2020 Nissan Altima Review


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2020 Nissan Altima Overview

The Nissan Altima, which was fully redesigned for 2019, gets a handful of feature updates for 2020 in order to help it compete against the likes of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda Mazda6, and Kia Optima.

The exterior includes a trapezoidal grille that dominates the front end and bold headlight design. Notable exterior options available on higher trims include 17- or 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a rear spoiler, fog lights, and heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

Powertrains carry over unchanged. A base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, rated for 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, comes standard on every trim. A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, good for 248 hp and 273 lb-ft, is available with the top two trims. Both engines pair with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive (FWD) comes standard while all-wheel drive (AWD) is available. The 2.5-liter engine is rated for fuel economy of 28 mpg city, 39 highway, and 32 combined. With AWD for the SR and Platinum trims, those figures drop to 25, 35, and 29. The 2.0-liter engine is rated for 26, 36, and 29.

Inside, the standout feature is the Zero Gravity seats, designed to reduce fatigue over long trips. These come standard in every Altima and are among the best in the segment. The base S trim also includes push-button start and an 8-way power driver’s seat. The SV trim adds amenities like a power moonroof, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. Next is the SL trim, which adds leather upholstery, while Platinum tops that with driver’s seat memory settings and accent lighting. For 2020, the Altima gets Piano Black trim in the SV, SL, and Platinum trims and a mirror memory function in the Platinum trim.

The user-friendly NissanConnect system comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen, a customizable 7-inch color information display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, satellite radio, and four USB ports. Drivers have physical controls to adjust audio and HVAC functions. Stepping up to the SL trim adds a 9-speaker Bose premium sound system and navigation with live traffic updates.

While the 2020 model hasn't been crash-tested, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2019 Altima a Top Safety Pick. A reversing camera, forward-collision warning, and driver-alertness monitoring come standard across the lineup. This year, the Nissan Safety Shield 360 package is optional on the base Altima and standard for the Altima SR and above. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, radar blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic braking, and high-beam assist.

Though the Altima faces a tough field, it offers plenty of features to keep shoppers satisfied.


Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She is eagerly awaiting delivery of a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, which will join her household's 2008 Toyota RAV4, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, and 2015 Honda Grom.

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