Nissan Altima 2013

September 13, 2013

Nissan Altima 2015

Nissan Altima 2015

There’s nothing really wrong with the 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV, but there’s nothing really exciting here either.

Nissan used to challenge Mazda 6 for bringing some enthusiasm to this midsize segment, but now it seems like everything is dulled down to the point of neutrality.

This could be a Buick Century from 10 years ago, except that the suspension is firmer and the steering is a little more agile. But once sunken into the overstuffed seat, with nothing to work with but a four-cylinder hooked to a continuously variable transmission, it’s not hard to slip into a mindset where the world just putters by the window. And while I’m the first to appreciate a simple layout for a center stack, without too many buttons, I’m not sure if a keyless system is necessary here. Several times in one overnight trip I found myself having to reach back into the car to push the ignition button one more time to get all the accessories shut down. Turning off the ignition with a key would solve that.

To order your new 2015 Nissan Altima rival with a brand new Nissan 2.5L 4-cyl. engine for only US$12,000.

Nissan Altima 2015

With all that said, if you’re looking for a non-threatening, everyday driver that won’t upset your coffee cup, this Nissan Altima fits the bill. Just relax and point it.

I drove the Nissan Altima for the weekend and though I would have guessed a less expensive price, with the equipment offered, $27,000 seems about fair.

I got used to the CVT by the end of the weekend, and I’m surprised to say that I wasn’t extremely annoyed by it. In fact, it made the car seem pretty quick. In theory, an underpowered car should be more fun, because it sticks at the optimum rev range. It still doesn’t give torque as fast as a regular automatic though. The S mode in the transmission speeds things up a little bit. It gives the illusion of shifting as the revs bump up and down during hard acceleration.

To order your new 2015 Nissan Altima rival with a brand new Nissan 2.5L 4-cyl. engine for only US$12,000.

Nissan Altima 2015 rear view

Size-wise I think it’s perfect. Sometime the full-sized sedans feel a little too unwieldy for me. I’ll take a sporty Ford Fusion or Nissan Altima over a corresponding Ford Taurus or Nissan Maxima. There seemed to be plenty of room in the back seat, even for adults. With my 5”10′ frame in front, there was at least 6 or 7 inches of knee room in back.

The interior was rather plain but easy to understand. It was a little weird to feel the cloth seats on my rear end. It seems like all we ever get is leather, pleather, or leatherette.

The exterior of the Nissan Altima looks pretty cool to me. The new headlights and grille look sporty and the curvy rear end completes the package well.

Nissan redesigned the Nissan Altima with an eye toward maintaining the sedan’s considerably fortified beachhead in the midsize sedan segment. After a night in the car, the verdict: mission accomplished.

Nissan Altima 2015 interior

The Nissan Altima is a good all-around machine — comfortable, pleasant, handsome and efficient. This is a solid execution for mainstream consumers, and the sales illustrate that. For enthusiasts, the Nissan Altima lacks spice. It’s not offensive, yet little stands out. It’s sort of like the “medium” flavor of hot sauce.

Though not eye-popping, the Nissan Altima is an appealing car inside and out. The sheetmetal hangs pleasantly, with graceful curves and smart angles. It looks upscale, premium even, at rest in the parking lot. Nissan did a nice job updating the design of the Nissan Altima, particularly enhancing the headlights and giving a healthy dose of chrome and accoutrements. Inside is posh — everything feels soft, plush and comfy. The dials are plain, though easy to read, and the black and tan color scheme looks handsome.

I was borderline offended by the CVT in the Nissan Sentra I drove not too long ago. It was loud, whiney and made the car seem slow. The Nissan Altima uses a different CVT, and almost surprisingly, it’s a reasonably refined partner for the four-banger. That’s a good thing, since Nissan offers one gearbox, (shockingly) a CVT, in the Nissan Altima. No traditional automatics or manuals. The CVT did a smart job channeling power when I merged onto the expressway in the middle of rush hour. The revs built smoothly and the engine responded with appropriate vigor. I was actually surprised the output (182 hp) is so modest. This powertrain combo also seems to be rather efficient as I did a nearly 60-mile roundtrip commute and the fuel needle barely moved.

Nissan Altima 2015 engine view

Other notes: the trunk is huge, and the car is considerably better looking when compared with its predecessor, though not dramatically different. It’s simply better dressed. This sample is nicely loaded, though perhaps the sticker seems just a touch high, even figuring in the prodigious option list.

Overall, it’s a strong execution and worth considering for those looking for affordable, efficient and well-equipped transportation served up in vanilla fashion.

Others are thinking the exact same thing about this 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV as I am. The previous-generation Nissan Altima was among the sportier drivers in the midsize sedan segment that was right up there with the Mazda 6 and Honda Accord, but the new car has been softened some.

From the moment you slide behind the wheel and sink into the front bucket seat’s soft cushion, you know something is different. It was like riding in my grandpa’s 1986 Oldsmobile Delta 88 with the cushy velour seats. The rest of the interior, as others have mentioned, isn’t exciting. Controls are arranged in a logical manner.

On the outside, I will say that I do like the look of Nissan Altima’s latest grille, but the rest of the exterior doesn’t do much for me. It’s not ugly and it’s not beautiful, meaning it’s an OK design, which is the key to selling a lot of cars in this class. Just look at the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

But it’s the drive character that caught me by surprise. Steering is very light, but responsive. The suspension is softer with roll apparent through corners; but on the plus side, it absorbs impacts from potholes and ruts beautifully.

As much as we don’t like CVTs around these parts, I have to admit that they are getting better — at least when they are paired with more powerful four- and six-cylinder engines. There’s 182-hp on tap from the 2.5-liter in this Nissan Altima and I think it does a respectable job moving it around. There’s enough power to easily merge onto expressways and the engine doesn’t annoying buzz along like in, say, the Sentra or Versa. Of course, those are smaller cars with engines that aren’t exactly potent, so it’s understandable.

The other company to start to embrace CVTs in its midsize sedan is Honda with the new Accord. In my opinion, I think the Honda four-cylinder and CVT drivetrain combo is a little smoother than the one in our Nissan Altima tester. However, both are real good and miles ahead of where CVTs were not so long ago.

So the new Nissan Altima is comfortable, roomy, doesn’t pack much of a visual punch and has a fuel efficient drivetrain that delivers adequate performance. That’s a recipe for selling a lot of cars in this class.

Nissan Altima 2015

2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV sedan

Base Price: $24,880

As-Tested Price: $27,005

Drivetrain: 2.5-liter I4; FWD, continuously variable transmission

Output: 182 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 180 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,121 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 27/38/31 mpg

AW Observed Fuel Economy: 30.8 mpg

Options for the Nissan Altima: Convenience package including front passenger window with one-touch auto up and down and auto-reverse feature, moonroof, dual sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors and sliding rod extension, auto-dimming inside mirror, HomeLink universal transceiver, compass, fog lights, manual folding outside mirrors with LED turn indicators, side cargo net, mood lamp in roof console ($1,350); navigation package including Nissan navigation system with seven-inch color display ($590); carpeted floor and trunk mats ($185)

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4 based on 5 votes
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2013 Nissan Altima rival
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2013 Nissan Altima rival with a brand new Nissan 2.5L 4-cyl. engine for only US$12,000.
USD $12,000
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