The 2015 Nissan Altima offers a smooth and quiet ride in a refined and spacious package. The 2015 Altima is still based on the 2013 redesign, which shifted the focus from spirited driving performance with aggressive handling to a softer and more sophisticated ride. I like to think of it as a cruising mobile for driving its passengers around in luxury, while also giving some excitement to the driver.
ENGINE & DRIVE
The 2015 Nissan Altima comes with two engine options. The 2.5L four cylinder outputting 182hp, which is the model we tested and the 3.5L six cylinder outputting 270hp. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission for a smoother acceleration rather than the kind that throws you back in your seat.
Although the base 2.5L engine may feel underpowered for spirited drivers expecting performance, it’s a great option for the majority of people as it delivers a responsive and smooth acceleration. Add to this the amazing mileage for a car of its size and you have a winning combination. Nissan advertises the fuel consumption at 8.7 L/100km in the city and 6.2 L/100km on the highway, while our combined city and highway test drive yielded a 9.1 L/100km average consumption.
The 2.5L Altima has adequate power but a really loose steering feel without much feedback for those wanting to feel more in touch with the road. I imagine that with a full load, the 2.5L engine would struggle and that’s when the 3.5L engine would really shine.
However overall, even with the standard 2.5L engine, the 2015 Nissan Altima drives like a luxury sedan with its primary focus being a smooth, quiet and relaxed drive.
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
The 2015 Nissan Altima has a more polished exterior compared to its predecessors. A rounded design with rear fenders that extend outwards and chrome tipped dual exhausts complete a look that gives the rear a wide and powerful appearance. There are some accent lines, but they are done tastefully in keeping with an overall refined design.
The interior of the 2015 Altima brings the whole package together to provide a simple but elegant design with good use of a variety of materials and finishes. Various materials are layered and integrated to give a more 3D multi-tiered appearance. Integrating the wood grain, chrome, matte black, piano black and leather materials into a seamless appearance creates an elegant and well-appointed design of the dash and centre console.
The spacious, supportive and plush leather seats are comfortable for both long and short hauls and can be adjusted 8 ways electronically for the driver. A massive trunk space provides ample room for transporting cargo, while the rear seats fold down to store awkward sized items.
I really enjoy the depth of the deep, rich and powerful sounds of the Bose stereo system, which is one thing that Nissan has continued since well before I even drove my first 2000 year Maxima! I would have liked to see some brighter headlights for night time driving. Although the interior layout is well thought out and pleasant, I think some ambient lighting throughout the interior could make it much more inviting.
The 2.5 SL that we tested is the top of the line version of the 2015 Nissan Altima but equipped with the smaller engine. The test vehicle came with an added technology package for navigation with touch screen, and some warning systems (lane departure, blind spot and moving object). Coming in at just over $30,000 for this fully equipped luxury ride, the 2015 Nissan Altima is definitely one of the better choices for a mid-sized sedan.