The Altima is a major seller for Nissan, spanning a substantial price range. Seven different trim levels are offered along with a choice of two different engines. No matter the engine or trim level though, the transmission in the Altima remains constant. It's a continuously variable unit (CVT) which makes it more efficient than a traditional manual despite functioning from the driver's point of view more or less like an automatic. The base engine is a 2.5L 4-cylinder making 182 horsepower, giving the Altima an estimated combined mpg rating of 31. The optional engine is a 3.5L V6 making 270 hp, owners can expect about 26 mpg in combined city and highway driving with the more powerful V6.
The base model Altima is somewhat spartan, but still comes with plenty of nice features, such as an advanced drive assist display which sits between the speedometer and the tachometer. The 4.3-inch screen displays call interactions and service warnings, but is also available with a text messaging feature. Bluetooth phone and music streaming also comes standard on the base Altima, along with power windows, door locks and an engine start button.
The Altima S adds various connectivity and in car entertainment features. The Audio system features a 5" color display and NissanConnect with Mobile Apps is included. The S also gets automatic headlights, a smart key and cruise control.
The new-for-2016 SR trim is available with either engine. The trim level adds 18" aluminum alloy wheels, a leather wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel, a spoiler and an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat. Opting for the bigger engine with the SR trim also adds LED daytime running lights and LED headlights.
The SV trim comes with 17" alloy wheels, as well as the 8-way power adjustable driver's seat from the SR model, however the SV features various additional safety equipment, including a Blind Spot Warning system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Dual-Zone climate control is also standard on the SV.
The top of the line SL includes everything that comes with the SV along with leather seating surfaces, an auto dimming rearview mirror, a 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat and a Bose premium sound system. Like the SV, the SL trim is available with either engine, though ordering it with the bigger V6 also adds a power sliding glass moonroof and unique 18" alloy wheels.
The Nissan Altima received a substantial redesign for the 2016 model year. The styling language is new, matching the redesigned Sentra and Maxima with swept back headlights and Nissan's corporate "V-Motion" grille. Inside, the car now offers improved connectivity options as well as better safety features, a quieter ride and a more responsive driving experience. Nissan does its best to make sure a touch of sportiness makes it into every model and the Altima is no exception. A new SR model highlights this philosophy, adding a sportier trim to the Altima lineup.