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Joel Patel
Automotive Editor - November 14, 2017

2018 Nissan Altima OVERVIEW

Midsize sedans are still some of the most popular vehicles on the road, making the segment one of the most cutthroat in the industry. The 2018 Nissan Altima enters the fight with two powertrains to choose from, new technology, and a more simplified lineup for consumers to explore. While not as sporty or enjoyable to drive as some of its competitors, the new Altima makes a strong case for itself as a daily driver.

What's New for 2018

A few noteworthy changes have been made to the new 2018 Altima. The first of which includes the addition of automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning as standard equipment on every Altima model. The range-topping 3.5 SL trim gets even more tech, including adaptive cruise control as standard and an upgraded version of Nissan's navigation, which now offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and telematics system, NissanConnect.

The Altima lineup has been simplified to just five trims: 2.5 S, 2.5 SR, 2.5 SV, 2.5 SL, and 3.5 SL – Nissan has discontinued the base 2.5 and 3.5 SR. New packages are available, including the 2.5 SR Special Edition and 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL Technology Packages.

The 2.5R Special Edition adds NisscanConnect, which includes navigation with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a seven-inch color audio display, Prima-Tex appointed seats, heated front seats, and a bespoke wheel finish. The Tech Packages add a lot of the same features as the Special Edition Package, but also includes a moonroof, adaptive cruise control, and LED headlights with signature daytime running lights.

Other new additions to the 2018 Altima include a five-inch infotainment system, power windows, and a backup camera as standard.

Nissan Altima

Choosing Your Nissan Altima

For 2018, the Altima has two engines to choose from. The majority of the lineup features a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine that makes 179 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired to an Xtronic transmission that helps the sedan return 27 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway for 31 mpg combined.

The larger, more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine is limited to the range-topping 3.5 SL trim. The V6 engine is good for 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque and is paired to the same CVT as the four-cylinder motor. The V6-powered Altima is rated to return 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, which results in a combined rating of 26 mpg.

All 2018 Altimas include Nissan's Safety Shield Technology, which means forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking as standard. Adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is anoptional extra. The 2017 Altima earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, which is something that should carryover for 2018.

2.5 S

The entry-level Altima starts at $24,025 (all prices include the $885 destination fee) and is powered by the 2.5-liter inline-four. Exterior features on this trim include 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, LED headlights, and active grille shutters for improved aerodynamics.

On the inside, the sedan comes with woven fabric seats, six-way manual adjustments on the driver's side, a four-way manual passenger seat, a six-speaker audio system, a five-inch display, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity with Siri Eyes Free, Nissan’s proximity key, and a rearview camera.

The Convenience Package ($390) is the only available package for the base 2.5 S trim and adds a six-way power driver’s seat and remote engine start.

2.5 SR

The 2.5 SR trim is priced at $25,085 and adds a few more features over the base model. The sportiest looking Altima comes with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, daytime running lights, smoked headlight and taillight housings, foglights, and a rear decklid spoiler. The interior features sport cloth seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a four-way manual passenger seat, and unique sport interior accents.

Available packages on the 2.5 SR trim include the Special Edition Package ($910) that adds NissanConnect with navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a seven-inch color touch-screen display, SiriusXM satellite radio, Prima-Tex appointed seats, heated front seats, a unique wheel finish, a unique seat design, and remote engine start.

2.5 SV

Getting into the 2.5 SV trim costs $26,670 and adds 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights on the outside. Interior additions include SiriusXM satellite radio, dual-zone automatic temperature control, remote engine start with adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The 2.5 SV trim is available with the SV Technology Package ($1,280) which brings a lot of the same features as the Special Edition Package, but adds a power sliding moonroof, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, a heated steering wheel, exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a HomeLink transceiver, a compass, and a mood lamp in the roof console.

2.5 SL

Priced at $29,880, the 2.5 SL trim adds exterior mirrors with LED turn signals, perforated leather seats, heated front seats, a four-way power passenger’s seat, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, a compass, auto up/down passenger window, HomeLink, rear heating/cooling vents, brushed Silver Wave trim finishers for the beige color and Carbon Wave finishers for the charcoal scheme, and a mood lamp in the roof console.

The 2.5 SL is available with the SL Tech Package ($1,290) that includes many of the same features that are found on the SV Technology Package but adds adaptive cruise control.

3.5 SL

The range-topping 3.5 SL trim is the only way to get into a V6-powered Altima and costs $36,395, but is broadly similar to the 2.5 SL. There are no available packages for the 3.5 SL trim.

CarsDirect Tip

While the V6 engine adds nearly 100 extra horsepower to the Altima, we’d go with the 2.5 SR trim, which is the sportiest offering in the entire lineup. The Special Edition Package is a welcome addition, bringing navigation and heated seats to the sedan. Consumers not wanting to get all of the goodies on the Special Edition Package can spec heated seats and Navigation separately, as well.

Get your price on a Nissan Altima »

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