Nissan's Next-gen Altima Is Just Weeks Away, So Here's a Preview

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nissans next gen altima is just weeks away so heres a preview

The early-to-mid 2000s wasn’t an era of great automobile design. Frankly, most automakers should be ashamed of themselves. However, among all of the Tauruses and Malibus and bloated Accords, one midsize, low-priced sedan stood out from its peers: the Nissan Altima of 2002, which propelled the former also-ran from visual dud to eye candy stud.

The Altima’s clean, dignified design made buyers stop and look, propelling sales to new heights. Even a decade-and-a-half later, it’s still a good-looking car that — rust aside — aged well. Unfortunately, rounded, forgettable styling later drained some of the model’s appeal.

As sales of all midsize cars fall, the Altima included, Nissan hopes a radical redesign can slow the descent.

Adopting the styling cues of last year’s Vmotion 2.0 concept, the next-generation Altima bows at the New York International Auto Show later this month. Already, you’ve noticed similarities to existing models, including the Maxima and Leaf, but the design sketch also reveals a bulkier athleticism. The grille drops lower; creases are sharper. It has the profile of a rear-drive car, without the rear-drive.

We knew when it debuted that the Vmotion 2.0 concept previewed the 2019 Altima, and this sketch confirms it. Still, some of the spy photos floating around the internet tell us the production model won’t be quite as adventurous as the vehicle you see above. Hardly a shock.

Details of the Altima’s powertrain will have to wait until the March 28th unveiling, but it’s likely the 2.5-liter four-cylinder will stage a reappearance at the bottom of the trim ladder. The existing Altima is one of the few midsizers still available with a V6 upgrade, so, unless Nissan has a potent 2.0-liter turbo waiting in the wings, it’s a good bet we’ll see the 3.5-liter return, too. As for transmissions, Nissan shows no signs of moving away from CVT technology.

Like many midsize sedans in the U.S., the Altima’s high point came in 2014, with sales falling every year since. Volume dropped 17 percent in 2017 from the year before. In February, 25.8 percent fewer American buyers took home an Altima compared to the same month in 2017.

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?
  • Inside Looking Out Toyota makes mass market cars. Their statement means that EVs are not mass market yet. But then Tesla managed to make mass market car - Mode; 3. Where I live in CA there are more Tesla Model 3s on streets than Corollas.
  • Ltcmgm78 A lot of dirt must turn before there's an EV in every driveway. There must be a national infrastructure plan written by other than politicians chasing votes. There must be reliable batteries that hopefully aren't sourced from strategic rivals. There must be a way to charge a lot of EVs. Toyota is wisely holding their water. There is a danger in urging unplanned and hasty moves away from ICE vehicles. Do we want to listen to unending speeches every election cycle that we are closer than we have ever been to 100% electrification and that voting for certain folks will make it happen faster? Picture every car in your town suddenly becoming all electric and a third of them need a charge or the driver will be late for work. This will take a lot of time and money.
  • Kendahl One thing I've learned is that cars I buy for local errands tend to be taken on 1,000 mile trips, too. We have a 5-speed Focus SE that has gone on longer trips than I ever expected. It has served us well although, if I had it to do over again, I would have bought an ST. At the time of purchase, we didn't plan to move from 1,000 feet elevation to 6,500. The SE is still adequate but the ST's turbo and extra power would have been welcome.