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2019 Nissan Altima First Drive Review

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2019 Nissan Altima First Drive Review

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — You retain listening to that America’s insatiable urge for food for crossovers is placing sedans on the endangered species record, however People nonetheless purchase 6 million automobiles a yr, a 3rd being mid-sizers. Moreover, Nissan’s inner analysis says 30 % of millennials and forty four % of Gen Z consumers truly favor sedans. The youthful the customer, the extra probably their intent to purchase one, interested in decrease costs, higher fuel financial system, and never eager to drive what their mother and father drove. The outgoing Altima bagged about 200,000 gross sales a yr — sufficient for Nissan to double-down with a totally redesigned sixth-era 2019 Altima with a brand new chassis, two model spankin’ new engines, and a brand new all-wheel drive configuration.

Free of the constraints of getting to be all issues to all individuals, Nissan has made the Altima extra sedan-y. “Proportions,” design director Ken Lee says, “[are] what separates a sedan from an SUV.” As such, Lee’s workforce colluded sooner than regular with engineering to make sure the engine sat low within the bay, even angling it again for clearance. “That pushes every part down,” Lee informed us, “The cowl, the beltline, the roof.” The ensuing physique sits one inch decrease, one inch wider, and one inch longer than the outgoing mannequin. “The glass area is taller than it will’ve been too,” says Lee.

It wears the classiest interpretation but of Nissan’s V-Movement company face, with a big grille that does not appear to be the gaping maw of a Lovecraftian sea creature. Lee factors to its honeycomb grille, paying delicate homage to Nissan Bluebird sports activities sedans of previous. The V’s arms prolong by way of the hood, forming sculpted ridges on our Scarlet Ember tester. Within the golden Southern California solar, it is like wanting into an Instagram filter. The impact is obtainable on two different premium colours that include particular layers and price additional: Sensible Pearl White and Sundown Drift Orange.

To match its new pores and skin, the Altima’s trim stroll lastly is sensible. The bottom Altima S begins at $23,750 and comes with an all-new direct injection 2.5-liter 4-cylinder changing the outgoing 2.5. It nets a 9 horsepower and three pound-ft improve over final yr’s mannequin, giving it 188 at 6,000 rpm and one hundred eighty lb-ft at three,600 rpm. That locations it about mid-pack amongst midsize sedans. It yields 1 mpg higher in metropolis and freeway circumstances too, averaging 28 and 39 mpg, respectively.

That’s, in entrance-wheel-drive configuration — a crucial distinction as a result of the brand new Altima would be the first AWD sedan bought by Nissan on this nation. With AWD, fuel financial system drops to 26 mpg metropolis and 36 freeway, however that also ekes out the Subaru Legacy, and makes for a reputable various.

Subsequent up is the sporty Altima SR at $25,one hundred, which Nissan predicts would be the hottest trim. The outgoing era provided a V6 with the highest luxurious trim. Now now you can order an SR with the warmer variable compression turbo 4 as a $four,050 choice. That immediately makes it probably the most compelling Altima within the lineup.

Above the SR is the SV at $27,930, which provides driving assists, local weather management, and distant begin ­— however no VC-Turbo. Commonplace on SV and up is Nissan’s ProPilot Help system. The $29,840 SL is the posh trim, including leather-based seats, a Bose premium sound system, and NissanConnect smartphone-managed features. On the prime of the pyramid is the Platinum, which begins at $31,780. Principally, it is an SL with the 19-inch wheels and tires of an SR, plus a couple of gewgaws just like the fowl’s-eye Round View Monitor. The VC-Turbo returns as an choice, however on this case the premium is simply $three,000. Lastly, Nissan is providing for 2019 solely an Altima Version One, primarily a launch version based mostly on the Platinum VC-Turbo; for those who should have grey wheel end or badged floormats, three,900 might be made.

We spent somewhat time in an AWD Platinum with the two.5, however rather more time within the very fascinating SR VC-Turbo. The SR’s novel engine debuted within the Infiniti QX50, and it impressed, even when the plush crossover wasn’t fairly the fitting match for it. It is extra pure within the Altima, even when it is detuned to 248 horsepower — 20 fewer than its Infiniti cousin. It nonetheless feels sprightly because of “a unique torque converter and last drive in comparison with the QX50,” revealed Nissan’s chief powertrain engineer Shinichi Kiga.

The VC-Turbo was 20 years within the making, an engineering marvel that mechanically modifications its compression ratio on the fly from eight:1 to 14:1 and anyplace in between, bypassing a few of the regular compromises between energy and effectivity. The VC-Turbo’s techno-wizardry helps it attain peak energy at 5,600 rpm, and even higher, its peak torque of 280 lb-ft arrives at simply 1,600 rpm. Furthermore, with an EPA estimated 24 mpg metropolis and 34 mpg freeway, the VC-Turbo’s effectivity bests all in its class however the Mazda 6.

The car does scoot, though the wheel twitches with a touch of torque steer. What’s extra irksome, nevertheless, is the exhaust observe. It have to be a special tune than that of the QX50, as a result of as comfortable as that crossover was, its VC-Turbo emitted a sporty purr. Within the Altima SR, the tinny observe is a disservice to the know-how inside. The two.5 sounds higher.

Apart from that, the cabin is pretty immune to wind and street noise. The redesign modernizes the interior, with a sleek new sprint and enormous eight-inch touchscreen that gives house display customization. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims now. A brand new sporty flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel feels good underhand. The SR’s supportive, orange-pinstriped seats boast real distinction stitching — none of that fake molded stuff — that continues alongside the sprint, console, steering wheel and shift boot. Chrome is out, even on the Nissan emblem; any brightwork is completed in satin silver.

Nevertheless, in a testomony to how upscale the midsize sedan class has moved, there are nicer cockpits on the market. The Honda Accord and Mazda 6’s, for instance, really feel extra luxurious and possess sleeker designs. In greater Altima trim ranges, perforated leather-based seats and grey “Excessive Tech Wooden” trim assist slender the hole, however come simply in need of closing it. Different nitpicks: The black dot-achieve border across the windshield intrudes alongside the underside edge. The third brake mild takes an enormous chunk out of rearward visibility. Higher sightlines would contribute to the sportiness Nissan seeks.

Nonetheless, with a ten % improve in spring charges and SR-unique dampers, the game trim is an enormous enchancment over the earlier era. The digital energy steering on the SR is tuned for a extra responsiveness, and feels correctly weighted. Regardless of a fairly portly curb weight of three,418 kilos, the SR feels planted and predictable in corners. Extra deluxe trim ranges have softer suspensions and lighter steering, they usually do too good of a job isolating you from the street.

Sport mode will let the SR maintain the CVT’s simulated gears longer, or use the SR’s unique shift paddles, however this solely highlights how the Altima SR is completely crying out for a stick shift. That is a praise — on a bland chassis, a guide makes driving a chore; on a succesful one, it enhances the motoring expertise. It is partially what attracts us to the Accord and Mazda 6. A VC-Turbo engine matched to a guide can be a potent powertrain. So potent that, I child you not, I truly had a dream by which Nissan provided one.

The 2019 Altima goes on sale in October. Because the unique Altima debuted in 1993, on the cusp of the SUV growth, a whole human era has handed. It is sensible that their offspring would develop up wanting one thing aside from their mother and father’ crossover. And once they’re prepared to purchase, the Altima (and particularly, the SR) will probably be ready for them.

– 2019 Nissan Altima First Drive Review –

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