Will Nissan’s 2016 Altima have the moves to match its new styling?

Nissan is looking to add a dose of excitement back to its lineup with an elaborate new design language already seen on the Murano, Maxima, and a slew of concept cars. Now it’s time for the bread-and-butter Altima sedan to get a makeover.

The 2016 Nissan Altima gets a through mid-cycle refresh that not only includes some styling borrowed from big brother Maxima, but also some mechanical and tech upgrades to keep it competitive in the ruthless midsize sedan field.

The most significant design changes are at the front, where the Altima adopts the new Nissan corporate face, with a prominent V-shaped grille and “boomerang” headlights with available LED elements. There are similarly-shaped “boomerang” taillights at the back, along with a reshaped trunk lid to further alter the appearance of the rear end.

Nissan claims the changes aren’t limited to aesthetics. The new front and rear fascia designs, along with active grille shutters, an under-body cover, and a new windshield help lower the Altima’s coefficient of drag from 0.29 to 0.26. That in turn may help improve fuel economy.

2016 Nissan Altima

Unlike the body, powertrain offerings remain unchanged. Base models still get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which sends 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. a 3.5-liter V6 with 270 hp and 251 lb-ft is available as an option. A CVT is the only available transmission, with the upgraded “D-Step Shift” logic Nissan claims improves the experience.

For 2016, both the four-cylinder and V6 are available with a sportier SR trim. It features specially-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, and some cosmetic differentiators like smoked headlights, fog lights, a rear spoiler, and black interior trim with blue stitching. It’s probably too much to ask for Nissan to offer anything more substantial, like it did with the boy racer Altima SE-R in the early 2000s.

Like the exterior, the 2016 Altima’s interior gets a restyle inspired by the Murano and Maxima, with a new center stack, center console, and other elements that adopt the same “gliding wing” design. The NASA-inspire “Zero Gravity” front seats that were probably the outgoing model’s most distinguishing feature remain.

Notable tech features include available Siri Eyes Free voice recognition, the NissanConnect with Mobile Apps system (including a Google search app for navigation-equipped models), and Bose premium audio system. All models also get a reconfigurable 4.0-inch information display in the gauge cluster.

Nissan also expanded the Altima’s suite of available electronic driver aids, which now includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, forward emergency braking, and rear cross traffic alert. There’s also a Predictive Forward Collision Warning system, which can detect whether the vehicle preceding the one immediately in front suddenly brakes, and warns the driver of a potential collision.

That’s a lot of changes, but will it all add up to a midsize sedan worth buying? We’ll find out when the refreshed 2016 Nissan Altima hits showrooms.


Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The redesigned 2020 Passat proves Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm introduced the redesigned 2020 Passat with a new look and more tech at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.