The Nissan Altima is the second-best selling model in the midsize sedan class. But in a class so competitive where new models are introduced every couple of months, no one rests. Case in point is Nissan introducing a refreshed version of the Altima for the 2016 model year.
Nissan is pulling some design cues from the new Maxima to use on the Altima. They include a new front fascia with V-shaped grille and LED headlights. Around back are a set of wider taillights. Nissan is quick to point out 2016 model boasts a 10 percent improvement in coefficient of drag, which is said to improve fuel economy. The interior largely stays the same except a new five-inch screen for the infotainment system comes standard on most trims, while a seven-inch screen is an option.
The Altima's powertrains remain unchanged. That means a 2.5L four-cylinder with 183 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.5-liter V6 with 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet. Both engines come paired with a CVT. In terms of fuel economy, the 2.5L is rated 27 City/39 Highway (Mazda6 equipped with i-Eloop beats it by achiviing 40 MPG on the Highway), and 22 City/32 Highway for the 3.5L V6.
New for the 2016 Altima is the introduction of the SR trim. Available with either engine, the SR offers unique wheels and rear spoiler for the exterior and a set of paddle shifters and a leather-wrapped steering wheel for the interior. Nissan says the SR model gets unique suspension tuning that reduces body roll by 20 percent over non-SR models.
Nissan isn't saying how much the 2016 Altima will cost, but does say the model will go on sale later this year.
Press Release is on Page 2
New 2016 Nissan Altima adopts the latest design language for a fresh new look
When Nissan rolled out a series of futuristic auto show concept vehicles a few years ago, few people believed that the boldly styled designs would ever see the light of a Nissan showroom. Yet against the odds they started coming.
First, there was the Nissan Resonance Concept, a wild mid-size crossover concept that evolved into the 2015 Murano. Then Nissan Sport Sedan Concept strongly influenced the radical new 2016 Nissan Maxima. And, the new Nissan design language is making its way into more and more vehicles – including Nissan's best-selling vehicle in the United States, the Nissan Altima.
For the new 2016 Altima the design team adopted key aspects of both the exterior and interior styling themes to give the popular mid-size sedan a fresh new appearance, including the "Energetic Flow" exterior styling theme and "Gliding Wing" interior layout.
The front end of the 2016 Altima offers the most dramatic change, since all panels and pieces forward of the A-pillars are new – fascia, bumper, fenders, hood and lights. Two key elements are the redesigned V-Motion grille and boomerang-shape headlights, similar to those found on the Murano and Maxima. The look is dramatically different from the 2015 Altima design, with a wide, deeply sculpted lower bumper, integrated fog lights (SR, SV and SL models) and prominent chrome-trimmed grille.
The reshaped headlight units incorporate halogen high beam and projector low beam lights. LED projector low beam lights and LED signature Daytime Running Lights that sweep into the wide raised hood are standard on Altima 3.5 SR and 3.5 SL grades (late availability) and available on 2.5 SR and 2.5 SL. Altima SR adds smoked headlight bezels.
The rear of the new Altima is marked by a new sculpted bumper with a dark lower accent, a new trunk lid – with integrated rear spoiler on Altima SR models – and lower, wider boomerang-shaped combination lights that help provide a more expressive, higher quality appearance when approaching the vehicle from behind. The four-piece combination lights incorporate the tail- and stop lights, turn lamps and backup lights.
Along with the revised appearance, the new Altima also offers a 10 percent improvement in coefficient of drag – to 0.26 Cd from the previous 0.29 Cd*. The changes come from the addition of an active grille shutter (three percent gain), underfloor aero cover additions (three percent) and the new front and rear fascia and windshield designs (four percent).
The already extensive Altima color palette adds a new Deep Blue Pearl color for 2016, along with Java Metallic, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Cayenne Red, Pearl White, Glacier White and Storm Blue.
Finishing off the new exterior appearance are dramatic new 17-inch and 18-inch machine-finish aluminum-alloy wheel designs.
The 2016 Altima's refined interior design follows the new "Gliding Wing" design language, shared with Murano and also the new Rogue. Central to the new look is the revised C-stack with available 5.0-inch and 7.0-inch displays for the NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps and available NissanConnect Navigation with Mobile Apps.
In addition, the standard Zero Gravity front seats have been reshaped and the woven cloth seating and door panel materials feature a more open weave pattern, providing a premium look and feel throughout the Altima interior. The steering wheel has also been refined for 2016. The twin cupholders on the center console now accommodate mug handles in response to customer input.
The new Altima SR grade includes blue sport interior accents on the steering wheel, door panels and seats – to contrast the Charcoal interior color. The SR also features a leather-wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters, and leather-wrapped gear shifter.
"As the best-selling vehicle in the Nissan lineup, it's important that Altima exemplifies 'Nissan-ness' inside and out," said Executive Design Director Mamoru Aoki. "With its fresh new look, aggressive SR model and strong connection to our all-new Murano and Maxima, the new Altima continues to stand out in a very competitive marketplace."
2016 Nissan Altima SR adds performance and style
With the addition of the new SR model to the 2016 Altima line-up, Nissan is taking dead aim at one of the fastest growing areas of the mid-size sedan segment – sport variants. Among some competitors, the so-called "sport" grades account for nearly 40 percent of total sales. Altima already is one of the sportiest designs in the segment, however the company is taking a more Nissan-like approach, adding a level of true enhanced performance to go with the requisite larger wheels and spoiler.
Better yet, in order to keep the new Altima SR affordable for younger buyers who might be moving into the mid-size sedan segment for the first time, the new SR grade is based on the Altima S, rather than the higher grade Altima SV or Altima SL.
"Anyone can dress up a sedan with custom wheels and a body kit, but that's not in keeping with Nissan's longstanding performance heritage," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Altima SR features a 12.5 percent increase in cornering performance, and we're making SR available with our refined 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine and our higher-powered 3.5-liter V6. It's like having your espresso shot in a choice of Grande or Venti®."
This is the first time 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are offered on a 2.5-liter Altima model.
"As the specs show, the Altima SR is a real performance vehicle for the masses – with features such as a 258-percent stiffer rear stabilizer bar for better rotation – it's not just a marketing package," added Loing. "We think it is a great addition to the already stellar Altima model lineup."