sign-off, it came only in a single configuration, with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and the CVT.
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Great car if they would 1st take responsibility for the defective passenger airbag. Car is perfect but airbag system is still defective. Even with 6 videos and a service advisor seeing the defect unless the. Great car if they would 1st take responsibility for the defective passenger airbag. Car is perfect but airbag system is still defective. Even with 6 videos and a service advisor seeing the defect unless the computer reads it Nissan will do nothing feel free to verify before you purchase the vehicle. Also even after the recall and no solution from Nissan they are still selling the defective vehicle knowing that future customers safety is in jeopardy. Consumer affairs is a big joke and a waste of time. Again I will say the car runs excellent and is great for its value but with a key component like the airbag being defective and Nissan unwilling to fix the problem even if you have actual proof it is almost pointless to buy this vehicle. You have been warned passenger side airbag on the 2016 Altima will show airbag off light even when the seat is occupied by a passenger of correct weight and sitting in the seat in the proper position with the seatbelt on. Even if you video record the defect in action as well even if one of their own service advisors or mechanics see the defect in action they will not repair your vehicle if the computer does not detect the defect. Do not expect any support from Nissan North America in resolving the problem they will not replace any parts and they will try to convince you this is there new intelligent technology and this is how it should be working. Despite the vehicle being such a great buy, a company that will not repair or replace such an important safety piece is terrible. I would have to tell anyone who is considering buying a Nissan Altima, do not do it purchase a different vehicle. I could not recommend this vehicle to anyone and be able to sleep good at night. I hate to leave such a bad review on such a great car. For the record I have verified several times with Nissan Corporation and the National Highway and Transportation Safety that my specific vehicle is not on their recall list which would then require them to fix the airbag defect under their warranty this was a brand new car purchased, within 508 miles the defect appeared the vehicle has been reprogrammed and recalibrated several times Nissan Corporation States as long as their computer does not read the defect they will not be fixing or repairing or replacing anything on my car. Despite six videos of the defect in action a service advisor witnessing the defect as it was occurring and documenting that he saw the defect and several service managers as well as mechanics stating that they are aware my car has a defect but Nissan has no clue what to do keep in mind they sold me this car four days before they announced their National recall and to date they have no resolution for the problem. Don’t take my word for it don’t take the dealerships or Nissan’s word for it look it up online we’re in an information era all of this information is publicly accessible. + More
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October 11, 2015
For 2016 Nissan Altima
Really quiet ride
Riding in this car is like being isolated from the trafic and whatever is going on outside. I have the version with the Bose audio and I just taking it to a medium level the outside noise is pretty much gone. Riding in this car is like being isolated from the trafic and whatever is going on outside. I have the version with the Bose audio and I just taking it to a medium level the outside noise is pretty much gone. Regarding the audio i expected a little more punch in the bass, but the overall sound quality is very good. + More
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