The mid-size segment is rife with change for 2016. Most of the key players have updated their offerings with new styling, new technology, and new features. Honda's Accord, Volkswagen's Passat, and Mazda's 6 received updates, and the segment sees the all-new Malibu join its ranks this year. Nissan too has jumped on the bandwagon with a refreshed Altima.
Upon first glimpse, the new Altima looks a heck of a lot like its bigger brother, the Maxima. The Altima's visage now sports Nissan's V-motion chrome grille and headlamps that ape other Nissan products like the Murano and redesigned Sentra. Complementing these changes are a new hood and new front fenders, both of which give the Altima a more muscular appearance. Around back, the Altima receives a new trunk lid, plus redesigned "boomerang" style tail lights. Active grille shutters plus underbody panels help the Altima to become one of the most aerodynamic models in the segment with a drag rating of just 0.26 cd. These changes reduce consumption and wind noise.
Hoping to appeal to more buyers, Nissan has added a new sporty SR trim to the range. It gets different dampers and beefier anti-roll bars fitted to the front and rear suspension. Furthermore, it gets 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, fog lights, and paddles that allow drivers to toggle through pre-selected gear ratios for the CVT. Inside, the SR adds a splash of colour with blue contrast stitching for the steering wheel and armrest.
The Altima’s powertrains are carried over without much change for 2016. Minor tweaks to the standard 2.5-litre four-cylinder don’t bump the power output, but reduce friction thereby improving efficiency. Outputs for this engine are rated at 182 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Nissan’s creamy-smooth 3.5-litre V6 is also available on the 3.5 SR and 3.5 SL trim; it produces 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. All models use a CVT transmission. The 2.5 is surprisingly frugal: consumption is rated at 8.7 L/100 km city, 6.0 L/100 km highway (8.9 / 6.3 for the 2.5 SR), while the V6 is rated at 10.3 / 7.4.
Not much has changed with the Altima’s cabin with this update; the seats remain comfortable memory-foam padded thrones, and the console layout is intuitive and easy to operate. A 5.0-inch display audio system is standard, with a larger 7.0-inch screen available as an upgrade. Altimas receive USB ports and Bluetooth, plus Siri Eyes-Free for iPhone compatibility. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not yet available. Thanks to an acoustic laminated windshield, more sound insulation, plus new engine mounts and a larger muffler, the new Altima is also quieter.
With this latest update, Nissan has taken the opportunity to upgrade the Altima’s active safety technology beyond the Moving Object Detection and lane-departure warning systems of last year’s model. Radar-based cruise control makes for more relaxing highway trips, while forward-collision warning and emergency autonomous braking help keep drivers alert and on-point.
Pricing for the 2016 Altima starts at $23,998 and tops out at $35,498 for the fully-loaded Altima 3.5 SL.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed