2016 Nissan Altima – Driven
Nissan Altima – Driven
A nose job keeps Nissan’s aging sedan looking young(ish)
The fifth-generation Altima debuted for the 2013 model year and Nissan didn’t let it simmer too long before introducing a mid-cycle refresh for the 2016 model year. The refresh is mild at best, consisting of a revised front fascia with Nissan’s V-motion corporate face and swoopy curves that mimic the Maxima’s. The greasy bits and interior remain basically untouched. But are these changes enough to keep the Altima selling at its record pace?
To find out, I spent a week with the 2016 Altima. Granted, the model year is currently rolling towards 2017, but Nissan isn’t making any changes. That makes the 2016 just as good to review.
The Altima is dug in hard against some fearsome competitors. There’s the hot-selling Honda Accord, the surprisingly upscale Volkswagen Passat, and the venerable Toyota Camry. As you might expect, the Toyota leads the segment in sales by a long shot, moving a whopping 429,355 Camries in 2015. Honda follows, having sold 355,557 Accords. Nissan isn’t too far behind, with 333.398 Altimas finding homes in 2015. Year over year, the Altima is maintaining is monthly sales goals in 2016, putting it on track to sell the same number as before.
Numbers aside, the Altima has a lot to offer. Leading headlines is fuel economy. The 2.5-liter Altima gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined. Those are compact sedan numbers. In fact, only the Mazda 6 with its i-Eloop energy recovery system scores better, offering 40 mpg highway.
Despite is frugality, the Altima’s four-cylinder isn’t a complete penalty box. In fact, with its 182 horsepower, the 2.5-liter and CVT combination are surprisingly peppy. Yes, I normally complain about Continuously Variable Transmissions, but Nissan has been building them longer than just about anybody. It seems it has finally eliminated the rubber-banding effect that plagued CVTs of the past.
So, the 2016 Altima has a new face and some impressive fuel economy numbers. But what else does Nissan’s mid-level sedan have to offer? Keep reading to find out.
Continue reading for the full driven review.