Nissan Altima SR
The sixth-generation Nissan Altima has been on the market for about three years, and the Japanese automaker has sold nearly 500,000 units since they redesigned for 2019. The midsize sedan segment over the years has been shrinking in terms of competition, but those still left in the game are fighting tooth and nail to remain pertinent and competitive; let’s see how this vehicle stacks up against the others. Our test model had an MSRP of $32,698 and was built in Canton, MS.
Nissan introduced this latest generation in 2019, which came at a great time since the Altima was losing momentum. As we mentioned in the beginning, it’s been a big success. This success started with a fresh yet conventional design; the front grille is easily recognizable, with the V-shaped bumper and distinctive headlights unit. On the sides, the 19-inch black aluminum wheels are a nice touch on this Midnight Edition model. In the back, you will find a tiny lip spoiler on the trunk to give it a slightly more sporty look than the other versions. Evolution best describes the changes made from the previous generation to this current model. The Altima is still a more rational purchase rather than an impulse one.
Now, stepping inside, the Nissan Altima has a bit more pep thanks to its orange accents on the front seats, the doors, the dashboard and even the steering wheel. Small details make a huge difference and enhance the experience for everyone on board. On the driver’s side, the gauge cluster is conventional and functional. Both gauges are clear and easy to read and pair with a 7-inch Drive-Assist display in the middle. The leather on the steering wheel has a nice feeling, and the buttons are laid out cleverly. As for the central area, the infotainment system is adequate; it responds quickly, whether it is to change the radio station or access your contacts. The same is true about the dual-zone climate controls, knobs to promptly adjust the temperature and buttons for the heated seats and steering. Nothing else, but thank you for these. The only difference in this vehicle compared to every other vehicle in its class is the position of the Stop/start engine button located next to the gear lever. The first couple of tries, we were looking for it, but you get used to it. Once again, rationality is the middle name of this new generation of Altimas.
As for practicality, the Nissan Altima can fit four adults seamlessly. The front seats, called Zero-Gravity by Nissan, balance the margin between firmness and plushness to help you feel fresh after several hours in the car. In the back, the seats aren’t as comfortable but still offer lots of knee room and decent headroom so that the back seat can be usable. The ISOFIX ports are hidden in the backseats under a leather cover held with velcro, a clever method we’ve rarely seen. The rear anchors are located close to the back window. The trunk space is ample; you can easily fit a large suitcase and a couple of backpacks. You can also lower the seats in a 60/40 configuration if you need extra practicality.
Moving on to the mechanical part of the review, the Altima is still going strong with the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. This powerplant, coupled with the Xtronic CVT, delivers 182 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. Our test version, the SR Midnight, also adds paddle shifters on the steering wheel for a more dynamic driving experience in theory. In reality, the vehicle is quite comfortable and predictable. The transmission can bring this vehicle to 100kph in roughly 6.8 seconds which isn’t bad for a midsize sedan like this. The acceleration from a standpoint is smooth; even though it isn’t blazingly fast, it still feels like enough power. The paddle shifters don’t necessarily help you shift better from a stoplight, but on the highway, they help to downshift faster in a passing scenario. The addition of all-wheel drive in this generation significantly improves the driving dynamics. The handling is quite responsive; you can easily take sharp turns at high-speed; the low center of gravity also helps. You sit pretty low inside the vehicle. The suspension is well-calibrated and helps bring a sportier feeling to the Altima while keeping the highway cruiser vibes from the previous generations intact. Speaking about the highway, we averaged about 6.1L/100km, which is better than the official 6.7L/100km figure. On the other hand, city-wise, the fuel consumption is worse than announced, our average being close to 11L/100km rather than the official 9.3L/100km.
Looking back on the Nissan Altima, it’s always been a practical choice, and it’s more accurate than ever with the AWD variant in the lineup. It may not be the best-looking midsize sedan out there or the most powerful; it’s a shame the 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine offered in the US isn’t available in Canada, but you undoubtedly get your money’s worth. Especially with the average transaction price rising to almost $50,000, you get a lot out of a car for $32,698.
NB: The 2023 model has been released, and we’ve had the chance to take it for a spin in Florida, a front-wheel drive SR version. There are two major upgrades: the front-end styling has been updated, and the wheels, with the addition of a larger and newer 12.3-inch infotainment screen, add wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The system’s interface has been reworked and includes a wireless charger too. The new Altima 2023 is arriving in dealerships, and the 2023 model we drove has a sticker price of $28,980.
Nissan has lent us this vehicle as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Nissan Canada & Nissan USA. The above reflects our personal opinion.