The sixth-generation sedan is here to take on the Camry and Accord

The Altima name goes back to the mid-1980s when it was used on a top-trim line of the Nissan Leopard and the Central American version of the Laurel. It became a stand-alone marque in 1992 when it replaced the Stanza in the U.S. Built in Tennessee starting with the 1993 model year; the Altima became one of the brand’s most successful vehicles in North America. To meet the high demand, Nissan is now building the sedan in two U.S. plants. With annual sales of more than 250,000 units during the past seven years, the fifth-generation is by far the most successful version of the Altima. But the existing sedan is being phased for the 2019 model year, replaced with a new model that broke cover at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

Redesigned from the ground up, the sixth-generation Altima employs a new design language based on the Vmotion 2.0 concept car from 2017. The redesign also introduced a new interior with more premium features, new technology, and, for the first time in this segment, semi-autonomous drive. Things get even better under the hood, where the Altima gained not only a revised version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder but also a brand-new, turbocharged four-banger. The latter replaces the old 3.5-liter V-6. Surprisingly enough, the new turbo-four is the variable compression ratio unit that Nissan debuted under the Infiniti brand. Overall, the sixth-generation Altima is the most advanced sedan in this market, but we will find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Altima.

2019 Nissan Altima Exterior

  • Vmotion 2.0 design
  • Sportier front end
  • Muscular rear haunches
  • Redesigned beltline
  • Modern, premium look
  • 19-inch wheels for the first time
  • Longer wheelbase
  • Longer and wider body
2019 Nissan Altima Exterior
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The headlamps aren’t as sleek as the Vmotion 2.0 concept’s, but they’re definitely sportier compared to the old Altima

The new Altima is inspired by the Vmotion 2.0 concept that Nissan showcased at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. And by "inspired" I don’t mean just a few design cues. The sixth-gen sedan is actually heavily based on the concept vehicle, significantly more than you’d expect from a production model. Remember how the current Maxima shared many styling cues with the Sport Sedan concept when it arrived in 2015? The scenario is identical here, which proves that Nissan means business and that it’s willing to put some of its concept cars in production without too many radical changes.

Up front, similarities begin with the large V-shaped grille flanked by thick chrome trim on the sides and below. The element is almost identical to the concept car’s as far as shape and size go, but it features a finer honeycomb mesh finished in black rather than dark chrome. The production model also gained the gloss black trim around the chrome surrounds, which turns into a grille in the apron area.

2019 Nissan Altima Exterior
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The Altima’s new profile is quite athletic thanks to a character line that moves upward toward the rear to create muscular haunches

The headlamps aren’t as sleek as the concept’s, but they’re definitely sportier compared to the old Altima. Thankfully, Nissan ditched the awkward boomerang shape for the new generation. The bumper was also reshaped, but the aggressive side vents of the concept car were replaced with more mundane openings that include round foglamps and trapezoidal daytime running lights. The hood remained somewhat similar, sporting muscular lines and sharp edges.

The Altima’s new profile is quite athletic thanks to a character line that moves upward toward the rear to create muscular haunches. Yet another features borrowed from the Vmotion 2.0. While the pillarless design was dropped, the production model boasts the same thick C-pillar and coupe-shaped roofline. Fine details like the sculpted side skirt area, the almost invisible character line that runs through the door handles, and the way the taillights blend in with the rear fenders give the new Altima an upscale look.

2019 Nissan Altima Exterior
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The rear section also has a hint of Vmotion 2.0, but it’s also somewhat evolutionary, sporting many features seen on the previous model

It’s here where we can notice a longer wheelbase. Although the new car is only one inch longer, Nissan managed to add almost two extra inches to the wheelbase by shortening the front and rear overhangs. The new sedan is also almost an inch wider and sits 1.1 inches lower. Nissan also designed new wheels for the Altima, available in three sizes. There’s 16-inch rims for the base model, 17-inch for the higher trims, and optional 19-inch rollers. The latter are a premier for the Altima, which didn’t get wheels this big until now. And it’s a rare feature in this segment too.

The rear section also has a hint of Vmotion 2.0, but it’s also somewhat evolutionary, sporting many features seen on the previous model. Except for the trapezoidal license plate recess and the angular taillights that become narrower toward the trunklid, there aren’t many details that remind me of the concept car. However, the rear spoiler and the bumper are closely related to the outgoing Altima, although the black trim and the body-colored diffuser-like element offered on the more expensive trims set the new sedan apart. Nissan also introduced a couple of brand-new colors for this model. The first one is called Scarlet Ember and it’s a deep-tinted red that changes hue with the light. Then there’s Sunset Drift, a vibrant orange with a unique reflective pigment.

Overall, the new Altima is gorgeous from every angle and it looks as if Nissan just stepped into premium territory. With the recently introduced Toyota Camry displaying a Lexus-inspired appearance, Nissan just hit the nail on the head.

2019 Nissan Altima Interior

  • Brand-new design
  • Upgraded technology package
  • Improved comfort
  • More premium features
  • New Zero Gravity seats
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bose audio system
2019 Nissan Altima Interior
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The new interior boasts a premium feel in both design and materials

The interior of the new Altima is a significant departure from its predecessor. Not only cleaner and simpler in the dashboard area, a trend in the auto industry in recent years, it also boasts a premium feel in both design and materials. While this isn’t necessarily valid for the base model, it’s true when it comes to the more expensive trims, which feature two-tone layouts and even wood veneer on the dash.

Nissan also made big improvements in the tech department, now offering a seven-inch, digital instrument cluster and an eight-inch infotainment system atop the center stack. The standard NissanConnect infotainment includes Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System and Streaming audio, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, and Siri Eyes Free/Google Assistant Voice Recognition. The available Apple Watch, Android Wear, and Alexa Skill compatibility puts the Altima above the competition in the tech department.

2019 Nissan Altima Interior
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The standard NissanConnect infotainment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth Hands-free, and Siri Eyes

The options list also includes NissanConnect Navigation and Services with new over-the-air updates, door-to-door navigation, real-time Premium Traffic updates and a Bluetooth Device Manager. Altimas equipped with the VC-Turbo (SR VC-Turbo and Platinum VC-Turbo grades) engine, which I will discuss in the next section, come with a meter in the standard seven-inch instrument cluster so the driver can see, as well as feel, the control state of the new variable compression technology.

The Altima continues to use the company’s Zero Gravity seats, but these were updated with dual-density foam and extra bolstering. Perforated leather inserts are optional, as is the eight-way adjustable setup and memory function for the driver’s seat. Remote engine start with Intelligent Climate Control can also be had on the latest Altima, but only at extra cost. A Bose Premium Audio system with nine speakers, including a new digital amplifier with eight channels and Active Noise Cancellation can also be found on the options list.

2019 Nissan Altima Performance

  • Upgraded 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Brand-new 2.0-liter turbo
  • Enhanced fuel economy
  • Innovative variable compression ratio
  • AWD for the first time
  • Updated Xtronic transmission
  • Revised chassis and suspension
  • Up to 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet
2019 Nissan Altima Drivetrain
- image 775590
The Nissan Altima continues to offer a choice of two engines, starting with a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter four-cylinder

The Nissan Altima continues to offer a choice of two engines, starting with a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Although it retains the configuration of the previous 2.5-liter, this unit is actually a significant upgrade, with 80 percent of its internals being new or redesigned. The four-banger is rated at 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, a mild increase of nine horses and three pound-feet over the old mill. Performance figures aren’t yet available, but Nissan says that the revised engine comes with improvements in noise, vibration and harshness, along with enhanced fuel economy and cleaner emissions.

Bigger news comes from the fact that the old 3.5-liter V-6 was replaced altogether. Although Nissan is known for launching new cars without significant improvements in this department, the Japanese actually phased off the V-6 for the Altima and replaced it with a radically different engine. Not only smaller at 2.0 liters and using only four cylinder, this new engine is the variable compression turbo that the brand unveiled in the Infiniti QX50. It’s the first production-ready unit to use this technology and makes the Altima the first Nissan to use it.

2019 Nissan Altima Drivetrain
- image 775587
The old 3.5-liter V-6 was replaced with a 2.0-liter four-banger using variable compression ratio

Using an advanced multi-link system which continuously raises or lowers the pistons’ reach to change the compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency), the four-cylinder offers performance similar to six-cylinder engines, but with significantly better fuel economy. Specifically, the unit cranks out 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet, which accounts for a 22-horsepower decrease and a 22-pound-foot increase over the old 3.5-liter V-6. Additionally, this VC-Turbo engine is projected to have a double-digit percentage increase in highway mpg for the front-wheel drive models.

The reason why Nissan specifies "front-wheel drive" is because the sixth-generation sedan is the first Altina to use an all-wheel-drive system. Available on all trim levels with the 2.5-liter engine, the AWD system uses advanced torque split control that automatically distributes torque to the wheels from full FWD to a 50:50 split between the axles. This means better performance, a more confident drive in all weather conditions, and a step up for Nissan on the premium ladder.

2019 Nissan Altima Drivetrain
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The sixth-generation sedan is the first Altina to use an all-wheel-drive system

The Xtronic transmission remains standard for all models, but it now uses an expanded lock-up area for improved efficiency. Paddle shifters are available with the Altima SR trim.

Nissan also meddled with the suspension, steering, and chassis control systems for the new Altima. Highlights include monotube rear shocks, added suspension reinforcements to improve vehicle response without impacting harshness, and suspension geometry adjustments to improve steering feedback. A new Integrated Dynamics Module (IDM) adds Intelligent Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control and Vehicle Dynamics Control, all three similar to those found on the bigger Maxima sedan. As before, the SR model gets unique suspension and chassis tuning for sportier handling and ride.

2019 Nissan Altima Safety

  • ProPilot semi-autonomous tech
  • New Rear Automatic Braking
  • Updated Nissan Safety shield 360
2019 Nissan Altima Exterior
- image 775576
The Altima is the first vehicle in this segment to use semi-autonomous features

The new Altima marks yet another premiere in the safety department by being the first vehicle in this segment to use semi-autonomous features. Equipped as standard with Nissan Intelligent Mobility with ProPILOT Assist in SV, SL, and platinum trims, the Altima eases driver workload by reducing the amount of driver acceleration, steering, and braking input under certain conditions. ProPILOT Assist also helps drivers stay centered in the lane, navigate in slow, stop-and-go traffic, maintain a set vehicle speed, as well as a distance from the car ahead.

Using a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors, and an electronic control module, the feature can also potentially help lessen driver fatigue and create a more confident driving experience for drivers who have to deal with heavy highway traffic on a daily basis.

Also new for the sedan is Rear Automatic Braking, which helps the driver detect stationary objects when backing up. The system notifies the driver with visual and audible warnings and if necessary applies the brakes to help avoid a collision. Rear Automatic Braking is included in the Nissan Safety shield 360 package, which also features Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and High Beam Assist.

2019 Nissan Altima Pricing

2019 Nissan Altima Exterior
- image 775581

The sixth-generation Altima will be offered in five trim levels: S, SR, SV, SL and Platinum. All are fitted with the 2.5-liter engine as standard and are available with all-wheel drive. The Altima SR and Platinum models are available with the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine, but these versions cannot be equipped with AWD. An exclusive launch edition based on the Platinum VC-Turbo will be offered in limited quantities starting this summer.

Pricing information is not yet available, but an increase is to be expected. The current Altima retails from $23,260, so the new sedan could start from around $25,000. Pricing for the range-topping model could increase from $33,630 to around $35,000.

2019 Nissan Altima Competition

Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry High Resolution Exterior
- image 700685

The Altima goes against stiff competition in this niche, starting with all-popular Toyota Camry. Redesigned in 2017, the current Camry has a surprisingly sporty design that borrows features from the luxury-oriented Lexus brand. The sedan’s new interior is equally dramatic and feels more upscale than before. The driver-centric dash and center stack. The digital instrument cluster and the premium materials are proof that Toyota no longer makes boring cars for senior citizens. Under the hood, the base model comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet, while the V-6 version gets its juice from a 3.5-liter unit with 301 horses and 267 pound-feet. Unlike Nissan, Toyota also offers a hybrid model with a total system output of 208 horsepower and 312 pound-feet. Pricing for the new Camry starts from $23,495, while the V-6 model comes in at $34,400. The hybrid version retails for $27,800.

Read our full review of the 2018 Toyota Camry.

Honda Accord

2018 Honda Accord High Resolution Exterior
- image 723397

The Accord is yet another big name in this niche and the only midsize that threatens Toyota’s supremacy in this segment. Much like the Camry, the Accord got a massive makeover in its latest generation. Introduced in 2015, the current Accord is sportier, more elegant, but also a bit larger for a more upscale look and roomier interior. The Accord’s cabin might not be as sporty as the Camry’s, but it has a straightforward, simple design that’s pleasing to the eye. All models come with the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, while the Touring trim gets auto high-beam headlamps, a first for the Accord. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were also introduced on the latest model. The range begins with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet. While not as powerful as the Camry, this model probably has what it takes to give the new entry-level Altima a run for its money. Moving over into V-6 territory, Honda’s 3.5-liter unit is good for a solid 278 horses and 252 pound-feet of torque. A hybrid model is available as well. Pricing starts at $22,455 and goes up to $30,920 for the range-topping model. The hybrid comes in at $29,605 before options.

Read our full story on the 2018 Honda Accord.

Conclusion

2016 Nissan Altima – Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 693516

Note: current Nissan Altima pictured here.

I must say I’m impressed with the new Altima. It has everything it needs to attract even more customers into dealerships, starting with an exterior design that’s closely related to a concept car. The interior is both spacious and ergonomic, while its design is not just on par with the competition, but stands out in the tech department. The ProPILOT feature gives it an even bigger edge over Honda and Toyota and it’s pretty clear that the Altima is here to set new trends rather than follow existing ones. Finally, we get a good alternative to the rock-solid but old 3.5-liter V-6 in the form of a four-cylinder that’s not only more efficient, but brings new technology to the market as well. The Altima has been doing really well in the U.S. in recent years with sales of more than 300,000 units per year and Nissan didn’t want to screw things up. It’s a bit too early to lay a verdict here, but I think Nissan did the right job with this redesign and the Altima may finally have a shot at climbing above the Honda Accord. Sure, I still want to see a hybrid and a proper Nismo version of the Altima, but for the time being, Nissan is selling the most advanced four-door in this niche.

  • Leave it
    • * Stiff competition
    • * Crowded segment

References

2016 - 2017 Nissan Altima High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Altima.

2017 Nissan Vmotion 2.0 Concept Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 700799

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept car

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Read more Nissan news.

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Read more New York Auto Show news.

Press release

Set for fall 2018 U.S. launch, Altima sets new standard for Nissan sedan design, offering ProPILOT Assist technology and two new engines. It’s also the first Nissan sedan in the U.S. available with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

Nissan is bringing excitement back to the mid-size sedan segment with the global launch of the 2019 Nissan Altima. The all-new, sixth-generation Altima features:

Advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety and driving aid technologies, including ProPILOT Assist and introducing Safety Shield 360 with Rear Automatic Braking
Enhanced driving performance, including available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive
Two new engines, including the company’s world’s first production-ready Variable Compression Turbo
Expressive design with lower, wider and more athletic proportions
New open, airy premium uplifting interior design

"The new Altima follows the new Nissan LEAF in embodying the vision of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, making our cars more desirable by re-defining how they’re driven, powered and integrated into society," said José Muñoz, chief performance officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

The 2019 Altima will be available in five grade levels, along with a limited-production launch edition, when it goes on sale at Nissan dealers in the United States in fall 2018. The all-new Altima will also be available in an expanded number of global markets in the coming years.

"Our goal with the all-new Altima is to re-energize the sedan segment – in terms of design, driving feel and in making advanced technologies available and affordable for everyone," added Muñoz. "We want to energize drivers, helping make their lives safer, less stressful and more exciting."

Nissan Intelligent Mobility: ProPILOT Assist leads the way

When it comes to enhancing driving enjoyment, the 2019 Altima stands alone with Nissan’s advanced ProPILOT Assist1. Unique in the class, ProPILOT Assist eases driver workload by reducing the amount of driver acceleration, steering and braking input under certain driving conditions, such as single-lane highway driving.

ProPILOT Assist is the foundation for the autonomous vehicles of the future, helping drivers stay centered in the lane, navigate stop-and-go traffic, maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a set distance to the vehicle ahead. And, it’s all done with a simple two-button operation. To activate the system, the driver simply pushes the blue ProPILOT Assist ON button, then sets the Intelligent Cruise Control when the desired speed is reached, as with a normal advanced cruise control system.

ProPILOT Assist is designed to be more intuitive and user-friendly compared with other driver-assist technologies. It can potentially help lessen driver fatigue and create a more confident driving experience – especially for drivers who experience heavy highway traffic on a daily basis.

It utilizes a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors and an electronic control module to help the driver stay in the center of the driving lane and to maintain vehicle speed (set by the driver) or help maintain a gap to the preceding vehicle if the vehicle speed drops below the driver-set speed. It also can slow the vehicle to a complete stop and hold the vehicle during traffic jam conditions.

ProPILOT Assist is standard on the 2019 Altima SV, SL and Platinum grades.

"Adding ProPILOT Assist to the 2019 Altima continues our approach of making the most advanced technologies available to the widest number of potential buyers, rather than saving the best for the most exclusive models," added Muñoz. "This ’democratization’ of advanced features also applies to Altima’s many other available safety and driving assistance technologies."

Along with ProPILOT Assist, also new for 2019 is Rear Automatic Braking (RR-AB)2, which helps the driver detect stationary objects when backing up, and if necessary applies the brakes to help avoid a collision. When an object is detected while driving the vehicle in reverse at low speed, the system warns the driver with visual and audible warnings. If the driver’s braking is not sufficient and there is still a risk of a collision, the system issues second visual and audible warnings and applies harder braking immediately before the potential collision. The new Rear Automatic Braking system is standard on Altima SV, SL and Platinum grades.

The range of safety and convenience features includes standard Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW) and Intelligent Driver Alertness (I-DA)3 on all grades. Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM) is standard on the Altima Platinum.

The addition of Rear Automatic Braking to Nissan Safety Shield creates Safety Shield 360, which provides front, side and rear safety monitoring and intervention technologies, under the umbrella of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy. Safety Shield 360 includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and High Beam Assist (HBA).

A new Traffic Sign Recognition system provides Altima drivers with the most recent speed limit information detected by a camera unit located on the windshield in front of the inside rearview mirror. The information from detected signs is displayed in the Advanced Drive Assist Display. In vehicles equipped with navigation, the speed limit display is based on a combination of navigation system data and camera recognition.

First-ever Altima AWD

In response to the desires of buyers in key northern U.S. market regions, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive will be offered for the first time ever on the Altima. The new AWD models are projected to account for a significant share of Altima U.S. sales in these regions.

"When we look at how Altima is going to shake up the segment, all-wheel drive is a key element. Altima will be the only one to offer it of the top three best-selling midsize sedans," said Muñoz. "The lack of available all-wheel drive has also been a factor in buyers who prefer sedans switching to compact SUVs."

The AWD system is available in all trim levels equipped with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The system uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically redistributes torque to the wheels (0:100 front up to 50:50 front-to-rear) according to road and driving conditions. In addition, cooperative control between the AWD torque distribution, brake limited slip differential and Hill Start Assist optimizes performance on hills starts and rough roads – adding to the sense of confidence and driving pleasure under a range of driving scenarios.

World’s first production Variable Compression Turbo engine

Replacing the previous-generation Altima’s 3.5-liter V6 engine is the world’s first production-ready variable compression turbo inline 4-cylinder – which generates the performance of some V6 gasoline engines but with 4-cylinder level fuel economy.

Designated as the VC-Turbo, the new technology continuously transforms the engine characteristics, providing both dynamic and efficient performance. The VC-Turbo recently launched as a world’s first technology in the all-new INFINITI QX50 crossover.

The VC-Turbo has been in development for 20 years. It seamlessly changes its compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency) – with an advanced multi-link system continuously raising or lowering the pistons’ reach to transform the compression ratio. A high compression ratio gives greater efficiency, but in certain applications poses the risk of premature combustion (knocking). A low compression ratio allows for greater power and torque, and avoids knocking.

The multi-link components are manufactured in high-carbon steel alloy. Compared with the previous 3.5-liter V6 engine, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo requires less space in the engine bay. The engine delivers 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque (premium fuel).

The VC-Turbo engine utilizes both multi-point injection and direct injection to balance efficiency and power in all conditions. The Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) system improves combustion efficiency and performance, and enables the engine to avoid knocking at higher compression ratios, while the multi-point injection mixes fuel and air earlier, enabling complete combustion in the chamber for greater efficiency at low engine loads. The engine also contributes to lower NVH and improved emissions (versus the previous 3.5-liter V6). The VC-Turbo engine is assembled in Japan.

Altimas equipped with the VC-Turbo (SR VC-Turbo and Platinum VC-Turbo grades) include a meter in the standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display so the driver can see, as well as feel, the control state of this world-first technology while driving.

In terms of fuel economy4, the new 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine is projected to have a double-digit percentage increase in highway mpg for the front-wheel drive models.

"With the VC-Turbo, the driver balances the engine character through acceleration pedal operation alone. This ’two engines in one’ is another way Altima stands far apart from all other vehicles in the segment," said Muñoz.

New standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine

Reflecting the Altima’s importance to the Nissan brand, the company is also making its biggest investment ever in a new model powertrain development – introducing for the first time two completely new engines for one model change.

Standard on all grade levels is the new 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder direct injection engine, which is rated at 188 horsepower (versus the previous 2.5-liter’s 179 hp) and 180 lb-ft of torque (versus the previous 177 lb-ft) and features 80% new or redesigned parts.

More than just the gains in horsepower and torque, the new engine offers improvements in noise, vibration and harshness, along with enhanced fuel economy and cleaner emissions. It also has a lower profile through adoption of a "reverse" cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold and low engine mounting into the new platform’s engine bay for quieter operation.

Key changes to the engine’s design include a thermal-insulated resin intake port, Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) system, variable tumble control valve, mirror bore cylinder coating, variable displacement oil pump, intake e-VTC and cooled external EGR. The new 2.5-liter engine is assembled in Decherd, Tennessee.

"The development of the new 2.5-liter engine started with reviewing the basic specifications one by one, such as the combustion chamber design. The result is an enhanced combination of high output and low fuel consumption versus the previous engine – with the bonus of improved NVH and front-end styling flexibility," said Muñoz.

All 2019 Altima models, including both engine configurations, come equipped with a standard Xtronic transmission. For 2019, the Xtronic transmission receives an expanded lock-up area for improved efficiency. Paddle shifters are available with the Altima SR grade.

Enhanced dynamic performance and chassis control

Along with the all-weather traction offered by the new all-wheel-drive system, all 2019 Altimas benefit from a range of enhanced suspension, steering and chassis control systems. Key suspension changes include the first Altima application of monotube rear shocks, added suspension reinforcements to improve vehicle response without impacting harshness, and suspension geometry adjustments to improve steering feedback.

The steering system has been upgraded to a new dual-pinion electric power steering design (DP-EPS), which enhances steering feel performance and reduces steering system noise. Steering effort is reduced at low speeds for ease of driving, and effort is increased at higher speeds for improved feedback and control.

The 2019 Altima includes a new, advanced Integrated Dynamics Module (IDM). It includes three unique systems – Intelligent Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control and Vehicle Dynamics Control – similar to those found on the flagship Nissan Maxima sedan.

Three wheel and tire size combinations are available – 16-inch, 17-inch and, for the first time, 19-inch. The Altima SR grade, as in the previous generation Altima, features unique suspension and chassis tuning for a sportier ride and handling.

"The goal in the chassis development is to provide a more comfortable, controlled and confident driving experience – not just for the higher grades but for every 2019 Altima," said Muñoz. "Between the engine improvements, isolation of noise and vibrations, tighter suspension and increased seat support, Altima absolutely feels like a class above."

Sporty exterior, premium interior

The all-new Altima takes its inspiration from the award-winning Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept, which debuted at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Like the show car, the production Altima attracts immediate attention with its athletic stance and proportions – lower, wider and more dynamic than previous generations, thanks in part to new platform packaging and the use of two new low-profile engine designs.

"Altima has been the face of Nissan in the United States, its largest market, for many years. We knew we had to elevate the appearance of the new-generation Altima, so the Vmotion 2.0 gave us the blueprint moving forward with the production model," said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president, global design, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Compared with the previous generation, the new Altima is 1.1 inches lower in height, 1.0 inches longer in length and 0.9 inches wider – while also featuring a smaller front overhang thanks a 1.9-inch longer wheelbase and the rear wheels being pushed farther to the corners. The result is a dramatically sleeker yet more sophisticated look. The coefficient of drag is just 0.26.

"Through clever packaging, we were able to push the hood and cowl downward, while also adding larger available 19-inch wheels and tires that really help the vehicle’s stance," said Albaisa. "This allowed us to give it a more linear, tailored feel that’s emphasized by the sharp horizontal lines and signature Nissan design cues such as the V-motion grille and streamlined boomerang lights."

Available exterior elements include the expressive V-motion grille with dark chrome finish, LED projector headlights with signature Daytime Running Lights, LED fog lights, floating roof with slim pillars and single panel moonroof. A range of available exterior colors –including a deep-tinted Scarlet Ember red that changes hue with the light, and a new vibrant Sunset Drift orange with unique reflective pigment – help bring out the exterior’s sculptural details and highlights.

Inside, the 2019 Altima interior offers a near-luxury feel in both design and materials – marked by the lightweight, layered and more horizontal "gliding wing" instrument panel and high-contrast colors and trim.

"The new Altima interior has a real ’wow’ factor when you open the doors – sending the message that this is not your typical sedan," added Albaisa. "The idea is to engage the driver and passengers both visually and tactilely." A range of premium interior colors and trim accents are available depending on grade level."

The uplifting interior design also offers a high level of comfort and convenience amenities and connectivity features are offered – including standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display, enhanced NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seat design with dual-density foam and added bolstering for improved holding and support, available perforated leather-appointed seat inserts, available remote engine start with Intelligent Climate Control and new available 8-way driver’s seat with memory.

Every 2019 Altima also comes equipped with standard NissanConnectSM featuring Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, with 8-inch multi-touch color display, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System and Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and Siri Eyes Free/Google Assistant™ Voice Recognition. The system also offers available Apple Watch and Android Wear compatibility through the NissanConnect Services app – allowing remote engine start and stop, remote lock/unlock valet alert and more – along with Amazon Alexa Skill compatibility.

The available NissanConnect Navigation and Services include a number of new functions such as over-the-air updates, door-to-door navigation, real-time Premium Traffic updates and a Bluetooth® Device Manager with easy customization features.

"The all-new Altima features the next generation of Nissan connectivity, combining seamless connectivity between home, work and the vehicle, an intuitive interface and over-the-air updates with automatic update notifications," said Muñoz. "And, of course, both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ come standard – which not every sedan in the segment even makes available."

The new Altima’s selection of audio and infotainment choices include a Bose® Premium Audio system with nine speakers, including a new digital amplifier with eight channels of custom equalization. Active Noise Cancellation is also available.

A range of advanced models

The 2019 Altima will be offered in a range of trim levels – S, SR, SV, SL and Platinum. All five come equipped with the standard 2.5-liter engine and are available with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. In addition, Altima SR and Platinum grades are available with the advanced 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine (front-wheel drive only). And, an exclusive launch edition based on the Platinum VC-Turbo will be offered in limited quantities and open for reservations in early summer 2018.

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