The midsize sedan segment has been ruled by the likes of the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and a few others. One that has just been revamped for the 2016 model year is the Altima and we had the chance to spend a week with the new Altima SL, equipped with the 2.5-liter engine.
(Altima with SR trim pictured)
On the outside, the new Altima looks fresh-spankin-new. Its front and rear have been redesigned so it fits in with the Maxima and Murano, which has also undergone a similar treatment. A new V-shaped grille has been added, as well as LED headlights, which gave the car a surprisingly sharp look when I first saw it in person. In the rear, there have been a few adjustments, most notably the new taillights, but the change is not as impressive as it is in the front. While these angles will come across as fresh, the silhouette of the car remains the same, but that’s expected in this segment.
Inside, the new Altima offers a very comfortable experience. Our example was fitted with the SL Tech w/ LED Package($2,190). This added a, what I deemed necessary, 7-inch color audio display, as well as a few other features (intelligent cruise control, forward emergency braking, LED headlamps with smoked headlight housing and more). This screen made going through the infotainment center a breeze for me and my passenger.
Powering our car was the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, equipped with a CVT transmission. The 182 hp it provided didn’t thrill me, but I didn’t expect to be thrilled by power in this car. Instead, I was given a comfortable drive that I wouldn’t mind on a daily basis. Its smooth ride was thanks in part to the ZF Sachs shock absorbers and the CVT setup.
Overall, I wasn’t blown away by the Altima, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. The idea behind these midsize sedans is that they will accomodate your daily needs and provide you with a relaxing drive. And, I must say, the 2016 Nissan Altima SL delivered in that sense. If you’re looking for something that will give you a little more “umph”, Nissan also offers a 3.5-liter V7 that produces 270 hp, almost 100 hp more.