The fully redesigned 2016 Nissan Altima brings a sportier exterior than the 2015 Nissan Altima and one that’s more aligned with the bolder redesign of the 2016 Nissan Maxima and the 2016 Nissan Murano. The 2016 Altima can be equipped with two different engines and ranges in price from the entry level 2.5L engine at $23,998 to the fully equipped 3.5L engine at $35,498. Despite the redesigned bold and sporty exterior, the 2016 Altima still focuses on a softer and more sophisticated ride.
ENGINE & DRIVE
The 2016 Nissan Altima continues its tradition with the offering of two engine options – a 2.5L four cylinder engine outputting 182hp or a 3.5L six cylinder engine outputting 270hp. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission for smoother, more balanced acceleration and a much improved fuel economy. Although a CVT is the only transmission offered, the 2016 Altima brings steering wheel mounted paddle shifters which mimic a more conventional gear ratio in automatic transmissions.
While the more enthusiastic driver may feel the 2.5L engine is slightly under powered, it’s a great option for the majority of drivers as it delivers a smooth and responsive ride while maximizing fuel economy. The smaller engine hauls around the 2016 Altima with ease while keeping plenty of power at hand when needed. However, I do imagine that with a full load, the 2.5L engine would struggle which is where the 3.5L engine would really be able to shine.
The 2016 Nissan Altima posts fuel economies of 8.7 L/100km in the city and 6.0 L/100km on the highway for the 2.5L engine version. Our 150km combined test drive yielded 7.7 L/100km which was surprisingly great mileage for a vehicle of its size and having done mostly city driving. The 2016 Altima has class leading highway fuel economy, which it attributes in part to active grille shutters that close at highway speed to reduce wind resistance.
The luxury sedan-like drive of the 2016 Nissan Altima yields a smooth and comfortable ride, great for long distance comfort and efficiency. Wind and road noise are minimized inside the cabin but the engine noise still comes through a bit with the 2.5L engine. Despite its shifted focus, the 2016 Altima still brings sporty accelerations and grippy handling with somewhat loose turning but an overall improved steering feel.
EXTERIOR & INTERIOR
The exterior redesign of the 2016 Nissan Altima brings bold and sporty lines and curves similar to the recent redesigns of the Maxima and Murano. The overall size, height, width and shape are in perfect proportion and create pleasure for the viewer, while the finer details bring forth feelings of excitement about what the 2016 Altima is capable of. Bold exterior curves, sporty accent lines, a V shaped grille, sculpted fenders, LED headlights, dual exhaust and chrome trim all combine to create an aerodynamic, head turning exterior.
The great looking, bold exterior led me to expect an equally impressive interior, however the interior was a bit bland by comparison. Don’t get me wrong, the 2016 Nissan Altima’s interior is functional and well laid out, while using top notch materials, but it lacks the pop that the exterior demonstrates.
The 2016 Nissan Altima is also equipped with all the latest safety warning and correction technology, which in turn leads it to achieving the top IIHS safety rating (when equipped with forward emergency braking). The impressive predictive forward collision technology warns of potential collisions by monitoring speed of approach and going one step further, the 2016 Altima monitors not only the vehicle in front of you, but it looks to the vehicle in front of that as well!
The Altima was due for a well needed redesign and the result does not disappoint! Although I would have liked to see the same boldness in the interior design as well, it’s a small sacrifice for the perfection of everything else the vehicles offers. Amazing fuel economy, a smooth, comfortable and luxurious driving feel and a bold and sporty exterior are just some of the advantages the 2016 Nissan Altima offers. With 6 different models to choose from and 2 different engines, there’s an Altima perfect for the majority of drivers. No matter which model you choose, you will be well taken care of as even the base model is well equipped and includes bluetooth, remote keyless entry and push button ignition.