2024 Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima soldiers on in a declining segment, but there's still a lot to like here despite showing its age
The Nissan Altima soldiers on in a declining segment, but there's still a lot to like here despite showing its age

by Jon Pangindian and Nathan Leipsig | April 11, 2024

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Back in 1995, I bought a then-brand-new Nissan Altima GXE when I entered the corporate world. I wanted something different from the Camrys and Accords that littered the market, and the first-generation Altima was a good fit. It was frugal with gas, able to fit four people comfortably, was reliable, and looked reasonably attractive. Almost 30 years later, the midsize sedan segment looks very different. Does the 2024 Nissan Altima do enough to stand out?

During my evaluation, I took the Altima on a three-day road trip from Toronto to Chicago, clocking more than 1,600 kilometres by the time I got home. This let me get a good feel for its power, comfort, fuel economy, and cargo space. I was expecting it to be a pleasant drive, but the one thing I wasn’t expecting was the attention it garnered. Refreshed last year, it heads into 2024 mostly unchanged, but it nonetheless attracted quite a few double-takes and even some compliments during my fuel fill-ups. The Altima is hardly exciting or daring, but it’s nonetheless handsome and the optional Grey Sky Pearl paint seemed to help it stand out.

When the first-generation Altima debuted in 1993, it was only available with a 150-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic. The storied V6 would not arrive for another two generations, but today, Canadian-spec Altimas make do with a normally aspirated 2.5-litre inline-four producing 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. These may not be crazy numbers, but it was more than enough for passing 18-wheelers and never once felt underpowered. Including my daily commute and road trip, the Altima averaged an impressive 7.5 L/100 kilometres, well within Nissan’s 9.1 L/100 km city and 6.7 highway fuel economy ratings. Regular-grade fuel is recommended.

At one point, you could even get an Altima with a manual transmission, but your only option today is a CVT. However, it’s well-behaved and operates smoothly and out-of-mind for most drives. All-wheel-drive is standard on all Canadian-spec Altimas; it certainly added confidence during one especially heavy downpour on my road trip. Ride quality is smooth, soaking up some of the worst pavement especially going through Detroit, and wind noise is kept to a minimum, but heavy cross-winds make themselves known.

Sadly, Nissan does not offer any other engine options for the Altima in Canada. In the U.S., Nissan offers a 248-horsepower turbo-four, though it’s front-wheel-drive-only. Competitors like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and the Hyundai Sonata all offer multiple powertrain options; if the Altima lives on to see a new generation, it needs at least a hybrid powertrain to stay competitive.

Inside, the Altima uses quality materials on the dashboard, centre console, and door panels. The seats were extremely comfortable during the long drive and didn’t result in any fatigue or soreness. There is ample space for four full-sized adults front and rear, and the big trunk made quick work of all the groceries I brought back from Trader Joe’s. [Jon brought back a bunch of goodies, including peanut butter Oreos. They were delightful. —Ed.] However, I did notice a few squeaks at low speeds coming from the A-pillar.

Tech-wise, this Altima SR Premium tester comes with a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Standard adaptive cruise control makes easy work of highway drives. It doesn’t control any steering aspects, but it does read the road ahead and around you rather well, keeping enough space between yourself and other vehicles, and slowing down smoothly when necessary.

The 2024 Altima starts at $34,383. Our SR Premium tester sits at the top of the lineup, equipped with the aforementioned features plus leather seats with power-adjustment, and other cosmetic trim upgrades throughout. Factoring in another $300 for the Grey Sky Pearl paint, and you are looking at $39,783 as-tested. This pricing is in line with most of its competitors, however it’s worth noting you can get into a comparably equipped Camry hybrid for less money.

Nissan deserves credit for sticking by the midsize sedan segment, especially when crossovers and SUVs are the big moneymakers, but the 2024 Nissan Altima does feel dated compared to its competitors. It doesn’t excel in one particular area, but it does many things right — it’s comfortable, fuel-efficient, has all-wheel-drive, and it’s roomy. If you’re in the market for a family sedan that flies under the radar and does what it’s supposed to do, the Altima gets the job done.

 

Vehicle Specs
Segment
Midsize sedan
Engine Size
2.5L normally aspirated four-cylinder
Horsepower (at RPM)
182 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft.)
178 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
9.3/6.7/8.1
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
7.5
Cargo Capacity (in L)
437 L
Base Price (CAD)
$34,383
As-Tested Price (CAD)
$39,483
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About Jon Pangindian

Staff Writer

An experienced detailer and diehard car guy, Jon brings a creative eye to his new vehicle road tests. Aside from writing, Jon spends most of his time tinkering with new detailing products and experimenting with ceramic coatings.

Current Toy: ’13 650i Gran Coupé

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