Nissan Altima — Refreshed for 2016

By David Finkelstein

With remarkable sales growth for a number of years in a row, Nissan Motors is offering the 2016 four door Altima to consumers after an extensive mid-cycle product freshening.This includes a number of changes with the sedans exterior “new look/design language” that helps support the vehicle's position as clearly being in the Nissan product mix.

Altima's visible aspect features a fresh and new design plus upgraded sheetmetal. In front for instance, the car has a new lowered muscular fascia with a distinctive grille and new bumper as well as a new hood and fenders. The headlights are also redesigned with available signature LED boomerang style headlights, fog lights and daytime running lights. This helps achieve a more contemporary foot print.

The major design changes continue in the rear with a newly engineered lower fascia and bumper as well. This look is highlighted by the lower and wider four-piece taillight housing. The trunklid is also new, with an integrated spoiler added on the AltimaSR trim package.

Along with the new body panels, high-strength steel was added for helping to put noise, vibration and harshness issues to rest.

For 2016, Altima is available in nine attractive exterior colors:Deep Blue Pearl, Java Metallic,Brilliant Silver, GunMetallic, Super Black, Cayenne Red, Pearl White, Glacier White and Storm Blue.

Under the umbrella of its safety shield technologies, a variety of segment exclusive first's are offered including predictive automatic forward collision warning coupled with forward emergency breaking, radar guided intelligent cruise control and a seamless rear cross traffic alert system.

The '16model tends to drive a bit differently than that of the outgoing 2015 with improvements in the car's steering and underside suspension. This translates to a more connected and positive feel for the driver.

Altima's 4-wheel independent suspension has been redesigned to deliver more dynamic handling, due in-part to new shock absorbers, rear springs and bushings, along with new tire designs across all models. 16, 17 and 18 inch tire and wheel packages are also offered. Featured is Nissan's Easy Fill Tire Alert function coupled with its Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Its standard on all trim grades.

When filling the tires with air, the hazard lamps flash to let the operator know the system is working. When the correct pressure is reached, a chirp of the horn provides notification. Overall braking and has also been enhanced.Responsive steering is provided by an Electronic/Hydraulic Power-Assisted Steering system that preserves the feel of hydraulic steering while offering the efficiencies of an electric power steering set-up.

"Despite the remarkable success of the'15 model Altima in the marketplace, which has seen a more than 60 percent increase in sales since 2009, no area was left untouched in redesigning our cornerstone Altima sedan for the 2016 model year," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan NorthAmerica, Inc. "While so much attention in the marketplace currently is focused on compact SUVs like our redesigned Nissan Rogue, the mid-size sedan segment remains strong and has become extremely competitive.”

An extensive list of noise isolation breakthroughs including an acoustic-glass windshield further helps add to the car's quiet interior cabin.

Inside the passenger cabin, personal space has had some noticeable user friendly changes. The new interior appearance shares the "gliding wing" design language established with the new Murano and Maxima. Altima 2.5 S,  2.5SR, 2.5 SV, 2.5SL and 3.5 SR grades feature a standard 5.0-inch color audio display. Its also used for a number of other conveniences including viewing images from the RearView Monitor and gaining access the standard NissanConnect system with Mobile Apps with the exception of trim level.

There is also built-in flexibility for adding future apps throughout the ownership experience. Along with the 5.0-inch color audio display, the system includes a USB port with iPod connectivity. Also standard on all models (except 2.5 base car) is Siri Eyes Free Voice Recognition, which allows a hands-free voice connection to Siri commands. With the upgraded models of Altima, a 7.0-inch touch-screen with 3D-effect map views is offered.

Nissan also makes available its voice recognition system with turn-by-turn navigation. Other navigation features include speed limit display, eco driving maps, curve warning and split-screen display. It also includes SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link showing fuel prices, movie times, stock updates and weather. WithSiriusXM, a subscription is required and is sold separately. Besides its recognized connectivity, every 2016 Altima also offers an Advanced Drive-Assist Display. Located in the center of the instrument display between the tachometer and speedometer, it features a 4.0-inch color display and is customizable, easy-to-use and integrates key information right in front of the driver.

There is a premium look and feel to the interior with an extensive use of soft touch materials and attention to detail. The new center console includes full-size cupholders and new trim finishes.The advanced Zero Gravity front seats (which are standard on all trim levels), utilize an articulated seat shape giving added support.

The rear “folding forward/bench type seat” has a 60/40 split design with a built in center armrest. Available audio systems include an AM/FM/CD design with RDS, MP3, auxiliary plugs and six speakers, along with an available Bose Premium AudioSystem with nine speakers. It's designed in conjunction with Bose engineers to deliver rich sound and acoustics.

Altima for 2016 is offered with a choice of two refined powerplants. Either a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6. Matched with the standard, smooth and efficient Xtronic CVT automatic transmission, estimated fuel economy for 2.5-liter models is rated at 27 mpg/city and 39-mpg/highway, except with their 2.5 SR trim package as the MPG's taper off slightly. The award winning 3.5-literV6 feature slow internal friction engine components and is rated at 22 mpg/city and 32 mpg/highway.

With seven well equipped models, the base MSRP starts out at $22,500 which excludes shipping and destination charges of $825.The 2016 Altima is assembled in Smyrna, Tenn. and Canton, Miss., with engines assembled in Decherd, Tenn.