Ruthless. A fitting word to describe the competition in the mid-size family sedan marketplace. Juggernauts from Toyota and Honda continually take top sales numbers with their respective Camry and Accord. KIA and Hyundai fight for consumer dollars with the Optima and Sonata. Everyone of them is a great vehicle, all are worthy of consideration.
Last year, Nissan redesigned their entry into the mid-size family sedan segment. The resultant all-new Altima deserves a place right along the top contenders. With attractive styling, a comfortable amenity-filled cabin, advanced safety tech and a pair of capable engines and transmission, the new Altima shines.
Powered by the base 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine, with is rated at 188 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque and a CVT transmission, the base Altima offers excellent fuel economy with up to 28/39 city/highway mpg.
Consumers living in colder climates will appreciate the addition of all-wheel-drive, which is available on all trim levels equipped with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The “intelligent” all-wheel-drive system automatically detects road conditions and redistributes power to the front wheels accordingly.
The turbocharged Altima is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged inline4 that makes 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The smaller, but more powerful engine helps make the Altima a better enthusiast’s choice, although the CVT transmission tends to remind the driver that the Altima is also a gas sipper. The turbocharged SR and Platinum FWD models are rated at 25/34 city/highway mpg.
On the road the Altima is a compliant vehicle that does what you ask of it. Daily commuting ticks by without incident and weekend family outings are comfortable. The standard 8-way adjustable drivers seat makes finding a comfortable driving position easy. Nissan’s “zero-gravity” seats are some of the most comfortable in the segment.
Rear passengers are given plenty of legroom. While we wouldn’t want to plan a cross-country road trip for 5 grownups, three adults will find the rear seats accommodating for short trips around town. The trunk’s 15.43 cubic feet of cargo space is in line with the segment, besting Camry (15.1) but sitting below Accord (16.7).
The five 2020 Altima Trims Levels at a Glance:
S, SR, SV, SL and Platinum
Front-wheel-drive is standard. Models with the 2.5-liter engine and are available with all-wheel drive. Altima SR and Platinum grades are available with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
Altima S includes standard Automatic Emergency Braking, Intelligent Driver Alertness, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, Rear View Monitor, NissanConnect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 7-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display, Remote Engine Start, 12-volt DC power outlet, four front/rear USB charge ports (Type-A and Type-C), 8-way power driver’s seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, Rear Door Alert and more.
Altima SR adds 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, unique rear diffuser color, sport suspension (FWD only), sport interior with sport seat, paddle shifters, leather-appointed steering wheel, LED projector headlights, dark chrome grille, Nissan Safety Shield 360, exhaust finishers, black side mirror caps and body colored door handles.
Altima SV includes a moonroof, LED fog lights, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, heated front seats and steering wheel, ProPILOT Assist, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Rear Automatic Braking (RAB), heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals, 2-way power lumbar support, High Beam Assist (HBA), rear console HVAC vents and Dual Zone Auto Climate Control.
Altima SL adds a Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, NissanConnect with Navigation and Services, Traffic Sign Recognition, leather-appointed seats and 4-way power passenger seat.
Altima Platinum includes 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Intelligent Around View Monitor, interior accent lighting, and driver memory seat and mirrors function.
Pricing for the 2020 Nissan Altima starts at $24,300 plus fees.