By on June 15, 2015

2015 Nissan Altima

The 2016 Nissan Maxima won’t be the only one to receive an extensive update to its style, as the automaker plans to do the same for the Altima and Sentra.

Nissan’s U.S. sales boss Fred Diaz says both sedans will be “incredibly refreshed” when they enter showrooms for the 2016 model year, Automotive News reports, including a full list of styling updates and technology enhancements.

The overhauls for the Altima and Sentra come despite major sales successes for the duo, with 183,268 Sentras leaving the lot in 2014 — the highest volume for the nameplate in 25 years — and the Altima selling more copies than the Honda Accord over the first five months of 2015 (142,613 versus 128,269).

Yet, mid-cycle revamps are becoming major affairs as automakers battle for more and more market share. Honda alone changed up the current Civic twice already, while Toyota went as far as to add more length and width to the 2015 Camry in addition to other upgrades.

As for what both of Nissan’s revamps may bring, Autoblog says the Sentra may pull from the Euro-market Pulsar’s playbook, while the Sentra could take cues from both the Murano and newly introduced 2016 Maxima.

[Photo credit: Nissan]

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59 Comments on “2016 Nissan Altima, Sentra Receiving Extensive Mid-Cycle Refreshes...”


  • avatar

    I actually don’t have any dislike for the Altima, as most enthusiasts do. And the Sentra has, hands down, the most rear-occupant in its class; it’s downright cavernous. But one thing I hope they’ll do on the refreshed Altima is make the steering wheel a little thicker.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      It’s one of my favorite rentals but perhaps that’s damning with faint praise. Hate the lack of USB input on the S trim but nobody actually buys that model methinks.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m with you. It’s not a car that excites me, and for that reason I probably wouldn’t voluntarily buy it, but it’s a fine piece of transportation, including as a rental. You get a lot of features for your money, too. My car (Volkswagen) doesn’t even *have* USB input and instead has a proprietary interface, so I can’t complain on that front.

        The 2.5 S trim is the volume trim, and a lot of people (most, in fact) buy it. There is, however, a base 2.5 trim below that…and that’s the one nobody buys.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Yep I think “2.5 S” is like a Camry LE, with the alloy-wheel clad SV is the equivalent to the Camry SE content wise, aside from not getting a retuned suspension like the Toyota.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s correct. And the base Altima 2.5 is rather like the so-basic-it-hurts Camry CE that is no longer available.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Camry “CE” has been gone for a while, along with Corolla “CE,” the bottom barrel car is now the “L”

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have driven a Corolla CE as a free rental from my auto shop couple years ago. It had AC and FM radio, and that’s it.

            I deduced that CE meant “Crappy Edition.”

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          “My car (Volkswagen) doesn’t even *have* USB input and instead has a proprietary interface”

          That isn’t typical for the market though. That’s just VW doing stuff VW does.

        • 0 avatar
          GiddyHitch

          Wow, I had naturally assumed that Hertz was buying the base trim Altima, but you’re right, the S is the middle trim and therefore likely the volume seller. You gotta love when automakers can’t even be bothered to name a base trim – it’s like it only exists for misleading “starting at …” numbers in their marketing materials and for particularly cheap fleet buyers.

          I like to play a little game when I get a rental where I try to figure out how long I would actually drive said car if I somehow found myself owning one:

          * 2014 Nissan Altima = 2.5 years
          * 2014 Toyota Prius = 3 years (because mileage)
          * 2014 Chevy Impala = 6 years
          * 2011 Dodge Journey = 3 months
          * 2010 BMW 320d = 8 years
          * 2010 Mini Clubman Euro = 4 years
          * 2005 Ford Escape V6 = 4 years
          * 2005 Toyota Corolla = 6 months
          * 2009 Ford Focus = kill it with fire, piss on ashes

        • 0 avatar
          spofo

          MDI to USB adapters exist. http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/121378280612?lpid=82&chn=ps

      • 0 avatar
        tpepin

        I have a leaser Altima S and I don’t understand all the whining about lacking a USB port in 2015? You can stream right to the stereo with Bluetooth A2DP via your phone. I mostly stream from Google Play but also have my favorite playlists saved down to the phone in case of no signal.

        It’s not a bad package and makes sense as a lease. I wouldn’t buy one though as it’s pretty boring to drive but it does make a good A/B car for eating up highway miles.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I don’t hate the Altima. It’s just that there is nothing to really like about it either, other than it really, truly does get fantastic gas mileage. Just utterly uninspiring in every way. And that Nissan rat fur cloth has just got to go.

      I’ve only had one rental Sentra, and it was so old and beat that I won’t pass judgment on it based on that example. It was literally the car that airport Hertz kept around for when they did not have anything else to give. I had screwed up my reservation, you see. But I would probably choose one over a Corolla.

    • 0 avatar

      I dislike the Altima. It sacrificed structural rigidity for lightness and the result is a flimsy-feeling car with an established reputation for lots of squeaks and rattles at a young age. The Sonata is a much better option in the “better value generic Asian brand” category (i.e., excluding the Accord and Camry). The Altima’s transmission may seem decent on its own, but if you drive any of the other automatic efforts in the segment, especially the Accord, you’ll realize its noisy and unpleasant, despite the years head start Nissan has had on CVT development. The interior is decent, but the package as a whole leaves a lot to be desired.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The previous 2 Altimas were sharp-looking; the current one is just horrible.

  • avatar
    justinx

    I think the Sentra need to be updated anyway because it did poorly on the small overlap crash test. The real problem is that Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend either the Altima or Sentra, the Altima for reliability and the Sentra for low test scores, reliability and crash results. Target buyers find this very important.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Target buyers find this very important.”

      Considering the sales records these cars are setting, it doesn’t seem so.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        What it boils down to with the Nissan sedans across the board (Versa, Sentra, Altima) is that they offer the most value in the class, even compared to the Koreans. Big trunks and big rear seats, efficient powertrains, all at prices that undercut the competition. Throw in pretty easy financing from the dealer (a huge factor) and it’s a done deal.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        >>“Target buyers find this very important.”<<

        He meant Kmart shoppers. Target shoppers prefer Camrys and Fusions.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        >>“Target buyers find this very important.”<<

        He meant Kmart shoppers. We're talking Nissan.

        Target buyers prefer Camrys and Fusions.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          I’ve never seen a more heterogeneous clientele than in our local Target store. New Range Rover parked next to a spawn-filled Caravan parked next to a bro-dozer parked next to a Pilot is utterly typical.

          We’re still semi-rural (working farm borders it) and we all scatter our separate directions upon leaving, but Fitbit helicopter moms and hispanic urchins with fresh bruises all co-mingle for that brief and shining moment of consumer unity.

          • 0 avatar
            laphoneuser

            Great comment. Got me to laugh out loud, which is much appreciated.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hey, I’m always surprised at the mix at Target here in Ohio too. Who did I see last time I went there? The owner of a local furniture empire (Furniture Fair/Thomasville), walking around with his wife. I can report that he drives a new Odyssey Elite.

            I also saw some trashy-ass baby momma drama.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          At the same time, the Camry has had a lower ATP than the Altima (and is no. 1 with Hispanic buyers in the West Coast and in the SW).

        • 0 avatar
          caljn

          There you are! What took so long? You can always be counted on to trash Nissan at any opportunity. And look, you posted twice to be sure your point is well made…yes, the “frugality” of the Kmart shopper/Nissan driver and such.

          Why the over the top Nissan vitriol all the time? Did they fire you once, never to recover?

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, but have a look at the sales offers. Nissan isn’t really getting where it wants to go if it has to put lots of cash on the hood to get them out the door.

    • 0 avatar
      tmport

      They already did updates to address the safety on the Sentra, and it made a huge difference. The 2015 model got “good” on all of the IIHS tests, including the small overlap. It’s kind of shocking that they got it all the way from “poor” (2014) to “good” (2015) in just one year.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The Sentra is a car that I go, “oh wait, that’s right, Nissan still makes that.”

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a “new” Sentra in the wild around here – well at least one that didn’t have rental car barcodes on the passenger rear window.

    I know they’re out there – and I’ll speculate that they are popular in some other region in the country. I’m sure there are places in the United States where people go, “someone bought a Tesla S,” I probably see 3 to 5 of them a day – and that doesn’t even count the 3 I know of in my neighborhood.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “The Sentra is a car that I go, ‘oh wait, that’s right, Nissan still makes that.\'”

      You beat me to it. I can’t remember the last time I saw a new Sentra. Maybe they just blend in so well.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Is it a case of it just aligns so close to the corporate DNA that a Sentra looks like an Altima looks looks like a Maxima…

        • 0 avatar
          brokeguy

          That’s exactly what’s going on. I got two rental Sentra’s earlier this year, and in size it’s exactly the same as the previous gen Altima and within a few inches length, width and height of the current one. At a glance you can’t tell the two apart.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Thank god.

    Maybe I am in the minority, but for all the “deep draw” sheet metal forming that went into the Altima’s front fenders… I find it to be a nauseating mess. Really and truly.

    I can see how it looks nice, but when you really step back and look at it, its just a swoopy mess.

    It cannot hold a candle to the Accord’s taut, mature design.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      So agree. Honda does “taut, mature” better than anyone except VW. Unfortunately VW hasn’t yet found help for making the rest of the car.

      Thanks for the “deep draw” reference. Ima Google dat.

    • 0 avatar
      Neutron73

      Ugghhh…..farking Altima. Hate that car. Nothing, nothing redeeming about it.

      And their drivers, too. All of them seem to have watched that stupid Nissan commercial and think their Altimas are street legal race cars, and drive like that. To a person.

      Tailgate, cut people off, drive like they never learned hot “to drive”.

      Plus the car is just plain ugly. No doubt at all. Look at the mess of a grill. The flimsy interior. And these cars are everywhere.

      Nissan needs to really change the car, and the marketing behind it. Though judging by the next Maxima, I’m not hopeful.

  • avatar
    Bee

    We’re entering a new Malaise era of sorts. The Camry has been on the same platform since 2002, and the Accord and Altima are 2008 vintage. Each refresh is just a slightly enlarged version of the previous. Remember how big the original Mustang got by 1971?

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      I don’t understand why Toyota has let their platforms, engines, and transmissions age so much. Is it just because they can get away with it and still sell plenty and bank even bigger profits? A company with that kind of money has no excuse for not keeping up with R&D and making new modern platform and engine families.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Not sure if they’re playing the long game of drawing out massive profits by seeing how long they can sell the same basic body since 2002, then drop a bomb on the midsize segment with the next generation or what. This is going to sound shill-like, but holy cow that basic body shell was incredibly engineered back in 2002 for it so still be very relevant and competitive more than a decade later. My gf’s 2012 Camry SE feels incredibly solid and stiff, with very well controlled NVH. Excellent interior room, and actually one of the lower curb weights in the class. Likewise the 2.5L engine that’s been around since 2010, and the 6 speed automatic. Both are smooth and competently tuned, and utterly reliable. Acceleration figures are again near the top of the class in the category of naturally aspirated 4 cylinders, as is real world fuel economy. This generation of Camry is like Toyota’s W-body, but unlike the floppy noodle w-body and its tight and low rear seat, it is still class competitive.

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          “New modern platform and engine families”?

          You mean like direct injection 4 cylinders with turbos?

          Why? The Toyota V6 has been around since 2005 and it is STILL better than all of the direct injection turbo 4 cylinders in it’s class. Sounds better, performs better, and gets better real world mileage.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Actually the 178 HP 2.5 Camry is near the bottom as far as acceleration goes and mileage is middle of the road. When you move up to the larger wheel sportier SE models power and mileage drop a little more. We routinely rent 2013-15 Camry’s, Altimas, Accords, Malibu’s, Sonata’s and Passat’s. Other than the older 2.5 Passat’s, the Camry is the slowest of the group which is not surprising since all of the other cars listed have higher power and torque figures. The only car I rented that felt slower than the Camry was a 2013 Chrysler 200 with the VLP 4 speed automatic. That car was a dog with the A/C on and 4 passengers aboard!

          Regarding the floppy noodle W-body, my 2013 does have a bit less rear leg room but is still sufficient for my needs and it is anything but a floppy noodle and overall has held up better than any rental 2007-2014 Camry we have rented and remains rick solid and rattle free and the interior is holding. Each rental Camry suffered from cheap interior headliner, dash vents that popped out going over rail road tracks, A-pilar plastic trim that came detached from it’s clip points, faded buttons and knob markings and rattles galore from the suspension. granted these were rental cars so probably took more abuse.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Hmm care to pull up some 0-60 times to prove your point? Camry is rated 25/35 even in SE 4cyl guise, and more than delivers on those numbers in my personal experience.

            Motortrend cracked off a 7.8 0-60 in a 2.5 LE in 2012, more standard numbers seem to hover in the 8.1-8.3 range. The CVT Accord is a hair quicker and I think the Mazda 6 might be nipping at its heels as well. Altima is also fairly close owing to its low weight for the class. The Camry’s trick is also one of the lowest curb weights in the segment, owing to those old bones.

            Fusion Ecoboost 1.6? Slower, worse real world mpg. 2013 malibu? Slower, worse mpg. Redesigned 2014 Malibu? finally reached parity 0-60, and needs start stop technology to finally match the regular Camry in city MPG (it beats it by one mpg highway, per the EPA). The new 200 with the 9 speed is a dog relatively speaking (over 9 seconds 0-60), not holding out much hope for it meeting EPA statements either.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Ponchoman doesn’t like standardized published performance numbers when it comes to the Camry. He prefers unverifiable stories of demolishing Camries in drag races with 2.4 Sonatas and undeniable metrics like “felt slower”. It’s a nice diversion from having to discuss how out of date a 2013 Impala feels in all ways outside the 3.6 that GM finally managed to produce six years after Toyota demonstrated how a v6 is done.

            I’ll concede the points on interior trim for those years, though. Not up to the reputation Toyota built.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            In regards to all of the supposed faults ponchoman experienced with his rental camries, literally not a single one of those things has happened in the 47k miles on my gf’s 2012 SE. Now I bet most of that can be chalked up to rental abuse, but I agree that there are some pretty glaringly offensive interior pieces on her ’12 that have thankfully been amended in the 2015 car. Creaky lower dash piece with large gaps, and cheap HVAC knobs. W body impalas have equally offensively cheap split climate control sliders. I’ve had a rental in ’07 that dumped A/C condenser condensate onto the passenger floorboard, and a 1 year old former rental I test drove with scary-mushy brakes. Not sure how much of that is the fault of the car and how much of that is gross abuse at the hands of renters. The w body just feels pretty loose and ‘old school’ going over bumps in the road, owing to a basic chassis and hardpoints dating back to 1988(!). The camry in comparison with its 2002 bones feels appropriately like something made in the 21st century. I don’t mean to trash the dear old Impala so badly, I find their flaws incredibly endearing and they are a blast with the 3.6. I just wouldn’t want to own one long term.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Indeed. His Camry posts are almost classic examples of cherry picking and confirmation bias. Dude hates Camries, so he will notice only the faults and refuse to recognize contrary evidence.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      Are you defining Malaise Era by size bloat? I define it more by severely underpowered barges with poor build quality and dismal reliability. I speake from experience here as my parents drove cars of that era well into the 90s. Neither the Camry, Altima, nor Accord meets any of my Malaise criteria. The Accord in particular is an excellent car and I wish that I had one in my fleet.

  • avatar
    Joss

    The Sentra needs more punch. It’d be nice to see SPEC V but I doubt it.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Update to Nissan probably means their whole line will have ridiculously ugly grills.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Honda used to call them mid-model changeovers. I always referred to them as “mid-model corrections,” i.e., they correct all the things they screwed up with the original. Although the 1996 Accord looked worse than the 1994 original, go figure.

    • 0 avatar
      Bee

      I thought the 95/96 redesign helped greatly with those trunk lid tail lights, much like the 2013 Civic refresh. However the alloy wheel choices were appalling after those nice 94’s

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      The 96-97 Accords’ biggest improvement was tackling the notorious rear quarter panel rust issue. Now, almost 20 years on it’s not to say you won’t see a 96-97 car with rear quarter panel rust, but start keeping an eye out for it and you’ll see that they are nowhere as bad as the 94-95 cars.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    They need to fix the CVT unit in each to be like what Honda is doing with the Accord. That constant droning and engine revving drive me nuts. Speaking of engine Di would be nice along with lower NVH characteristics. Axe the thin urethane base wheel and plastic hub caps and make the S version the base trim level with alloy wheels std equipment. If Chevy, Hyundai, Kia and Ford can do this with the Malibu, Sonata, Optima and Fusion so can Nissan.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Why incorporate DI when they’re already at the top of the heap of non-hybrid MPG ratings? That annoying CVT tuning may also be directly tied to those class leading MPG figures (EPA-wise as well as real world). The Accords seem to fall a bit short on EPA tests (36 mpg highway) but seems that real world highway numbers from forum members have been eye opening, with many folks cracking 40 mpg on longer trips with reasonable driving. Clattery DI would only add to the NVH issue in the current Altima, not to mention whatever carbon buildup headaches might arise.

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