2019 Nissan Altima Goes Turbocharged, Adds All-Wheel Drive

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Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.


, Automotive Editor - March 30, 2018

Nissan is clearly tired of playing third-fiddle to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, both of which, we should point out, received major redesigns not too long ago. Not wanting to fall behind, Nissan unveiled the 2019 Altima at the New York Auto Show with a host of changes that make the sedan more competitive than ever.

The most notable changes have taken place under the Altima's new skin. In a move to separate itself from Toyota and Honda, while being more competitive with the likes of Ford and Subaru, Nissan has added all-wheel drive to the sedan. The system is available on models equipped with the new 2.5-liter inline-four that generates 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque.

The new range-topping engine is Nissan's first 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with variable compression. The engine made its debut on the Infiniti QX50 and it's quickly filtered down to Nissan. Power output for the engine is rated at 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Confusingly, Nissan only offers the turbocharged engine with a front-wheel-drive layout (even though it's available with all-wheel drive on the QX50). While the VC-Turbo is down on power from the V6 that it replaces, it's got more torque and should be more fuel-efficient. Both engines are paired to a continuously variable transmission.

With the important news out of the way, we can return to the Altima's exterior. The previous Altima was a little ungainly. Happily, Nissan has fixed that issue, giving the Altima some much needed flair. The front end, with its enormous grille, sharp lines, and distinctive edges, is polarizing. The reception was decidedly mixed among the media at the New York Auto Show debut, although we should point out it looks much better in person than in pictures.

Compared to the outgoing Altima, the sixth-gen sedan is one inch longer, nearly an inch wider, and 1.1 inches longer. The sedan's wheelbase has been stretched by 1.9 inches, as well. The end result is a sleeker sedan that won't have it blending in, but sticking out for all of the right reasons.

The cabin gets its fair share of changes, as well. The center console gets a less cluttered design and, like may other new vehicles, sees the standard 8.0-inch touchscreen move from being embedded into the dashboard to being placed onto it. The rest of the cabin features a straightforward, upscale design that, at first glance at least, we're really enjoying.

2019 Nissan Altima

As far as features go, the Altima will come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as standard. Owners can add an Amazon Alexa Skill through the automaker's NissanConnect Services app. In terms of safety, the midsize sedan also gets ProPilot assist, which can take the hassle out of driving on the highway, and rear automatic braking. Optional features include a 360-degree camera and traffic sign recognition.

The 2019 Altima will go on sale later this fall, while a limited-edition launch model with the VC-Turbo engine can be ordered as soon as this summer.

Learn more about the current Altima on sale now

, Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.