2015 Nissan Altima Review


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2015 Nissan Altima Overview

Once a sporty alternative to suburban warriors like the Ford Fusion or the Honda Accord, Nissan’s Altima sedan has joined these old standbys as a well-behaved family/commuter car. For 2015, this 5-seat midsize 4-door continues to impress reviewers with its manners, appointments, efficiency and looks just as it once did for its surprisingly yee-hah driving dynamics. Oh sure, the grown-up Altima still performs well, but it has mellowed in the last few years. But then so has its target audience.

Anyhow, the traditional 7 trims return for the 2015 model year and include the base 2.5, the up-featured 2.5 S, the quasi-posh 2.5 SV and the genuinely plush 2.5 SL, joined once again by the peppy 3.5 S, 3.5 SV and the flagship 3.5 SL. Said trim designations are, as is traditional, delineated by engine size once again, while all 2015 Altima variations remain offered only with front-wheel drive (FWD).

Little has changed from last year, but a few added tweaks for this year include the redesigned Nissan Connect with Navigation and Mobile Apps system, as well as a few new safety-technology features. These additions are now standard in higher trims and offered as optional equipment in less well-endowed editions.

Again for 2015, the usual engine choices are offered, beginning with the 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant that powers, obviously, the various Altima 2.5 versions. Look for 182 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque from the 4-banger, with the ubiquitous continuously variable transmission (CVT) again providing the brains. Again toting variable valve timing (VVT), this competent I4 returns estimated to get 27 mpg city/38 highway.

Need a reminder of what this savvy sedan once was? The 2015 Altima’s 3.5 variations again sport a 3.5-liter V6 engine that remains mated with the CVT for 270 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Though still boasting VVT, this peppier powerplant, at an estimated 22/31, won’t come close to its I4-packing siblings efficiency-wise.

Features-wise, look for the 2015 Altima to progress from 16-inch steel wheels on lower 2.5 iterations to 17-inch alloy wheels on the 2.5 SV and SL to 18-inch alloy wheels on the 3.5 versions. Depending on the trim selected, interior appointments range from cloth to leather upholstery, with stuff like heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories (including heated power mirrors), cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, dual-zone climate control, a rear-view camera and a remote garage door opener all standard as you climb higher on the trim ladder. Both SL trims, by the way, as well as the 3.5 SV, also offer a power moonroof and remote engine start as standard equipment.

Techno-gizmos in the 2015 Altima 2.5 SL as well as the 3.5 SV and SL are headlined by the new and improved NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps that features a larger (7-inch) touchscreen display, Internet radio reception and added WiFi connectivity to your smartphone. Meanwhile the premium Bose audio system in the pricier trims (2.5 SL, 3.5 SL) flaunts 9 speakers, satellite radio, auxiliary audio input and an infotainment-dedicated 5-inch display. Each of the preceding is optional in all lower trims except the base 2.5 and 2.5 S, with these latter offering only an AM/FM radio with 4 and 6 speakers respectively, with the 2.5 S sporting auxiliary audio input.

As for further options, specified lower Altima trims can be delivered with many of the features found standard in higher trims as available add-ons.

Finally, the usual mandated safety equipment in the 2015 Altima (antilock brakes, traction and stability control, side-mounted and head airbags) are again supplemented by a remote antitheft alarm lineup-wide. Meantime, higher trims additionally sport standard high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors. And as intimated, such new-for-2015 safety technology as lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring and a moving-object-detection system are now standard in select upper-level trims and optional in less costly iterations.


Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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