2018 Nissan Altima

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2018 Nissan Altima Review

Nissan advertises the Altima as its top-selling sedan, so it is easy to expect great things from it. And while the mid-size sedan performs admirably with its 2.5-liter 177 horsepower four-cylinder, it is far from class-leading; paired with a continuously variable transmission with no manual option, the Altima is only offered as a front-wheel-drive. If it continues to sell well, it is likely only because of its affordable starting price of $23,260, since it sorely lacks in features and driver aids. The features that are offered are quite dated now, as the Altima hasn't received a rework in quite some time. Still, the few new additions to the 2018 iteration of this aging model may be enough to keep it in the running against rivals like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, at least for a little while longer.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 6 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 7 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 6 /10
7.0
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2018 Nissan Altima Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2017 Altima?

The 2018 Nissan Altima offers no new performance values, but automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning are now standard on the base model. Adaptive cruise control is added to the 3.5 SL's features, along with an eight-inch NissanConnect touchscreen display featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which can be added to the SV and SL in their respective Technology packages.

Pros and Cons

  • Extremely comfortable front seats
  • Superior fuel economy
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Optional V6 engine performs well
  • Available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Reasonably priced
  • Outdated tech features with poor ergonomics
  • Sloppy steering
  • Subpar engine performance
  • Limited standard features

Best Deals on 2018 Nissan Altima

2018 Nissan Altima Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5 S
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,260
2.5 SR
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,320
2.5 SV
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$25,910
2.5 SL
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$29,110
3.5 SL
3.5L V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$33,630
See All 2018 Nissan Altima Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

For a daily town-car, the Altima handles reasonably well. At regular driving speeds, the sedan behaves itself, with enough maneuverability and body-motion control to weave around twisty town roads despite its larger-than-average size. However, this minor acclaim to athleticism is hamstrung by the vehicle's poor steering dynamics. At even the slowest of speeds, the steering needs all the help it can get to direct this bulky midsize sedan; and, to make a bad situation worse, steering-wheel recentering is all but non-existent.

The brakes also leave much to be desired, offering little to no resistance when engaged. Nonetheless, they do their job well enough, stopping the vehicle from 60 mph in around 121 ft. On the plus side, the Altima offers quite a good degree of ride comfort. Most road abrasions are absorbed with little effort, and the comfortable seats help to counteract larger bumps. Unfortunately, the stiffer suspension on the SR or the larger wheels on the 3.5 SL do require that you sacrifice some of this comfort in order to improve on the car's mediocre handling dynamics.

The Altima also offers a surprisingly quiet ride thanks to advances in the cabin's sound-dampening features. However, the growl of the bolder V6 engine may still seep through when you give in to temptation and draw on its power.

Verdict: Is the 2018 Nissan Altima A Good car?

Sure, the Nissan Altima is a good car. But is good all you want from a vehicle you and your family will be spending hours in on a daily basis?

The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine available across the lower trim levels is strong enough to power this mid-size sedan, but it will never move it with any degree of haste. The handling is uncontentious at best, and the suite of tech features leaves much to be desired. This is a car you buy when you don't particularly care what you are driving, just so long as it gets you where you are going in a timely and safe manner. At least in this regard, the Altima boasts great safety ratings, which is impressive considering it is largely devoid of modern-day safety and driver-assist features.

For those sedan buyers who want a bit more zest in their daily commute, the Altima does offer a more potent V6 engine, but you need to fork out the cash for the top-tier 3.5 SL trim to even have that option. Even then, this engine isn't done justice by the Altima's inherently average handling. Overall, there are much better sedans out there to be apathetic about, and they cost much the same as this Nissan. So, why not err on the side of moderate driving pleasure and pick up one of the Altima's many superior rivals?

2018 Nissan Altima Comparisons

Toyota Camry Toyota
Honda Accord Honda

2018 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry

Fully redesigned for 2018, the Toyota Camry naturally brings a lot of modern features to the table as one of the Altima's lead rivals. In looks alone, it blows the dated Nissan out of the water, sporting an impressive and imposing grille up front, with a sleek, aerodynamic design that hints at its superior performance. The base four-cylinder engine has been refined and now delivers a segment-leading 203 hp and 184 lb-ft, with an optional V6 that simply outclasses the Altima's. The bold design-changes to the exterior are carried over to the interior too, with Toyota opting for very unique styling features that you will either love or hate, but set in a space that offers more passenger volume and trunk space than the Nissan. Being brand new for 2018, all the tech features on offer in the Camry are state of the art, which makes the lack of Android Auto more than a little surprising. Still, with an array of safety and convenience features, and a more powerful drivetrain that manages to be more fuel-efficient than the Altima's, the Toyota Camry is hands-down the better choice. And to top it all off, the Camry has an almost identical starting price.

See Toyota Camry Review

2018 Nissan Altima vs Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is arguably the best mid-size sedan on the market, offering class-leading performance, fuel efficiency, and interior volumes that border on full-size. On the inside, it would be easy to mistake this car for a full-size sedan with its spacious interior and impressive 16.7 cubic feet of trunk space. In terms of tech features, the Accord has the basics, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, even though the infotainment is all state of the art, it is not as intuitive as many rivals' systems. Like other modern Honda models, the Accord comes equipped with Honda Sensing, comprising a long list of advanced safety features that no rival can match as standard equipment. All this comes with a price tag that is no more than a few hundred dollars more than the Nissan Altima, so it is easy to see why the Honda Accord is the better choice.

See Honda Accord Review

2018 Nissan Altima Popular Comparisons

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2018 Nissan Altima Video Review

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