2022 Nissan Altima

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
November 29, 2021

Buying tip

Skip all-wheel drive unless bad weather tracks through half of your calendar year; it’s not worth the expense or the weight in the Altima.

features & specs

2.0 SR Sedan
2.5 Platinum AWD Sedan
2.5 S Sedan
MPG
25 city / 34 hwy
MPG
25 city / 35 hwy
MPG
28 city / 39 hwy
MSRP
$30,900
MSRP
$34,250
MSRP
$24,550

The 2022 Nissan Altima lets its safety and fuel economy speak volumes; the powertrain stays mostly mum.

What kind of car is the 2022 Nissan Altima? What does it compare to?

With the Altima, Nissan faces off against other mid-size four-door sedans like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Hyundai Sonata.  

Is the 2022 Nissan Altima a good car?

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The value is strong with this one, and it’s a safety star. Mild performance and unspectacular features limit it to a TCC Rating of 6.8 out of 10, a solid mid-pack number for a solidly mid-pack car. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Nissan Altima?

The Altima SR gains a Midnight Edition package with black trim, heated front seats, a sunroof, and 19-inch wheels.

The 2022 Altima leans into efficiency as its prime selling point, and lean describes its latest body to a T. Minus the muscly fenders of the last version, the Altima’s ready for teach a Pilates class or two with its sharper hood, its more pronounced grille, and its toned bodysides. The cabin doesn’t match the exterior for energy, but it also doesn’t stretch for a design that buries controls in touchscreens or tucks them inconveniently wherever they fit. It’s organized, polished, and a little plain.

The 188-hp 4-cylinder found in most Altimas has stamina, but can’t break out of the pack in quick bursts of speed. Its belt-and-pulley CVT gets flustered by requests for quick ratio changes, and damps any spark that might develop in the 248-hp turbo-4 option. Ride quality compensates for some of that, and so does the Altima’s excellent gas mileage—at least in front-drive, non-turbo form.

Five people can fit in the Altima happily, with no grudges after even an hour-long car trip, and the trunk’s large enough to carry plenty of roll-aboards, laptops, big-box grocery bins, and more. The cabin’s finished well enough but lacks the verve of the more expensive South Korean-designed sedans; Nissan’s front seats surpass those competitors.

Both the NHTSA and the IIHS give the Altima their top overall ratings, and every version has standard automatic emergency braking; most can be configured with blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control, as well as Nissan’s driver-assist ProPilot, which is a system that allows brief intervals of hands-free operation, albeit with lots of bings and bongs and other aural electronica.

How much does the 2022 Nissan Altima cost?

The Altima S costs $25,525 and offers a standard power driver seat, automatic emergency braking, and Android Auto and AppleCarPlay rendered through a 7.0-inch touchscreen. Take the $26,525 Altima SV and you’ll get a bigger screen, bigger wheels, and for $1,400 more, all-wheel drive.

Where is the 2022 Nissan Altima made?

In Canton, Mississippi, and in Smyrna, Tennessee.

6

2022 Nissan Altima

Styling

The Altima is on its cutting phase.

Is the Nissan Altima a good-looking car?

It’s handsome. We give it a 6 for the low and sleek body.

As a part of its long style journey—from bulbous 1990s compact to an experimental biceptual phase in the early 2000s—the Altima looks like it’s on a shredding diet to drop some of the bulk it acquired during this century. In its latest version, the deep V-necked grille stands out more against its newly lean body. The character line that runs down its body intersects with surface lines as it runs from nose to tail to create some visual interest, but the well-muscled Altima that preceded this one looked more substantial, we think.

Inside, the risk-free Altima cabin knits together an array of metallic and soft-toned trim with reasonably well-sized touchscreens and digital displays. The center console rides high and a thin band of trim splits the dash on the horizontal to keep visual interest from flagging. Lighter-toned trim rises higher on the dash on more costly versions; that keeps the cabin more airy than it is in its somber black-on-black base models.

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5

2022 Nissan Altima

Performance

Moderate performance is the name of the Altima’s game.

The Altima performs without much pretense or flair. Its standard-issue family-sedan performance on tap, even with the optional turbo-4 and all-wheel drive. We give it a 5.

How fast is the Nissan Altima?

It’s acceptably quick. The 188-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 in most Altimas connects to a CVT, which uses belts and pulleys to simulate transmission gears. The thrifty setup saves fuel and dissipates much of the driving excitement. It’s relatively quiet in operation, at least, but acceleration is tepid, and it loses steam in long highway passes, and with a full quintet of people on board. The Altima SR adopts shift paddles to goose the drivetrain into a set of pre-programmed drive ratios, but it can’t create raw power where none exists.

With the optional 248-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4, the Altima SR skips its former V-6 versions and grafts a complex variable-compression system on the 4-cylinder. Fuel economy dips and the engine can’t be teamed to all-wheel drive. Given its modest improvements in acceleration, it’s an added expense worth saving.

Is the Nissan Altima 4WD?

All-wheel drive can be configured on non-turbo Altimas. The system shifts up to 70 percent of the car’s power to the rear wheels when traction slips, and it performs well in snow and ice, in our experience.

Given its driving orientation, lower-end Altimas with 17-inch wheels drive better than those with the adventurous 19-inch wheels or skimpy 16-inchers. In its sweet spot, the Altima has a composed feel with a well-tuned ride, almost zero driving drama, and a good sense of the road ahead. The steering gives up offering advice at highway speeds—there’s very little feedback or weighting—but it tracks down the interstate well.

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7

2022 Nissan Altima

Comfort & Quality

Five adults can fit in the Altima, with their stuff tucked safely in back.

The Altima represents what used to be peak family car. It’s been passed in flexibility by Nissan’s own fleet of crossover SUVs, but it still provides lots of room for people and cargo. We give it a 7 for its well-padded front seats and for its useful trunk.

Wide front buckets with well-shaped backrests and firm bottom cushions give front passengers in the Altima a perch for lots of comfortable driving miles. The driver seat has power adjustment; the cloth upholstery on base versions gets upgraded to leather upholstery with front-seat heating on the top models. 

Back-seat leg and head room ensure that three medium-size passengers will have a good relationship when the journey’s completed. It’s leggy enough that 6-footers can sit behind 6-footers—and it doesn’t suffer from poor head room as does the Altima’s mechanical relative, the low-roofed Nissan Maxima.

Nissan molds storage bins into the door pockets and center console, but it’s the 15.4-cubic-foot trunk that will tote most of the load, weary or otherwise. If the Altima’s cabin were trimmed with more interesting finishes or plusher materials, it would be in the same league as the Kia K5 or Hyundai Sonata, or even the Honda Accord. It’s a half-step behind, mostly because the center console is so tall and because its dash trim reflects brightly in the windshield.

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9

2022 Nissan Altima

Safety

The Altima earns top crash-test scores.

How safe is the Nissan Altima?

It’s very safe. We give it a 9; it misses only an extra point for outward vision, since its thick rear roof pillars block a fair amount of the rearward view.

The NHTSA gives the Altima a five-star overall rating, though front-passenger and driver-side protection are rated at four stars. The IIHS calls the Altima a Top Safety Pick+. 

All sedans get standard automatic emergency braking, and most Altimas carry blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. 

Nissan also fits some Altima sedans with its driver-assist feature. Called ProPilot Assist, the system manages the adaptive cruise control and active lane control to allow brief interludes of hands-free driving. The system functions as advertised, but intervenes often with mildly annoying warning beeps.

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8

2022 Nissan Altima

Features

It’s no standout, but the Altima has the features buyers expect in a mid-size sedan.

The Altima comes with a choice of 4-cylinders and between front- and all-wheel drive. We give it extra points for generous standard features, value, and for its infotainment. It misses other points for warranty coverage and options, both of which are strictly average. We give it an 8 here.

The $25,525 Altima S has a lot to offer, including a power driver seat, remote start, Android Auto and AppleCarPlay, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. Automatic emergency braking is included, and blind-spot monitors are an option.

Which Nissan Altima should I buy?

The $26,525 Altima SV adds on an 8.0-inch touchscreen, 17-inch wheels, and rear automatic braking. For $1,400 the SV gains all-wheel drive; it’s available on other models with the lower-output engine.

How much is a fully loaded Nissan Altima?

The $35,225 Platinum has standard all-wheel drive, leather upholstery, heated power front seats, 19-inch wheels, a surround-view camera system, navigation, a sunroof, and premium audio. 

Nissan issues each Altima with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

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6

2022 Nissan Altima

Fuel Economy

The Altima turns in excellent fuel-economy ratings.

Is the Nissan Altima good on gas?

It’s near the top of its class. The EPA rates it at 28 mpg city, 39 highway, 32 combined in front-drive base trim. That’s a 6 on our scale.

More expensive models with front-wheel drive and more features give up some efficiency due to weight; with all-wheel drive the Altima still checks in at 26/36/30 mpg. Nissan’s more complex turbo-4 comes in just one model and its gas mileage gets pegged at 25/34/29 mpg. 

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$24,550
MSRP based on 2.5 S Sedan
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6.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 9
Features 8
Fuel Economy 6
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2022 Nissan Altima Pricing Insights

  • 2021 Altima is ready for a test drive; 2022s coming soon
  • Lease: From $259 per month for 36 months
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