Nissan’s sedan replacement gets turbo power.
Nissan’s 2019 Altima sedan made its world debut in New York this week, bringing the company’s (now-long-in-the-tooth) family sedan up to modern specifications and promising new features to keep it relevant in the shrinking midsize sedan market.
The biggest news to come out of this announcement is that for the first time in more than 15 years, the Altima will not be offered with a V6. Replacing it is the company’s new variable-compression, four-cylinder turbo-four.
This is not the first application of this engine within Nissan’s larger family, but it is the first time it will be offered in a Nissan-branded vehicle in North America (so far it only appears under the hood of the revised Infiniti QX50 crossover).
Nissan claims it offers “V6-level” performance with four-cylinder fuel economy (which we’ve heard a hundred times before). It makes 248 horsepower and 273lb-ft of torque. Technically, the horsepower figure is a downgrade, but with the torque of the VC-Turbo, we expect it won’t really be missed.
That’s not where the big news ends, however. Nissan is also making the Altima available with all-wheel-drive for the first time. Nissan is projecting it will account for a “significant” portion of the midsizer’s sales in North America, though those figures will be heavily dependent on sales regions.
Nissan was a little late to the party when it comes to infotainment, but that’s something the company is eager to address. The newest version of NissanConnect is included with Altima, and that means Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both supported (standard, no less).
Outside, there’s not really a ton to talk about. It looks very much like an Altima, albeit with some touches inherited from other (newer) cars in the company’s lineup.
The Maxima is the most obvious donor, which makes sense considering it is the Altima’s larger sibling. The floating greenhouse treatment is a little less extravagant, but nonetheless present.
The Vmotion grille was already partially grafted onto the facelifted Altima. With this redesign, it has been fully incorporated. For some extra sporty touches, Nissan included some additional black-out elements for the rear.
The 2019 Nissan Altima will enter production fairly soon, and we expect to get behind the wheel of one before the first half of 2019 is over, with sales starting not long after that. Stay tuned.
Live photos by Brian Williams.