The 2021 Nissan Altima mid-size sedan goes virtually unchanged from last year's model, yet Nissan has cut the price on some versions while increasing the cost of others, reduced the powertrain options, and reordered the trim levels to make for one confusing carryover model.
The biggest difference Nissan announced Tuesday was to the top Platinum trim. It no longer can be had with the 236-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 with a variable compression ratio, and it can only be had in all-wheel drive. Other all-wheel-drive mid-size sedans include the 2021 Toyota Camry and 2021 Subaru Legacy. The 2021 Altima Platinum with all-wheel drive costs $35,025, which is $350 more than the 2020 model.
With no real changes but more feature availability across the lineup, the base 2021 Nissan Altima S starts at $25,225, same as last year. It comes with a 188-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive only. That engine is standard on all five trim levels. Standard features include cloth seats, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on an 8.0-inch touchscreen, automatic emergency braking, keyless ignition, four USB ports, and remote start. The S model can be had with available safety and driver assist packages that were not available last year.
2021 Nissan Altima
The SV and SR trims swap positions in the trim hierarchy for 2021. The SV trim steps up from the base S for $26,325 in front-wheel drive. That's $500 cheaper than the 2020 Altima SR but it's an imperfect comparison because the SR has larger 19-inch wheels (SV has 17s) and a sport-turned suspension. All-wheel drive adds $1,400, which is consistent on SV, SR, and SL trims.
This year, Altima SR starts at $27,125. When equipped with the optional 2.0-liter turbo-4 mentioned above, the price climbs to $31,575, which is $900 more than last year. Nothing has changed except it is the only trim offered with the turbo-4.
The SL trim gets a $250 reduction from last year at $30,915, but all-wheel-drive models are $200 less at $32,315.
Built in Tennessee, the 2021 Altima goes on sale soon.