2016 Nissan Altima: New Altima, New Look

December 6, 2015 Updated: December 9, 2015
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The 2016 Altima features numerous changes throughout the vehicle. Not only both the interior and exterior have changed, but it has also received improvements in the powertrain, suspension, and noise isolation; making the 2016 Altima a practical and positive purchase.

The exterior changes work together to cultivate an “Energetic Flow,” which is the name of Nissan’s new design language that’s also found in the Murano and the Rogue. The “V-motion grille”, available signature LED boomerang headlights, along with the fog lights and daytime running lights signify those positive changes. Together with a newly sculpted bumper and the honed hood/front fenders give the front fascia a muscular and distinct look. On higher models, all this sheet metal work is complemented by 17/18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Inside the new Altima, Nissan engineers have also implemented the “Gliding Wing” design theme. The main design element is the broad dash spanning the width of the interior, and the revised center stack. This wing configuration gives the whole cabin a feel of balance.

All this designed balance add up to a premium look and feel with silver and satin black seats and doors.

One of the most attractive features of the Altima is its great fuel economy. Over the last decade the Altima has the biggest increase in fuel economy among midsize cars, giving it a 44 percent increase in combined fuel economy since the 2002 model year.

Increasing from 38 to 39 highway mpg means Altima beats such rivals as Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, and Mazda 6, just to name a few.

This new Altima is one of the safest vehicles in its class.

The 2016 Altima 2.5 models are motivated by a 182 hp 2.5 L 4-cylinder engine coupled to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT. This strong engine aided by a quick and responsive transmission makes Altima’s powertrain an industry segment leader. The 3.5 models are powered by a 270 hp 3.5 L V6.

Altima has a dynamic handling, allowing the driver to easily point the vehicle in the intended direction. The lighter steering feedback reduces driver fatigue, since it requires less effort to make steering adjustments.

Attention has been paid to improve the quietness as well. New engine mounts and a larger center muffler help reduce engine sound entering the cabin. Unwanted noise is further reduced with improved insulation and sound barriers, plus acoustic glass windshield.

Nissan brands its suite of active safety features as “Safety Shield Technologies,” which include Blindspot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rearview Monitor, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, and Forward Emergency Braking. When equipped, this new Altima is one of the safest vehicles in its class. You would expect to find some of these safety features reserved for more luxurious segments, but they are all available on the Altima.

Predictive Forward Collision Warning uses radar to monitor the speed of two vehicles ahead, which may even be beyond the driver’s forward field of view. It emits audible and visual warnings if it detects a sudden deceleration. Forward Emergency Braking steps in if there is no response to possible-collision alerts.

The 2016 Altima is attractively priced, ranging from $22,500 for the base model to $32,090 for the 3.5 SL. For the money you get a suite of excellent safety technologies and tremendous gas mileage, while providing a comfortable and joyous ride.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net