Although most manufacturers are moving away from sedan production, some companies, including Nissan, still commit to this body style. The Nissan Altima offers a well-balanced performance, a healthy list of tech and comfort features, solid reliability, and an affordable price point. While it’s not the most popular sedan out there, the Altima is an excellent example of a vehicle that improved over time.
There are plenty of appeals to driving and owning an Altima, but there are many sore spots as well. This is especially true if you compare the Nissan Altima to its primary competitors like Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and the Hyundai Sonata.
For this post, let’s evaluate the Nissan Altima’s pros and cons. What are the best aspects of this mid-size sedan? Which qualities bring down the value of the Altima? Let’s go check them out!
What We Love About the Nissan Altima
Let’s kickstart this list of the Nissan Altima’s pros and cons with the positives. Here are the best selling points of the Altima.
A Pleasant Interior
The Altima’s interior feels modern and minimalist. The front and center is the floating information display that adds a lot to make the interior look and feel contemporary. The touchscreen is reasonably sized, and the controls are well laid out. There’s also an array of metallic trims to tie the interior design together. The SR trim receives a carbon-fiber trim throughout the interior for a sportier feel, while the higher-end models get wood-tone accents for a more classic look.
The Nissan Altima’s interior is simply a pleasant place to be in and should be a boon to drivers who prefer a stylish but understated design.
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Sleek Exterior Design
The Nissan Altima is a handsome sedan that even looks better in recent years. This sedan features plenty of robust features and angular lines that perhaps hint that it’s sportier than its actual performance. Against its much slimmer body, the deep V-necked grille truly stands out and provides an imposing presence to the Altima. Over time, the Altima has lost much of its bulk, and it’s all the better for it.
As you might expect, higher trims have extra aesthetic touches like stylized alloy wheels, glass moonroof, a black painted sport grille, trim-specific badging, and more.
Spacious and Comfy Inside
Once again, the interior isn’t just pleasant, but it’s a comfortable space for passengers as well. You’re treated to excellent road visibility and various seating configurations as the driver. Plus, everyone in the front gets 43.8 inches of legroom and 39.2 inches of headroom. Thanks to Nissan’s Zero Gravity Seats with well-shaped backrests, the Altima should provide you with lots of comfortable driving miles.
The Altima has a 60⁄40 split-bench seat to give you more cargo space in the back if needed. By default, the trunk offers 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is relatively decent.
Balanced Driving Experience
One of the greatest strengths of the Altima is that it offers a dynamic and comfortable driving experience. The steering handles lightly but manages a great deal of precision. Also, the body demonstrates a pleasant playfulness when darting towards corners. While the Altima isn’t as engaging as its main competitors like the Accord or Hyundai, it provides a balanced driving experience that gets the job done.
The SR model is marketed as the sportier option, but it’s not really that competitive due to limitations in drivetrain and transmission pairing (which we’ll discuss later).
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Top-Notch Safety Features
The Altima used to represent the peak family car, but that all faded with the rising popularity of crossovers. Apart from excellent comfort, the Altima will also help keep you and your passengers safe – thanks to a long list of standard and available safety features. Most notable is the Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, which is a standard inclusion. It’s one of the better forward collision systems we’ve encountered.
The Altima’s other safety features include high-beam assist, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The 2022 Altima is a recipient of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.
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What We Don’t Like About the Nissan Altima
For the next part of this Nissan Altima’s pros and cons, let’s discuss the qualities that may discourage you from buying this sedan.
As mentioned, the Altima offers a balanced driving experience, which means it’s unlikely to blow anyone’s socks off. In terms of performance, the Altima isn’t the quickest, which can be a deal-breaker if you’re looking for something quick and engaging. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine can only manage an uninspiring 188 hp and 180 lb-ft. Moreover, the AWD model is even worse, with 182 hp and 178 lb-ft performance.
The SR trim comes with a 2.0-liter turbo unit with a more energetic 248 hp and 273 lb-ft but is severely limited because the turbo powertrain only works with the CVT and FWD configuration. This brings us to another prominent issue of the Altima.
CVT On All Specs
We think that most of Altima’s performance woes can be attributed to the fact that it only has CVT for transmission. Although we understand this is a typical setup to maximize fuel efficiency, the Altima’s CVT is generally short on hustle and satisfaction. Plus, it limits your option for pairing specific configurations like only a 2.5-liter engine can work with an all-wheel drive. So if you’re looking for a boost of power and the ability to deal with winter driving conditions simultaneously, you’re out of luck.
Should You Buy a Nissan Altima?
Let’s conclude this guide on the Nissan Altima’s pros and cons with the question: should you buy this sedan?
Some of you may be fond of the Altima’s striking design and overall simplicity. Plus, it features an excellent modern interior with plenty of creature comforts and top-notch safety features. Furthermore, the Altima returns relatively frugal mileage ratings, so it’s a great daily driver or family car.
However, it’s unfortunate that the Altima’s competitions are progressing rapidly, especially concerning performance. There are not too many things wrong with the Altima; it’s just that its competitors are better in many aspects.
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