By on September 26, 2017

2018 Nissan Altima white - Image: NissanBolstered in its fight against all-new editions of key rivals from Toyota and Honda with the standard fitment of automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning, the 2018 Nissan Altima’s price rises by only $240 compared with the outgoing model.

The base 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 S rises a few ticks above $24K to $24,025, including destination and handling charges. The Altima continues with a 179-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder linked to a continuously variable transmission.

Given the era in which we live, it’s not surprising to see a more significant price increase for the lone remaining V6 model — the sportier 3.5 SR is dead.

Nissan reserves its 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 for the top-tier SL trim. Switching from the 2.5 SL to the 3.5 SL requires a $4,515 leap, one that’s accompanied by a handful of additional features such as NissanConnect and adaptive cruise. The least costly V6-engined Altima you can get in 2018 will now cost $34,395, $520 more than last year. For MY2017, the least costly V6 Altima was the 3.5 SR at $28,825. That car’s sportier suspension tune, with larger stabilizer bars and unique damper setup and 20-percent less body roll, is now reserved for the four-cylinder 2.5 SL.

V6-engined 2018 Toyota Camrys are priced from $35,295. Pricing for the new 2018 Honda Accord’s 2.0T has not yet been announced — the outgoing 2017 Honda Accord’s EX-L V6 is priced at $31,870.

Blessed by a high degree of daily rental fleet desirability, the Nissan Altima continues to be America’s third-best-selling midsize car, but even before the new editions of Camry and Accord began to garner headlines, the Altima was beginning to fall further and further behind. Through the first eight months of 2016, the Altima trailed the second-ranked Accord by only 14,125 sales, roughly an 1,800-sale gap per month. In 2017, the Altima has generated 4,700 fewer monthly sales than the Accord, on average.

Nissan is on track in 2017 to sell 260,000 Altimas in America, a seven-year low. The Altima’s 16-percent year-over-year decline is only slightly better than the 17-percent drop experienced by the midsize category as a whole. 2018 is the sixth model year for the fifth-generation Altima. The 2019 Altima is expected to inherit many of the latest Maxima’s design cues.

Beyond the removal of a base Altima 2.5 (non-S) that was priced for MY2017 at $23,335 and the 3.5 SR’s discontinuation, the 2018 Altima range includes the $25,085 Altima 2.5 SR, the $26,670 Altima 2.5 SV, and the $29,880 Altima 2.5 SL. Options on the base Altima 2.5 S include $690 16-inch alloy wheels and a $390 Convenience Package. At the top end, top-spec Altima 3.5 SL maxes out at $35,935 with special paint, a rear spoiler, and assorted minor add-ons.

[Image: Nissan]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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42 Comments on “2018 Nissan Altima Prices Rise Slightly as Nissan Adds Equipment, Prepares a 2019 Challenger for Camry and Accord...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Altima is a great car, but its looks haven’t really changed since 2002. And now, like then, the engines are a 2.5-I4 and 3.5-V6.

    I guess you *can* depend on some things to stay the same.

    • 0 avatar

      I do not understand how anyone can say that the Altima is even a competitive sedan, let alone a good or very good one.

      I honestly do not.

      The Altima is likely the worst sedan, maybe tied with the Malibu (for different reasons), in current production from the mainstream, volume makes.

      It’s cheaply finished, buzzy, has a retro-interior (in the worst way), cheaply made, has bad NVH characteristics, and has a completely milquetoast driving characteristic.

      Many Nissans share these bad traits.

      A relatively loaded Nissan Rogue I was unfortunately stuck with on a recent trip to Dallas (pre-hurricane) was horrid…just an utter piece of trash that had no power, a horrid transmission, incredibly cheap materials, where I could literally feel the chassis flex/bend over serious road imperfections at freeway speeds.

      Nissan has been bringing up the rear for so long that they are MAYBE a rung above Mitsubishi, and waay behind Hyundai and Kia now.

      I know that the Maxima of the 89-90-91 era was great, and that was Nissan at it’s best, but aside from that vehicle, honestly don’t know when the last great – let alone good – Nissan was made or in what year.

      Nissan is the new near-Mitsubishi.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        They’re durable.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed on all points, DW, including the Mitsubishi part, an observation I’ve shared with my wife previously.

      • 0 avatar

        You don’t understand? Hmm maybe seeing how Nissan actually makes premium and stylish vehicles, unlike Toyota with their cheap and hard-plastic materials and mundane styling. The Accord, don’t get me started, hasn’t seen a dramatic redesign since 2005. Ford, GM, now Chrysler cannot even compete with this legendary model.

        You bring up Hyundai/KIA like they are doing something out of this world. Even with their “totally redesigned” sedans, the twins cannot dethrone Altima in sales. You also talk about the Rogue as if it’s not the best selling SUV year to date.

        You should really separate your subjective opinions from facts.

      • 0 avatar

        As long as Americans keep buying cars by the pound, manufacturers will continue making cheap crap.

      • 0 avatar

        The off-road optioned Nissans seem okay.

        The Frontier Pro-4x is old, but it still has an engine with actual displacement and holds its own against the ZR2 and TRD for $10K less.

      • 0 avatar
        car driver

        not the fastest nor greatest transmission agree, but at least read about nissan rogue, what you felt is not the chassis, the rogue have a lot of tech which tries to smooth out the rides over imperfections. Coming here to tell us you feel the chassis bend or flex, which you have no idea what happen under the platform makes me laugh. Motortrend car an driver, road and track and many other will tell you the same it one of the best riding SUV out there in that price range. Even CR have to agree “The easy-to-drive Rogue is one of the better small SUVs. It is relatively roomy and quiet. Handling is sound, with prompt steering response and restrained body lean in corners.”

        • 0 avatar

          Garbage scrap vehicle, period, and I know chassis flex when I feel it.

          Awful little wheezy motor with dumb transmission, cheap plastics everywhere, horrid ride and wheel articulation – just bad all around – only people with no alternatives would buy them (especially new).

          They look idiotic, too.

          Nissan makes garbage (if there are models they make that I have not driven or ridden in, or made in different locations on different platforms/chassis’ I suppose they have some good vehicles – none I’ve driven in the U.S., though – at least not in a loooong time).

          I understand that the secret to building automotive excellence rest upon the chassis (you can have less than excellent vehicles with great chassis, but you can’t have excellent vehicles that DO NOT HAVE an excellent chassis).

          Deadweight’s Automotive Excellence Bible

          Genesis 1:3-5 “And Head Engineer said, “Let there be a very high level of torsional rigidity,” and there was BIG TIME NM/degree. Deadweight and those in the know saw that a really high level of NM/degree was good, and he and they had an easier task of separating the good and great (26,000 NM/degree or GREATER – ideally at least 30,000 NM/degree) from the scrap (especially that with less than 18,000 NM/degree). Thence, add mucho horsepower at relatively low rpm and high levels of torque, hydraulic steering if Ye really want excellence, proper suspension setup, and Ye shall have righteous product roots.”

          • 0 avatar

            Take DW’s vitriol with a grain of salt. I had a rental SV a month ago and came away with the opinion that it is perfectly competitive with circa 2014 Rav4s and CRVs. The interior materials are perfectly in line for the class, the seats are better than average in thigh support and overall comfort, NVH control is quite good (for the class) once the car is up to speed and the 2.5L settles down into a low RPM cruise. Ride quality is again, at worst average for the class, I’d argue somewhat better actually. Interior is roomy for a compact CUV, and I personally think it’s one of the better looking, more maturely styled options out there.

            DW what exactly are YOU comparing this Rogue to?

          • 0 avatar

            Maybe your narrow-minded head can realize Nissan pioneered the crossover (MURANO, ROGUE, SPORT, JUKE) along with Nakamura’s STYLE. Please, enlighten me how YOUR brand tops Nissan/Infiniti? The XTRAIL/ROGUE is the world’s third best selling SUV (behind F-Series and Corolla) I really wonder why that is?

            But you enjoy that “premium” Camry you commute in everyday or maybe you own a poor-man’s fusion, Sonata.

          • 0 avatar

            I am rolling in a used, but one-prior owner 2012 Mercedes E350 (buddy’s family owns German import dealer in Grand Blanc, MI) that picked up with an extended factory warranty (Blue-something) and low miles, and I’m pretty happy. I’m also too busy now to bother vehicle shopping, so I’ll probably drive it until the warranty expires and then see what’s on the used market again since all the new vehicles that I USED to like will probably THEN have tubrocharged 3 cylinder or twin-turbocharged 2 1/2 cylinder engines in them as new vehicles.

            Not going to lie – it’s great with a really spot-on ride, great power, and amazing seat comfort, and it’s been dead-nuts reliable, and is even reasonable to service as my German-American buddy with the pole barn that has hydraulic lifts hooks me up on maintenance. He’s a OCD genius when it comes to all-things German vehicles and kept me from buying a used Phaeton in 2010 from a Cook County, Illinois dealership for $28,000 with 18,000 miles on it.

            I still regret not buying a BMW 1M when I had the chance, new for $38,000, before the ridiculous jump in pricing; then again, it was probably too small for me.

          • 0 avatar

            p.s. ANY Nissan feels underpowered, with a chassis made of peanut brittle, and steering fabricated from pig jowls, compared to the E350.

            Also, the E350 has perfect panel alignment and assembly quality and a luscious paint job (they must have used 200 pounds of high quality, metallic flake paint) that you can dive into and swim in.

          • 0 avatar

            Okay so you perfectly proved my point. You’re comparing a mainstream compact CUV to a freaking E-class Mercedes. Totally and utterly irrelevant.

            PS the Rogue will be vastly more reliable long term, CVT and all, than your lease-queen Merc.

    • 0 avatar

      What did you say, “a great car”??? dude…

  • avatar

    V6 pricing is in a very narrow band, Nissan doesn’t seem as scared to sell V6s as Toyota.

  • avatar

    So the 3.5 SR was a good value and best driver but they get rid of it…ok

    • 0 avatar
      car driver

      honestly I think nissan tried to pull a toyota with the last gen, but it did not workout that well, even with the sentra under powered, it works for toyota, but it not working for nissan,they are now changing back to their old ways, even some spy photo reveal the altima inside look decent very similar to the honda the new accord,even the touch screen placing is similar, but it impossible for anybody to copy as the car are just months apart apart. Powertrain is still under wrap, but the good news is the next gen sentra will get a 1.8 liter turbo with 240 or more HP and possilbe a hatchback

  • avatar

    Nissan has excessively long product cycles.

    The best thing about the 3.5 SR was the “3.5” part. The car surrounding the engine was middling at best and the seats were absolute garbage. After going through a corporate affairs claims process with the dealer, then the company, to find a way to address the seats giving me sciatica over the course of several weeks, I was ultimately left holding the bag. Neither the company nor the dealer network will stand by their products or make any great effort to assist the customer. Took a moderate loss on it and learned an expensive lesson. The engine was pretty sweet, though.

    • 0 avatar

      I was about to say the same. They’ve been using the same 2.5 engine at least 2 generations now. That’s approaching Toyota timelines of milking an engine past it’s best before date. Freakishly good fuel economy with the CVT though and good quiet highway cruiser. Nothing else good about the Altima though.

  • avatar

    The Altima cannot compete with the Camry or Accord. Sub prime loans and increased fleet sales will be the bread and butter for the Altima. $6-8k on the hood will be the only incentive to purchase an Altima for the near future.

  • avatar

    Well that does suck. The 3.5 SR is a rather competent car. The 3.5 makes a huge difference. Dealers are just giving those away around here in St Louis. MSRP of $30K and out the door around $20K or even below. It looks good and drives good even with the CVT. Wife had a 2010 Murano with the CVT. Once you learn how to drive a CVT it isn’t so bad. The V6 makes all the difference here.

    • 0 avatar

      The only excuse for a cvt is its fuel economy. Putting it with a v6 just makes no sense.

      • 0 avatar

        I recently filled up my ’15 Altima 3.5SL for a 175 mile trip to Chicago. I drove normal speeds (avg of 59mph) and made it to my destination in the western suburbs. Door-to-door mileage was 40.3mpg.

        I’m not normally a CVT fan, but coupled with the V6 in this car it’s the best of both worlds. It’s a little on the boring side, but I really like this car.

  • avatar

    The only good Nissans are the ones built in Japan. I believe the 2017 Armada/Patrol (which we own and love) and the GTR are the only Nissan examples. US built Nissans are junk in my opinion.

  • avatar

    The Altimas aren’t meant for auto enthusiasts but for the general public especially those with long commutes.

    The vehicle handles relatively well as a daily driver, relatively comfortable, to a certain point/time limit and fuel efficient. Hopefully, it’ll last at least 10 years! It’s not fast but don’t care since I’m stuck in traffic at times and have a long commute.

    The downsides are obviously:
    1. CVT’s durability
    2. Fleet sales lower overall value
    3. Hohum design
    4. Not a performance vehicle
    5. Media control center Stinks esp. its Nissan Connect which is USELESS!
    – Needs to include Apple/Android OS and possible touchscreen while keeping rotary dial for power/station tuning.
    6. Needs more Modern equipment as it’s relatively bare. Avoid the Base S model!
    – Anyone that buys the S model should buy it Used to save on cost as it’s a stripper of a car.

    • 0 avatar

      “The vehicle handles relatively well as a daily driver” – sorry. Last time I drove it, I thought it tries to beat Camry to appliance title.

      “Hopefully, it’ll last at least 10 years”…”CVT’s durability” – contradicting yourself? We know it will break. and CR ratings are low.

      “It’s not fast but don’t care since I’m stuck in traffic…” Not only it is not fast. Camry can run circles around it. and not everyone stuck in traffic. I rented one 3 years ago and I didn’t understand, where is the engine?

      “Needs more Modern equipment as it’s relatively bare. Avoid the Base S model!” – this is where I agree. shamefully bare. To get folding mirrors, one needs to go for the top of the line. WHAT? Mazda6 base all the way! MT

      • 0 avatar
        car driver

        you must be joking,”camry can run circles around it,” DWL, the altima has the third fast time behind accord and mazda 6, test by motor trend, car and driver, road and track. When you camry can find that camry that does 0-60 in 7.3 sec from it 2.5 l engine tell us. You rent one three years ago, LOL, nissan have since upgrade the CVT three times, since 2014 their was the D step shift logic added to the CVT, which mimic a regular transmission and drives like one too.The only issue is with D step shift logic is the car burn a bit more. But 36 MPG real world high way the accord nor camry comes close.

        • 0 avatar

          Again, looking straight at pages of CR

          0-60 8.6
          60-0 131
          Avoidance 53.5 mph

          0-60 8.4
          60-0 135
          Avoidance 52.0 mph

          These numbers fully support my observations. While on the straight line Altima may supply hard to feel advantage, when placed on a curvy road Camry feels much better. So it will run the circles around.

          Now just for heck of it, I remembered that Legacy felt so much better in curves then both cars above, and … here we go – Legacy avoidance is 55.5 mph.

          Bottom line: Altima is the worst family sedan that I’ve driven so far. But here is the good news, looking at the stats, Sonata may add another 15% of badness on top of Altima

          PS: “But 36 MPG real world high way the accord nor camry comes close.” – Simply not true. My bro showed me some real world Accord numbers – over 40mpg HWY.

      • 0 avatar
        car driver

        “CR ratings are low” yes but in what models? I think you are taking CR opver reliability of nissan and paste it against all nissan vehicles, which you cannot do, because the same CR on the CVT durability, CVT varies for nissan vehicle the altima rating from CR is average, the versa and 2.5 models altima CVt has hold up well, it the 3.5 liter engines models that had the issue, which warranty was extend to 10 years in the first versions, which the newer ones are better, except for the pathfinder/QX60 which had some issues. The murano has one of the best 5 years in a row in reliability ask CR or JD power. So CVT reliability varies in nissan vehicles.CR is basing it’s overall average off the pathfinder, by reading CR full comment you would have notice.

        • 0 avatar

          It always helps to have a copy of CR in your hands…

          Altima: reliability – average, satisfaction – average

          “… rather generic though roomy… cvt works well when loafing around but dilutes the driving experience… handling feels mushy and saps confidence with its overly light steering… the ride is superficially soft but over sharp bumps suspension loses its absorbency… Reliability has improved to average… scored too low to recommend”

  • avatar

    The Nissan Altima 2017 is the equivalent of GM W-body rental lot fodder circa 2007.

    Soulless, just good enough to be reliable during rental duty, cheap, somewhat underpowered, and just all around, “blah.”

    No I’m not a Nissan hater – I had a Maxima as a rental earlier this year and I absolutely do not understand the B&B hatred for the Nissan full-sizer. I found it to be an outstanding car.

  • avatar

    I feel like Nissan has picked right up where Pontiac left off. The Altima is a Japanese ’08 Grand Prix. But with a worse drive train.

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