The 2023 Nissan Altima is a perfectly suitable family sedan with sharp styling, a roomy cabin, and all-wheel drive as an option. The Altima offers two different four-cylinder engines for propulsion: a 182-hp base engine and a 248-hp turbocharged variable-compression unit. However, this is the extent to which the Altima pushes the envelope. It comes standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and provides a drive that is more sedate than spirited. However, with an estimated highway fuel economy of 39 mpg according to the EPA, the Altima is remarkably fuel-efficient for a non-hybrid vehicle. Even though it lacks the soulfulness of the Honda Accord and the refinement of the Toyota Camry, this sedan is easy to live with, thanks to its roomy cabin, comfortable seating, optional 12.3-inch infotainment screen, and extensive standard safety equipment.
What’s Different in 2023?
The 2023 Nissan Altima receives new wheels, a redesigned front fascia with new LED headlights, and the automaker’s new logo. Additionally, there are two new color options: Gray Sky Pearl and Garnett Pearl Metallic. In addition to these minor cosmetic changes, the Platinum trim level has been renamed SL. The Altima’s interior features a new 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is standard on SL and SR models and optional on SV. Nissan has increased the number of standard safety features included in its Safety Shield 360 driver assistance technology. New standard safety equipment consists of automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic rear braking, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and high-beam assist.
The Altima offers two features that the Accord and Hyundai Sonata do not: all-wheel drive and that unique VC-Turbo engine. Although the benefits of the latter are difficult to quantify, the $1400 all-wheel-drive system may attract Snowbelt sedan buyers. Despite this, we would opt for the SR trim level and forego both options. In addition to a sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels that make this family sedan more enjoyable to drive, the SR offers a multitude of desirable features, such as an eight-way power driver’s seat, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an upgraded digital gauge cluster, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more. Additionally, we would invest in the Premium package, which includes heated mirrors, heated front seats, and a sunroof.
In addition, two new exterior hues, Gray Sky Pearl and Garnett Pearl Metallic, are being introduced by Nissan. They are in addition to the existing colors Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Pearl White TriCoat, Glacier White, and Deep Blue Pearl.
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2023 Nissan Altima Powertrain, Engine, and Performance
Standard on the Altima is a 2.5-liter, 188-hp four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Using premium fuel, the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces up to 248 horsepower and also employs a CVT. All-wheel drive is exclusive to the 2.5-liter engine, despite Nissan‘s promotion of its innovative variable-compression technology. The standard four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive provided predictable but unexceptional acceleration. The engine grew louder as we pressed the gas pedal harder, but the four-cylinder Camry we tested was occasionally equally noisy. The VC-Turbo engine significantly increases the Altima’s speed.
Despite its unconventional turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, the Nissan is less enjoyable to drive than the Honda Accord. The Altima SR’s sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels make it more enjoyable to drive on winding roads. However, these enhancements diminish the ride quality of standard Altima models. Surprisingly, the SL (formerly known as Platinum) model we tested had greater cornering grip than the 2019 BMW 330i xDrive we evaluated. Additionally, the Nissan‘s comfortable ride prevented any trembling over undulating pavement. Its steering system is precise by the standards of family sedans and does not require additional effort to simulate steering feel. The brake pedal of the Altima provided linear feedback and prompt responses to our input.
2023 Nissan Altima Energy Efficiency and Real-World MPG
The 2023 Nissan Altima does not offer a fuel-efficient hybrid or eco-friendly plug-in hybrid model like many of its competitors, but its two gasoline engines have impressive fuel-economy ratings and even better actual results. EPA estimates that the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive achieves 28 city mpg and 39 highway mpg. With all-wheel drive, the EPA estimates decrease to 26 city mpg and 36 highway mpg. The EPA estimates that the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine achieves 25 city mpg and 34 highway mpg. The all-wheel-drive Altima achieved an impressive 41 mpg on our 75 mph highway fuel-economy route, which was part of our extensive testing protocol, while the VC-Turbo model achieved an impressive 37 mpg. The Accord and Camry with the best (nonhybrid) fuel economy achieved 38 and 45 mpg, respectively. Visit the EPA website for more information about the Altima’s fuel economy.
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Cargo, Comfort, and Interior
The Altima’s interior features a straightforward dashboard with user-friendly controls. The interior materials vary by trim level, but all are vastly superior to those of the previous-generation Altima. Our SV test vehicle had attractive interior appointments and inconspicuous hard plastics. In addition to the lack of paddle shifters and selectable drive modes, the SV’s flat-bottomed steering wheel and faux carbon fiber were a bit excessive. Nonetheless, the armrests made driving and sitting in traffic more bearable. The front seats can accommodate a wide range of body types, but we found the lumbar support to be excessively forceful. The back seats were spacious and provided ample legroom. We can fit six carry-on bags in the trunk of the Altima and a total of 17 bags with the rear seats folded down. These figures were identical to those of the tested Camry, but both fell short of the Accord’s 19 bags. Inconveniently, the Nissan‘s rear seats do not fold completely flat and must be released using trunk-mounted pull handles. The Altima has adequate storage space in the front seats, with door pockets that are narrow but deep, and a tray at the front of the center console.
Informational Entertainment and Connectivity
The Altima’s standard 8.0-inch touchscreen is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The interface for the infotainment system has a customizable main menu but few other personalization options. While the sound system’s volume and tuning knobs are useful, the tested touchscreen responded slowly to inputs. Standard equipment on the Altima SL and SR is a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, wireless phone charging, and a WiFi hotspot. On SV models, the bigger screen is optional.