What’s New for the Altima?
After being completely redesigned, the Altima only receives a handful of small updates for new year. Nissan now offers more available driver-assistance technology on the entry-level S and SR models, which previously only had standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking. The 2020 versions can be equipped with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and high-beam assist. Other enhancements include a memory function for the sideview mirrors on the top-of-the-line Platinum model and glossy-black interior accents on the SV model and up.
How the Performance?
The Altima has a standard 182-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that pairs with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder makes 248 horsepower and also uses the CVT. While Nissan touts the innovative variable-compression technology, only the 2.5-liter engine can be had with all-wheel drive. The standard four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive had predictable, albeit unremarkable, acceleration. The engine grew noisier the harder we pressed the gas pedal, but the four-cylinder Camry we tested was equally loud at times.
How the comfort and quality?
The inside of Altima’s cabin provides a straightforward dashboard with user friendly switchgear. Interior materials vary among trim levels, but everything is a significant improvement compared with the previous-generation Altima. Our midlevel SV test vehicle had attractive appointments and hard plastics that drew little attention. Desirable options include ambient interior lighting, memory settings for the driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a power sunroof. The flat bottomed steering wheel and faux carbon fiber were a bit much here, especially since there are no paddle shifters or selectable drive modes on the SV. Still, the soft armrests made cruising and sitting in traffic more tolerable. The front seats can accommodate a wide variety of body types, but we felt that the lumbar support was too aggressive. The back seat was very comfortable, with large seats and ample legroom. We fit six carry-on bags in the Altima’s trunk and 17 bags total with the rear seats folded.