Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins
It’s sharper, sportier, smarter and far more advanced. It’s confident and poised and awaiting new owners looking for up-to-date technology enhancements in a midsize sedan. It offers the roominess for families and the edge needed to maintain visceral driving experiences behind the wheel. Introduced during the media days at the 2018 New York International Auto Show Nissan refused to rest on their laurels when it came to reinventing the latest generation Altima.
Shown at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in a brilliantly red hue you could see right away the dominance of the front fascia with the Altima’s striking V-motion grille, angular headlights and aggressive chin spoiler. It’s almost as if the Japanese sedan is donning a mask. Darth Vader actually comes to mind in my perspective. The Altima is lower, wider and longer than the model it replaces while featuring a unique rear diffuser and stylish wheels that can flow up to 19 inches.
“Altima has been the face of Nissan in the United States, its largest market, for many years. We knew we had to elevate the appearance of the new-generation Altima, so the Vmotion 2.0 gave us the blueprint moving forward with the production model,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president, global design, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan is delivering the Altima to dealers in the fall with 13 models to choose from including: S FWD, S AWD, SR FWD, SR AWD, SV FWD, SV AWD, SL FWD, SL AWD, Platinum FWD, Platinum AWD, SR VC-T FWD, Platinum VC-T FWD and the limited-edition VC-Turbo FWD.
That’s right, the Altima is now available with Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system if paired with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (80% new or redesigned) that delivers 188-horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. Or you can enjoy the power and fuel economy of the same 2-liter 4-cylinder VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine utilized in the new Infiniti QX50. Putting out 248-horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque the package is smaller than the 3.5-liter V6 engine it replaces which allows for weight reduction and better fuel economy. Dully note that the VC-Turbo is only available with the FWD variant Altima.
Take a seat inside the well-designed cabin to experience an interior that looks and feels premium and seems to cater more to the driver’s needs. Expect a thick, thumb indented, multifunction steering wheel and the fixed 8” touchscreen with NissanConnect that incorporates either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto which in-turn can be played through the optional Bose 9-speaker premium audio system. As well, the Altima has you covered in the category of active safety technologies including Rear Automatic Braking 2, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning and ProPILOT Assist with steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control with Full Speed Range and Hold to name a few.
The 2019 Altima can be had in nine exterior hues such as the deep-tinted Scarlet Ember that magically changes coloration when hit by light.
In speaking with Altima designer Ken Lee during my visit to the Nissan stand he explained that this car is a balance between style and practicality while also refraining from competing with the Maxima. The cabin is stretch out, the glass area is big and the wheelbase is longer. He feels that Nissan got the proportions just right. I agree.