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2019 Nissan Altima AWD Second Drive Review

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2019 Nissan Altima AWD Second Drive Review

MONTREAL — Among the many highlights of the Nissan Altima’s 2019 redesign are a brand new platform, new styling in and out, and a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine instead of the earlier V6. However from a consumer potential, the most important deal is the supply of all-wheel drive, a primary for the Altima and a rarity within the phase. Given the significance of the feature, we lately spent extra time within the all-wheel-drive model—in part of North America the place winter is hanging on with a vengeance, the ski nation north of Montreal, Canada.

All-wheel drive is obtainable solely with the bottom 2.5-liter engine. Whereas one might argue that the uplevel engine, a variable-compression 2.zero-liter turbo, might actually use 4 pushed wheels to place its hearty 280 lb-ft of torque to the pavement, the standard engine is the selection of the overwhelming majority of Altima consumers. Nissan product planners noticed AWD as a mass-market feature — notably in chilly-climate states — quite than a distinct segment merchandise to reinforce the efficiency of the costliest fashions. That is a democratic notion and in addition seems to be shrewd enterprise. In accordance with Bruce Pillard, head of selling for the Altima, in the newest month’s gross sales figures almost one in 4 Altima consumers selected all-wheel drive, and the take price runs nearer to 50 % in northern states. (In Canada, the feature is standard.)

All-wheel drive is obtainable on all 5 trim ranges — S, SR, SV, SL, and Platinum — and the tab is $1,350. With AWD-outfitted automobiles’ anticipated larger resale worth, nevertheless, the additional value on a month-to-month lease could be simply $15. All-wheel drive does actual a price in fuel financial system, nevertheless it’s not a serious one. The AWD Altima’s EPA estimates are 26 mpg metropolis and 36 freeway versus 28/39 mpg for the entrance-drive model. The Subaru Legacy is the one different all-wheel-drive mainstream midsize sedan, and the Altima simply beats the 4-cylinder Legacy’s EPA estimates of 25 mpg metropolis and 34 mpg freeway (though a redesigned Legacy is on the best way for 2020).

2019 Nissan Altima AWD

The two.5-liter engine within the 2019 Altima is closely redesigned in comparison with the two.5-liter unit within the earlier car. Nissan claims eighty % of the elements are new or totally different. Output is 188 horsepower and one hundred eighty lb-ft of torque, up barely from the previous engine’s 179 hp and 177 lb-ft. Nissan has lengthy been a proponent of constantly variable automated transmissions, and as soon as once more its CVT, referred to as Xtronic, is the only providing right here. Regardless of the added weight of the all-wheel-drive system — roughly one hundred twenty kilos — this powertrain combo delivers fairly dynamic acceleration with out extreme CVT droning. As a default, the all-wheel-drive system sends one hundred pc of the engine’s torque to the entrance wheels; it is provided that the system detects slippage that it reapportions as much as 50 % of the torque rearward. The SR is the one trim degree that gives a Sport driving mode, during which the standard torque cut up is barely extra rear biased. We drove prime-spec Platinum and mid-degree SV fashions on surfaces together with dry pavement, exhausting-packed snow, and on an ice course, and even beneath arduous acceleration pulling away from a cease, we did not expertise any noticeable wheelspin earlier than the system shunted torque to the rear.

On the street, the Altima comports itself pretty nicely. Elevated roll stiffness and decreased longitudinal stiffness are among the many chassis modifications for 2019, with the objectives of extra responsive cornering and improved journey. (The SR mannequin provides a firmer suspension tune however, curiously, not together with all-wheel drive.) There’s additionally a retuned electric energy steering system, and Altima’s steering isn’t overboosted as some Nissans are. It felt pretty exact regardless of the winter tires on the automobiles we drove. Journey high quality shouldn’t be dangerous, though the Platinum’s 19-inch wheels and low-profile 235/forty rubber could make it weak to extreme, late-winter potholes — one thing we came upon the onerous method.

The 2019 Altima presents a better quotient of know-how, however rivals have been increasing their features as properly. Commendably, ahead collision warning and automated emergency braking are standard on all fashions, as is a driver-alertness monitor. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-visitors alert require stepping up one degree to the SR, whereas the subsequent-up SV (and better trims) get rear automated emergency braking in addition to Nissan’s ProPilot Help, which incorporates adaptive cruise management and lane centering.

2019 Nissan Altima AWD

The brand new Altima’s exterior design is extra expressive than earlier than, whereas avoiding the polarizing weirdness of the Maxima. Inside, type follows perform, which makes for a cushty setting with controls which might be straightforward to make use of. A low cowl and slender A-pillars afford nice outward visibility, and the cabin feels extensive and ethereal. Rear-seat area can also be beneficiant, with loads of room for a six-footer to take a seat behind a six-foot driver. The Platinum mannequin we drove was properly trimmed all through, whereas the SV had extra grained plastic, notably on the middle console. Hat tip to the straightforward, mechanical shift lever — these are more and more uncommon as producers change to awkward and unintuitive digital shifters, dials or pushbuttons. The local weather controls are a mixture of bodily buttons and knobs, and the audio system consists of knobs for quantity and tuning. The eight-inch touchscreen features logical menus and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You might need to use a telephone-based mostly map program since we discovered the in-car navigation to be not too smart at discovering factors of curiosity and the voice-recognition perform to be laughably dangerous — though the latter state of affairs is hardly unusual.

What is rare is all-wheel drive amongst midsize sedans, and for consumers who worth the feature, it offers a purpose to decide on the Altima over the in any other case superior Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Dealing with off towards the one different all-wheel-drive midsize sedan, the Subaru Legacy, the Altima’s chief benefit is fuel financial system, though it additionally has a slight edge in energy and torque.

The bottom-mannequin Legacy is inexpensive at $23,430 to the Nissan’s $25,995, however gear ranges aren’t fairly the identical. Each come standard with ahead collision warning, automated emergency braking, and adaptive cruise management, however the Subaru additionally consists of lane-departure warning and lane-maintain help. The Nissan, however, throws in an influence driver’s seat and an eight” touchscreen with a superior interface. Subaru requires climbing up one rung to the Legacy Premium ($25,580) to ditch the guide driver’s seat and 6.5″ display. The Legacy being within the final yr of its present era whereas the Altima is in its first might give the Nissan a lift in close to-time period resale worth, though Subaru has traditionally been robust in that area. Principally, the arrival of an AWD Altima provides Snow Belt consumers an alternative choice to Subaru that they did not have earlier than, and with the automobiles so intently matched, it means consumers won’t be completely beholden to their native Subaru vendor. Whether or not it pulls anybody out of crossovers and again into usually higher-dealing with and extra-economical sedans stays to be seen.

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Nissan Altima

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