2016 Nissan Altima 1st Drive – Baby Methods


Most midsize sedans do not have a happy ending.

Many get passed down as second-hand household vehicles, hunting for their second wind from getting a daily commuter only to discover themselves as day-to-day bangers in higher school parking lots. Or worse.

Mid-sized sedans can be sold at employed vehicle lots as forgettable appliances used like washing machines and place away wet like skinny jeans.

The Altima lives such a life.

The life of Nissan’s perennial bridesmaid to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord is generally undignified and, we’ll say, challenging.

If you’re searching for a story about redemption, this isn’t it. The 2016 Nissan Altima won’t be a savior amongst midsize sedans and will not regain glory for a segment losing ground to compact crossovers quicker than Pickett’s Charge. At least not yet.

Rather, the 2016 Nissan Altima is a capitulation by the automaker that there’s no point in out Camry-ing or Accord-ing the other guys. Generating a mid-size sedan that no one hates amounts to building a car that no 1 likes. If you listen to Altima engineers, there’s mileage in creating something that divides rather than conquers.


My notes start with: “Maxima’s appear is apparent in Altima’s shoulders.” That observation is not meant to be insightful rather, it is matter of fact. From the shoulders up, the Altima’s lineage is entirely clear.

For 2016, Nissan fully refreshed the Altima’s front and rear, including a newly developed front fascia and bumper. There are components from the excellent-seeking Murano (said nobody. —Mark) in the Altima’s LED daytime running lamps — which are not regular across all models — and some of the Maxima in this midsizer’s V-shaped grille. From the front third, the Altima shares much with the Maxima, but stops short of the floating roof remedy.

The rear trunk and bumper gets resculpted — notably the four-piece rear lamps — but like a punk show, all the action is actually up front.

According to Nissan, the updated front and some undercarriage work helped the Altima far more sharply cut the wind (.26 Cd this year vs. .29 Cd prior to), despite the fact that EPA estimates for the base two.5-liter engine only enhanced by 1 mpg on the highway, from 38 to 39 mpg, this year.

Incremental alterations do not actually do it for individuals although. Year over year, the 2015 Altima to 2016 Altima’s fuel economy changed much less than my sock drawer, but considering that 2002 the alter has been relatively dramatic. Fitted with a two.five-liter four and 4-speed automatic, the Altima managed 20/27/23 mpg in city/highway/combined marks from the EPA. Fitted with a similar 2.5-liter four and CVT, the 2016 Altima manages 27/39/31 mpg, according to the EPA. Even more so, the 2002 Altima scored these numbers under the old 2-cycle fuel economy regime, which means fuel consumption for the older model is most likely much, much worse.

The new SR grade for the Altima is a swift stab at the mid-size sedan’s “sport” segment that will apparently develop due to the fact men and women just adore spoilers. In addition to the decklid-mounted spoiler — which exists only because the other guys do it — the SR edition sports slightly smoky front lamps, 18-inch wheels and a slightly tuned chassis setup. According to the Nissan engineer in charge of the new SR trim, the chassis is firm adequate to fire back with some lift-throttle oversteer if you are beating the hell out of it on your drive home.

Please send video of mentioned lift-throttle oversteer.

2016 Nissan Altima

Nissan applied its “Gliding Wing” treatment to the Altima’s interior with fairly very good impact. The center infotainment and climate control stack in the 2016’s dash is much more distinct and not bookended by flat plastic any longer. The “wing,” which starts at the center of the dash and extends out through the passenger and driver sides, efficiently gave the Altima’s interior a Beverly Hills-style facelift.

2016 Nissan Altima SRFar more notably, the Altima didn’t get the Maxima and Murano’s slicker new infotainment unit because there demands to be room for modifications later in the Altima’s lifecycle, I suppose.

The center console and armrest had been revised slightly with greater lines for the Altima’s gliding wing and a new gear selector replaces the old Altima’s chunky grip.

Inside, the Altima is quieter over last year’ model. At nearly 50 decibels at idle and 73 db at cruising, the Altima is relatively quiet and sedate.

The exact same “zero gravity” seats swaddle driver and passenger as prior to, and 60/40 split folding rear seats offer 36.1 inches of legroom in the back. My 6-foot-two-inch frame folded just fine in the rear seats behind one more man of similar stature.

2016 Nissan Altima

The Altima gets the exact same 5-inch standard color display, carried over from final year, that sports Siri Eyes Totally free and iPod connectivity through the car’s single USB port.

Accessible in the SL and SV trims, and common in the three.5 SL, is Nissan’s 7-inch touchscreen with navigation and mobile apps. Nissan added a concierge system, dubbed NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM, which is sold separately as a subscription. Curiously, there’s no devoted button for the reside-individual service. Instead, it is accessed via a headset icon on the touchscreen and the first prompt is not a human at all — it’s a voice-recognition system asking you what you are seeking to do. If you ask for a certain service — “Destination Assist,” for instance — the laptop calls up an operator to give you, nicely, location help. That’s confusing. Nissan could want to appear into that.

Aside from receiving access to a actual individual, each the five- and 7-inch infotainment systems are simple and straightforward, despite the fact that somewhat dated at this point.

Less exciting, but a lot more importantly, is Nissan’s inclusion of sophisticated security functions such as forward collision warning and emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and radar-primarily based blind-spot monitoring (final year’s version was rear camera-based that didn’t function so hot if the camera was covered in snow).


I’ll hold this short: practically nothing has changed.

The very same two.5-liter four that tends to make 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque remains. It is sufficient.

The exact same 3.6-liter six that tends to make 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque remains for six % of purchasers who will opt for the bigger engine. It is overpowered.

Both engines are mated to a constantly variable transmission. In higher two.five SR, 3.5 SR and 3.five SL trims, you get seven virtual “gears” you can slap between employing the included paddle shifters. Otherwise, it is just a standard CVT, in a normal auto, undertaking normal automobile issues.

Nissan has used relatively the exact same powertrain combination given that Bush two. (When will it get the turbo four from the Juke?)

According to Nissan, the 2016 Altima has “lots of powertrain improvements” more than last year’s model, but I only counted 1: The CVT is much more quiet than I don’t forget? Sure, let’s go with that.


Complete disclosure: I was awarded three hours behind the wheel of the 2016 Altima, so there’s not a lot of evaluation I can supply here — however.

Despite the fact that most of the CamCord segment is laser-focused on comfort and quiet, at least Nissan seems to be slowly moving away from numb. According to the business, the last-generation Altima tried to out-Camry and out-Accord the likes of Toyota and Honda and failed. Those cars, by Nissan’s own admission, were pretty boring and uninspiring.

This year’s car is nonetheless the identical commuter appliance many mid-size sedans are these days. It rides quietly, gives a comfortable quantity of space and is reasonably priced at $ 23,325 to begin. Our tester, a 2.5 SL fitted with every thing, would be the mid-level manager’s dream — very good adequate for the workday, not embarrassing in the valet.

Nissan estimates that up to 20 percent of its mix could be the sportier-hunting SR grade as mid-size purchasers seeking for some thing other than the best two sellers consider to Nissan. The 2016 Altima makes little steps in distinguishing itself from these competitors with little incremental improvements to its front and rear.

If you count the techniques Altima can capitalize on its mid-cycle refresh this year — appears, trim and interior — you might surmise how good the future could be for a vehicle that has, till now, played backup rhythm guitar in a Jimmy Buffett cover band at a suburban wine bar. It will not be a rock star tomorrow, but at least it’s acquiring in some solid practice.

(Interior images provided by the manufacturer)

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