The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima are the three top-selling mid-size sedans on the local car market - in that order - collectively finding close to 600,000 new owners in the USA last year. American automakers might have abandoned the segment, but the Japanese triumvirate is still courting sedan buyers in a market now overrun by crossovers and SUVs. Their commitment is admirable; a redesigned Accord debuted last year, and an all-new Camry is due next year. The 6th-generation Altima, however, has been around since 2019 and is showing its age. The base 188-horsepower four-cylinder engine is only just adequate, while the 248-hp 2.0 turbocharged variable-compression engine is only fitted to the expensive top model. Both are connected to a drony CVT, and the top trims that handle well also drive too harshly, so the Altima definitely makes more sense at the sensible-shoes lower end of the lineup. Even so, the Accord is nicer to drive, so the unchanged-for-2024 Altima doesn't have a great deal to recommend it, although its high-value starting price and excellent safety credentials are drawcards.
The 2024 Altima carries over almost completely unchanged from last year, when it was refreshed with a mild restyle, more safety features, and other changes. The only difference this year is that the six-month trial subscription to NissanConnect Services is extended to a three-year trial subscription. Other than that, the price of every 2024 Nissan Altima trim level in the range increases by $100.
The starting price of a new Nissan Altima 2.5 S increases from $25,630 to $25,730 this year. Similarly, all the other trims increase by $100 as well; the 2.5 S is followed by the 2.5 SV at $26,530, the 2.5 SR at $27,930, the 2.5 SL at $32,430, and the 2.0 VC-Turbo SR at $35,430. This is for the trims in FWD configuration; AWD is optionally available on the 2.5 SV, 2.5 SR, and 2.5 SL only at a cost of $1,500. These prices are MSRP and exclusive of Nissan's $1,115 destination charge.
The sensible money goes to the SV with the Premium package added. The car starts at a reasonable $26,530 and already includes a few nice features the S doesn't have, such as 17-inch alloys, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, push-button start, and a power driver's seat. For a reasonable $2,390, the Premium package adds a laundry list of niceties, some of which are adaptive suspension, ProPILOT Assist, the big 12.3-inch touchscreen with Wi-Fi and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, navigation, a glass moonroof, heated front seats, a wireless charger, and more driver assists. The sensible wheel size and adaptive suspension optimize comfort and go better with the unexciting powertrain. You bag a very safe and well-equipped mid-size sedan for $30k, destination included, which is excellent value in our books.
The interior doesn’t leave a lasting impression, and the base model is a little skimpy with its plain cloth, small touchscreen, and an infotainment system that lacks basic features.
The cabin of the Altima is unremarkable and inoffensive. The dashboard is solidly screwed together and made from sturdy materials, but there are quite a lot of hard plastics to be seen, though these seem tough and are textured in a way that prevents them from feeling cheap. The wood-look and carbon-effect trim pieces are fake, though, and that might irritate some people. There's cloth on the seats, but the top trims get leather. Interior space is acceptable, but the second row is not at the level of the Accord or Camry. The controls are easy to use, though the base touchscreen is rather small and devoid of features; top trims get a much bigger one. Sight lines are reasonably unobstructed, but the high trunk cover hampers your view out the back, and the image quality of the backup camera isn't great. Thankfully, rear parking sensors are standard on all trims, easing parking anxiety, while the top trims also get a surround-view camera.
The interior is roomy enough, and adults will be able to make themselves at home on the rear seat, but the taller among us are best advised to ride shotgun or opt for a Camry or Accord; both are significantly more spacious in the second row, despite the wheelbase of all three cars being within fractions of an inch the same. The front seats are generally comfortable for most body types, but some people feel the lumbar support is a little overdone, while others feel the seats are short on thigh support. The SR trims get sportier front seats.
Trunk space is competitive in this class at 15.4 cu-ft, fractionally ahead of the Camry's 15.1 cu-ft, but behind the Accord's 16.7 cu-ft. Trunk volume can be expanded by folding down the second row, but the levers to release the 60/40-split rear seats can only be accessed through the trunk, and the seats don't fold completely flat either, hindering practicality. Nissan doesn't provide a figure for the total space available.
You get the usual glovebox in the cabin, along with four door pockets. The center console contains a space to put your phone - which is also the wireless charging pad on trims so equipped - along with a lidded storage bin, a small receptacle in the base trims that is taken up by the electronic parking brake in the top trims, and two rather shallow cupholders that won't hold tall containers upright. All trims except the S get front seatback pockets. The rear passengers' dual cupholders are in their fold-down center armrest.
|Nissan Altima||Toyota Camry||Honda Accord|
|38-39.1 in. front|
36.7-36.9 in. rear
|38.3 in. front|
37.5-38 in. rear
|37.5-39.5 in. front |
37.2-37.3 in. rear
|43.8 in. front|
35.2 in. rear
|42.1 in. front|
38 in. rear
|42.3 in. front |
40.8 in. rear
|15.4 ft³||15.1 ft³||16.7 ft³|
The rental-spec S trim's only interior color scheme is black, with Charcoal cloth upholstery on the seats and carbon-effect trim. The SV also comes with cloth upholstery but gets access to two interior colors, adding Light Gray as the second choice, with carbon-effect and wood-tone trim. The 2.5 SR gets premium sports cloth in Charcoal with contrast stitching, with trim pieces in silver with a geometric pattern and piano black. The SL gets leather upholstery in Charcoal or Light Gray with piano black and Dark Teak wood-effect trim. The 2.0 VC-Turbo SR's seats are upholstered in a combination of leather and premium sports cloth, in Charcoal with red and white contrast stitching on the seats, doors, console, and steering wheel, and trim in carbon effect and piano black.
The fleet-spec S feels a bit barebones inside with its small display screens, urethane steering wheel and shift knob, manually adjustable plain cloth seats, and air-conditioning. The bare basics are there, notably manual tilting/telescoping adjustment for the steering column, keyless entry with push-button start, and cruise control, but not much more. It gets better higher up the lineup as features such as dual-zone climate control, larger display screens, power seat adjustment, premium cloth and leather upholstery, and heated front seats are added.
The basic infotainment system in the S lacks the features one would expect in a modern car. It comes with a small seven-inch touchscreen and has only Bluetooth, voice recognition, a single USB port, and a six-speaker audio system. You have to upgrade to the SV before you even get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the SV's upgraded system also comes with a larger eight-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM, and three more USB ports. Only the SL and 2.0 VC-Turbo SR get the largest 12.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a wireless charging pad, and a premium nine-speaker Bose audio system, but you can order this top-spec infotainment system on the SV as part of the Premium package.
|2.5 S||2.5 SV||2.0 SR|
|Power driver's seat|
|Apple CarPlay and Android Auto|
|7" and 12.3" displays with navigation|
|Bose nine-speaker sound system|
The base engine’s performance is acceptable but unexciting, but the CVT can frustrate when you’re in a hurry. The turbocharged engine offers punchy acceleration.
The Nissan Altima's standard engine is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers middling performance. It produces 188 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque in FWD models and 182 hp/178 lb-ft in AWD models. With front-wheel drive, it should be good for a 0-60 of around 7.7 seconds, while the heavier and less powerful all-wheel drive should take about eight seconds. Top speed is limited to around 120 mph. This engine is used in all Altimas except the top-of-the-range 2.0 VC-Turbo SR, which gets Nissan's 2.0-liter turbocharged variable-compression engine that produces 236 hp and 267 lb-ft on Regular gas and 248 hp/273 lb-ft on Premium. Filled with the good stuff, it gives the Nissan Altima a 0-60 mph time of under six seconds and a top speed of 142 mph. The base 2.5 S and top 2.0 VC-Turbo SR are only available in FWD format, while all the other trims can optionally be had with AWD. Regardless of the engine or drivetrain configuration, every Altima's transmission is a CVT automatic.
The standard suspension is acceptably comfortable while still providing composed and grippy handling. It doesn't break new ground, but it's the best compromise in the lineup. The FWD SR trims get sport-tuned suspension that is simply too harsh in combination with their 19-inch wheels. If you want the SR's sporty looks but not the harsh ride, all is not lost because the 2.5 SR in AWD guise does not get the sport-tuned suspension and rides passably well, even if its bite doesn't match its bark. But if you want performance and ride quality, forget it because the turbocharged SR is only available in FWD with the hard ride. It's a shame, because its torquey engine makes better use of the CVT and doesn't need to explode into a flurry of revs to get a move-on. So, for a more serene ride suitable for a family sedan, you have to resign yourself to the base engine and standard suspension. The power unit gets the job done and feels acceptably swift when you're not in a hurry, but pressing on comes with the typically whiney revving and droning that CVTs are known for when coupled to naturally aspirated engines. It's perfectly pleasant at normal speeds, though, ably assisted by a light but accurate power steering and progressive brakes.
The EPA's gas mileage estimates for the Nissan Altima on the city/highway/combined cycles are 27/39/32 mpg for the FWD S and SV trims - the thriftiest ones in the range - dropping to 26/36/30 mpg with AWD. The FWD SL and SR, with their larger wheels, lose out a little to the base FWD trims with figures of 27/37/31 mpg. The 2.0 Turbo-VC SR returns the worst fuel economy, with figures of 25/34/29 mpg.
With a 16.2-gallon fuel capacity, the FWD Altimas can achieve anything from 470 to 518 miles on a tank, depending on the trim. The AWD Altimas have a slightly smaller 16-gallon gas tank - still good for a range of 480 miles. While the Nissan Altima's mpg figures are competitive for a gas sedan, it doesn't offer you a hybridized option, so it has no answer to the Accord and Camry hybrids - which return anything from 44 to 52 mpg combined.
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas|
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
|2.5L Inline-4 Gas|
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
|2.5L Inline-4 Gas |
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
|236 hp - regular fuel|
248 hp - 93 octane
|188 hp||182 hp|
|142 mph||120 mph||120 mph|
|25/34/29 mpg||27/39/32 mpg (S, SV)|
27/37/31 mpg (SL, SR)
|5.9 sec.||7.7 sec.||8 sec.|
Safety scores are good, but the Altima is starting to fall behind on newer crash criteria, while some common driver assists, such as rain-sensing wipers, aren’t available at all.
The NHTSA's 2024 safety review of the Nissan Altima produced a five-star overall rating. The IIHS has only tested the 2023 Altima at the time of writing, giving it mostly Good scores and a Top Safety Pick+ award for 2022. However, the Altima is starting to show its age when subjected to the latest updated tests the IIHS performs, scoring Marginal for the updated moderate overlap test and Poor for the updated side test.
The level of standard safety features on the Altima is commendable. Besides eight airbags and the usual backup camera, tire-pressure monitoring, ABS brakes, and stability control, every Altima comes with Nissan's Safety Shield 360 driver-assistance suite. Included in this suite are front-collision alert with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors with automatic reverse braking. Also included are automatic LED headlights with auto high beams, hill-start assist, and driver-alertness monitoring. All these features are standard on the 2.5L S, SV, and SR trims. The 2.5 SL and 2.0 VC-Turbo SR additionally add ProPILOT Assist adaptive cruise control with stop & go, intelligent lane intervention, lane tracing, automatic brake hold, and traffic sign recognition. All these top trims' driver assists can be added to the SV as part of the Premium package.
|2.5 S||2.5 SV||2.0 SR|
|Front-collision alert with auto braking|
|Blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert|
|Rear parking sensors with auto reverse braking|
|Adaptive cruise control with stop and go|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
Judged according to JD Power's Quality & Reliability evaluation, the Nissan Altima's score of 80 out of 100 is good but unremarkable, tying with the Accord but lagging well behind the Camry's excellent score of 88. On the recall front, the news is good, though, with not a single recall on record so far for the 2022, 2023, or 2024 Altimas. The last time the Altima was recalled was in 2021 for an improperly secured steering ball joint and a blank backup camera display.
The 2024 Nissan Altima's warranty is average, with the basic warranty valid for three years/36,000 miles, the powertrain warranty for five years/60,000 miles, and the corrosion-perforation warranty for five years/unlimited miles.
After last year's subtle facelift, the Altima actually looks quite sharp and dynamic with a stern gaze from the angled, standard-fit LED headlights and DRLs, and a V-Motion grille that reaches way down to the chin spoiler. The SR trims get blacked-out exterior trim and a black sports mesh grille. The rear bumper has a diffuser-type insert that's body color on the regular trims and Charcoal on the SRs. The S rides on basic 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, the SV gets 17-inch alloys, and all the other trims ride on 19-inch alloys - trim-specific ones on the SL and black wheels on the SRs. Only the two top trims get LED turn signals in the side mirrors and a sunroof, though the sunroof is available to the SV as part of the Premium package.
The Nissan Altima is a fine mid-size sedan in isolation and still makes a convincing case for itself thanks to a high-value starting price, very good safety features and driver assists, available AWD, attractive looks, and good fuel economy. But compared to the market-leading Accord and top-selling Camry, it doesn't offer a complete package, lacking in the areas of interior space and general ride refinement, especially compared to the excellent Accord. There's also no hybrid option, and the base engine is uninspiring, while the performance engine is only offered on the harsh-riding and expensive top trim. If you're free from sporting inclinations, the standard powertrain in SV format with the Premium package makes for a high-value package with lots of features, but most of its rivals are better, and some, like the Sonata and Legacy, start at an even lower price. This makes the Altima increasingly difficult to recommend.
The most popular competitors of 2024 Nissan Altima: