It seems that Nissan just can't stop selling its hot Altima midsizer. At least, that's what the bullet points of the press release for the new, 2016 version of the car tell me. The model has seen five consecutive years of sales growth, occasionally hitting the 30,000-per-month figures that heavies like Camry, Accord, and Fusion regularly nab. And, as we all know, a key to keeping midsize sedans fresh is the mid-cycle refresh. Here we have it.
Nissan has reshaped the front and rear of the Altima to better match the look of its handsome new Maxima. That means a deep-v wrought in chrome on the front fascia, new (optional) LED headlights that look like reverse check marks, and a lower bumper that mirrors the shape above it. There are new taillights, bumper, and trunk lid for the rear of the car, too. You'll likely have to stare at the pictures pictures of the posteriors on the old and new cars for a few minutes (as we did) to pick them out, but they're there. The press release says so.
Changes to the interior are subtle. We spotted a new center stack, and new cup holders next to the gearlever. Your weird friend Brian who hosts the Altima Altimatics fan forum could probably lend more detail here, but the non-enthusiast eye sees a mild rethinking of a nice interior. The excellent Zero Gravity front seats are still standard on all trims, which is probably half the reason Nissan is selling so many of these things. (How did that not make the bullet points, guys?)
Change is more evident in the new-for-'16 Altima SR trim. The lighting profile is different for the model's most athletic variant, with smoked lenses, daytime running lights and revised fog lamps. More importantly, the SR gets its own suspension setup, revised dampers, stiffer front and rear stabilizers, and a more aggressive wheel/tire package. Nissan also offers drivers the ability to paddle-shift the SR's CVT transmission. The SR grade can be had with either Altima engine option.
As for the motivating forces behind Altima's new nose, well, they're mostly the same. Nissan does expect to see a one-mile-per-gallon improvement to the highway rating for its 2.5-liter car, hitting 39 mpg (with 27 city). The boost in economy is said to be down to new active grille shutters, lowered engine friction, and a higher compression ratio (10.3:1 from 10:1). Meanwhile, output stays steady at 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque for the 2.5L.
The second engine option for Altima is an unchanged 3.5-liter V6, making 270 hp, and 251 lb-ft of torque, with EPA ratings of 22 City, 32 Highway, and 26 Combined. No matter your engine choice, however, it'll come mated to the aforementioned Xtronic CVT transmission. Our friends the press release writers tell us that the CVT has new shift logic that creates a "more responsive acceleration feel." That doesn't necessarily mean it's actually quicker, and since it didn't merit a bullet point... well, you draw your own conclusions.
There are almost as many press releases to go through, just below, as there are updates to the 2016 Nissan Altima. Brian can feel free to read every word. And look for some live images of the new car to crop up soon, following a launch event later this morning in Detroit.
• Nissan follows five consecutive years of Altima sales growth (an expected sixth, counting 2015) – the only mid-size sedan to do so – with an extensive redesign for the 2016 model year
• Major facelift embraces the new Nissan "Energetic Flow" design language launched with all-new Murano SUV and Maxima "4-Door Sports Car"
• New Altima SR grade offers affordable sports model with enhanced handling, unique exterior and interior accents
• Expanded Altima "Safety Shield Technologies" includes segment-exclusive* Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), along with Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
In one of the most extensive mid-cycle makeovers in Nissan history, the 2016 Nissan Altima stands ready to build on its segment-leading growth over the past five years with a new design, new driving feel, improved fuel economy, a new sport Altima SR grade and a wide array of enhanced technology, connectivity and safety features.
"Despite the remarkable success of the current model Altima in the marketplace, which has seen a more than 60 percent increase in sales since 2009, no area was left untouched in redesigning our cornerstone Altima sedan for the 2016 model year," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "While so much attention in the marketplace currently is focused on compact SUVs like our redesigned Nissan Rogue, the mid-size sedan segment remains strong and has become extremely competitive. We're determined to keep our sales growth alive with this vibrant new Altima for 2016."
The Altima transformation for the new model year includes a new look for the exterior, a refined personal space interior, enhanced connectivity, more available safety and security features and an expanded model lineup – all designed to make Altima a better value and better choice for mid-size sedan buyers than ever before.
"The enhancements were made with input from our customers – a quieter ride, so we added extensive noise isolation features such as an acoustic-glass windshield," added Loing. "They wanted more standard features, a more responsive driving feel and more personal style – check, check and check. This new Altima is the most dynamic, comfortable and best-equipped mid-size sedan we've ever built."
A New Altima, a New Look
Though totally redesigned just three years ago, Nissan has since developed a bold new design language. Known by designers as "energetic flow," the new look was introduced on the 2015 Murano and 2016 Maxima.
In order to bring the new Altima into the new look, the front and rear sections feature totally new designs and sheet metal. In front, that means adding a new lowered muscular front fascia with distinctive "V-motion" grille and new bumper. Also new are the Altima hood and fenders, with new tailored character lines. The headlights are also redesigned – with available signature LED boomerang headlights, fog lights and Daytime Running Lights creating a more contemporary "face."
The major design changes continue in the rear, where a new fascia and bumper add a more dramatic character. The new look is highlighted by the lower and wider four-piece taillights featuring a boomerang shape. The trunk lid is also new, with an integrated spoiler added for the Altima SR grade.
Along with the revised appearance, the new Altima also offers a 10 percent improvement in coefficient of drag – to 0.26 Cd from the previous 0.29 Cd.** The changes come from the addition of an active grille shutter (three percent gain), underfloor aero cover additions (three percent) and the new front and rear fascia and windshield designs (four percent).
Along with the new body panels, the structure underneath was enhanced, reducing weight and adding additional areas of high-strength steel, including the A- and B-pillars. Special efforts were also made to enhance DQR (Durability, Quality and Reliability) and NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness).
For example, adoption of an acoustic (laminated glass) windshield helps create a quieter cabin, aiding use of the Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone and Voice Recognition systems.
Efforts were also made to isolate noise created by hard acceleration, utilizing additional insulation and sound barriers, especially in the firewall area. In addition, new engine mounts have been adopted and the center muffler has been increased in size to further reduce sound transmission into the Altima interior.
"Along with the desire for a more distinctive look to the exterior, Altima customers asked us for a more premium feel in everyday driving," said Loing. "You feel the new level of quietness and tightness the moment you drive the new vehicle, no matter which grade level. Simply put, this is the quietest Altima ever."
Quality assurance measures included use of 95 prototype test vehicles, the equivalent of 4,500 test days (more than 12 years) and 350,000 real and simulated miles and the equivalent of 15 years of service for doors, hood and trunk use – such as 200,000 open/close cycles for the new tighter sealing door structures.
The 2016 Altima is available in nine colors: a new Deep Blue Pearl, along with Java Metallic, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Cayenne Red, Pearl White, Glacier White and Storm Blue.
A New, Information-Centric Interior
Inside the new 2016 Altima's refined, personal space interior, the most noticeable change is in the center of the vehicle, where a new C-stack and center console offer easier use. The new interior appearance shares the "gliding wing" design language established with the new Murano and Maxima.
Altima 2.5 S, 2.5 SR, 2.5 SV, 2.5 SL and 3.5 SR grades feature a standard 5.0-inch color audio display, which is used for a number of tasks including viewing images from the RearView Monitor and accessing the standard NissanConnect with Mobile Apps system (except Altima 2.5 base).
The NissanConnect with Mobile Apps system allows Altima owners to stay connected to their digital lives, even when in the vehicle. Apps include Online Search powered by Google™ (navigation equipped vehicles only), Facebook and others, along with the flexibility to introduce new apps throughout the ownership experience.
The NissanConnect Mobile Apps experience isn't limited to a single individual within the vehicle. Other drivers and passengers can set up their own app suite to tailor their experience when they are in the vehicle. All app profiles and settings are personalized and unique to each user's phone.
Along with the 5.0-inch color audio display, the system includes a USB port with iPod® connectivity. Also standard on all models (except 2.5) is Siri™ Eyes Free, which allows a hands-free voice connection to Siri™ commands.
Standard on Altima 3.5 SL and optional on 2.5 SV and 2.5SL is NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps. The system is packed with a rich range of features and is easy to use with its 7.0-inch touch-screen, 3D-effect map views, Nissan Voice Recognition, and turn-by-turn navigation. Other navigation features include speed limit display, eco driving maps, curve warning and split-screen display. It also includes SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link™ (fuel prices, movie times, stock updates, weather) (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately).
Optionally available on Altima 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL is the new NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM®, with automatic collision notification, remote start via smartphone, emergency call, stolen vehicle locator and dealer service scheduling and maintenance alerts (subscription required, sold separately).
Every 2016 Altima also offers an Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display. Located in the center of the instrument display between the tachometer and speedometer, it features a 4.0-inch color display and is customizable, easy-to-use and integrates key information right in front of the driver.
Of course, there is much more to the 2016 Altima interior than just advanced connectivity. The interior defies mid-size sedan convention, rivaling upscale luxury sedans in ambience and sophistication. Like the exterior, there is a premium look and feel – from the driver's side cockpit to the front passenger and rear seating areas – with extensive use of revised soft touch materials and craftsman-like attention to detail. The new center console includes full-size cupholders and new trim finishers.
The advanced Zero Gravity front seats, which are standard on all trim levels, utilize an articulated seat shape with continuous support from the pelvis to the chest and distribution of localized deformation characteristics.
Altima offers standard woven fabric seating with a 6-way adjustable driver's seat and a 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, 60/40 split folding rear bench seat with armrest, and black interior trim with chrome finish accents.
Also available, depending on model, are leather-appointed seats and trim, 6-way or 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support and a 4-way power front passenger seat. Heated front seats are also available, along with Carbon Wave tone (Charcoal interior) or Brushed Silver Wave tone (Beige interior) interior trim finishers.
The new Altima SR grade includes sport interior accents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters and leather-wrapped gear shifter.
Available audio systems include an AM/FM/CD design with RDS, MP3, aux-in and six speakers, along with an available Bose® Premium Audio System with nine speakers (including woofers), designed in conjunction with Bose® engineers during vehicle development to deliver rich sound and acoustics.
With the available Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant (part of NissanConnect with Mobile Apps), drivers can manage incoming text messages via voice control without taking their hands from the wheel or eyes off the road. Drivers are alerted to an incoming text and, after initiating the system, can hear the text read out loud and respond via voice recognition, or via the steering wheel switches using pre-set answers such as "driving, can't text," "on my way," "running late," "okay" or a custom message.
Standard on SV and SL grades is a factory-installed Remote Engine Start System that allows the owner to heat or cool the vehicle from the comfort of the home***. The Altima must be locked for the remote start to operate (up to 10 minutes). The Remote Engine Start System includes Intelligent Climate Control, which automatically sets HVAC temperatures to ideal heating/defrost or cooling settings (depending on ambient temperatures). When the driver enters the vehicle, the HVAC reverts to the previous customer settings. In addition, remote start access via smartphone is available as part of the 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL Tech Packages' NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM.
Best-in-Class*** Standard Fuel Economy
Once again in 2016, Altima is offered with a choice of two refined powerplants – a 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder and a 3.5-liter DOHC V6.
The 2.5-liter engine features an expected 1-mpg increase for highway fuel economy rating, bringing it to 39 mpg and giving Altima the best-in-class*** standard highway fuel economy of any vehicle in the mid-size segment (not including optional engine packages). The increase is due to a combination of a 10 percent improvement in vehicles aerodynamics – such as the addition of an active grille shutter, a revised engine compression ratio (10.3:1 from 10.0:1), reduced internal engine friction and an optimized oil pump.
Matched with the standard, smooth and efficient Xtronic transmission, estimated fuel economy for 2.5-liter models is rated at 27 mpg city, 39 mpg highway (37 mpg 2.5 SR) and 31 mpg combined.
The Xtronic transmission adds third-generation D-step Shift logic, which is shared with the Nissan Murano and Maxima – creating a more responsive acceleration feel both from a standing start and during reacceleration in situations such as passing slower vehicles.
The 2.5-liter QR25 engine includes variable valve timing on both exhaust and intake camshafts, helping keep the torque curve flat. Featuring cutting-edge technology such as a thermoplastic resin intake manifold, the engine produces 182 horsepower (179 CAL*****), with torque rated at 180 lb-ft (177 CAL*****).
"The Nissan Altima has experienced a remarkable 35 percent increase in combined fuel economy since the 2002 model year. Today's city mpg is the same as highway mpg was in 2002, while driving enjoyment has also increased exponentially," said Loing. "Altima is also the mid-size sedan with the greatest improvement in fuel economy over the last decade, going from 29 mpg highway to 39 mpg."
Altima 3.5 SR and 3.5 SL models are powered by an advanced, award-winning VQ35DE 3.5-liter V6 rated at 270 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. The V6 features low internal friction (including DLC piston rings and sodium-filled valves), optimized air intake resistance and exhaust variable camshaft timing (VTC). Fuel economy for the 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.
For 2016, the 4-wheel independent Altima suspension has been redesigned to deliver more dynamic handling, with new shock absorbers, rear springs and bushings – along with new tire designs across all models. Overall braking and steering feel have also been enhanced.
The Altima front suspension uses an independent front strut design, while the multi-link rear suspension has been benchmarked to leading European sports sedans. The design features high lateral suspension stiffness, ZF SACHS shock absorbers to deliver stellar body control and response while simultaneously delivering a plush, comfortable ride, and large stabilizer bars front and rear. Altima SR models feature unique suspension tuning, including greatly increased stabilizer bar diameters – 24.2 mm versus 22.2 mm front and 26.5 mm versus 20.0 mm rear. Front and rear damping force has also been changed for SR compared to non-SR models. Body roll has also been reduced by more than 20 percent on SR (versus non-SR).
Altima also features an Active Understeer Control system, which utilizes intelligent control logic and high-response brake actuators to lightly brake the inside front wheels during cornering (as required) to increase yaw-moment. Using the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)/Traction Control System (TCS) as its base, Active Understeer Control is almost undetectable when it operates.
Responsive steering is provided by an Electronic Hydraulic Power-Assisted Steering (EHPS) system that preserves the feel of hydraulic steering rack while offering the efficiencies of an electric power steering set-up. The hydraulic power steering valve has been re-mapped for 2016, providing enhanced steering feedback and feel.
"Steering feel is a big part of the driving experience and the re-engineering Altima steering system provides a more precise, on-center feel and quicker response than the previous tuning," said Loing.
The 4-wheel power-assisted disc brake system provides a premium blend of immediate response and confident braking. The system has been recalibrated for 2016 to help provide enhanced performance, especially in wet stopping conditions. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) are standard.
A selection of new wheels and tires are offered on the 2016 Altima, including new machine-finished 17-inch and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheel designs. Altima 2.5-liter models offer 16-inch steel wheels with full covers and 215/60R16 all-season tires, while 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 215/55R17 V-rated all-season tires are standard on SV and SL grades. Standard on the 2.5 SR and 3.5-liter V6-equipped models are 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/45R18 V-rated all-season tires.
The 2016 Altima again features Nissan's Easy Fill Tire Alert function for the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which is standard on all grades. When filling the tires with air, the hazard lamps flash to let the operator know the system is working. When the correct pressure is reached, a beep of the horn provides notification. Unlike many competitive vehicles, Altima includes an individual tire pressure monitoring and readout system (except 2.5) that provides the tire pressure at each individual location and automatically adjusts positions when the tires are rotated during service. The information is integrated into the Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display.
The New Altima SR
In another example of responding to input from the legions of current Altima owners, a new Altima SR grade has been added for 2016. It is available with both 2.5-liter and 3.5-liter engine-equipped models.
"The idea with the new Altima SR is to offer a sporty, yet affordable, mid-size sedan for buyers looking for a little more performance and personal style," said Loing. "The Altima SR slots just above the Altima S grade, rather than being an over-the-top equipment package. We've given it plenty of punch, but with a careful consideration to making it accessible to a wide range of buyers, especially younger buyers just moving into the mid-size sedan segment."
While affordable, the Altima SR is a true performance package with unique suspension components and wheels and tires. This is the first time that 18-inch wheels and tires are offered on a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Altima. The suspension includes revised damper tuning and an increase in front and rear stabilizer bar stiffness (up to 258 percent in the rear bar), providing good neutral handling and enhanced cornering feel through greater body motion control. Also included, as part of the sports performance, is a "manumatic" mode for the Xtronic transmission and standard paddle shifters.
Altima SR is visually differentiated from other Altima models through the use of smoked headlight housings, Daytime Running Lights, fog lights, a rear decklid spoiler and the aggressive machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels. The 3.5 SR model also includes LED headlights (late availability).
The SR interior features black 8-way power driver's seat with 2-way power lumbar support and contrasting blue stitching on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob.
Class-Exclusive Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW)
The 2016 Altima also offers an expanded suite of available safety and security features, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
The available class-exclusive* Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) system can warn the driver of risks that lie beyond the driver's forward field of view. It not only can sense the relative velocity and distance of a vehicle directly ahead, but also of a vehicle traveling in front of the preceding one and can help alert the driver to a potential forward collision. Although that vehicle may be obscured from view, PFCW's sensors can detect if it suddenly and unexpectedly slows, giving the driver additional time to react.
For 2016, radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW) is standard on SV and SL grades. In addition, the SV and SL grades add Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which helps warn of approaching vehicles from either the right or left side of the rear of the Altima when it is in reverse.
Also available as part of the optional SL Tech Package is Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Forward Emergency Braking (FEB). ICC uses radar to maintain a set distance between the Altima and the vehicle ahead, even braking to maintain that distance. FEB provides audio and visual display warnings to help alert the driver of a potential collision and help reduce speed if necessary. If a collision is unavoidable, the feature will engage the brakes to help reduce both the speed of the impact and the severity of the collision.
"The new Altima brings a number of safety and security features that are usually reserved for more expensive luxury segment vehicles," said Loing. "It's one more area where Altima adds value to owners' everyday driving experience."
The new Altima also offers a long list of standard safety features, including Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor, front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags, and roof-mounted curtain supplemental side-impact air bags for front-and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.
Seven Well-Equipped Models
The 2016 Nissan Altima is offered in five 2.5-liter engine equipped models, 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SR, 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL, along with two 3.5-liter V6 equipped models – 3.5 SR and 3.5 SL.
The Altima 2.5 S model includes NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch audio display, RearView Monitor, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control, Nissan Intelligent Key®, auto on/off headlights, in-cabin microfilter, Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure readouts, and much more.
Altima 2.5 SR, mentioned above, includes the sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and sport exterior and interior features.
Altima 2.5 SV models include standard Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control, Remote Engine Start System**** with Intelligent Climate Control, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately).
Altima 2.5 SL models include leather-appointed seating, Bose® Premium Audio System with nine speakers (including woofers), heated front seats and steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, LED outside mirror turn signals, auto dimming rearview mirror, trunk cargo net and HomeLink® Universal Transceiver.
Along with the equipment offered on the Altima 2.5 SR, the 3.5 SR adds LED headlights (late availability) with signature Daytime Running Lights.
Altima 3.5 SL features 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 18-inch tires, NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, 7.0-inch color audio display, Nissan Voice Recognition for navigation and audio, SiriusXM® Traffic, SiriusXM® Travel LinkTM (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), one-shot destination entry with Voice Recognition, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), leather-appointed seats, 8-way power driver's seat with 2-way lumbar support, 4-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors with integrated outside turn signals, power sliding moonroof with tilt, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, rear air conditioning vents, premium interior trim, remote engine start, front and rear sonar sensors and trunk cargo net.
Nine options packages are available: Power Driver's Seat Package (2.5 S), LED Appearance Package (2.5 SR), Convenience Package (2.5 SV), Navigation Package (2.5 SV), Cold Weather Package (2.5 SV), Moonroof Package (2.5 SL), Tech Package (2.5 SL), Tech with LED (2.5 SL) and Tech Package (3.5 SL).
The 2016 Altima is assembled in Smyrna, Tenn. and Canton, Miss., with engines assembled in Decherd, Tenn.
# # #
*JD Power Segmentation. MY16 Altima 2.5 SL with Tech Package or 3.5 SL with Tech Package vs. in market MY15/16 competitors in mid-size car segment. Information from manufacturers' websites.
** 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL models
***2016 EPA Fuel Economy Estimate 39 (Highway). Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions – use for comparison only.
****State laws may apply; review local laws before using.
*****Cal emissions (PZEV) equipment causes nominal reductions in horsepower. PZEV vehicles are available in California and some northeastern states.
New 2016 Nissan Altima Adopts the
Latest Design Language for a Fresh New Look
When Nissan rolled out a series of futuristic auto show concept vehicles a few years ago, few people believed that the boldly styled designs would ever see the light of a Nissan showroom. Yet against the odds they started coming.
First, there was the Nissan Resonance Concept, a wild mid-size crossover concept that evolved into the 2015 Murano. Then Nissan Sport Sedan Concept strongly influenced the radical new 2016 Nissan Maxima. And, the new Nissan design language is making its way into more and more vehicles – including Nissan's best-selling vehicle in the United States, the Nissan Altima.
For the new 2016 Altima the design team adopted key aspects of both the exterior and interior styling themes to give the popular mid-size sedan a fresh new appearance, including the "Energetic Flow" exterior styling theme and "Gliding Wing" interior layout.
The front end of the 2016 Altima offers the most dramatic change, since all panels and pieces forward of the A-pillars are new – fascia, bumper, fenders, hood and lights. Two key elements are the redesigned V-Motion grille and boomerang-shape headlights, similar to those found on the Murano and Maxima. The look is dramatically different from the 2015 Altima design, with a wide, deeply sculpted lower bumper, integrated fog lights (SR, SV and SL models) and prominent chrome-trimmed grille.
The reshaped headlight units incorporate halogen high beam and projector low beam lights. LED projector low beam lights and LED signature Daytime Running Lights that sweep into the wide raised hood are standard on Altima 3.5 SR and 3.5 SL grades (late availability) and available on 2.5 SR and 2.5 SL. Altima SR adds smoked headlight bezels.
The rear of the new Altima is marked by a new sculpted bumper with a dark lower accent, a new trunk lid – with integrated rear spoiler on Altima SR models – and lower, wider boomerang-shaped combination lights that help provide a more expressive, higher quality appearance when approaching the vehicle from behind. The four-piece combination lights incorporate the tail- and stop lights, turn lamps and backup lights.
Along with the revised appearance, the new Altima also offers a 10 percent improvement in coefficient of drag – to 0.26 Cd from the previous 0.29 Cd*. The changes come from the addition of an active grille shutter (three percent gain), underfloor aero cover additions (three percent) and the new front and rear fascia and windshield designs (four percent).
The already extensive Altima color palette adds a new Deep Blue Pearl color for 2016, along with Java Metallic, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Cayenne Red, Pearl White, Glacier White and Storm Blue.
Finishing off the new exterior appearance are dramatic new 17-inch and 18-inch machine-finish aluminum-alloy wheel designs.
The 2016 Altima's refined interior design follows the new "Gliding Wing" design language, shared with Murano and also the new Rogue. Central to the new look is the revised C-stack with available 5.0-inch and 7.0-inch displays for the NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps and available NissanConnect Navigation with Mobile Apps.
In addition, the standard Zero Gravity front seats have been reshaped and the woven cloth seating and door panel materials feature a more open weave pattern, providing a premium look and feel throughout the Altima interior. The steering wheel has also been refined for 2016. The twin cupholders on the center console now accommodate mug handles in response to customer input.
The new Altima SR grade includes blue sport interior accents on the steering wheel, door panels and seats – to contrast the Charcoal interior color. The SR also features a leather-wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters, and leather-wrapped gear shifter.
"As the best-selling vehicle in the Nissan lineup, it's important that Altima exemplifies 'Nissan-ness' inside and out," said Executive Design Director Mamoru Aoki. "With its fresh new look, aggressive SR model and strong connection to our all-new Murano and Maxima, the new Altima continues to stand out in a very competitive marketplace."
2016 Nissan Altima SR Adds Performance and Style
With the addition of the new SR model to the 2016 Altima line-up, Nissan is taking dead aim at one of the fastest growing areas of the mid-size sedan segment – sport variants. Among some competitors, the so-called "sport" grades account for nearly 40 percent of total sales. Altima already is one of the sportiest designs in the segment, however the company is taking a more Nissan-like approach, adding a level of true enhanced performance to go with the requisite larger wheels and spoiler.
Better yet, in order to keep the new Altima SR affordable for younger buyers who might be moving into the mid-size sedan segment for the first time, the new SR grade is based on the Altima S, rather than the higher grade Altima SV or Altima SL.
"Anyone can dress up a sedan with custom wheels and a body kit, but that's not in keeping with Nissan's longstanding performance heritage," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Altima SR features a 12.5 percent increase in cornering performance, and we're making SR available with our refined 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine and our higher-powered 3.5-liter V6. It's like having your espresso shot in a choice of Grande or Venti®."
"As the specs show, the Altima SR is a real performance vehicle for the masses – with features such as a 258-percent stiffer rear stabilizer bar for better rotation – it's not just a marketing package," added Loing. "We think it is a great addition to the already stellar Altima model lineup."