2020 Nissan Altima

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2020 Nissan Altima Review: Crossover Antidote

by Aiden Eksteen

Despite crossover sales booming at a rate that could challenge the spread of COVID-19, the Nissan Altima persists in offering the market a solid stab at a midsize sedan, joining rivals like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Hyundai Sonata in vying for consumers' attention in the US. The new Nissan Altima flaunts an attractive design, a well-balanced driving experience, and a contemporary and spacious cabin. The Altima range comprises five trims, and in their arsenal is a 188-horsepower, 180 lb-ft of torque 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's coupled to a CVT automatic as standard. An award-winning 2.0-liter turbo-four mill with outputs of 248 hp and 273 lb-ft is available for the performance-oriented models in the lineup. There's plenty of appeal in the Altima, and with its continuous advancements, Nissan has possibly succeeded in making it a sedan worth sticking to. However, with the all-rounder perks offered from the crossover class, has the relentless crossover insurgence proven that resistance is futile?

Read in this review:

8.1
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2020 Nissan Altima Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Altima?

For the 2020 model year, Nissan introduced the Driver Assist Package as standard for the S grade Altima, and includes Nissan's Safety Shield 360 suite of driver-assist technologies as stock-fitted in the SR trim, and available to the rest of the range. Other updates include the addition of all-new Piano Black cabin accents to the SV, SL, and Platinum, and the inclusion of a mirror memory system to the Platinum exclusively. Though seemingly menial, these latest upgrades do effectively set the Altima well inline with the competition.

Pros and Cons

  • Commodious cabin and comfortable seats
  • Packed with modern technology and features
  • Offers a well-balanced driving experience
  • Delivers above-average gas mileage figures
  • Available with an all-wheel-drive system
  • Uninspiring performance and handling
  • Outward visibility is rather compromised
  • Possesses some low-grade cabin materials
  • Turbo engine can't be paired with the AWD
  • Ride quality is diminished in the sporty trims

Best Deals on 2020 Nissan Altima

2020 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
All-Wheel Drive
$24,300
2.5 SR
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,900
2.5 SV
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$28,140
2.0 SR
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$29,750
2.5 SL
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,240
See All 2020 Nissan Altima Trims and Specs

2020 Altima Exterior

2020 Nissan Altima Front View Nissan
2020 Nissan Altima Rear View Nissan
2020 Nissan Altima Front Angle View Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Altima Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 192.9 in
  • Wheelbase 111.2 in
  • Height 56.7 in
  • Max Width 72.9 in
  • Front Width 63.6 in
  • Rear Width 63.6 in
  • Curb Weight 3,208.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Super Black
  • Glacier White
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Gun Metallic
  • Deep Blue Pearl
  • Scarlet Ember Tintcoat
  • Pearl White Tricoat
  • Sunset Drift Chromaflair
  • Storm Blue Metallic

2020 Altima Performance

2020 Nissan Altima Front View Driving Nissan
2020 Nissan Altima Rear Angle View Nissan
2020 Nissan Altima Engine Nissan

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.5L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

There's really not much in terms of driving enjoyment from the Altima, and even the SR model, which comes equipped with 19-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension to make it a little more capable through the bends, isn't quite as enjoyable or poised as either the Honda Accord or the Mazda 6. The Altima's controls and handling dynamics can be best described as ideal for casual driving standards with its vague and always light steering feel. The steering's responses are otherwise appreciably quick. In terms of handling, it does show some prowess through fast, sweeping turns; its composure, stability, and grip providing just enough confidence for some spirited driving maneuvers. The brakes are also pretty effective, delivering adequate levels of stopping power without disrupting the sedan's poise.

In terms of ride quality, the Altima delivers a refined experience, avoiding the reverberations expected from broken road surfaces and undulations. The larger wheels and sport-tuned suspension in the SR and Platinum models, however, noticeably reduce ride quality, firming up the feel on the road and taking harder knocks from common road snags.

2020 Altima Interior

2020 Nissan Altima Central Console Nissan
2020 Nissan Altima Dashboard Nissan
2020 Nissan Altima Dashboard 1 Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Altima Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 43.8 in
  • Front Head Room 39.2 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.2 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.9 in

2020 Altima Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Nissan Altima Rear Passenger Seats Nissan
2020 Nissan Altima Interior Overview Nissan
2020 Nissan Altima Cup Holder Nissan
  • Trunk Volume
    15.4 ft³

2020 Altima Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Nissan Altima a good car?

Though the Nissan Altima is a car that doesn't necessarily turn heads or elevate heart rates, it is still one of the more attractive looking midsize sedans in the USA and one that delivers a slightly better than average driving experience, touching on both sporty and comfortable. Its powertrain isn't really the most refined, but still performs competently while also delivering admirable gas mileage. The optional 2.0-liter turbo-four engine is pretty appealing, too, and works well in the sport-oriented SR grade Altima with its sport-tuned suspension and manual shift drive mode, making for a relatively enjoyable driving experience accompanied by the performance and handling capability to do just that. Moving to the cabin of the Altima unveils its penchant for comfort: it's a modern and commodious space packed with features and technology most modern buyers would demand. Its infotainment system is comprehensive and it's also expansively geared with driver-assists and safety equipment, making it one of the safest vehicles on the road - both the NHTSA and the IIHS concur. There are better midsize sedans out there, such as the Honda Accord for example, but the Nissan Altima is no regrettable option and is a solid choice as a daily family commuter.

2020 Nissan Altima Comparisons

Nissan Maxima Nissan
Honda Accord Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Altima188 hp28/39 mpg$24,900
Nissan Maxima 300 hp20/30 mpg$37,840
Honda Accord 252 hp22/32 mpg$26,520

2020 Nissan Altima vs Nissan Maxima

While the Altima technically fits into a smaller class than the Maxima, it's a lot newer and has also grown to be bigger in size overall, resulting in a more commodious cabin, not to mention a trunk with a full cubic-foot of extra space in comparison to the Maxima's. If anything, the Maxima only offers advantages in straight-line performance, its 300-hp V6 engine accelerates it from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, which is quicker than the Altima with either of its powertrains. The Altima's powertrains are vastly more refined though, the more powerful of the two delivering similar performance, and both delivering far better gas mileage. In terms of features, buyers get a whole lot more in the Altima, and at a far lower price, especially with Nissan's full Safety Shield 360 bundle standard. Ultimately, the Altima offers far greater value for money at this point in time, the Maxima is simply in dire need of an extensive update.

See Nissan Maxima Review

2020 Nissan Altima vs Honda Accord

Think back to your school days: did you have that incredibly hot girl with the perfect cutesy personality, boundless talent, and superhuman-like intelligence? The teacher's pet in other words that also looked like the girl next door… well, that's the Honda Accord in the automotive world and, in this case, the Nissan Altima is the dumbstruck pimply guy drooling in his seat at the back of the class. Two more powerful and refined turbocharged engines, an available six-speed manual gearbox, and exceptional performance and handling capability are just the tip of the iceberg with the Accord. Not only is it far more enjoyable and capable on the road, but a little more fuel-efficient too, delivering 30/38/33 mpg in its most efficient guise. The Accord's cabin is more commodious too, comprised of higher-grade materials, and, at the higher-specced trims, a whole lot more creature comforts. It has a larger 16.7 cubic-foot trunk as well. The Honda Accord isn't available with AWD, though, but considering that the base price is similar to the Altima, it's still the better vehicle and better value for money buy.

See Honda Accord Review

2020 Nissan Altima Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2020 Nissan Altima:

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