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2016 Nissan Altima shows new attitude, improved performance (pictures)

Abundant mid-cycle changes bring fresh looks and a sportier character to Nissan's 2016 Altima.

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Jon Wong
2016 Nissan Altima
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Nissan's "Energetic Flow" design language makes the jump to the Altima from the Murano and Maxima.

2016 Nissan Altima
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New boomerang headlights are among the 2016 Altima's most notable changes.

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The 2016 Altima wears Nissan's trademark V-Motion grille.

2016 Nissan Altima
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Appearance-wise, everything from the A-pillar forward is new for the 2016 Altima.

2016 Nissan Altima
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The previous fifth-generation Nissan Altima debuted for the 2013 model year.

2016 Nissan Altima
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The rear of the 2016 Nissan Altima includes updated lights as well as a new bumper and trunk lid.

2016 Nissan Altima
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Styling updates give the 2016 Nissan Altima a more aggressive appearance.

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LED projector headlamps feature matching daytime running lamps.

2016 Nissan Altima
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SR models of the 2016 Nissan Altima come with a decklid spoiler.

2016 Nissan Altima
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The Altima accounts for roughly 27 percent of Nissan sales -- it's hugely important.

2016 Nissan Altima
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This new SR trim aims to poach customers from Toyota's Camry SE and Honda's Accord Sport.

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Chrome exhaust tips are nicely integrated into the lower fascia.

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Nissan Altima SR models ride on exclusive 18-inch wheel designs and feature higher-performance Dunlop all-season tires.

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Nissan has updated the Altima's four-cylinder engine with a revised compression ratio, reduced internal engine friction and optimized oil pump.

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The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, the same figures as last year.

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The Altima's updated interior is quieter than before thanks to an acoustic windshield and more sound deadening.

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Steering wheel controls and paddle shifters on the 2016 Nissan Altima SR.

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The 4-inch Advanced Driver-Assist Display is sandwiched between a pair of large analog gauges.

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There are lots of minor but thoughtful updates throughout the 2016 Altima's cabin.

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A 5-inch color display on the center stack is standard on the 2016 Nissan Altima.

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Auxiliary and USB inputs are easy to find, but a second USB plug would be a welcome addition.

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Even the door handles get a fresh look on the 2016 Nissan Altima.

2016 Nissan Altima
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Blue accent stitching on the steering wheel and shift knob are exclusive to the 2016 Nissan Atlima SR.

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Blue accent stitching is also featured on the SR's seats.

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The Altima's backseat continues to be spacious and welcoming.

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There's 15.4 cubic-feet of trunk space in the 2016 Nissan Altima.

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