Big reveals at New York’s Climate Week 2015! After the Passat launch last night, the new Altima is next today. Impressive tweaks to the design front and rear, tech inside, plus drive manners headline the refresh for Nissan’s best-selling vehicle. Efficiency takes a huge jump up to 39-mpg highway for the standard 2.5-liter engine models thanks to a reduction in aero drag to 0.26 cD from 0.29 cD, active grille shutters and full underbody shrouds.
This headline mileage stat does not exclude the new SR models — a sporty trimline that is new for 2016 and offered on the 2.5-liter four-cylinder or the big 3.5-liter V6. Wearing big wheels, LEDs front and rear, plus bigger alloys — the SR ably mimics the sporty look of the new Maxima pretty effectively.
This new Altima SR is a promising step for the jumbo mid-size sedan — addressing some of the concerns we had in a road test of the 2015 model. While it is a great drive and a highway all-star for its smoothness and handling, the exterior lacked sparkle.
Updated suspension tuning for all models will improve handling feel for 2016, as does the latest Xtronic programming for the standard CVT automatic transmission. The third-gen D-Step programming logic creates simulated upshifts on full throttle. This feature really helps the CVT shine in its low-speed smoothness — but without the slightly off-putting surge of power on hard throttle that defines most continuously-variable transmissions.
2016 Nissan ALTIMA
Just three years after its total redesign for the 2013 model year, the Nissan Altima has been transformed again. The new 2016 Altima, in one of the most extensive mid-cycle product makeovers in Nissan history, offers a wide-ranging list of enhancements, including:
- Refreshed exterior following the new Nissan “Energetic Flow” design language introduced on the all-new 2015 Murano and 2016 Maxima – with a new lowered muscular front fascia, distinctive V-motion grille, new hood and fenders with tailored character lines, and available signature LED boomerang headlights and Daytime Running Lights
- Redesigned rear bumper, fascia, rear combination lights and truck lid, and lower and wider taillights
- Ten percent improvement in coefficient of drag (0.26 from 0.29) through use of active grille shutter (2.5 models), underfloor aero cover additions and new front and rear fascia and windshield designs
- New 17-inch and 18-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheel designs
- Refined interior design with new C-stack and cupholder design, available 5.0-inch and 7.0-inch displays, reshaped seats and new soft-touch seat and door panel materials and custom finishers – providing a premium look and feel throughout
- Class-leading* standard fuel economy of 39 miles per gallon highway (2.5-liter engine, except 2.5 SR)
- The addition of a new Altima SR grade, featuring 18-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels, smoked headlights, paddle shifters, rear spoiler, unique suspension tuning and sport interior accents
- Redesigned steering and suspension on all grades, providing greatly enhanced ride comfort, handling and quietness
- Refined performance with next-generation Xtronic transmission with D-step logic to simulate traditional automatic transmission shift points
- Standard Siri™ Eyes Free and NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps (except 2.5 grade), available Nissan Connect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, and NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM telematics (subscription required, sold separately)
- Expanded suite of available safety features, including class-exclusive** Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), radar-based Blind Sport Warning (BSW), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- More standard features all grades, including RearView Monitor on 2.5 S grade and above
With the addition of the new SR model, the 2016 Altima is available in a choice of seven models – 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SR, 2.5 SV, 2.5 SL, 3.5 SR and 3.5 SL. The five 2.5-liter models feature a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine, while 3.5-liter Altimas offer a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC V6.
Both engines are matched with a standard smooth and efficient Xtronic transmission with enhanced third-generation D-Step Shift logic. Fuel economy for 2.5-liter models is rated at an estimated 27 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined (37 mpg highway for 2.5 SR).
Altima 3.5-liter V6-equipped models offer estimated fuel economy of 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.
All 2016 Altima models also are equipped with a re-engineered 4-wheel independent suspension with new struts and bushings for a more comfortable and controlled ride and handling. A special sport-tuned suspension with revised struts and springs is offered on Altima SR models. Active Understeer Control is standard on all grades, along with 4-wheel disc brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), and Electronic Hydraulic Power-Assisted Steering (EHPS).
The 2016 Altima’s premium interior design comes with standard NASA-inspired Zero Gravity front seats, with leather-appointed seating standard on Altima 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL models. All grades include Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® and an Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display in the center of the instrument cluster that integrates key information – including available navigation, text messaging notification and audio data – right in front of the driver.
For 2016, the Altima 2.5 S grade adds NissanConnect with Mobile Apps as standard equipment, including a 5.0-inch color audio display, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices. All grades (except 2.5) add Siri™ Eyes Free, which allows a hands-free voice connection to Siri™ commands.
Standard on Altima 3.5 SL and optional on 2.5 SL is NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps. The system includes in-vehicle smartphone integration for Android and iPhone® operating systems, a 7.0-inch color touch-screen display, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link™ (fuel prices, movie times, stock updates, weather) (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately).
Optionally available on Altima 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL is the new NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM®, with automatic collision notification, remote start via smartphone***, emergency call, stolen vehicle locator and dealer service scheduling and maintenance alerts (subscription required, sold separately).
The new 2016 Altima SR, offered with both 2.5-liter and 3.5-liter powerplants, adds an increased level of unique equipment and sporty performance at an affordable price. Based on the popular Altima 2.5 S, the 2.5 SR adds smoked headlight housings, Daytime Running Lights, fog lights, rear decklid spoiler, an 8-way power driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support, manual mode Xtronic transmission with paddle shifters, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter, unique sport interior accents, sport-tuned suspension, and 18-inch sport machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels with Dunlop 235/45R18 tires. Along with the larger 3.5-liter V6, the Altima 3.5 SR also adds LED headlights.
The class-exclusive** Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) system can warn the driver of risks that lie beyond the driver’s forward field of view. It not only can sense the relative velocity and distance of a vehicle directly ahead, but also of a vehicle traveling in front of the preceding one and can help alert the driver to a potential forward collision.
Also for 2016, a radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system is standard on SV and SL grades, along with new Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) and Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) are offered as part of the optional Tech Package (SL grade).
Highlights of the new 2016 Nissan Altima include:
- Revised exterior design expressing the new Nissan Design Language that debuted on the all-new Nissan Murano crossover and Maxima “4-Door Sports Car”
- New front and rear bumpers, fascias, hood, grille, trunk and lights
- Available Daytime Running Lights (except 2.5 and 2.5 S grades)
- Available LED headlights (standard on 3.5 SR and 3.5 SL, optional on 2.5 SR and 2.5 SL)
- Wide aggressive stance, sloping rear roofline, deep fenders, high trunk and small wheel opening gaps – providing premium proportions and silhouette
- New, standard acoustic glass windshield, additional cabin isolation materials
- Large black-painted grille with chrome surround
- Available auto on/off headlights with two-stage function, windshield wiper interface (turns on lights when wipers are in use)
- Available fog lights
- Chrome dual exhaust tips
- Chrome door handles, door sash molding and trunk finisher
- Available heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals
- 0.26 coefficient of drag (2.5 models, except SR)
- Nine available exterior colors: new Deep Blue Pearl, along with Java Metallic, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Cayenne Red, Pearl White, Glacier White and Storm Blue
Engines and Driveline
- 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder with 182 horsepower (179 CAL****) and 180 lb-ft torque (177 CAL****)
- Available 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 with 270 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque
- Standard next-generation Xtronic transmission, designed for fluid-feeling performance and efficient operation – features the widest gear ratio range in the segment
- Enhanced D-Step Shift logic for the Xtronic transmission
- Column-mounted paddle shifters with manumatic mode on SR grade
- Fuel economy rated at an estimated 27/39/31 mpg city/highway/combined for 2.5-liter 4-cylinder models (37 mpg highway 2.5 SR); 22/32/26 mpg city/highway/combined for 3.5-liter V6
Suspension, Steering and Braking
- Advanced “D” platform featuring low NVH, low engine mounting position
- Redesigned independent strut front suspension with advanced geometry and equal-length half shafts that are almost parallel to the ground – reducing torque steer
- Redesigned independent rear multilink suspension design
- Standard Active Understeer Control
- Premium ZF SACHS shock absorbers, designed for secure cornering feel and comfortable ride
- Standard front and rear stabilizer bars
- Sport-tuned suspension for Altima SR grades with larger front (24.2 mm) and rear 26.5 mm) stabilizer bars and revised bushings and damper tuning
- Retuned Electronic Hydraulic Power-Assisted Steering (EHPS) for improved steering feedback
- Power-assisted front vented disc/solid rear disc brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)
- Standard 16×7-inch steel wheels with full-wheel covers with 215/60R16 all-season tires on 2.5 and 2.5 S
- Standard 17×7.5-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 215/55R17 all-season tires on 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL
- Standard 18×7.5-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/45R18 all-season tires on 2.5 SR, 3.5 SR and 3.5 SL
- Redesigned, upscale interior with premium materials and craftsmanship
- New center console with standard full-color 5.0-inch color multi-touch audio display (except 2.5 grade)
- Five-passenger seating with 6-way adjustable driver’s/4-way front passenger’s adjustable bucket seats, 60/40 split folding rear bench seat with armrest
- NASA-inspired Zero Gravity front seats that help support a neutral posture (versus tradition seat design)
- Available 8-way power driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support
- Available 4-way power passenger’s seat (SL models)
- Available heated front seats and heated steering wheel
- Crafted interior feel with refined workmanship, extensive use of soft materials (such as deeply padded armrests) and chrome finish accents
- Fine Vision meter cluster
- Standard cloth seating, black interior trim with chrome finish accents
- Available leather-appointed seats and trim
- Available premium interior trim – Brushed Silver Wave (Beige interior) or Carbon Wave (Charcoal interior)
- Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display with 4.0-inch high-resolution color display nestled in the instrument cluster
- AM/FM/CD with RDS, MP3 and aux-in, four speakers
- Available AM/FM/CD with RDS, MP3 and aux-in, six speakers and 5.0-inch color audio display
- Available Bose® Premium Audio System with nine speakers (including woofers)
- Available NissanConnect with Mobile Apps smartphone integration; includes 5.0-inch color audio display, USB port with iPod® connectivity, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately)
- Available NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps smartphone integration; includes Online Search with Google™ and SiriusXM® Travel Link™ (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately) plus a 7.0-inch color display and voice recognition, turn-by-turn navigation integration into Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display and steering wheel-mounted controls
- Available NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM® (subscription required, sold separately)
- Available Siri™ Eyes Free
- Available Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant
- Available Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control
- Standard Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with Voice Recognition and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®
- Remote Keyless Entry with Push Button Ignition
- Available Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition
- Available Remote Engine Start System*** with Intelligent Climate Control
- Power windows with driver’s side auto up/down and auto reverse feature, available front passenger-side auto up/down and auto reverse feature
- Dual front (center console) and rear (armrest) cupholders, front and rear door map pockets with bottle holders
- Two 12-volt DC power outlets (in armrest storage and front console)
- Power door locks with auto locking feature
- Available RearView Monitor
- Available power sliding glass moonroof with sliding shade (standard on 3.5 SL, optional on 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL)
- Available HomeLink® Universal Transceiver
- Three available interior colors: Charcoal, Beige and Sport (SR)
- Available radar-based Blind Sport Warning (BSW)
- Available Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Available Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW)
- Available Forward Emergency Braking (FEB)
- Available Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC)
- Available Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA
- Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor
- Driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags
- Roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection
- Front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters
- LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren)
- Zone Body construction
- Standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Easy-Fill Tire Alert
Models and Manufacturing
- Available in seven models: Altima 2.5, Altima 2.5 S, Altima 2.5 SR, Altima 2.5 SV, Altima 2.5 SL, Altima 3.5 SR and Altima 3.5 SL
- Assembled by Nissan North America – Smyrna, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi manufacturing
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.