The Nissan Altima was rethought from bumper to bumper for 2014, and the result is a sedan combining the perfect blend of economy, sophistication and performance.
The body is not only more attractive, it is structurally stiffer than the car it replaced. It also features a multi-link rear suspension and Nissan's Active Understeer Control, which brakes the inside wheels in a turn to increase control, providing the Altima with a spirited driving experience.
In keeping with the rest of the Nissan lineup, the 2015 Altima is available in S, SV or SL trims, and each trim is available with either 2.5L or 3.5L power. The 2.5 delivers an impressive 38 mpg on the highway.
The 2.5L inline-4 offers 180 horsepower, while the 3.5L V6 produces 270 horsepower and 251 ft-lb of torque. Both engines feature variable valve timing and drive the front wheels through Nissan's Xtronic Continoustly Variable Transmission. In the 3.5, paddle shifters and manual shift mode offer precise driver control.
In 2.5 S guise, the Altima offers standards such as 16-inch steel wheels, power windows and locks, climate control, an AM/FM CD stereo with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and streaming audio, a 6-way power adjustable driver's seat, keyless ignition and an advanced Drive-Assist Display, which puts important information in a prominent position amid the gauges to allow for better ease of use for the driver. With the 3.5L engine, in addition to the generous bump in power, S trim includes paddle shifters with manual mode and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The 2.5 SV includes 17-inch alloy wheels, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 5-inch color display with the latest version of NissanConnect, which provides drivers and passengers with access to select Google search features. The 3.5 SV adds a power moonroof, folding outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators and fog lights, along with touchscreen navigation, lane departure warning and blind spot warning.
Finally, the Altima 2.5 SL adds leather-appointed seats, a heated steering wheel and Bose premium sound system, while the 3.5 SL adds xenon headlights as well as the technology features found in the 3.5 SV.
Several packages are available on the 2015 Altima. The Convenience Package for 2.5 SV offers the power moonroof, fog lights and special interior ambient lighting, while the Navigation Package for both SV models includes Nissan Navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen display and voice recognition, steering-wheel-mounted navigation controls, real-time traffic and weather and NissanConnect.
Safety is engineered into the 2015 Altima, and standard on every model are several airbags to protect front and rear passengers alike, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, stability and traction controls and a tire pressure monitoring system.
More and more companies are ditching sedans in favor of crossovers and SUVs, but the four-door space is still highly competitive. Class stalwarts like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry now boast great interiors and attractive style, and once back-of-the-pack entries like the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima are not legit front-runners.
After selling nearly 255,000 Nissan Altimas in 2017, walking away from the midsize sedan segment wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. In fact, Nissan is going all-in, reupping with the brand-new 2019 Altima that represents the nameplate's biggest step forward yet in terms of looks, tech and performance.
The outgoing Nissan Altima was like the manila folder of midsize four-doors. Happily, the sixth-generation, 2019 Altima ditches its predecessors' dull threads for a more inspired appearance, getting lower, longer and wider, with nearly 2 additional inches built into the wheelbase. Like its big brother Maxima, it has a more in-your-face V-Motion grille, aggressive LED lights, a shorter front overhang and the love-it-or-hate-it floating roof design.
The Good Nissan gives the 2019 Altima a more attractive design, slightly tighter handling, a trick turbocharged engine and updated cabin technology.
The Bad Firmer bump stiffness over medium to large road imperfections.
The Bottom Line Nissan's sixth-generation Altima is better equipped and more competitive than ever before.
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