Amid five consecutive years—and counting—of sales growth, Nissan has introduced the 2016 Altima, a quieter car with improved fuel economy and a new “energetic flow” exterior.
“We can confidently say today that we have the quietest Altima ever,” Tiago Castro, senior manager of product planning at Nissan, told reporters at an Altima media preview presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 11. “We’re excited about this.”
The updated model also employs an improved fuel economy of up to 39 miles per gallon, the latest active safety and technology, enhanced drive dynamics and a new SR grade and.
“There was a lot of work done behind the scenes, things that normally customers don’t know to improve the vehicle,” Castro said.
One of the highlights of the 2016 Altima is its acoustic windshield, which noticeably reduces noise transmission. The glass incorporates an acoustic film in between, which dampers engine noise. New high density material used in dashboard and floor carpet also help in providing a quieter driving experience.
The engine itself also features a new mount that results in refined engine sound quality during low and mid demand acceleration.
The new Altima comes with an enhanced fuel economy of 39 miles per gallon on the highway, up from 38 in the 2015 model. In the city, the Altima posts up to 27 miles per gallon, and has a combined fuel economy of 31 miles per gallon.
Achieving this fuel efficiency without compromising the driving experience was a huge challenge, Castro said. While it would have been possible to employ low-rolling resistance tires to improve fuel economy, doing so would have reduced grip and made the Altima experience less enjoyable.
“We didn’t want to do that,” Castro said.
Instead, adjustments were made to the engine and design to improve aerodynamics. Among design highlights is an active grille shutter that is activated when the driving speed hits about 18 miles per hour, and shuts off at about 80 miles per hour.
Advanced driver assistance
Among features in the 2016 Altima that ensure a safe drive is predictive forward collision warning technology that uses radar to monitor the speeds of two vehicles ahead.
Forward emergency braking is another feature that warns a driver if he or she is getting too close to a vehicle ahead using forward facing radar. If necessary, the Altima applies braking to either avoid or mitigate a collision.
Intelligent Cruise Control is another feature that allows drivers to set the distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead. If the car ahead slows down, the Altima automatically slows down and matches the speed of the the one in front.
The new Nissan model also employs rear cross traffic alert, which warns drivers when reversing if vehicles are approaching. Similarly, the Altima issues warnings through oval lights located inside near the side mirrors when vehicles are in the driver’s blindspot.
Enhanced drive dynamics
In addition to a quieter driving experience, Nissan equipped the new Altima with new tires with better grip and an increase in tread stiffness, new suspension and an improved steering system. It also has what xtronic transmission, which decreases noise inside by maintaining a lower RPM and provides smooth transitions during gear shifts for a more natural drive.
The sportier new Altima with signature boomerang headlights, four-piece rear lamps and a v-motion grille. The interior has a new look as well. with what it calls a “gliding wing.” The cabin also has a more spacious feel.
The new Altima also has a new SR grade which features the first-ever 18-inch wheel tire on a 2.5-liter engine models. The SR grade also has more lateral grip and improved power steering, less roll angle and less impact harshness.
Included in the 2016 Altima is hardware for NissanConnect services, which allows drivers to start the car remotely and receive roadside assistance, among other things. For an additional fee, drivers can also use the hardware for several other purposes, including obtaining directions to a destination with the help of a live person and connecting to the Internet.
The 2016 Altima comes in five 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine models and two 3.5-liter six-cylinder models. Maximum engine speed for the 2.5-liter models is 6,200 RPM and 6,600 for 3.5-liter models. Suggested MSRP ranges from $22,500 to $32,090, depending on the model.