Don’t Buy 2019 Nissan Altima Before You Read This!

I’m here in the 2019 Nissan Altima now 2019 is a big year for the Altima this is the introduction of the sixth generation Altima and it gets a full redesign for 2019 and the changes are very extensive they cover everything from the exterior styling due to new powertrains under the hood and upgrades to safety technology as well as interior multimedia and infotainment so let’s dive right in we have a lot to cover starting with the exterior styling now up front you get the vMotion grille which you’ll kind of recognize other vehicles on the Nissan lineup but Nissan says that the new engine is actually a bit smaller so they’re able to drop the Cal of the hood and what that means is the front of the car sits lower than ever before and what that does is it makes the new Altima seem sleeker it makes the seem lower and wider and those other changes are also reflected in the new styling so they shrunk the rear fenders down they didn’t make them quite as bulbous and you have this nice shoulder line that runs kind of from the hood all the way to the back and integrates nicely into the taillights overall it still looks like an Altima this shape is still you know recognizable as an Altima but everything is a bit sleeker a bit more toned and it looks a bit more modern I actually like the design changes quite a bit for 2019 there are also big changes under the hood for the Altima so that includes two new engines starting with the base engine which is still a litre four-cylinder.

However Nissan says it has over 80% new parts and it also gets a slight power increase from 179 to 188 horsepower however the bigger changes come with the optional engine so instead of a v6 there is now an available turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder variable compression engine and if that sounds familiar that’s because this engine was introduced earlier this year by infinity into the qx50 SUV now Nissan engineers say that they’ve had to kind of change the orientation of the engine and retune it a bit to get it to fit into the Altima and ultimately I actually like the engine in this application much better than I do in the qx50 though the qx50 is a larger vehicle so it felt like the engine kind of had to spool up more to really get you at 50 going here the engine has a bit easier time with the power and since the ultimate smaller vehicle acceleration seems to pour on a little bit quicker now there’s a cavity with both power trains is that it comes attached to a CVT and it’s more apparent in the base engine the CVT kind of mutes throttle inputs especially from a launch and when trying to pass there’s a noticeable lag where the transmission tries to step down when you’re passing someone and there’s also a bit of a delay when you really try to accelerate hard from a stop so the well the measurable number is on though on the engine aren’t you know aren’t bad they’re 188 horsepower is nothing to kind of sneeze at the fact that the transmission kind of dulls your throttle inputs just makes the car feel slower and feel less responsive now on the vc turbo i had a chance to test out the SR trim which is the sporty trim of the ultimate and that does come with paddle shifters and nissan says that there are eight available kind of fake gear ratios that you can flip through using those paddle shifters and that kind of saves the SR but the SR is the only trim that will offer those so even if you get something like the car that we’re in now which is a platinum trim level and you get the BC turbo engine you’re not gonna have the luxury of paddle shifters to really make that engine act as it should the final powertrain change for 2019 for the ultimate is the addition of all-wheel drive now all-wheel drive gives the ultimate a bit more differentiation between it and competitors like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry it’s gonna be the only one out of those three to offer all-wheel drive but the catch is you can only get all-wheel drive in the Altima with the base engine now it will be available on all trim level Altima which is a good thing and it’s gonna be a $1,350 option but again only with the base engine so for those who want the optional VC turbo engine you’re only gonna be able to get that in front-wheel drive the all-wheel drive system is kind of a more passive system so it’s similar to the one that you’ll find underneath the rogue and the Murano it’s able to send about fifty percent of available torque to the rear wheels and once it’s back there it has a brake based kind of torque vectoring system which breaks one of the wheels to allow more power to go to the other wheel and on the whole it’s not a very intrusive system I drove an all-wheel-drive version the Ultima on some Canyon roads this morning and functionally it still pretty much feels like a front wheel drive car it has a front wheel drive bias for greater efficiency.

The addition of all wheel drive will be a welcome change for those who live in colder climates now there are also big changes to safety features for 2019 the ultimate gets an electric power steering system which means that is now available with their excellent Pope highlight assist system now Pro pilot is one of my favorite sort of not quite self-driving features but we’ll call it driver aid features it does a very good job with lane centering which is not something you can say about other systems and the crew that’s of cruise control is pretty smooth and accelerate smoothly and slows down smoothly it’s just a very seamless integration so on SP trim and above you get the pro pilot assistant you also get what Nissan is calling safety shield 360 and that’s just kind of a suite of safety technologies that includes one more new technology which is rear automatic braking so we got to see a demonstration of that the system can actually detect stationary objects behind you and if you’re going to back into them it will apply the brakes for you now down at the very bottom the S level does still get automatic forward emergency braking standard an interesting jump up to the SR that adds blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert so even the bottom trim levels aren’t you know left without any safety features but you won’t be able to go back and add in Pro pilot or safety shield 360 to those there are not really any option packages offering the ultimate anymore so kind of what you get safety wise for that grade is what you’re stuck with the 2019 ultimate also sees big updates on the interior but the most welcome ones are changes to the multimedia system so there is now a new 8 inch touch screen and that’s standard across all trim levels and it’s sort of mounted high up on the dash in this modern kind of tablet style but Nissan did one thing that I appreciate organ amelie with the screen and they made it easy to reach from the driver’s seat so some of these screens get mounted up too high but when you can’t really reach them without leaning very far forward but this one I can reach both sides of the screen as well as both the volume and tuning knobs without leaning too far forward so kudos to Nissan for that ergonomic help there the other big addition for 2019 standard Android auto and apple carplay so whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone you’re going to be covered for a smart phone mirroring technology now over all the updates to the 2019 are all very welcome changes I just wish that Nissan had gone a little bit further in one area and that would be in improving the ultimate dynamics so I had a chance to test the SR version of the Altima which is their sporty version and that has about 10 percent stiffer dampers in the suspension and Nissan says it also has a much tighter steering rack so you get a bit more confidence – a bit more weight in the steering now I wish that Nissan had applied those changes across all of the trim levels of the Altima even of the SR had a stiffer suspension is still rode pretty well and the added weight gives the steering more confidence the other trim levels feel a bit floating on the road you can’t really tell what the wheels were doing underneath you so I think that those changes to the SR could have been applied up and down the line up and then you could have made the SR still even sportier and that would have helped the Altima compete against the Accord in the Camry both of which got very extensive redesigns last year and both of which I would say are a bit dynamically better than the Altima it was always going to be an uphill battle for the ultimate like going up against those two and I’m not sure that Nissan did quite enough driving wise to give the ultimate leg up on those two vehicles however it still does offer all-wheel drive and that’s an important bit of differentiation because if you want a midsize sedan with all-wheel-drive you’re basically looking at the Altima or the Subaru Legacy and the Altima is better than the Subaru Legacy in a bunch of different ways it has a better interior I’d say it has it better at multimedia experience now and the safety features on the Nissan there are seamless in a way that the Subaru can’t really match the ultimate will be heading to do this within a few weeks starting in early October and if you want more information they also including detailed breakdowns of the pricing and the fuel economy head over to cars calm you