2019 Nissan Altima Preview

2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
March 28, 2018

The 2019 Nissan Altima ponies up a crossover-like drivetrain and advanced safety to fend off the SUV invasion.

The 2019 Nissan Altima adds a new wrinkle to the family four-door, but it’s a wrinkle we’ve seen before.

The new Altima may enter a battle royal with the just-revamped Camry and Accord, but it’s really up against a slew of new crossover SUVs that compete for attention with wagon bodies and all-wheel drive.

Guess what the new Altima has in this, its sixth generation? You guessed it, all-wheel drive.

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It also has a crisp new look. Nissan has carved out more personality for the 2019 Altima. Just when you thought its V-shaped grille couldn’t go much deeper, it has. It takes up more of the space on a front end that dives lower ahead of a more steeply inclined hood. The Altima’s roofline has more starch in its creases this time, too.

Inside, the dash drops for a more spacious, sleeker look. Nissan’s executed the same visual trick that works well on some entry-luxury sedans: it lets the central touchscreen stand proud on the dash, which reduces the heft and size of the rest of the interior.

The 2019 Altima’s running gear has evolved in a way that inevitably will blend in with a related crossover SUV. For now at least, Nissan drops the Altima’s seldom-selected V-6. The base 2.5-liter inline-4 turns in 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Nissan says it’s quieter and smoother, and turns in better fuel economy, which hasn’t been announced. It’s coupled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and can be paired with paddle shift controls. It’s also the first Altima to offer optional all-wheel drive, here a simple system with the ability to split power between the front and rear wheels.

Instead of a V-6, Nissan offers spendy Altima buyers a new turbo-4 engine seen first in the Infiniti QX50 crossover. The new engine can vary its compression ratio from 8:1 to 14:1 through a clever system that varies the piston throw inside the cylinder.

The new turbo-4 develops 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque when run on premium gas, and sends power through a CVT to the front wheels only; all-wheel drive is not yet offered.

All 2019 Altimas have a front strut, rear multi-link suspension, electric power steering with dual steering pinions for better precision, and more sophisticated monotube rear shocks. Wheel-and-tire combinations start at 16-inchers on base models, and rise to 19-inchers on the sporting Altima SR, which also gets a sport-tuned suspension.

2019 Nissan Altima comfort, safety, and features

The new 2019 Altima rides on a 111.2-inch wheelbase, up by almost two inches, and sits 192.9 inches long in all.

Nissan fits eight-way power driver and four-way manual passenger seats, with an option for a power front passenger seat. More interior room is promised, and the usual cloth or leather seats can be upgraded with heat for front passengers.

Standard safety features include forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking and a rearview camera. Blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control are options. The 2019 Altima can be fitted with Nissan’s Level 2 semi-autonomous driving hardware, which assists the driver with steering and braking input—with, Nissan reminds, hands-on driver control.

That ProPilot Assist hardware comes standard on the 2019 Altima SV, SL and Platinum. The lineup also includes base Altima S and Altima SR models. All have power features, keyless ignition, Bluetooth, a USB-C port, and an infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The turbo-4 can only be had on the Altima SR and Platinum.

Other options include Bose audio, navigation, LED headlights, and a sunroof.

The 2019 Altima goes on sale in the fall. Pricing and EPA fuel economy have not yet been released.

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