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What's New In the 2020 Nissan Altima: Review

North American car buyers are abandoning sedans, but Nissan is ready to boost its share with the 2020 Altima. The midsize sedan is a great segment and should be very appealing to individuals and families, especially in light of the rising gas prices.

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Nissan hopes to sell 200,000 Altimas this year. But it can be nearly 300,000 if you are in the optimistic end of the spectrum, especially with the addition of AWD to the Altima lineup, which could be a “game-changer,” a feature that could even cause CUV intenders to consider the 2020 Altima. In fact, recently the 2019 Nissan Altima earned best in class midsize sedan award from the New England Motor Press.

2020 Nissan Altima Enhancements

The 2020 Nissan Altima is entering its second year of production. This model offers Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, ProPILOT Assist and Nissan Safety Shield 360 technologies, the choice of two advanced engines and expressive exterior and interior designs. But it also has some new great enhancements.

In the 2020 model Nissan has added the Safety Shield 360 as standard for the SR Altima. Safety Shield 360 technology now will be available across the entire 2020 Altima lineup. The Driver Assist Package will now be standard for the Altima S grade. 

Red 2020 Nissan Altima Platinum complete view

Some other things are new too. The 2020 Nissan Altima Platinum grade gets an addition of a mirror memory function. Also, the Piano Black interior finishes will be available in to the SV, SL and platinum grade levels.

The safety of driving is enhanced by the standard Automatic Emergency Braking (AEV), Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW) and Intelligent Driver Alertness (I-DA) on all grades. The Platinum Altima also has the addition of Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM).

I have been test-driving the 2020 Nissan Altima Platinum. It has low profile tires and the suspension is a little stiff. However, even with its low profile tires my sedan handled the bumpy roads with a lot of comfort. The seats are very cushy. The front seats are perforated, heated and with memory. The in and out is easy. The back seats have plenty of leg room and there is no need to move the front seats up for comfort.

2020 Nissan Altima Platinum low-profile tireWatch my walk-around of the 2020 Nissan Altima and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news analysis.

The 2020 Nissan Altima Pricing

The MSRP of the 2020 Altima starts at 24,100 and can go up to 35,180 USD. Altima S with 2.5-liter and FWD starts at $24,100 USA. AWD Altima S starts at $25,450 USA. Altima Platinum with 2.0-liter VC-Turbo FWD is the most expensive, starting at $35,180 USD. All other grade Altimas fall in this range.

2020 Nissan Altima Specs

  • Models: S, SR, SV, SL and Platinum.
  • Powertrain: 248-horsepower 2.0-liter VC-Turbo 4-cylinder; 188-horsepower 2.5-liter DOHC 24-valve 4-cylinder; Xtronic transmission with D-Step Shift logic.
  • Suspension: Independent front, multi-link rear with Active Understeer Control.
  • Fuel Economy: 2.5-liter: Altima S, SV, SL: 28/39/32 FWD; 26/36/30 AWD; Altima SR, Platinum: 27/37/31 FWD; 25/35/29 AWD - 2.0-liter VC-T: 25/34/29 mpg city/highway/combined (FWD only).

It’s apparent that Nissan has done something to make a midsize sedan a more desirable than an SUV. It has given then 2020 Nissan Altima a sleek silhouette. In fact, recently we saw that Toyota did the same with its best-selling sedan Camry. But here Nissan has not stopped with only a sleek design giving it a sporty and modern look. It has also given the 2020 Altima an all-wheel drive, which is the first for this car. The body style of the design is more fluid than its previous 5th generation model.

Speaking of the all-wheel drive, there are other models in the segment that also offer this feature. This is the case with the new Mazda3 and Toyota Prius. However, Toyota and Mazda offer the AWD as an option, while Nissan has made it standard in the 2020 Altima.

2020 Nissan Altima’s Welcoming interior

The very spacious interior of this sedan has undergone a major redesign. The new dashboard abandons the massive style that it previously had for a simpler and flat design cut into two levels by a gray molding. A happy combination of materials, trim and stitching showcases it beautifully. In this airy environment, the large touch screen infotainment system is put in the center. It’s amazing and works well for ergonomics. There is no lack of space or comfort on board this car.

2020 Nissan Altima Platinum front interior

The seats at the front are contoured and support the body well, while behind, passengers have ample space in the head, legs and feet to make long journeys enjoyable. Added to this is a large trunk.

2020 Nissan Altima's Infotainment

The dashboard is sober, pretty and practical. There are both physical buttons and touchscreen options. Nissan has offered an infotainment system (situated in the center of the dashboard), which is far superior to that offered by Nissan in the previous generation of the Altima. The Japanese manufacturer has taken giant steps in this regard in recent years.

2020 Nissan Altima Platinum infotainment system2020 Nissan Altima Platinum front dashboard

I think the 2020 Nissan Altima will be a very successful competitor to Subaru Legacy in the midsize sedan segment. In this segment only Subaru Legacy and Ford Fusion offer All-wheel Drive. But since Ford fusion will soon be replaced, Subaru Legacy and Nissan Altima will be the only competitors that will offer AWD in this segment. What is good about AWD is that your head doesn't spin in the car when you make left and right turns, especially sharp turns.

The old Altima was not tasteless, but the 2020 model has a very expressive exterior and interior design. These enhancement in my opinion should be sufficient for the Altima so that its number of followers stop decreasing. See you in my next story where I test-drive and review the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, which has some very cool features and comes with lots of exterior and interior changes.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

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Digitaldoc (not verified)    October 22, 2019 - 12:34PM

So in other words, the issues with the Altima persist. For starters, you can't get the AWD with the turbo engine where it would make the most sense. Also, the turbo continues to be hampered with a CVT, when it would be better off with a torque converter auto, say an 8-spd. Finally, I still don't get why it is so big, and grew to a size larger than the Maxima, their flagship sedan.