The Nissan Altima is consistently among the best-selling cars in the nation, and comes relatively fresh off a complete redesign for 2013. That hasn't stopped Nissan from making a few key updates to the new 2015 model that improve fuel efficiency, add to interior comfort and convenience, and offer added value by making standard more equipment at the higher trim levels.
Exterior styling hasn't changed since the last go-round, but that's not a bad thing as the Altima remains one of the segment's most attractive entries. A feeling of length and presence is accentuated by flowing, aerodynamic fender flares with styling that has seemed to hit all the right notes with buyers.
On the inside, 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL models now come standard with NissanConnect with Navigation, an optional feature on the 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL. The system brings in-car apps such as Pandora, iHeartRadio and Google Search, plus navigation with 3D maps. Also now standard on the 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL are active driving aid and safety features, including Blind Spot Warning. Moving Object Detection and Lane Departure Warning systems.
SV trim levels now come standard with anew 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with 2-way lumbar support, while SL models come with standard leather seating and trim with power-adjustable front seats. Models with Remote Start also gain an Intelligent Climate Control System. Nissan's "Zero Gravity" front chairs can make a strong claim to be the segment's most comfortable, and interior features are generous at each price point while leaving less to the options list than last year's model.
Powertrains carry over for 2015, through the V6 engine option receives a number of updates that improve driveability and fuel efficiency. New to the available 270 horsepower, 251 lb-ft-torque 3.5-liter V6 are reduced internal friction, improved air intake resistance, variable camshaft timing on the exhaust end and updates to the standard Xtronic CVT transmission, bringing improved fuel efficiency ratings of 22 city, 32 highway and 26 combined mpg. The 2.5-liter standard four-cylinder engine carries over with 182 horsepower and 180 lb-ft. of torque, also coming standard with a CVT automatic for fuel efficiency ratings of 27 city, 38 highway and 31 combined mpg. Both engines' fuel efficiency ratings now lead the midsize family sedan class.
Pricing has been given a slight bump this year, with 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL models seeing a greater increase due to the addition of the Technology Package and other features as standard equipment. Pricing starts at $22,300 for the base 2.5 and $26,450 for the 3.5 S, plus destination charges of $810.