So, you’re bucking the trend and considering a sedan over an SUV, and Nissan’s redesigned Altima caught your eye. Cars.com can help with its full review of the automaker’s mid-size sedan. Reviewer Kelsey Mays put in a lot of time behind the wheel, driving the car for comfort and testing its technology for ease of use. He offers detailed guidance in his review for what you might like and might not.
And it’s just that: guidance for your shopping. Every vehicle has pluses and minuses, but only you can decide what’s most important. Here are four highlights of what Mays really liked about the Altima, as well as a couple of possible deal-breakers you should pay attention to.
What We Like
1. More Standard Safety Features
Standard features include drowsy-driver detection and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. SR and higher trims add a blind spot warning system, while the SV, SL, Platinum and Edition One add Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, which includes adaptive cruise control and lane-centering steering that work all the way to a stop — the latter still a rarity among non-luxury cars. They also get a pedestrian detection system for the automatic braking, as well as a collision warning system with automatic braking when in Reverse.
2. Updated Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission
With either four-cylinder — the 2.5-liter (188 horsepower) or the turbo 2.0-liter (248 hp) — the CVT raises revs in tandem with your right foot to accelerate out of corners or pass slower highway traffic. Stay on the gas past 4,000 rpm or so, and it eventually drops revs in crisp, simulated upshifts, Mays says. The result is a more natural-feeling CVT than the previous model — as well as the Altima’s CVT-equipped rival, the Honda Accord.
3. Better Fuel Economy
Depending on trim, EPA-estimated combined gas mileage is a competitive 29-32 mpg with the 2.5-liter engine. It’s 29 mpg combined with the 2.0-liter turbo, an impressive figure compared with other sedans’ upgrade engines.
4. Modern Multimedia System
Most controls are intuitive, with oversized climate dials and plenty of physical controls below the touchscreen, including the must-have volume and tuning knobs — a highlight for Mays. Standard tech features are generous for this class, with a 7-inch reconfigurable gauge display, four USB ports, and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included on all trims.
What We Don’t Like:
1. Cheap Interior Quality
The cabin has a few too many hard, grainy materials, says Mays. Higher trim levels swap some of the cheap stuff for lower-gloss padding, but no matter the trim, quality declines when you get to the backseat; even in the $36,000-plus Edition One, the rear doors feel straight out of a cheap compact car.
2. Subpar Storage
Mays found the storage spaces lacking. The cubbies ahead of the gearshift and under the center armrest are small, and the previously cavernous glove compartment is now barely adequate. Trunk space is limited, too; Nissan’s stated 15.4 cubic feet of trunk volume trails many major competitors, and Cars.com’s as-tested cargo space trailed the results from the rival Accord and Toyota Camry.
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