UPDATED FOR TOP SAFETY RATING
Following on our review of the new 2016 Nissan Altima on December 31, 2015 – Nissan advises that it has now also been awarded the coveted highest safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – the Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) designation.
The 2016 Nissan Altima joins the previously announced 2016 Nissan Maxima and 2016 Nissan Murano in earning the TSP+ rating. The Altima scored “Good” in all five TSP categories and earned TSP+ status with a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention for models equipped with optional Forward Emergency Braking.
“Nissan is very proud to have our best-selling vehicle recognized by IIHS for excellence in vehicle safety,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Strategy and Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). “Like the new Maxima and Murano, Altima sets high standards in a very competitive class for styling, performance and value as well as safety. We at Nissan are gratified to see that another of our core models has been recognized for excellent design and vehicle safety.”
For the 2016 model year, IIHS tightened its standards by requiring a “Good” or better rating in all five of the crashworthiness categories to earn a “Top Safety Pick” plus requiring that a front crash prevention system was available in order to win the top award.
To earn the IIHS “Top Safety Pick Plus” designation, a vehicle must earn a “Good” or better on all five crashworthiness categories and also receive an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for front crash prevention.
Calling the new Altima a ‘mid-cycle’ refresh is somewhat of an understatement since Nissan pretty much reworked Altima everywhere for 2016. Some places you can see the changes and others you only find by driving it and you need to do that.
Historically, Altima has been one of the top three sellers in the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment. Based on our recent drive of the mid-range Altima 2.5 SV model, we see the new 2016 Nissan Altima as having measurably stepped it up with its ‘refreshed’ looks and features. We think it will continue to offer consumer value, convenience, features and performance that consumers will respond to favorably – making them a top choice once again.
Refreshed Look for Altima
Nissan says the new Altima is another iteration of their ‘energetic flow’ design look seen on the new 2016 Maxima introduced earlier this year.
From the front, the 2016 Altima has a wider visual stance with a new lowered muscular front fascia with distinctive grille and new bumper. Also new are distinctive tailored character lines on the Altima hood and fenders. The new face of Altima has a new headlight design including available signature LED boomerang headlights, fog lights and Daytime Running Lights. The refreshed look for the rear extends from the sloping cabin roofline to a new higher trunk with new fascia and bumper plus lower and wider four-piece taillights featuring that same boomerang shape.
Special efforts were made to make the new Altima the quietest ever. In addition to the acoustic (laminated glass) windshield, Nissan added additional insulation and sound barriers particularly in the firewall, plus new engine mounts and a larger center located muffler to reduce noise in the cabin.
The 2016 Nissan is a better driving, handling and riding mid-size due to redesign of the 4-wheel independent Altima suspension to deliver more dynamic handling, with new shock absorbers, rear springs and bushings – along with new tire designs across all models to enhance the drive experience.
Some of the key changes are the addition of premium ZF SACHS shock absorbers, a re-mapped Electronic Hydraulic Power-Assisted Steering (EHPS) system, and an Active Understeer Control system integrated with the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)/Traction Control System (TCS).
New wheels and tires on Altima for 2016, range from base trim level 16-inch steel wheels to 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with 215/55R17 V-rated all-season tires on SV and SL grades and moving up to 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/45R18 V-rated all-season tires on the 2.5 SR and 3.5-liter V6-equipped models.
2016 Altima 2.5 SV Test Vehicle
Nissan sent us a pre-production Altima 25 SV for a week long test drive just as they were arriving in dealerships. Following their program single pricing structure for each trim level, our Altima 2.5 SV was base priced at $25,460. Their simplified pricing structure offered just three optional packages you could add to the 2.5 SV.
Standard on the front-wheel drive Altima 2.5 SV trim level were the 2.5L four-cylinder engine delivering 182 horsepower with 180 lb.-ft. of torque integrated with the next-generation Xtronic transmission with new D-Step Shift Logic – driving the road on 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels mounted with P215/55VR17 All-season tires.
Exterior features in addition to the refreshed styling included Smart Auto On/Off Projector Halogen Headlights, Fog Lamps and Dual Body Color Power Outside Mirrors and Variable Intermittent Speed-Sensitive Wipers.
Inside features included the Advanced Driver Assist Display in the instrument cluster, Dual Zone Temperature Control with in-cabin filter, power windows and locks, Nissan Intelligent Key with Remote Engine Start and Stop plus Push Button Start, Tilt and Telescopic Steering with steering wheel audio controls, Map Lights and Rear Reading Lights, two 12-Volt DC power outlets and a Dual Level Center Console.
Our Altima 2.5 SV had lots of comfortable room for five passengers. Front head room is 40-inches with rear at 39-inches. Legroom front is 45-inches with rear at 36-inches. Trunk capacity is generous at 15.4 cubic feet. The NASA inspired Zero Gravity front seating was cloth trimmed with 8-way Power Adjust for the driver, steering wheel leather-wrapped and the rear seat backs were 60/40 fold-down.
Audio was provided through a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD head unit with Speed Sensitive Audio Volume Control, MP3/WMA Compatibility, USB Port with iPod Connectivity, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Nissan Connect with Mobile Apps plus Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone and Texting and streaming audio.
Safety features included the Rear View Camera and Monitor, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Nissan Advanced Air Bag System and Tire Pressure Monitoring.
Packages and Accessories
The Convenience Package ($1,350) added a Power Sliding Glass Moonroof with Tilt, Rear Passenger Air Conditioning Vents, manual Folding Side Mirrors with Integrated LED Turn Signals, One-Touch Auto Up/Down Side Windows, Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror, Compass, Side Cargo Net and Mood Lighting in the Roof Console.
The Navigation Package ($580) upgraded to a 7.0-inch Color Audio Display and included NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, Nissan Voice Recognition for the navigation and audio plus One-Shot Destination entry with the Voice Recognition, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM TravelLink.
The third available package (not included) was a Cold Weather Package ($500) that added Heated 8-way Power Driver Seating, Heated Front Passenger Seating, Heated Steering Wheel and Heated outside mirrors.
Though we would not have added any accessory items to this vehicle, Nissan does offer a range of dealer and factory installed accessory items (27 in total). They include items like Side Moldings, Rear Decklid Spoiler, Illuminated Kick Plates, External Ground Lighting, Interior Ambient Lighting and other all the way through various carpet mat options and a Nissan Emergency Road Kit.
With freight and some dealer installed floor mats – our Brilliant Silver with Black interior 2016 Nissan Altima 25 SV – priced at $28,425.
For the record, the 2016 lineup for Altima includes five trim levels powered by the 2.5L four cylinder starting with the base 2.5 (MSRP $22,500) through the 2.5 SL (MSRP $28,570). Altima offers two models with the 3.5L V6 power plant – the 3.5 SR (new Sport trim) at MSRP of $27,390 and top-of-the-line 3.5 SL at MSRP of $32,090.
Go to the 2016 Nissan Altima consumer website for more information on the rest of the trim levels.
2016 Nissan Maxima
Earlier this year, Nissan delivered their new all-new luxury level four-door sports car (4DSC) Maxima lineup to the market. We had occasion to drive the new Maxima for weeklong periods twice, once the new sport themed version Maxima SR followed later by the top-of-the-line Maxima Platinum.
Our impression in both cases was, in a word, ‘wow. We will temper that slightly in that both models tested at length were powered by the 3.5L V6 making their performance more responsive overall than the models with the 2.5L four-cylinder engine.
(You can read our impressions of the all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima by clicking on the “Suggested Links” below)
Final Thought on the 2016 Altima
The ‘mid-cycle refresh’ 2016 Altima mid-size sedan is pretty impressive across all of its models and drive trains. Yes, the 3.5L engine versions (32 mpg highway) are a bit quicker with more pop on the road However, the new 2.5L versions (39 mpg highway) – with the new next-generation Xtronic transmission equipped with the new third- generation D-Step Shift Logic, proves itself to be more than sufficiently quick from the stop light to the highway.
The new 2016 Nissan Altima mid-size sedans arrived in stores in November, 2015. If a new mid-size sedan is on your radar, the Altima has to be on your short list.