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2019 Nissan Altima Review: All-Wheel-Drive, ProPilot Assist Revive a Sedan

2019 Nissan Altima Review: All-Wheel-Drive, ProPilot Assist Revive a Sedan

New applied sciences make the 2019 Nissan Altima midsize sedan a critical challenger to the long-time gross sales dominance of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The know-how consists of elective all-wheel-drive, an obtainable variable-compression engine that adjusts for efficiency or high-mpg driving, a suite of driver and security assists referred to as Security Defend 360, and Professional Pilot Assist, a slick Degree 2 semi-autonomous driver help system.

The brand new 2019 Altima is a excellent automotive and deserves wider availability of its driver and security assists. However half the Altimas on a vendor lot may have simply a part of the brand new security tech. As compared, on the most recent Honda to ship, nearly each automotive has the complete security and driver help package deal. Nissan is in a dangerous place if Altima buyers price security as a key shopping for criterion.

The Nissan VC-Turbo modifications its compression ratio by means of a multi-link system, constantly elevating or decreasing the pistons’ attain to vary the compression ratio from 14:1 to eight:1. A excessive compression ratio provides larger effectivity (however you danger untimely combustion or engine knock). A low compression ratio permits for extra energy on the expense of gasoline financial system. (Photograph: Nissan; fundamental photograph: Invoice Howard)

A Dazzling Array of Know-how: Variable Compression Engine

The most recent era of each the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord debuted in 2017 as 2018 fashions. The Accord gained a number of awards, together with the North American Automotive of the Yr and ExtremeTech Automotive of Yr. The Camry is the best-selling sedan of any measurement in recent times. The Altima arrives this month with know-how that’s a yr newer and higher. Nissan says the Altima represents the “most extensive platform change in over two decades,” the very best funding ever for a powertrain, and the primary time a mannequin will get two new engines.

Nissan variable-compression, VC-Turbo, engine. (Photograph: Nissan)

Most impressively, the Altima provides a premium 248-hp, 2.5-liter turbo engine with variable compression. The engine can change compression ratios on the fly: high-compression for max gasoline financial system, low compression for max energy. Most torque, 280 pound-feet, comes on at a super-low 1600 rpm. It replaces the Altima’s previous 270-hp three.5-liter V6 engine, permitting for a extra compact engine bay. That is a huge step up from engines with variable valve timing. Nissan already provides VC engines inside its premium Infiniti model.

The bottom engine is a 188-hp 2.5-liter liter 4 with direct (into the cylinders) gasoline injection, no turbocharging. Nissan says it’s all-new as nicely and has 9 extra horsepower. Each use Nissan’s typical variable transmissions. The haters gonna hate, however for a lot of, this CVT will perform identical to an automated with fastened gear ratios. [Are you calling me a hater? -Ed.]

Nissan gives all-wheel-drive or front-drive on the easier engine, whereas the VC-turbo is front-drive solely. Nissan says AWD will come to the signature engine if there’s demand. AWD might be a key promoting level in snow nation. Toyota and Honda are front-drive solely, as is the No. 5 midsize sedan, the Chevrolet Malibu. The No. four Ford Fusion presents all-wheel drive, however Ford is killing the Fusion circa 2020 to focus on crossovers.  Nissan charges the bottom engine at 28 mpg metropolis, 39 mpg freeway, 32 mpg mixed, 1 mpg greater than the earlier. The AWD engine is rated 26/36/30. The VC-turbo is rated at 25/34/29 versus 22/32/26 for the V6. That’s higher than most rivals with V6 engines or turbo fours, nevertheless it carries an upcharge of $three,000-$four,500. In a day driving the VC-turbo, I couldn’t fairly match the EPA scores, however press drive mileage typically is available in under the EPA measurement.

Nissan Security Defend is on higher trim strains. (Graphic: Nissan)

ProPilot Assist Plus Security Defend 360

Base security throughout all trim strains consists of automated emergency braking, a rear door alert that holds the door shut when you attempt to open it whereas visitors approaches on the road aspect, and a driver-alert monitor that Nissan calls Clever Driver Alert. There’s additionally a rear digital camera, now required on all automobiles.

The Altima will get actually fascinating beginning with Altima SV, the third trim line up. There you get semi-autonomous driving, ProPilot Assist, and Nissan’s Security Defend 360 (graphic above). ProPilot Assist combines adaptive cruise management and lane centering help to information your driving on the freeway. With well-marked lanes and no heavy rain (0r snow) that forces you to boost the wipers past the low setting, it drives for you so long as you retain your palms calmly on the wheel; in case your palms are off for greater than 5-10 seconds, you’ll get an alert after which ProPilot Assist arms management again to you. Once I first drove ProPilot Assist two years in the past, it had a tendency to comply with freeway exits until you overrode the steering. That’s not the case. In case you have affordable expectations, PPA is superb. And a useful gizmo for long-distance driving.

Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are as snug because it will get within the midsize class. The inside has been dressed up, particularly on larger trim strains. (Photograph: Nissan)

Nissan Altima on the Street

The turbo-four within the Altima Platinum was highly effective sufficient for a household sedan, with numerous torque (energy) at low rpm. It shares one widespread trait with the now-departed V6: That’s a lot of energy for simply the entrance wheels to deal with in case you tromp the throttle. Achieve this and also you’ll get to 60 mph in simply over 6 seconds.  It drives quieter and extra easily than the primary generations of Altima.

A quick drive within the Altima SR on the press intro in Santa Barbara gave a journey that was undoubtedly sporty. With its stiffer springs and shocks, the experience is firmer than different Altima, so be sure that your associate or partner rides in or drives the automotive, too, particularly over bumpy pavement.

The Zero Gravity seats are particularly snug. Nissan says the aspect bolsters are raised and extra supportive nevertheless it’s not that noticeable, and positively not so individuals of girth will really feel squeezed.

In contrast with the outgoing mannequin, Nissan made the brand new Altima an inch longer (now 193 inches) and wider, with a wheelbase two inches longer, and an inch decrease. The engines have been designed with peak in thoughts so the hood and cowl could possibly be lowered for higher visibility and for a swoopier type.

The Altima middle stack show strikes to the highest of the sprint and will increase from 7 to eight inches diagonal. (Photograph: Nissan)

Greater Show, Extra USB Jacks

The middle stack show is now eight.zero inches diagonal and Nissan consists of knobs and buttons to make infotainment simpler to control. You get three years of free map updates. Bluetooth works higher, Nissan says, and audio and navigation boot quicker. The houses display could be custom-made. Each the entrance and rear have each a conventional Sort-A USB and a USB-C jack, 4 complete within the automotive.

The Bose audio on higher trims is excellent with out weighing down the ultimate worth. Onboard telematics, Nissan Join, can also be provided. Amazon and Google labored offers so NissanConnect providers can settle for Amazon Alexa Talent and Google Assistant Motion instructions. Suitable telephones and watches, by means of Nissan Join, can situation instructions similar to distant begin/cease, door lock/unlock, and valet alert.

Nissan Altima has been a strong third in recent times amongst midsize sedans. From their peak, 2017 Altima gross sales have been down 24% in 2017, Accord down 17%, Camry down 18%. Nissan says sedan gross sales will bounce again as a result of Gen Z, born mid-1990s to early 2000s, gained’t purchase their mother and father’ rides: SUVs.

Nissan Says Sedans Will Be Scorching With Youthful Consumers

Nissan moved its US headquarters California to Tennessee in 2006 as a result of it’s business-friendly. You may assume Tennessee is cannabis-friendly, too, if you hear Nissan execs say sedan gross sales are on account of transfer up. Typical knowledge and gross sales stats say sedan gross sales are tanking. They’re right down to 35 % of US gross sales (the remaining SUVs, pickups and the occasional minivan), and you may see a clear development within the chart above.

Gen Z, these born because the mid-1990s and now getting into maturity or school, have a vital choice for sedans, Nissan says.

However hear Nissan out: Youngsters typically develop up with pursuits the other of what mother and pop appreciated. The final of Era X, these born within the late 1960s by way of early 1980s, plus Era Y, born mid-1980s to mid-1990s, have been branded for all times by the expertise of rising up in minivans and (much less embarrassingly) SUVs. Thus Era Z, these now of their 20s or in school — this yr’s school freshmen represent the primary class principally born after 1/1/2000 — present a 44 % intention price to purchase a sedan versus 29 % to purchase a two- or three-row SUV. Gen Y as compared exhibits a 30 % intention fee to purchase a sedan versus 45 % to purchase an SUV.

If Nissan’s knowledge is true, the Altima has Nissan well-positioned. If not, there’s plan B.  Nissan Rogue compact SUV, whose gross sales have been dwarfed by Altima a decade in the past, final yr outsold the Altima by virtually 60 %: 403,465 to 254,996. However the place Altima is the third-best-selling midsize sedan, Rogue is the second-best-selling SUV of any measurement, behind solely Toyota RAV4, and the fifth-best-selling car of any variety.

The 2019 Nissan Altima is a gorgeous automotive and the one main midsize sedan providing all-wheel drive aside from Ford Fusion (quickly to die) and Subaru Legacy (a model more proficient at promoting SUVs). However it gained’t be straightforward to outsell the reigning automotive of the yr (Accord) or a model recognized for reliability and advertising funds earmarked to match or beat competing offers (Camry). (Photograph: Invoice Howard)

Ought to You Purchase an Altima?

For those who’re , there are six 2019 Altima trim strains (mannequin variants). The bottom Altima S provides Nissan a listing worth beneath $24,000, truly $24,645 with the $895 delivery fee you possibly can’t reject. It consists of each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to Bluetooth, drowsy driver alert, and a 7-inch multi-information LCD inside the instrument panel; Nissan calls it the Superior Drive Assist Show.

The Altima SR is the sporty mannequin and Nissan says it might be the best-selling trim line at $25,995 for the bottom 4, $1,350 extra ($27,345) for all-wheel-drive, or $four,zero50 extra ($30,zero45) for the VC-Turbo and entrance drive. It has blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert (however not rear braking), and LED headlamps. These two are virtually half of gross sales, Nissan says.

The Altima SV, $28,825, is the place you get ProPilot Assist, rear automated braking, automated excessive beams, rear HVAC vents, heated entrance seats and steering wheel, and 17-inch alloys. The Altima SL, $32,085, provides leather-based, Bose premium audio, navigation with additional providers, three years of map updates free, and visitors signal recognition. The Platinum jumps as much as the 19-inch alloys and provides the encompass view cameras (Clever Round View Monitor), and cockpit accent lighting. It’s $32,675 with the non-turbo engine and entrance drive, $34,zero45 with AWD, and $36,675 with VC-Turbo and entrance drive. At this level, you’re on the similar worth degree as Nissan’s upscale midsize sedan, the Nissan Maxima.

19-inch alloy wheel on Altima Version One. (Photograph: Nissan)

There’s a limited-run, three,900-car Altima Version One, $36,645, successfully VC-Turbo Platinums with three paint decisions, additional badging, a spoiler, floor lighting, and three years of concierge providers.

Nissan has constructed virtually six million Altimas and nonetheless, it’s chasing Toyota and Honda. For those who reside in snow nation, the all-wheel-drive Altima is your most suitable option amongst these three. Interval. AWD plus winter tires are fabulous. Evaluating front-drive fashions, Honda Accord has a lot going for it. There are good explanation why the Accord is Automotive of the Yr. The Toyota Camry can also be extremely competent.

The candy spot of the Altima line is the SV, the place you get the complete pressure of Nissan’s security expertise. The sporty SR ought to promote properly however ensure that everybody within the household sufficiently old to touch upon experience high quality when you personal a automotive goes to the check drive. The experience shouldn’t be Nissan GT-R stiff, however it’s notably firmer than different Altimas.

Nissan’s largest problem, in our opinion, might be repaired with the stroke of a marketer’s pen: Make the core of drive/security assists commonplace throughout the board to match and lift Honda. For those who go to a Nissan vendor, you might have a 50-50 probability the Altima you choose doesn’t have Nissan’s fullest array of assists. The S has nothing particular past the drowsy driver alert. The SR has blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. The Altima SV then bypasses good and goes straight to fabulous with ProPilot Assist, which successfully incorporates adaptive cruise management and lane centering help. You continue to should go one step greater to get encompass view cameras, that are partly security and partly value saving (by no means scrape your automotive once more whereas parking).

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