By on June 7, 2018

It seems like lately I’ve developed a habit of reviewing vehicles on the verge of being replaced by a brand new generation. And by habit, I mean one review. But it seemed fitting when the local Enterprise location handed me keys to a “Full Size” and it turned out to be the soon-to-depart, current-generation Nissan Altima.

With a new Altima already unveiled, promising more/better/faster everything, is there anything to miss about the outgoing model? After a week living with one, I can definitely say there might be.

Probably.

Mid-trim Experience

The chromed letters on the back of this particular Altima said “SV,” which puts it right in the middle of the Altima lineup. Starting with the S for just over $23,000, Altima tops out with the V6 SL trim at $33,630. An SV will set you back $25,910, though numerous options are available from both factory and dealer. This Altima had exactly one option: carpeted floor mats in the front and in the trunk ($235). Adding the destination charge of $885 brings the MSRP to $27,030.

Flat Black

The fifth-generation Altima has been with us since the 2013 model year and received its current modernizing facelift in 2016. A common sight on the roads in any color, but black and silver say “rental” particularly well. Blending into traffic was assured, and when I saw another Altima I checked the side window for an Enterprise information sticker. You’re never alone out there in a rental Altima.

Bland jokes aside, it seems Nissan doesn’t try as hard as it could with its middle-market full-sizer. It’s easy to walk around the exterior and pick out orange peel in the paint, unable to hide in flat black. Particularly egregious in this example, there was consistent orange peel across the entire roof line above the doors — and more on the rear flanks. The hood doesn’t have struts, and closes with a cheap latching sound as gravity pushes it back into place. Trunk closure makes a similarly cheap sound, which is in harmony with the plastic clicking noise the door handles make when used.

[Get new and used Nissan Altima pricing here!]

The Altima’s general shape is familiar and has aged into place well enough in Nissan’s current design language. Said design does not include folding side mirrors — a detriment to owners intending to park frequently in close urban quarters. Even the Versa has folding side mirrors, so the oversight here is odd.

Plus marks for the sporty 18-inch wheel design on the SV model. The black and polished effect works nicely with the black paint, and does a decent job making the SV stand out over the lower trims.

A Heart of Darkness

The exterior color scheme (or lack thereof) is mirrored inside, where black covers almost every surface. Dash materials are hard plastic, though a rubber pebbled material covers the instrument binnacle and extends to the dash on the passenger’s side. The door panels have nicely padded arm rest areas with a leatherette material for all outboard passengers, and the front two share a comfortably padded center console lid.

Instruments are easy enough to figure out, with speedo and tach clearly presented in large, bright numbering. A center screen presents several pages of information to the driver, which is configurable and accessible via a wheel-mounted button. The other buttons on the wheel are fairly self-explanatory, though I’d prefer if the up/down Enter key on the left were a bit more secure in its housing. It wiggled left and right in a loose and carefree fashion.

The center stack is also self-explanatory, and comes with minimal buttons. Radio information is displayed by itself on a small screen, while dual-zone climate controls are separate. The design works, as it’s not necessary for the stereo’s screen to do double duty in displaying climate info. Stereo quality was fine, and Bluetooth connected easily to my phone for music streaming. The stereo’s screen is a bit low-resolution, but that’s to remind an owner that they didn’t spring for the navigation package.

Looking around the interior, the word which comes to mind is acceptable. Nothing is standout, and there are some low-rent materials upon which someone may lay a hand. The material in the shift gate is particularly flimsy, and the silver metal-effect plastic trim across the dash wouldn’t fool anybody.

Seating surfaces are covered in a patterned black cloth (beige is an option), which will likely age well and resist wear, given its texture. Once seated, all passengers have exceptional legroom. Adjusting the front seat rearward to suit my six-foot height, I had three or four inches of knee room in the back seat. When I was back there, I noticed the lack of rear passenger vents. That’s right, you have to step up to the $29,110 SL model to provide rear passengers with vents. Silly. At least rear door openings are of generous proportion, and there’s no need for foot contortions when alighting from an Altima. Also generous is the trunk space, which can swallow many suitcases if need be.

The air conditioning system performed very well. Temperatures were between 85 and 92 degrees, with high humidity. Black paint never helps in the summer, but the air conditioning managed things with relative ease. Remote start is a standard feature, and it should get the car heading towards a desirable temperature (in any weather) before any humans cook/freeze themselves.

Driving About

The vast majority of Altimas come equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that propels the SV. Producing 179 horsepower, power travels through the front wheels via Nissan’s ubiquitous CVT. Though the Internet Car Enthusiast likes to hate on the CVT, it’s very useful in a lot of applications. For a non-sporty large sedan for the masses, it works. By a seat-of-pants estimate, I’d have guessed the Altima possess closer to 200 horsepower; at no point did power feel lacking. The CVT works smoothly, and 70 or 80 miles an hour is a breeze. Push it hard enough, and the CVT responds with an artificial and sporty stepped gears program.

Once at highway speeds (or above) the Altima is completely without drama. The 2.5 loafs along at 80 miles an hour at 2,000 rpm without much effort or sound. But that’s partially down to the tire noise permeating at all high speeds. Factory tires are Continental ContiProContacts. On highway stretches, it’s immediately apparent that the Altima’s cabin would be incredibly quiet if not for the rubber hitting the road.

Standard on Altima are the Zero Gravity seats Nissan developed using tips learned from studying NASA’s homework. While fine for shorter distances, I found my right leg started to hurt after a couple of hours. There was not enough adjustment in the seat to correct for the lack of thigh support. The headrest’s placement was also a bit aggressive, and pushed my head forward (no tilt adjustment). A special note for people with back of head hair: The headrest’s material is the same as the seats. That means it’s grabby cloth, and latches onto your follicles.

Driving around town with messy hair, the CVT shifts smoothly and complies with acceleration requests in short order. The only time it was flummoxed was in quick on/off throttle situations, like heavy traffic. In those instances, the CVT generated an engage-disengage feel with some slight shuddering.

Aside from a bit of low-speed tire noise, the cabin is quiet. The suspension is on the soft side, and the majority of bumps are dealt with easily (though you’ll feel body roll in quick corners). There is some thump over larger bumps, and over the No Maintenance Lifestyle of Pittsburgh’s roads, rough going eventually slips through to passengers. In areas with average to good roads, most drivers should find the suspension comfort perfectly fine.

In tight city driving, the Altima’s size takes some getting used to. Passengers sit down low in the cabin, as high door panels reach for the sky and obstruct vision of the world around, as well as the corners of the car. When the scale of the car is under control, attention eventually turns to the numb circle in the room. No, not your spouse — the steering wheel. For a sedan billed by Nissan as exciting, there’s absolutely no steering feel. Turn left, turn right, back to a (firm) center feel. It’s really very boring, all the time. Excitement can be created with the brake pedal though, as they grab sooner than one might expect, and with more force. Touchy.

Speaking of braking, the Altima comes standard with blind spot monitoring and radar assisted emergency braking. The blind spot monitoring works as expected, and seemed fairly accurate; the emergency braking was less so. Some false warnings occurred as cars far in front slowed for turns and the Altima’s speed was maintained. When a storm on I-71 caused low visibility, the center display showed a message about the sensors being blocked, then deactivated the system after a loud beep. In these instances an orange symbol appears in the instrument cluster, illustrating two cars crashing. In a time of greatest need, the emergency braking took a time out.

The place where it’s hard to find complaint is in regard to fuel economy. With a rating of 27 city and 38 highway, the Altima’s 18-gallon tank could put 684 miles between home and the fuel station. After 892 mixed miles of driving between Ohio and hilly Pennsylvania, the average came to 31 miles an hour and 31.9 miles per gallon. This was mostly in 90-degree weather, with constant air conditioning use and highway cruising around 80 mph. That’s some impressive consumption for this size of car.

At the end of the day, the Altima is an affordable large sedan for the non-enthusiast and fleet manager types all across America. It won’t attract any attention, it won’t consume a lot of fuel, and it won’t put a big dent in the wallet of an owner who tries to maintain it. This outgoing model is some car for some people. If that doesn’t sound appealing, then this particular helping of some car is not for you.

[Images: Corey Lewis/TTAC]

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86 Comments on “2018 Nissan Altima SV Rental Review – Farewell, Thine Faithful Full-size...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    So much “meh” for $27k.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Factor in the actual transaction prices that I assume trend closer to $18k and this car starts to make a ton more sense.

      I had a 2.5S rental in San Diego and my impressions were the same as Corey’s. It does everything reasonably well but nor is there anything that makes me particularly enamored with it. The ’18 Camry LE rental I had recently had a better sorted ride and snapped off nice shifts with the 8 spd auto, the Optima FE rental I just had after the Camry got insanely good MPG and rode better than the Altima over large road imperfections. The Malibu LT 1.5 rental I had before that was the looker of the bunch inside and out IMO, but I didn’t care for the powertrain, a bit noiser and a bit down on power from the 2.4L/2.5L NA motors. You really can’t go wrong in the midsize class these days. At worst, you will get a comfortable, efficient, and safe automobile.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        These vehicles are the Chevrolet Bicaynes, Ford Customs, and Plymouth Plazas of today – nothing special, do the job of moving people. These are easy targets for auto enthusiasts to take shots at. They fill the lots at rental companies because they are designed to competently move people and not really make a statement or perform well at the stop-light drags. I rather enjoy reading about them from time-to-time as my dad drove vehicles such as these as company cars from the late ’40s until he retired in the ’80s – the advances that even the worst of these have made boggle my mind.

        • 0 avatar
          jh26036

          Auto enthusiasts take shots at anything that isn’t RWD, brown, diesel, and wagon.

          Altima = FWD, CVT, petrol, Nissan. It had no chance from the start.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I’m perfectly happy with my white, non-diesel, FWD, GTI.

            This is an appliance. Which is perfectly fine if you just want an appliance to get you from place to place as mindlessly as possible. But the only excitement is turning it back into the rental agency, because that means you get to go home and drive your own car(s).

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Like clockwork comes the Euro-snob lol

            Why is it necessary to constantly point out that mainstream midsize sedans are boring practical conveyances? Yeah, we get it dude, they are.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            They don’t have to be boring. The Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, VW Passat and Mazda6 are quite nice places to spend time. Even the latest Camry isn’t the suckfest they once were, though even more eyesearingly ugly. But this is the worst car in the segment, and I very much doubt the new one will be any better.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            krhodes, what on Google Earth would the Altima gain from more driving excitement in the context of its intended market? Nobody is cross shopping a GTI with anything in this class.

            If anything the Altima needs work on its content and refinement.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The Malibu’s 1.5T is short about 20 horses where it needs to be. Despite being refreshed for 2019 GM naturally ignored this one big weakness and instead concentrated on what didn’t need fixing on this car- styling

    • 0 avatar

      Formerly the biggest car you could get for the money, nissan stretched it a few times…then, the CUV was invented.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I never really got all the hate on this model. It looks nice, (apparently) drives nice, and it’s not badly priced.

    By the way, Corey, what’s that building in the last picture? It looks cool.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      The hate, for me, is generated by dude-bros with backward ball caps, wispy goatees, and total harmonic distortion they call car audio, who pull up next to me and rev their engines, which sound like blenders set on “frappe”. It’s hard to resist the temptation to just totally dust these clowns when the light changes, which I did once on an arterial on a clear day with dry road conditions. Like how I justify my sophomoric behavior by mentioning that the roads were good?, lol.

    • 0 avatar

      That is the Center for Sustainable Landscapes building at the Phipps Conservatory.

      I parked there for <2 minutes to take photos before the sun got too low, as it was the only scenic little place I’d found.

      The security guard in the picture walked over and told me I was illegally parked (I knew that), there was no idling here (saw the sign), and that I needed to leave.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Nissan hate is kinda like VW hate, only with less supporting evidence.

      I know a bunch of Nissan owners, and while nobody would accuse them of being car enthusiasts they are all smart consumers with solid financials. And their cars – CVT transmissions included – are holding up as well as any Toyonda.

      TTAC commenters who see nothing but dirtbags and defects in every Nissan should seriously consider moving to a better area.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “And their cars – CVT transmissions included – are holding up as well as any Toyonda”

        Uh, no. I liked my 2012 Altima until that suddenly failed to be true at 85K miles. Bad marks are starting to show up in the transmission category on CR. Hell of an expensive failure for a cheap economy car.

        Someone else can risk Nissan CVT ownership.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          My buddy lost the CVT on his 2012 Subaru with 90K miles and was really upset when he got the cost of replacement. I’ll stick with my conventional 6 speed automatics thank you very much!

    • 0 avatar

      When a car is being driven stupidly, it’s either Altima or Rogue. Sorry. I have never seen on well driven, or even competently driven….like a Prius.

      My hell driveway has a Camry Solara next to an Altima.

  • avatar
    St.George

    It’s a decent car and wait for it, not a crossover!

    I’m sure that real world transaction prices are way lower than those for the Camry/Accord.

    Simple tech too so perhaps fewer failure points? In day to day use, CVT’s seem to be quite good, and Nissan have had more experience with these than most.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “and Nissan have had more experience with these than most.”

      And I really hope they learned from that experience. My brother installed a Nissan reman CVT in his wife’s 2010 Rogue (at 186k miles of mostly highway driving, granted) after it suffered catastrophic failure on her drive to work. Reman transmission from Nissan is about $3k after an $800 core, plus installation (quite involved). Disassembly of the old unit showed it was an internal failure due to basically a design flaw, not poor maintenance or abuse. Now you might argue 186k is pretty good for a transmission’s lifetime, but I’d say a regular stepped hydraulic automatic transmission would have breezed through that 186k of rural/highway driving and would be just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Perhaps because they sold so many CVT’s that failed? Worked the bugs out, eh?

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      They stack these cars in rows and blow them out at fire sale prices plus there is always lease specials.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Ancillary to this review, can someone answer why/how rental car companies get away with defining their own size classes??

    For everyone else (including Nissan) the Altima is a mid-size car. If you want a full-size car, Nissan offers the Maxima.

    How does everyone let rental-car companies get away with redefining size classes??

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      This, I absolutely hate this, I opt for a fullsize and when I get to the lot they invariably show me a bunch of midsizers, I’ll ask about the fact I chose fullsize and invariably get a snarky answer that in fact the Camry in front of me is fullsize. Then I’ll always get asked what was I looking for in particular. Well honestly a Charger or Impala. Apparently the Charger does count as fullsize but they never have them. And apparently Impala has suddenly become a “premium” offering. (I have to laugh at the ridiculous idea that an 4 or 6 cylinder Impala is premium while a 6 or 8 cylinder Charger is normal

    • 0 avatar
      pdieten

      I guess they use European size classes (where the entire US midsize segment are called D-segment large cars), because money. ;)

      Or just for the hell of it, you can look at EPA size classes, and see that the Maxima, Altima, and Sentra are all midsizers for 2018. The Accord and Sonata are fullsize. The Buick LaCrosse is a midsize and the Regal is a fullsize. Go figure that out.

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      That’s been going on forever. Back in ’98, I had a luxury car reserved through Enterprise in Newport Beach. I was thinking Lincoln Town Car/Cadillac. They dropped off a Volvo 850… not at all what I was thinking of when I thought “luxury car.”

    • 0 avatar
      tooloud10

      Might want to check your numbers again—the Altima is about an inch shorter than the Maxima but it’s larger in virtually every other dimension—especially in the rear seat and trunk. 117.3 cubic feet inside the Altima versus 111.2 in the Maxima.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I rented a black Altima earlier this week. I had the same impressions.

    Comparing the drivetrain: I own a directly comparable 2015 Mazda6 with the 2.5L (184bhp) and manual trans. Generally speaking, I found the Nissan with 179 bph and CVT to provide noticeably stronger acceleration. When I stomped on it to get up to speed on the freeway onramp, the engine maintained a steady 4100rpm while the car gained speed. The acceleration was respectable. For a person who grew up driving malaise era cars, this Altima felt pretty hot!

    Comfort: Entry and egress into/from the Altima was noticeably easier compared to my Mazda6. The Mazda requires an unnatural torso twist avoid hitting my head on the roof going in and out. This element is likely the most frustrating flaw in the otherwise quite competent family sedan.

    This is indeed a golden age of motoring. A plain-Jane rental sedan offers performance and comfort easily exceeding that of many “performance” cars just a few short years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      mattwc1

      I completely agree. My wife rented one in the LA area about 1.5 years ago and had the same impressions. Drama free fro LA congestion yet surprisingly peppy when you put your foot in it.

      I am seriously considering one for my exceptionally boring commute with literally no discernible corners/excitement on my 15 mile each way commute. This would shine in that environment. Seat comfort and smoothness trump performance in my regard.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    A meh car, but a very thorough review, probably the best and most detailed on this site so far.

  • avatar

    Thank you both!

  • avatar
    James2

    Too bad Nissan decided to water down the Altima’s styling with the corporate-look grille and tail lamps. My sister had a 2001 Altima and it had a far more distinctive look, especially with the afterburner-style tail lamps, even if I never cared for the V6 –too grainy-sounding.

  • avatar
    MLS

    “Driving around town with messy hair, the CVT shifts smoothly…”

    The CVT has hair? #DanglingElement

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Agree.
    1) A good solid, useful review.
    2) Being a Nissan, the Altima probably falls into where Plymouths used to fall in the North American auto ‘pecking order’. Possibly Belvedere or Satellite? Not quite an AMC but not a sedan from one of the few accepted ‘topline’ manufacturers.
    3) In many instances I prefer Nissan’s styling. Particularly that of the Sentra over that of Honda and Toyota. Particularly the Sentra over the Civic. More ‘old person’ room.
    4) Hopefully with all their experience Nissan has overcome the CVT problems.
    5) Yes, this is somewhat of a golden age in vehicle history. Reliability is generally much better now. Still, for now, lots of choice in vehicle type. What was considered luxurious just a couple of decades ago, is now found in mainstream ‘econoboxes’. Safety assists available now that were unheard of previously. And if you want power, there are more than enough muscle cars that are far better than any in previous history.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      You see golden age, I see that a 2003 Silverado with the LT package and Z71 could be had for the high $20s which included leather heated captain seats and all the options, while a 2018 Silverado with the LT package doesn’t have leather seats, and doesn’t get a center console, but costs in the mid to upper $40s.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Adjusted for inflation, doesn’t sound like much has changed.

        Unless you’re building some kind of one-off 4.3L Z71 Silverado, I’m not seeing “high 20s” for what you’re describing back in 2003:

        https://www.autotrader.com/Chevrolet/Silverado+1500/2003

  • avatar
    pb35

    LOL @ “full-size.”

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    Back when I worked at Enterprise, I drove a ton of these things. I can agree with Corey’s assessment here. A fine car that’s not particularly good at anything. Would I ever buy one or recommend one..probably not, but for the purposes of getting around in decent comfort, it’s an okay choice. I will say after driving a family members 16 Accord, you can tell how much more competent a car that is. I don’t like how Nissan’s CVTs feel after driving Honda’s.

    Fun fact: An extremely cheap part on these cars is the washer fluid container. They would always crack or something and leak anytime we would attempt to refill them. I would say 90% in our fleet would be broken. Although, the 16 refresh did seem to improve that lol

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      They just seemed designed to be rental cars. Completely unobjectionable “any cars” with no redeeming virtues but no particular faults either. Like plain yogurt on wheels. You pick it up when you fly in somewhere, drive it around for a few days, and give it back and walk away. 5 minutes later you can’t remember a thing about it.

      Though for me, the only way those “Zero Gravity” seats would be comfortable would be if they were actually in zero gravity. But at least they don’t cover them with the awful rat fur they used to use anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “But at least they don’t cover them with the awful rat fur they used to use anymore.”

        Yeah instead it’s a combination of scratch fire retardant crap and vinyl. Real upgrade there! I’ll take the high quality velour of yore back any day, it’s damn near impossible to find on a new car. The last holdout was the W Impala as I recall, and it’s “mouse fur” wasn’t quite the top notch Japanese stuff but certainly better than what most lower trim vehicles are getting these days.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          The previous Altimas did not have velour. They had this nasty course stuff that felt absolutely awful. Like a cheap hotel bath towel that has been washed 10M times with no softener. In your choice of rat gray or rat gray.

          The woven tweed-like seats in my ’91 Volvo 940 are the standard by which all cloth seats must be judged. Just delightful, and so very comfortable. VW used to do a great tweed too back in the day, though I have no complaints about the plaid cloth in my GTI. Velour needs to stay in hooker’s bedrooms, especially red velour.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            Volvo is offering cloth again in the new V60, so it should be interesting to see if it is a nice high quality cloth. It’s the first car in that market segment offering premium cloth in a long damn time, at least in the US, unless you count sporty luxury Germans offering Alcantara.

        • 0 avatar

          Seats are tough to design. 90 lb size 1 woman all the way to 3XXL Bubba at 300 lbs or more.

          Still, a lot of companies view the one part of the car you touch all the time you use it as a place to save money. It can be done right…VW does well at all price points. The BMW Sport Seat is still my throne of choice, and the cloth didn’t wear much in 13 years and 300 k miles.

          Altima is squarely in the camp where the process is “how do I get least crappy car for my $”, not the near luxury “they are all very nice which one do I prefer”…..

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        They really do seem to be designed with the rental fleet in mind. People were mocking you and some other posters for criticizing the car, but as you posted above it just makes zero sense when you compare it to the Accord, Fusion, Mazda6, or Passat (and I would even add the current Malibu to that list). These cars all cost similar money (though you might not get the same kind of incentives on the Honda) and the other ones drive better, feel better, look nicer, and are just more pleasant spaces to spend time in during the commute or long trips.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        I would gladly take the cloth material that my last 2 W-body Impala’s had over any of the harsh cheap fake synthetic garbage they are using these days. It is super hard to clean, is far less comfortable on the legs and the combination of vinyl on the outer edges on my 2017 Impala make my back sweat far more easily.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    My ’14 Accord got 36.05 MPG on a round trip from Minnesota to California. Speeds were 85mph in S.D. and WY. A/C was used most of the time. I have the six manual and RPMs were about 3000. My worst tank was 31.7 mpg, so I would have been very disappointed with your numbers. The highway mpg is only for my manual Accord. I did have an Altima as a rental, I would give the car a sold OK, but it would have to be a lot cheaper than the competition.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    My ’14 Accord got 36.05 MPG on a round trip from Minnesota to California. Speeds were 85mph in S.D. and WY. A/C was used most of the time. I have the six manual and RPMs were about 3000. My worst tank was 31.7 mpg, so I would have been very disappointed with your numbers. The highway mpg is only for my manual Accord. I did have an Altima as a rental, I would give the car a sold OK, but it would have to be a lot cheaper than the competition. .

  • avatar
    dal20402

    None of my many Altima rentals has been in a super-crowded city, so I never noticed the non-folding side mirrors. Bad! There are plenty of places in Seattle where failure to fold in the driver’s mirror when parking will result in the driver’s mirror being absent shortly thereafter.

  • avatar
    deanst

    On the plus side, Nissan does an amazing job building a vehicle which will satisfy 75% of consumers at a lower cost than the competition. On the negative side, no auto enthusiast will ever be interesting in their offerings.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Thorough review, Corey, do more of them.

    On the surface it looks like a decent car, particularly at the real transaction prices. If this is what passes for bottom-feeder POS, we don’t live in a bad age.

    I must, MUST take exception to this, though: “and it won’t put a big dent in the wallet of an owner who tries to maintain it.” I think that is very premature given Nissan’s CVT hisotry. Our 2012 was dirt cheap to operate until Year 6 when we learned a $4000 CVT replacement would be highly probable in the future. And believe me, we are far from the only ones.

    I wouldn’t touch a Nissan CVT outside of powertrain warranty until they have a decade of solid marks behind them.

  • avatar

    I rented Altima with 2.5L several times over last several year. In total I spent in it about 2 months. After my Fusion it seemed crude and basic and I felt uncomfortable when drive fast. This car is not for Autobahn for sure. It is ugly outside and bland low rent inside. Seat felt cheap and too soft, not very supportive either. Noisy yes and it is unrefined, irritating kind of noise. 20 years older Camry felt like luxury car in comparison (at one point I had to switch cars). Driving Fusion after Altima feels like driving Audi. Only good thing I can say about this car – it has a good mileage, probably because of light weight. I do not see why to buy this car when so many much better cars are available – just pay little bit more and enjoy life instead of suffering everyday.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    While I get the point of just wanting something that will do the job for little cost, most Nissans have an air of misery about them, and are Altimas really appreciably cheaper than a Hyundai Sonata or Kia Optima (I don’t love either, but for a bigger sedan on the cheap, are rational choices I’d pick first)?

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I started reading this review, got to the part about the color of it, and quit.

    Then realized this about sums the Altima up for me.

    I just don’t care.

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    I leased a 2016 Altima through Uber for 5 months, and the Altima was one of the most uncomfortable cars I’ve ever driven!!

    It was crude like another poster mentioned, it was unrefined, harsh riding, noisy as hell, and the interior was full of cheap ass plastic. Nissan has seriously fallen off the map. There cars are not as nice or as advanced as the competition. Their quality just seem overly cheap.

    I don’t agree with the review at all. But the car does what it’s supposed too. There’s nothing special about it and it doesn’t try hard to be good at anything.

    If there’s one bright side to the Altima, it gets amazing gas mileage.

    But it’s simply the worst midsize vehicle on the road today. I hated that car and I couldn’t wait to return it to Uber. It rode really harsh and didn’t take road impacts well at all, so it was very fatiguing and tiring just after a few hours of driving.

    The Ford Fusion is a way better car than the Altima and it does feel more premium as does the Chevy Malibu.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    A word of caution if you drive it in the mountains. The CVT will get warm and decide to go in to low RPM mode to cool off. Just the opposite of what you need climbing the mountain roads. At least you can pretend to ba a big rig and put your flashers on and get in line with them. Assuming you can keep up.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    Flat Black. You keep using that term. It does not mean what you think it means.

    • 0 avatar

      I believe this is a regionalism. I speculate people of the Midwest are much more likely to say “flat paint” as opposed to metallic/non-metallic.

      Noticed several websites use this distinction of flat/metallic.

      HOWEVER, I do agree it’s not correct to say flat. I’m going to try and shift my vocabulary to say non-metallic instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        I have relatives in the Midwest, they say “pop” instead of “soda”.

        • 0 avatar

          I have successfully resisted that one, and say soda wherever applicable.

          I did notice in Pittsburgh that restaurant menus say pop on them. Here they’d say soft drink.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          The first time that I traveled to the Midwest, the chick at the motel desk told me that the “pop machine was around the corner.” My mental translation of that to English words I understood was that the “pot machine is around the corner!”

          “I’m that far west already?”

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Isn’t the term for non-glossy, non-metallic paint simply matte?

        Also I could use a nice glass of pop right about now. ;)

        My main takeaway from the review was, “look, it’s a car. If you expect ‘car’ry things out of a car, you’ll be happy.” Seems they’ve fallen from their once sought after status as the maker of fun and ecxiting cars (perceived or not). I seem to recall Mazda and Nissan fighting hard for the enthusiast crowd.

        I wonder if it’s a conscious decision to push away from the crowd because it seems internet enthusiasts talk a big talk, but when the time comes to put the money where the mouth is a lightly used premium car is the choice. Car makers don’t give a flying fig a out secondary buyers because the sale that counts is the one that takes it out of original inventory.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    My buddy routinely rents cars and has been doing so the past 20 plus years. He has rented many Altima’s including 3 of the current generation. We actually preferred the Altima over the previous generation Camry’s in 2014 and 2016 guise. They were quicker, better on fuel, had nicer seating positions and interior materials felt more solid. Haven’t driven a 2018 Camry yet so that might change our minds but the 2019 Altima is also going to be all new and improved.

  • avatar
    maui_zaui

    Someone at TTAC should write about how the heck rental car companies classify their sizes and classes. An Altima is midsize to the rest of the world, but they classify it as full. So where would the Maxima or Impala fit? I remember reading somewhere that the Dodge Journey was considered a full size SUV like a Tahoe lol.

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