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Auto Show:  2018 New York Auto Show

2019 Nissan Altima: New York Auto Show

author photo by Colin Ryan March 2018

What Is It?

The 2019 Nissan Altima represents a completely new generation of Nissan's midsize sedan. It will offer advanced driving aids, upgraded engines, fresh tech, premium cabin materials and styling derived from the VMotion 2.0 Concept we saw at the Detroit show this year, including the "floating roof" idea seen on the current Maxima. The new car is longer, lower and wider than the outgoing model.

On the tech front, an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, an 8-inch touchscreen and a hands-free text-messaging assistant comes as standard. It's also compatible with wearable tech like the Apple Watch and can communicate with Amazon's Alexa.

Other standard equipment includes a push-button start, forward-collision mitigation and a driver-drowsiness monitor. All trims but the lowest get blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The higher trims have intelligent cruise control and steering assistance, known collectively as ProPilot Assist. They also receive intelligent lane keeping, rear automatic braking, a 360-degree camera system and traffic-sign recognition.

Among the options are a Bose audio system upgrade, a heated steering wheel and leather upholstery.

The standard engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder unit making 188 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, which is about average for the class. The optional engine (available in SR and Platinum trims) is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder unit that, Nissan claims, is the first production-ready engine of its kind with variable compression (compression is what happens when the piston moves upward in the cylinder and squeezes the fuel and air before a spark plug ignites that mixture). This creates 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. There's no V6 option, but this is a comparable level of power. The new variable-compression technology should also bring benefits in fuel economy.

Intelligent all-wheel drive is offered as an option (a first for a Nissan sedan) with the 2.5 engine, while the default arrangement is front-wheel drive. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is deployed throughout the range.

Trim levels are S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum. The S comes with 16-in steel wheels, but the next trim up has 17-in alloy wheels and equipment like LED exterior lighting. The top two trims have 19-in alloys, and the SR has a sport-tuned suspension.

How Much?

There are no official prices yet. Expect them nearer to the on-sale date. However, the current Altima range starts at around $24,000, so somewhere in that ballpark -- plus a little more for inflation and newness -- isn't a bad guesstimate.

When Can You Get It?

The 2019 Nissan Altima is available from fall 2018.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

It looks like the new Altima is going to move the midsize sedan game along considerably, bringing features that are currently more common in the luxury class than the mainstream. And anyone looking for all-wheel drive in their midsize sedan gains another choice. However, if rear legroom is an issue, the new Altima's 35 inches isn't as generous as the Honda Accord (37 inches) or the Toyota Camry (38 inches).

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Honda Accord -- A top selection among midsize sedans and all new for 2018. All-wheel drive is not available.

2018 Toyota Camry -- The other top mainstream sedan pick, also all new for this year. Far nicer to drive and own than before. Again, no option for all-wheel drive, but there is a hybrid variant.

2018 Ford Fusion -- Offers all-wheel drive for its higher trims. One of the most enjoyable drives in this class.

2018 Kia Optima -- Arguably the most stylish of the two Korean contenders. Well stocked and well priced.

2018 Hyundai Sonata -- Lots of equipment for the money. Pleasant enough in other areas, as well. Updated for 2018.

2018 Mazda6 -- Underrated yet fantastic. A new turbo engine option debuts for this year.

Used Lexus GS -- It won't have every modern bell and whistle the new Altima will offer, but a certified pre-owned (CPO) GS comes with a great driving experience, luxury appointments, more space, Lexus cachet and optional all-wheel drive.

See all 2018 New York Auto Show articles

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Nissan Altima: New York Auto Show - Autotrader