2023 Nissan Altima

Consumer Reviews
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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
June 9, 2022

Buying tip

The best Altima sedan for most buyers is the SV, with its richer features set and standard safety gear. All-wheel drive? Only if you really need it.

The 2023 Nissan Altima lets its safety scores and its value speak for it, while the drivetrain stays quiet.

What kind of car is the 2023 Nissan Altima? What does it compare to?

It’s a four-door, five-seat sedan that squares off against perennial favorites like the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, and Honda Accord.

Is the 2023 Nissan Altima a good car?

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In terms of safety and value, it has few peers. Performance is mild, and a thrifty base model doesn’t help it in its TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10. Still, it’s a solid mid-pack performer. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2023 Nissan Altima?

A revamped front end, a larger infotainment touchscreen, standard LED headlights, and more widely available safety features mark the 2023 edition of Nissan’s mid-size sedan. It’s sold this year in S, SV, SR, SL, and SR VC-Turbo versions.

Lean is a key way to understand the current Altima, starting with a body that’s been shorn of some of the fat of the previous generation. Weighing in at about 3,200 pounds in base trim, the Altima’s shredded for a car of its size—and it likes to show it off, from the deep V-necked grille to the pronounced shoulders, to the roof pillar trim that looks like a pair of Oakleys. The body speaks bro, but the cabin doesn’t: it’s a conservative place to retreat among its high center console and its new wide-screen infotainment, at least on the most expensive versions. On lesser models it’s less polished, and more plain.

Base cars also get a 188-hp 4-cylinder coupled to a CVT and front-wheel drive. It’s as much as it needs to get the job done, but no more—just like the base engine in the rival Sonata. It has stamina but not much speed, and its belt-and-pulley transmission acts like an automatic, only slower. Step up to the turbo-4 and the Altima gets a little more interesting, but it’s no transformation. In any case the Altima puts its best efforts into its absorbent ride and its excellent gas mileage, at leasts in base versions.

The Altima can seat up to five passengers, with space for 6-footers in the four usual spots and a smaller person in the middle back. The trunk’s sized for at least a few roll-aboards, and top trims have a quality feel that’s muted in base Altimas by the dark trim and the confining, tall center console. Every Altima we’ve driven has had very supportive front seats, by the way.

The IIHS and the NHTSA give kudos to the Altima with Top Safety Pick+ and five-star awards, and all versions have blind-spot monitors and automatic emergency braking. Most models can be fitted with ProPilot, Nissan’s driver-assist system which grafts adaptive cruise control and active lane control to allow short bursts of hands-free driving, accompanied by lots of audible alerts we’d rather mute.

How much does the 2023 Nissan Altima cost?

Prices for 2023 haven’t been set, but the base Altima S should cost about $26,000. It has automatic emergency braking but lacks AppleCarPlay and Android Auto. Most shoppers should look at the slightly more expensive Altima SV for its superior infotainment. 

Where is the 2023 Nissan Altima made?

In Smyrna, Tennessee, and Canton, Mississippi.

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2023 Nissan Altima

Styling

The Altima cuts a clean profile.

Is the Nissan Altima a good-looking car?

We think so, and give it an extra point for its lithe body, for a 6 here.

The Altima’s style journey has taken it from a bulbous phase in the 1990s, to some gym-inspired takes from the last decade. Now it’s leaner and more athletic, with a long body and a roofline that accentuates its nearly full-size body. It wears a newly deepened grille with a wider V-neck than ever; in SR spec, it’s framed in black trim and a distinct texture from other grades. There’s a deep character line that cuts through gentle side sculpting along its shoulders, and a black trim piece that makes the roof appear to float. It’s one of many, many Nissans with this distinct visual signature, and it works.

With a revamped interior, the Altima cockpit blends the usual soft textures and metallic ribs with dark plastic trim, for a price-appropriate look. The center console sits high, capped in most versions by an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment. Low-end versions shrink the screen to 5.0 inches, enough for a radio display; top-end models now get a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a digital display in the gauge cluster. Those pricey SR editions also get new stitching and lighter trim tones that give it a more airy, expensive feel than the more somber black-on-black attire of the base models.

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2023 Nissan Altima

Performance

The Altima’s pledge: all things in moderation.

The Altima goes about its business with 4-cylinder power and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. It’s standard-issue moves without much flair or pretense no matter which version. It’s a 5 for performance. 

How fast is the Nissan Altima?

Most cars have acceptable acceleration generated by a 188-hp 2.5-liter inline-4, streamed to the front wheels through a CVT that uses pulleys and belts to simulate an automatic transmission. It’s thrifty, but while it conserves fuel it also saps the engine of the excitement it’s able to generate in a car that weighs from 3,300 to 3,500 pounds, roughly. Tepid from a stoplight, the Altima’s at least quiet on the go—but with a full set of passengers on board it loses steam quickly. The SR edition gets shift paddles that let the driver goose the powertrain through a suite of pre-programmed ratios, but it’s not able to extract power that doesn’t exist.

Somewhat confusingly, the SR VC-Turbo gets a different engine, a 248-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 that can vary its engine compression with a complex system that doesn’t generate the kind of power that could transform the Altima driving experience. It’s not available with all-wheel drive, it costs more for fuel, and acceleration gains are modest. 

Is the Nissan Altima 4WD?

Altimas without that more complex turbo-4 can be paired with all-wheel drive, which can split half the power from the fronts to the rears when traction falters. It’s a basic but useful system in northern-tier states, in our experience.

Base Altimas get 16-inch wheels and top grades punch the road with 19-inchers, but the 17-inchers on mid-grade trims have the best balance between ride composure and compliance. The SV’s setup is prime Altima, with zero driving drama, a well-damped ride, and swell highway tracking. The steering has little weight at low speeds and little feedback in general, though the Altima SR VC-Turbo’s setup reminds us of the weighty steering in the similar Nissan Maxima—a simulation of sporty feel that’s good enough for how it’s really used, day in, day out.

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2023 Nissan Altima

Comfort & Quality

It’s great for four and luggage.

Nissan’s family of crossovers and SUVs can do more with the same footprint, but the Altima sedan acquits itself well when asked to finish its chores. With good front seats and a spacious trunk, it’s a 7 here.

The Altima rides on a 111.2-inch wheelbase, and sits 192.9 inches long overall. That plunks it squarely against rivals such as the Accord and Camry. We like the well-shaped front bucket seats we’ve sampled in a range of trims in years past; this year, Nissan’s cut the power adjustment from the base model, though. Other versions swap in heated and power-adjustable front seats, while top models get leather upholstery. Cooled front seats aren’t an option, but still, the Altima’s front chairs provide a good perch for hundreds of miles of comfortable cruising.

In back, three passengers have enough leg and head room to ride on short trips. Drop the fifth-wheel passenger and it’s a great place to sit for a few hours, with enough space for 6-foot-tall people to sit behind a 6-foot-tall driver. 

The Altima’s center console and door pockets fit big water bottles, smartphones, keys, and the like, but it’s the 15.4-cubic-foot trunk that gets pressed into doing everything else, from sandy beach chairs to snow-clogged boots. 

Base Altimas lack the drama of the Hyundai Sonata or Kia K5 interiors, and the materials don’t get plush until the SR grade. The Altima’s center console sits very high and dash trim reflects in the windshield. It’s still a good workplace that won’t attract OSHA’s attention, though the new base 5.0-inch radio display will have drivers wishing they spent just a little more.

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2023 Nissan Altima

Safety

The Altima gets the safety nod.

How safe is the Nissan Altima?

According to its most recent crash-test scores, it’s exceptionally safe. With excellent standard technology, it misses out only on a point we award for rearward vision that gets trimmed by thick roof pillars. 

The IIHS gives the Altima its Top Safety Pick+ award, while the NHTSA pegs it at five stars overall, even though driver-side and front-passenger protection get four stars. We’ll update this should either agency re-test the sedan.

All models now come with automatic emergency braking front and rear, blind-spot monitors, and a driver-attention monitor.

Nissan’s driver-assist ProPilot system comes with the SL and SR VC-Turbo models, and can be fitted to the SV. It’s an adaptive cruise control system that works with active lane control to provide brief periods of hands-free driving support. While it works well, its audible alerts chime in too often for our tastes.

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2023 Nissan Altima

Features

The Altima backslides in base trim.

This year’s Altima goes in the wrong direction with features. The base model loses its standard 7.0-inch touchscreen and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, which costs it a standard-equipment point and one for infotainment. It’s a 6 here.

Prices won’t be announced until later in 2022, but last year’s Altima S cost $25,525. 

Other standard gear includes cloth upholstery, remote start, a 5.0-inch radio display, and  automatic emergency braking.

Which Nissan Altima should I buy?

Last year’s $26,525 Altima SV remains the pick this year, for its standard 17-inch wheels, 8.0-inch touchscreen, CarPlay/Android service, power driver seat, and rear automatic braking. All-wheel drive costs another $1,400 or so; option packages include a bigger touchscreen and ProPilot.

How much is a fully loaded Nissan Altima?

The Altima SL now carries last year’s $35,225 Platinum content, including available all-wheel drive, heated power front seats, leather upholstery, 19-inch wheels, navigation, a surround-view camera system, a sunroof, and premium audio. A 12.3-inch display with wireless CarPlay and Android Auto is offered on the SV and SR; it’s standard on the SL, and also gains a wireless charging pad on the SL. 

The Altima carries an average 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

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2023 Nissan Altima

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy ranks among the Altima’s virtues.

Is the Nissan Altima good on gas?

It’s very good in base spec, where the EPA pegs it at 28 mpg city, 39 highway, 32 combined. That earns a 6 here.

On more luxurious versions, extra weight drops fuel economy; all-wheel-drive cars don’t do better than 26/36/30 mpg. With the complex turbo-4 in the SR, gas mileage dips even more, to 25/34/29 mpg. 

Nissan no longer offers a hybrid Altima; for electrified Nissan cars, you’ll need to turn to the hatchback Leaf or the Ariya crossover.

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6.5
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 9
Features 6
Fuel Economy 6
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