The redesigned Altima, Nissan’s popular mid-size sedan, entered a sixth generation for the 2019 model year hot on the heels of two redesigned rivals — the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, both redesigned for the 2018 model year — and a consumer flight toward SUVs. The 2020 model mostly carries over, save for some expanded safety content.
Nissan’s technology-packed redesign might appeal to those who want to stay with sedans — but some versions are better than others. Available in six trim levels for 2019 (five for 2020) with two engines and front- or all-wheel drive, the Altima boasts a plethora of variants. All versions employ a continuously variable automatic transmission. The base engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (188 horsepower), provides adequate power even with AWD, which adds some 130 pounds’ curb weight. That’s thanks largely to the transmission, which is more responsive than most CVTs.
Upgrade to the Altima’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (248 hp) for strong, continuous power at all speeds. Paired only with front-wheel drive, it gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined — very good compared with rivals’ upgrade engines, and nearly as good as the base engine (29-32 mpg, depending on trim and driveline). Unfortunately, Nissan recommends premium fuel with the turbo 2.0-liter for maximum performance.
Wheel choices range from 16 to 19 inches, but the larger wheels, which pair with a sport-tuned suspension in some versions, result in a firm ride. Steering is quick-ratio and requires very little effort, but the wheel lacks much feedback; some shoppers will find it too numb.
Cabin quality is competitive but far from class leading, and the seats are a bit small relative to other cars in the class. Still, the Altima has a long list of standard features, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, keyless access with push-button start, an eight-way power driver’s seat and an 8-inch dashboard touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Option the car up, and you can get dual-zone automatic climate control, heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a moonroof and a four-way power passenger seat. Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 system, which adds pedestrian detection to automatic emergency braking, plus lane departure warning, blind spot warning and other safety tech, is available (and, for 2020, more widely so among Altima trim levels). Higher trim levels offer lane-centering steering all the way to a stop — a rarity in this class — plus adaptive cruise control, all courtesy of Nissan’s ProPilot Assist system. What can’t you get? Cooled seats, a height-adjustable passenger chair or a panoramic moonroof — all features certain competitors offer.
If you want to know more about the Altima, take a deeper dive into our comprehensive coverage roundup below. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2019-20 Nissan Altima:
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