Nissan Tweaks Altima, Adds Tech and Offers VC Turbo Engine

nissan tweaks altima adds tech and offers vc turbo engine

Despite the propensity of most North American shoppers to gravitate solidly towards crossovers and SUVs, there remain a few gloriously stubborn souls who prefer the look and feel of a four-door midsize sedan. This explains why a vanishingly few companies still sell the things, taking advantage of holes in the marketplace left by the exodus of brands such as Ford.

Nissan has decided to re-up its Altima for 2022, giving it a nose job and infusing its interior with updated technology.

That tweaked front fascia introduces a new take on the so-called ‘V Motion’ grille and incorporates the brand’s new minimalist logo. LED headlights are now standard across the board, plus the usual smattering of midcycle refresh items like new paint colors and wheel designs. Heady stuff here, folks.

More notable improvements await inside the 2023 Altima, most notably a new 12.3-inch display which is the same size as the jumbotron found in the zooty Nissan Armada full-size SUV. It replaces the previous 8.0-inch display, which could have passed for an oversized smartphone, and – if it’s anything like the screen in that Armada – will feature a high-res display providing clear images and crisp graphics.

The 12.3-inch screen is optional in mid-level trims and is standard on the top tier. Pro tip: Spend the money and get it. Bose-branded gear is available, as are the likes of an active noise cancellation kit and Amazon Alexa in case you just simply can’t wait until you’re home to order a fresh package of paper towels.

Under its hood, the 2023 Altima is available with a choice of two four-cylinder powerplants: A 2.0-liter Variable Compression turbo or a more pedestrian 2.5-liter four-banger. All-wheel drive is available with the latter. For those of you with short memories, the VC technology utilizes both multi-point injection and Nissan’s Direct Injection Gasoline system to change its compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). A trick multi-link system inside the guts of this thing continuously raises or lower the pistons’ reach to change the compression ratio.

We’ve opined on the VC Turbo before but it bears repeating that the technology must have cost a king’s ransom to develop and produce. In theory, it seems like the golden ticket for ICE-powered vehicles to blend power and efficiency but official EPA fuel economy stats don’t really bear fruit, at least for the ’23 Altima: The 248 horsepower VC is rated at 29 mpg combined while the 188 hp 2.5L is rated at 31 mpg combined in front-wheel-drive applications. The VC also requires premium fuel to make all its horses.

The 2023 Nissan Altima will go on sale this autumn.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • AK AK on Jun 10, 2022

    Interior looks decent and I'm sure the seats will be comfortable. Looks like a fine rental.

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Jun 13, 2022

    Accountant where I work recently acquired 22 Altima. It's AWD and has the Midnight package. SR trim level if I remember correctly. Very comfortable seats and exterior actually looks sharp. They are very happy with it. Said average 30 mpg and it was under $30K. I'm not in agreement with haters of this vehicle. I'd rate it as competitive with Camry and other vehicles in it's class. Better than Malibu IMHO.

  • Master Baiter The D-bag elites like Al Gore demanding that we all switch to EVs are the type of people who don't actually drive. They get chauffeured around in black Yukon Denalis. Tesla does have a good charging network--maybe someday they will produce a car that doesn't suck.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird As a Challenger GT awd owner I lIke it’s heritage inspired styling a lot. There’s a lot of 66-67 as well as 68-70 Charger in there. It’s refreshing that it doesn’t look like a blob like Tesla, Volt/Bolt, Mach-e BMW I whatever etc. The fact that it’s a hatch makes it even better as a everyday driver thus eliminating the need for a CUV. If it’s well built and has a reliable track record I can see trading up to it in a few years.
  • Jbawden I thought sedans were dead? Coupes even more so. The core Charger/Challenger buyer is in it for the Hemi. To whom is this and the presumed EV Camaro marketed to? The ICE versions of these cars have a LOT of shortcomings, but rear drive, a V8, and a Tremec 6 speed made all that disappear. If you're forcing me into a 1,000hp appliance, then give me some visibility and practicality while your at it. And for the love of all things holy, please allow me to maintain a little dignity by leaving off the ridiculous space jam sound effects. What out of touch focus group think approved that? It's almost as embarrassing as the guy who signed off on the Pontiac Aztec.
  • Jalop1991 The simple fact is, America and Americans excel at building complex things (bridges, for example) but absolutely SUCK at maintaining them. We're too busy moving on to the next new shiny thing that a politician can get good airtime for. Fixing the bridge? Not sexy. Cutting the ribbon at a new EV charge site? Photo-op worthy. Demanding that the owner of said charging site be accountable and not let his site become the EV equivalent of a slum? Hard and not a newsworthy event.I have a PHEV and once tried some sort of public charging, just to see what happens. Failed miserably. We'd all be riding horses today if gas stations performed like EV charge stations do.
  • SCE to AUX Apps like PlugShare prove a few points:[list][*]Tesla's charging network is the best, almost always earning a 10/10.[/*][*]Dealer chargers are the worst, often blocked (ICE'd) or inaccessible behind a locked gate.[/*][*]Electrify America chargers aren't bad; my few experiences with them have been quite good. But they are also very new.[/*][*]Calling the help line is nearly useless.[/*][*]There are still charging gaps in high-travel flyover areas, which coincidentally have a lot of "Trump" flags waving in them.[/*][/list]As an EV driver and engineer, I don't understand how public chargers get so screwed up. They are simple devices. My home charger is 10 years old and has never missed a beat, but it only gets one cycle a day and lives indoors.