The decision: The 2023 Nissan Altima 2.0 SR isn’t fairly as sporty because it seems, but it surely’s a nice, respectably fast mid-size sedan that’s comfy and accommodating.
Versus the competitors: The Altima stacks up properly in opposition to different mainstream mid-size sedans; its elective turbocharged four-cylinder isn’t as highly effective because the step-up engines within the Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5 and Toyota Camry, but it surely feels practically as quick. The Altima doesn’t, nonetheless, have a hybrid model, as do the Sonata, Camry and Honda Accord.
The present-generation Nissan Altima isn’t that outdated — it debuted as a completely redesigned mannequin for the 2019 mannequin 12 months — however in some methods it appears like a automotive designed for one more time; compact and mid-size SUVs, such because the Nissan Rogue and Pathfinder, are the household haulers of alternative for many American consumers lately. But mid-size sedans just like the Altima are versatile, succesful autos that supply sleeker styling and sharper cornering capabilities than the standard SUV. I drove a 2023 Altima 2.0 SR on a Thanksgiving street journey, and it offered itself as a decent different to an SUV — and to the extra fashionable Honda Accord and Toyota Camry mid-size sedans.
Associated: 2023 Nissan Altima: Recent Face, Wi-fi Tech, Extra Customary Security
The Altima underwent a light refresh for 2023 that introduced facelifted front-end styling, new designs for the obtainable 17- and 19-inch alloy wheels, a few new shade decisions and, most significantly, a newly obtainable 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. The 2022 sedan’s largest show was an 8-inch touchscreen. Base fashions now include a better degree of ordinary security options, and new choices embody a wi-fi charging pad and wi-fi Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity; Android Auto continues to be wired-only.
Turbocharged and Nearly as Sporty as It Seems
A slight reshuffling of trim ranges for 2023 means the two.0 SR trim we examined is now the top-line automotive within the Altima lineup, taking the place of the discontinued Platinum trim. Selecting the two.0 SR VC-Turbo is the one option to get the Altima’s prime engine alternative: a VC-Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a variable compression ratio, producing 248 horsepower on premium gasoline and 236 hp on common fuel. These are respectable scores — simply outclassing the Altima’s customary 188-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder — however they path the output of some rivals’ elective engines. Each the Hyundai Sonata and Kia K5 supply a 290-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and the Camry has a gutsy naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 301 hp. The Accord beforehand provided a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that made a satisfying 252 hp, however that engine was discontinued within the Accord’s redesign for 2023, leaving solely a 192-hp base engine and a 204-hp hybrid powertrain.
Just like the K5 and Camry, the Altima affords all-wheel drive solely with its base four-cylinder engine. If you need all-weather traction and stronger acceleration in a mainstream mid-size sedan, the Subaru Legacy comes customary with AWD and affords an elective 260-hp, turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder.
The Altima 2.0 SR doesn’t really feel significantly fast off the road, however the turbo engine’s energy builds properly to offer wholesome passing energy. The exhaust observe is laudably quiet throughout steady-speed cruising, however it may sound slightly coarse and “groany” when accelerating shortly. No matter engine, the Altima comes solely with a constantly variable automated transmission. CVTs are good for smoothness and gas economic system, however they’re usually not nearly as good at offering a sporty driving expertise. Instead of the fastened gears and crisp shifts of a standard sport-tuned automated transmission, CVTs have a “rubber-band” really feel, with engine rpm quickly rising larger than anticipated when accelerating. SR trim ranges embody steering-wheel paddle shifters that mimic the shift really feel of a standard stepped-gear automated transmission, however the impact isn’t very convincing.
The Altima 2.0 SR is EPA-rated 25/34/29 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed, which is 2-3 mpg mixed higher than its Hyundai, Kia and Toyota rivals. My noticed gas economic system was in line with the EPA’s estimates: With the automotive totally loaded and working on common gasoline, I averaged 31.6 mpg over virtually 760 miles of principally freeway driving, with temperatures within the higher 30s to low 40s.
SR trims have a sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels with low-profile all-season tires. Experience high quality is a bit brittle over bumps round city, but it surely smooths out properly at freeway speeds. Dealing with is balanced and competent (actually higher than the standard compact or mid-size SUV), however I wouldn’t name this a real sports activities sedan. Steering really feel isn’t significantly communicative, and the Altima has no selectable drive modes of any form. There’s no Sport mode to dial in a weightier steering really feel or sharper throttle response, and no Eco mode to melt throttle response and transmission tuning. These are curious omissions for a 2023 passenger automotive.
Spacious, Comfortable Inside
Inside ambiance is nice, with a pleasant contact of sportiness. SR trims get properly up to date upholstery for 2023, with engaging orange and white distinction stitching, and all Altimas include Nissan’s “Zero Gravity” entrance seats, that are designed to cut back fatigue on lengthy drives. I discovered them supportive and comfy throughout my six-hour street journey, however they felt oddly spongy on my bottom. I additionally fear that the delicate, “sink-in” really feel of the cushions may make the seats uncomfortably toasty on sizzling summer time days, and the Altima doesn’t supply ventilated seats.
Passenger house is aggressive for the Altima’s class. There’s ample room within the entrance seats, with respectable house within the again for average-sized adults, although the sloping rear roofline cuts into backseat headroom a bit. Legroom again there additionally will get tight for tall people when the entrance seats are adjusted all the way in which again.
By Nissan’s measurements, the Altima’s trunk has 15.4 cubic toes of house, which is on par with the remainder of its class. I frightened I’d must play “trunk Tetris” when loading up the automotive for my household street journey, however all our stuff — two carry-on-sized suitcases, a big duffel bag, a trumpet case, a big skateboard, and two giant trash baggage crammed with bedding and items — match with out a lot trouble. I did, nonetheless, want to make sure the trunk lid’s uncovered arms wouldn’t squash something.