Car Review: 2020 Nissan Altima proves it can compete in the mid-size sedan market

In today’s crossover-crazed world, the automakers that remain in the sedan market have had to innovate to stay relevant.

Nissan might have made some of the biggest changes when they remade the popular Altima last year.

A more stylish exterior and the improved interior, with good space, helps the Nissan get noticed.

The looks are enhanced when you choose the pricey Platinum trim level, where you get large 19-inche wheels and a spoiler on the rear deck lid.

Once you hop inside, you’re treated to ultra-comfortable leather seats that are great for the daily commute or a longer road trip.

The NAV and 8-inch touch screen have better graphics and are easier to use than earlier models.

Another big plus for the Altima is optional AWD, so you can drive with confidence all year.

The Altima I drove came with a four-cylinder engine, good for 182 hp, production most drivers will find adequate. Luckily, there is a more powerful turbo engine if you require more punch from the sedan.

The ride is smoother than I remember of the past Altimas, and it’s hushed on the highway. Visibility suffers a bit with its sharp styling.

Good fuel economy is a plus for a large sedan with AWD.

Cost: $33,539; as tested $37,190

MPG:
25 mpg City; 35 mpg Highway. I managed 29.2 in 257 miles of mixed driving.

Safety:
Rear sonar system; ProPilot assist; steering assist; intelligent cruise control; automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection; intelligent forward collision warning; rear automatic braking; blind spot warning; rear cross traffic alert; lane departure warning; intelligent lane intervention; high beam assist; vehicle dynamic control system.

Options:
$205 splash guards; $395 premium paint; $300 floor mats, trunk mat, hideaway net & dual trunk hooks; $380 ground lighting; $455 interior accent lighting; $400 illuminated kicks plates; $420 rear spoiler; $210 impact sensors

Things to know: Nissan has made its most competitive mid-size sedan yet. With a lot of style and a large interior, now with AWD and high fuel economy, the Altima finally stands out to buyers.

Pros:

  • Large sedan has space for the family
  • Available AWD gives the sedan year-round confidence
  • Gets good fuel economy even when equipped with AWD

Cons:

  • Not the best visibility out the back of the car
  • Can get pricey in higher trim levels
  • Some might find the base four-cylinder engine is short of power

Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by DriveShop, FMI, NAVS DC or Motus One for the purpose of this review.

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