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The Nissan Altima midsize sedan, now in its sixth generation, gets a new front-end look for 2023, including a new version of Nissan’s V-motion grille.
There also are four new aluminum-alloy wheel designs; two additional exterior colors, Gray Sky Pearl and Garnett Pearl Metallic; revised instrument-panel trim; and a new dual-stitch interior fabric design for the sporty SR models.
Altima continues to offer a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive options, as well as new safety and convenience features.
For 2023, there are four basic trim levels (down from five for 2022): the base S 2.5 front-wheel drive ($25,290, plus $1,095 freight); SV 2.5 FWD ($26,090); SR 2.5 FWD ($27,490); and the SL 2.5 FWD ($31,990). Gone from the lineup is last year’s top-of-the-line Platinum version.
All-wheel drive can be added to the SV, SR and SL models for $1,500. AWD is not offered on the base S model.
Also available is the special VC-T SR FWD model ($34,990), which is now the top-end version of the Altima. It’s the only one that comes with the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine, which delivers 248 horsepower and 273 foot-pounds of torque (when using 93 octane fuel). It has fuel-economy ratings of 25 mpg city/34 highway/29 combined.
The rest of the Altima lineup comes with the normally aspirated 2.5-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine, rated at 188 horsepower and 180 foot-pounds of torque on front-drive models, and 182 horsepower and 178 foot-pounds of torque with all-wheel drive.
Every Altima comes with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission. Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are standard on the SR models.
Our test vehicle for this report was the 2023 Altima SR with all-wheel drive. with a base price of $28,990 (plus $1,095 freight). The only extra-cost item on our tester was the floor and trunk mat package ($210).
EPA ratings for the 2.5-liter engine with front drive are 27 city/37 highway/31 combined on the S model, or 28 city/39 highway/32 combined on the SV, SR and SL versions.
With all-wheel drive, the 2.5-liter engine’s ratings are 26 city/36 highway/30 combined for SV and SL models, and 25 city/35 highway/29 combined for the all-wheel drive SR model that we tested.
Our tester came in the Gun Metallic exterior color, with the charcoal sport cloth interior.
Outside, our SR AWD came standard with sport 19-inch alloy wheels, the sport dark-chrome V-motion grille, a sport dark-gray rear bumper diffuser, sport exhaust finishers, gloss-black exterior trim, black outside mirror caps, body-color door handles, and the SR grade emblem in the left front of the grille.
Inside, our SR AWD came with unique sport front seats color-contrast stitching, the paddle shifters, and leather steering wheel and shift knob.
Other key standard features included dual-pinion electric power steering, independent strut front and rear multilink suspensions, and remote engine start.
Other available exterior colors include the previously available premium Scarlet Ember Tintcoat and Pearl White TriCoat shades (both for $395 extra), and standard Brilliant Silver Metallic, Super Black, Glacier White, and Deep Blue Pearl.
The new aluminum-alloy wheel designs include a 17-inch wheel for the SV, and unique 19-inch wheels for each of the SR, SL and SR VC-Turbo models.
Other new items for 2023 include available 12.3-inch HD color display with multi-touch control, Nissan Door-to-Door Navigation system, Android Auto, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, and WiFi hotspot, all standard on Altima SL and SR VC-Turbo grades and available on SV.
Two notable changes for the Altima in its sixth-generation redesign four years ago included making the Nissan Safety Shield 360 package standard on the SR model, and the Driver Assist Package available on the S model. With this change, Safety Shield 360 now is available across the entire lineup.
SL models come with Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, a precursor to autonomous operation. It’s optional on the SV trim as part of the SV Premium Package ($2,390). It is not offered on the SR model.
This system eases the driver’s workload by reducing the amount of acceleration, steering and braking input during highway driving. The goal is to reduce driver fatigue and accidents.
Our Altima’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is capable of automatically sending up to half of the engine’s power to the rear wheels when slippage is detected, or keeping 100 percent of power at the front, which is the default mode.
Altima also comes with Rear Automatic Braking, which helps detect stationary objects in the way as the vehicle begins to back up, and applies the brakes to avoid a collision. This is standard on the SV, SR, and SL levels.
Front, side and rear safety monitoring and intervention technologies under the Safety Shield 360 system include Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, the Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, radar-based Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and High Beam Assist.
An available Traffic Sign Recognition system picks up speed-limit information using a camera on the windshield in front of the rearview mirror. That information is transmitted to and shown in the Advanced Drive Assist Display. In vehicles equipped with navigation, the speed-limit information comes from a combination of navigation system data and the camera’s view.
Among other standard exterior features are LED projector headlights with Daytime Running Lights, LED fog lights, a “floating” roof with slim pillars and a single-panel moon roof.
Altima’s interior was designed to give the car a near-luxury feel, with premium materials and the lightweight, layered and more horizontal “gliding wing” instrument panel.
Our SR model also came with heated front seats, eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar, and manual heating and air conditioning.
We also had remote keyless entry with pushbutton start; rear-door alert; and tire-pressure monitoring with Nissan’s Easy Fill alert system.
Comfort and convenience features include the standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display. Leather interiors are standard on SL models.
The NissanConnect system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It comes with an eight-inch multi-touch color display, Bluetooth hands-free phone system and streaming audio, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and Siri Eyes Free/Google Assistant Voice Recognition.
It also offers Apple Watch and Android Wear compatibility through the NissanConnect Services app – allowing remote engine start and stop, remote lock/unlock and more, along with Amazon Alexa compatibility.
Our tester did not have navigation, but the NissanConnect audio system came with an eight-inch color touch display and associated services, including over-the-air updates, SiriusXM radio, and Bluetooth hands-free phone, text messaging and audio streaming.
We had two front and two rear illuminated USB charging ports, and the audio system came with six speakers.
There was no lack of power for everyday driving with the 2.5-liter engine. It includes Hill Start Assist and traction control, along with the electronic stability control and four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
There is also an electronic parking brake with auto-hold feature.
Up to five people can ride in the Altima, but it’s much more comfortable for two than three in the back seat (normal for this class), which has a pull-down center armrest with dual cupholders.
Rear passengers have their own center heating and air conditioning outlets, along with the USB charging. They also have seatback storage pockets and door storage bins with single cup or bottle holders.
Dual front USB ports and an auxiliary port are positioned at the front of the center console just under the dash for the driver and front passenger, along with two cupholders.
The Altima has a relatively roomy trunk with 15.4 cubic feet of space. The rear seatback has a 60/40 fold-down feature to expand trunk capacity into the passenger area.
Total sticker price was $30,295, including freight and floor mats, for our well-equipped Altima SR 2.5-liter with all-wheel drive.
The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Express-News since 2000. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gchambers3. His driving partner Emma Jayne Williams contributed to this report.