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2023 Nissan Altima: Choosing the Right Trim


The 2023 Nissan Altima offers a complete line of attractive midsize family sedans. Models range from the simple and affordable S and SV to near-luxury SL and sporty SR, including a turbocharged option thrown in for good measure.

A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard on all but the SR VC-Turbo trim, which gets a 248-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is the only transmission choice. All-wheel drive (AWD) is available on three of the five trims, but sadly not with the turbocharged engine.

The Altima has no real domestic competitor, but it faces stiff competition from cars like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Jetta, and Kia K5.

2023 Nissan Altima S (starting at $25,000, estimated)

The entry-level Altima S provides a roomy interior with seating for five and a spacious trunk. It comes nicely equipped with a surprising number of standard safety and driver assists but no additional package or frills. Offered only with front-wheel drive, the S is a good choice for budget-minded buyers.

Standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, auto-on/off LED headlights with automatic high beams, rear parking sensors, power side mirrors, and keyless entry with selective unlocking.

On the safety front, the Altima S includes Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of driver assists. The package goes beyond what many competitors offer and includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a blind-spot monitor, lane-departure warning, and rear emergency braking with rear cross-traffic detection.

The S trim also features a tire-pressure monitor, a driver attention monitor, Rear Door Alert (which reminds you to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle), and the Easy-Fill tire pressure alert system that, while adding air to the tire, flashes the car’s lights and honks the horn when the recommended tire pressure is reached.

The Altima S has ten airbags, including knee bags for the driver and front passenger and side-impact airbags for the rear seat.

Interior amenities are generous but not lavish. The Altima S features a tilt/telescopic steering wheel with Bluetooth, phone, cruise control, and audio controls. It also includes cloth seats, a 6-way manual driver’s seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat with in-trunk release levers, power door locks, and power windows with a driver’s side auto-up/down feature.

Other amenities include air conditioning, remote start, cruise control, a rear-window defroster, rear reading lights, and a foot-activated parking brake.

The Altima S audio system comprises a 5-inch display connected to an AM/FM stereo with six speakers. The system includes a hands-free text-messaging assistant, streaming audio via Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free/Google Assistant voice recognition. A single USB-A port and a 12-volt outlet are the only charge points.

If you’re looking for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or SiriusXM, you must move up to the next trim.

With the $1,095 destination charge, the 2023 Nissan Altima S has an estimated price of $26,095. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, expect a monthly payment of around $469. See 2023 Nissan Altima S models for sale

2023 Nissan Altima SV (starting at $26,000, estimated)

For about $1,000 over the base S, the SV adds more desirable features and opens the door to more options, such as AWD.

Building off the S, the SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8-way power driver’s seat, a 7-inch driver assist display and Nissan Intelligent Key with a push-button starter. Intelligent Key includes a proximity key fob that allows the doors to unlock or lock by touching a button on the door handle.

The SV’s infotainment system also sees a significant upgrade, adding an 8-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM satellite radio, and four illuminated USB charge ports, including one USB-A and USB-C in the front and rear passenger areas. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, allowing integration of a compatible smartphone.

Optional on the SV is the SV Premium Package, and wow, is it loaded with features! Check this option box, and you’ll get a power moonroof, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, driver’s seat 2-way power lumbar support, an electronic parking brake, plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Also included is Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, which adds full-speed-range adaptive cruise control with hold feature, lane-keeping assist, lane centering, and traffic sign recognition. Active Ride Control reduces pitching on bumpy or uneven pavement. At the same time, Intelligent Trace Control can detect if the vehicle is veering from its intended course and use gentle braking to bring the car back in line.

The SV Premium Package also adds a 12.3-inch color touchscreen, door-to-door navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link (requires subscription), a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and NissanConnect apps and services.

Opting for AWD adds another $1,400 to the bottom line. It also brings an electronic parking brake and larger rear disc brakes.

With the $1,095 destination charge, the 2023 Nissan Altima SV has an estimated price of $27,095. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, expect a monthly payment of around $487. See 2023 Nissan Altima SV models for sale

2023 Nissan Altima SV includes:

  • 8-way power driver’s seat – Gives the driver more latitude in finding a comfortable driving position.
  • Safety Shield 360 – This comprehensive suite of driver assists includes automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot monitor, and automatic rear braking, helping you avoid accidents in all directions.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – Allows seamless smartphone integration with the car’s infotainment, giving access to your apps, maps, music, and messages.
  • Available AWD – Improves traction on all road surfaces and is especially helpful when traversing snow-covered roads.

2023 Nissan Altima SR (starting at $27,000, estimated)

The SR trim brings the sportiness for which Nissan is known, although you’ll need to move up the Altima SR VC-Turbo trim to get more power.

Building off the SV, the SR adds a sport suspension, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Active Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control (see SV Premium Package for details), and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Other SR features include a dark chrome V-Motion grille surround and unique grille insert, exhaust finishers, Sport Combo seat upholstery, red stitching on the seats, doors, and dash, plus simulated carbon-fiber trim.

Optional on the SR is the SR Premium Package that brings leather-appointed sport seats, heated front seats, a driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support, a power moonroof, a 4-way power passenger seat, and heated outside mirrors.

A 12.3-inch color touchscreen replaces the standard 8-inch screen. It includes door-to-door navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link (requires subscription), a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and NissanConnect apps and services.

The SR can also be equipped with AWD.

With the $1,095 destination charge, the 2023 Nissan Altima SR has an estimated price of $28,095. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, expect a monthly payment of around $505. See 2023 Nissan Altima SR models for sale

2023 Nissan Altima SR includes:

  • Sport suspension – With firmer shocks and springs, the SR’s sport suspension lessens lean in tight curves and makes the drive more enjoyable.
  • 19-inch wheels – Shod with wide 235/40-19 tires, the Altima SR has added cornering grip, but it comes at the expense of ride comfort compared with the S or SV.
  • Available heated side mirrors – The heating elements behind the mirrors help keep snow and ice from blocking your view. They activate when the rear defroster is switched on.
  • Available wireless Apple CarPlay – Allows streaming of CarPlay to the car’s infotainment system without needing to plug in.

2023 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo (starting at $31,500, estimated)

The SR VC-Turbo takes all that’s good with the SR trim and adds a 248-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. This powerplant is technically fascinating, boasting a variable compression ratio that can increase fuel efficiency and improve power output.

The Altima SR VC also gets bigger brakes, Active Understeer Control, heated side mirrors, an 8-way power driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support, and a 4-way power passenger seat.

The SR VC-Turbo gains a 12.3-inch touchscreen, door-to-door navigation, a wireless charging pad, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a 9-speaker Bose premium audio system. Also in the mix are a power moonroof and a 360-degree Around View monitor.

ProPilot Assist comes standard, but sadly, AWD is not available.

With the $1,095 destination charge, the 2023 Nissan Altima SR-VC Turbo has an estimated price of $32,595. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, expect a monthly payment of around $586. See 2023 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo models for sale

2023 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo includes:

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged engine – This little powerplant puts up some big numbers, touting 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, yet with fuel economy numbers not all that far from the non-turbo trims.
  • ProPilot Assist – Allows the driver to set the following distance from the car ahead when using cruise control, slow or bring the car to a complete stop, and center the vehicle between lane markings, allowing for momentary hands-free driving.
  • Power moonroof – This single-panel glass moonroof allows more light in when it’s closed. Or, it can be fully retracted (or vented) for more fresh air when needed.
  • 4-way power passenger seat – Gives the passenger a bit more comfort, although not much more than the standard manual seat.

2023 Nissan Altima SL (starting price $30,500, estimated)

The SL is the most luxurious of the Altima trims, building off the contents of the SV with the Premium Package.

The SL includes larger brakes, an electronic parking brake, a heated steering wheel, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, and the Bose 9-speaker premium audio system.

ProPilot Assist comes standard on the SL, as does a 360-degree Around View Monitor, rear-seat heating and cooling vents, dual-zone automatic climate control, and remote start with the ability to set the climate controls remotely.

The only option for the SL is AWD.

With the $1,095 destination charge, the 2023 Nissan Altima SL has an estimated price of $31,595. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, expect a monthly payment of around $568. See 2023 Nissan Altima SL models for sale

2023 Nissan Altima SL includes:

  • Around View Monitor – With cameras on all four sides, this system provides a 360-degree view outside the vehicle, a helpful tool when you’re parking or unable to see objects close to the car.
  • Bose audio – The Bose system brings music to life and is essential for audiophiles. It uses nine speakers, including a front center speaker and Active Sound Management, but does not include a separate subwoofer.
  • Heated front seats – An excellent way to keep warm without adjusting the climate controls.
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control – Allows the driver and front passenger to set the air temperature from the vents precisely to their liking.

FAQ

What is the best 2023 Nissan Altima trim?

For its combination of features, price, and value, the Altima SV trim with the Premium Package option gets our nod.

Those seeking a sportier vibe can pay more and get the Altima SR with a similar package, minus the ProPilot Assist.

The Altima VC-Turbo trim is for enthusiast drivers, while the SL appeals more to luxury-minded buyers. Its feature set, though, isn’t quite as impressive as that of some of its competitors.

How many MPGs does the 2023 Nissan Altima get?

The front-drive Nissan Altima S with the 2.5-liter engine earns an EPA estimated 28 mpg city/39 mpg highway/32 mpg combined. The SV, SR, and SL trims weigh a bit more and have larger wheel and tire packages, so their fuel economy drops to 27 mpg city/37 mpg highway/31 mpg combined.

The AWD models see mileage estimates drop to 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway/30 mpg combined, while the turbocharged SR VC-Turbo earns 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway/29 mpg combined.

Which 2023 Nissan Altima offers the most safety?

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash testing, the Nissan Altima earns a top five-star overall rating, with five stars in the side-impact and rollover tests and four stars in the frontal crash test.

The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Altima as a Top Safety Pick + recipient, earning the institute’s highest rating of Good in all crash-test categories.

Beyond safety, one should consider the Altima’s driver-assist systems that can also help avoid accidents. While the standard slate is impressive, we’d pick a model with the ProPilot assist option, bringing additional driver aids we think are essential.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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