The Altima is a major seller for Nissan, spanning a substantial price range. Seven different trim levels are offered, along with a choice of two different engines. No matter the engine or trim level though, the transmission in the Altima remains constant. It's a continuously variable unit (CVT), which makes it more efficient than a traditional manual despite functioning from the driver's point of view more or less like an automatic. The base engine is a 2.5L 4-cylinder making 182 horsepower, giving the Altima an estimated combined mpg rating of 31. The optional engine is a 3.5L V6 making 270 horsepower. Owners can expect about 26 mpg in combined city and highway driving with the more powerful V6.
The base Altima 2.5 is somewhat spartan, but it still comes with plenty of nice features, such as an advanced drive assist display, which sits between the speedometer and the tachometer. The 4.3-inch screen displays call interactions and service warnings, but is also available with a text messaging feature. Bluetooth phone and music streaming also comes standard on the base Altima, along with power windows, door locks and an engine start button.
The Altima S adds various connectivity and in-car entertainment features. The Audio system features a 5-inch color display, and NissanConnect with Mobile Apps is included. The S also gets automatic headlights, a smart key and cruise control.
The Altima SR trim is available with either engine. The trim level adds 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel, a spoiler and an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat. Opting for the bigger engine with the SR trim also adds LED daytime running lights and LED headlights.
Based on the SR, the Altima Midnight Edition is one of six models throughout the Nissan lineup that have been given a similar treatment. This includes unique paint, special black 18-inch alloy wheels with low-profile tires, LED headlights, black mirror caps, a black spoiler, remote start, and more.
The SV trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as the eight-way power adjustable driver's seat from the SR model. However, the SV features various additional safety equipment, including a Blind Spot Warning system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Dual-Zone climate control is also standard on the SV.
The top-of-the-line SL includes everything that comes with the SV, along with leather seating surfaces, an auto dimming rearview mirror, a 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat and a Bose premium sound system. Like the SV, the SL trim is available with either engine, though ordering it with the V6 also adds a power sliding glass moonroof and unique 18-inch alloy wheels.
Spacious And Quiet Interior
Excellent Fuel Economy With The 4-cylinder Versions
Available Safety Features
Sporty SR Model
The Nissan Altima received a substantial redesign for the 2016 model year and carries over into 2017 unchanged, though a new Altima Midnight Edition is offered on SR models.
The Altima is a mid-sized sedan competing with the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. With a base price of $22,500, the Altima is right in line with its competitors, going more or less toe-to-toe with them on prices and features. The Altima stands out though, with its more extroverted styling and the presence of a standard CVT transmission, which helps bring out the best fuel economy, no matter the engine it's paired with.