2019 Nissan Altima: Athletically Intelligent

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s the volume maker and brand diplomat of the Japanese automaker. It’s the most recognized moniker in the company lineup with 5.7 million aggregate units sold thus far. Its dramatic transformation is the most significant to date since inception in 1992. Slotted between the Sentra and Maxima, the 6th generation 2019 Nissan Altima is blessed with the highest amount of resources ever from Nissan and hits the scene with two new powertrains, ProPilot Assist, Nissan Intelligent Mobility and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive for the first time on a U.S. based Nissan sedan.

The mid-size sedan is slated for mass market production and will be available for purchase in dealerships this month. The goal was to create a modish, spacious and tech savvy vehicle which appeals to various types of consumers with a package that is now an inch lower, wider and longer and a wheelbase that has been stretched by two inches. Styling is offered from nine divergent hues with highlights on the Sunset Drift Orange and Scarlet Ember Red. The Altima’s design characteristics are strong, sharp, robust and sporty as if it advanced from high school athletics to a D1 collegiate program.

To witness and experience the advancements of the all-new Altima we headed to idyllic Santa Barbara, CA and explored the city and its wonderments in proper driving form. There is nothing more refreshing than California cruising in route to Shoreline Park Beach for a meditative walk or whale watching while viewing the Channel Islands. Then heading out for a fulfilling plant-based lunch to satisfy your soul just as the 2.0-liter Variable Compression Turbo 4-cylinder satisfies your appetite for thrilling e-motions behind the wheel. This engine replaces the prior 3.5-liter V6 and provides 248-horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm. The technology encourages more efficiency and simultaneous power. Premium fuel is not required but recommended for maximum output. Keep in mind AWD is not available when you go with the VC-Turbo. Your Altima will become a FWD variant in this case.

With a newfangled and aggressive V-motion grille, split chin spoiler, LED projector headlights, edgy rims fitted in Hankook tires and a sleek rear end, the chiseled Altima looks like it was cut from a 3-D printer. In fact, the styling is so epic I wonder if the bread winner of the family will carve into a small percentage of Maxima sales.

Inside, the cabin is comfortable and wide, the instrument cluster and center stack are simple and clean and the steering wheel is thick and sporty to pair with the upgraded electric power steering system. An 8” color display sits stagnant atop the dash and houses NissanConnect, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the Bose audio system. And of course, an interior accent ambiance is always a positive plus. Owners will also enjoy the four USB ports including USB-c and the massive trunk space which is a must since crossovers are becoming dominant over the sedan market due to their utility and storage advantages.

On the road you can immediately feel the increased stiffness and agility of the new Altima especially in the SR sport model tested which features a sport-tuned suspension. I prefer the xTronic transmission with paddle shifters opposed to the Platinum model I evaluated that didn’t house them. You will also find the sport button on the back of the tall gear lever for a bit more fun in the sun. The AWD platform is offered on all grades of the 2.5-liter engine only — the lion’s share of the sales mix — and dishes out 188-horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. Power is pretty steady at all speeds with this powertrain. Nissan’s AWD is active and varying with torque supplied to the front wheels at 100% to reduce fuel consumption. However, the system is capable of sending up to 50% to the rear wheels when required based on driving conditions. Nissan preferred to direct their investment on the largest pieces of the pie first and gage consumer AWD demand before introducing it on the VC-Turbo.

In terms of safety advancements the new Altima is emboldened with Nissan Safety Shield featuring Rear Automatic Brakes, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Blind Spot Warning and High Beam Assist. Traffic Sign Detection also comes in handy and helps you stay within the speed limit. Additionally, the NissanConnect Services is a must if you want to fuse your vehicle and digital lifestyle. Yes, there’s an app for that! Powered by SiriusXM, you can remotely lock and unlock the doors and start the car, receive in-vehicle messaging, set a Curfew Alert, enable Parked Car Finder, set Boundary Alert and Speed Alert, enable Connected Search or have Google send directions to your ride. Impressive!

Starting at $23,750 the 2019 Nissan Altima can be had in six trims including S, SR, SV, SL, Platinum and the special Edition One model which is based off the Platinum and features the VC-Turbo. Offered in three colors and one exclusive package expect a price point around $39,900 for the Edition One.

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