2023 Nissan Altima
More Appealing Than Ever
The midsize Nissan Altima sedan may not be able to boast the sales numbers of either the Camry or Accord, but in recent years, it has definitely been sneaking up on them. Let’s find out what’s new for ’23, and if we think Nissan will be able to keep the momentum going.
This 6th generation Nissan Altima arrived for the 2019 model year. For 2023 it receives some well-thought-out improvements in style, tech, and safety. They enhance Altima’s already segment exclusive variable compression ratio turbo engine option, not to mention, available all-wheel-drive.
The already stylish Altima was an early adopter of the floating roof design motif, but perhaps its most recognizable asset is the large V-motion face. It’s upgraded for ’23, with the grille taking up even more real estate, complete with a stand-out version of the Nissan logo.
This SR trim features an ever better take on the theme with black chrome trim and unique grille pattern, but all Altimas now get standard LED headlights; plus, there are 4 new alloy wheel designs and some fresh color options as well.
Inside there are attractive improvements in material quality. Our SR features a new dual-stitch fabric. There is also a bigger infotainment screen, 12.3-inches, same as the one that debuted in the Armada, a significant upgrade over the previous 8-inch screen. It’s not only bigger, but much clearer and allows for full wireless connectivity of Apple CarPlay.
But, in a surprising move counter to most of the current car culture, Nissan is actually eliminating their top Platinum trim in the Altima for ’23. Our take; most still see Altima as a practical, family or business workhorse.
The Zero Gravity front seats remain as comfortable as advertised.
There is plenty of both head and leg room in the back seat for adults.
There are no changes to powertrain offerings, standard is a 188-horsepower 2.5-liter I4, to which you can add all-wheel-drive. And exclusively front-wheel-drive is the variable compression ratio turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that arrived in 2019. This VC-turbo system improves both acceleration and fuel economy, and is rated at 248-horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque.
Xtronic CVT with both engines, however. Standard paddle shifters here in the SR trim in case you want to act like you’re fully engaged in the process.
No need for such things for our test track acceleration run.
Just floor the pedal and enjoy this VC-Turbo’s ride. While not overpowering, there was a surprisingly speedy scat off the line. We hit 60 in a fine 6.4-seconds.
The CVT kept power delivery very consistent, joined by of course extended periods of exaggerated engine noise. ¼-mile completed in 14.8-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.
Even with no AWD here in this SR, it’s where you want to be if handling is your priority, with unique chassis tuning, 19-inch wheels, and Intelligent Trace Control which uses selective braking for corner rotation.
And it all makes this family sedan great fun through the cones. Lots of grip, good steering feel, very little body roll, and virtually no understeer.
In braking runs, we experienced quite a bit of ABS pulsing through the very firm pedal, but stops were straight with fade-free results of just 110-feet from 60.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 2.0 turbo are 25-City, 34-Highway, and 29-Combined; we averaged a very good 31.6 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score too, with 10.3-barrels of annual oil consumption and 5.1-tons of CO2 emissions.
More good vibes when it comes to pricing, as the Altima starts at just $26,585, topping out with this VC-Turbo equipped SR for $36,285.
While not quite an underdog, the Nissan Altima, especially in SR VC-Turbo form, is surely an under appreciated sport sedan hiding in family car clothing. For 2023, it not only gets a sportier looking wardrobe, but upgrades in tech, and safety that make it more of a stalwart sedan contender than ever, and one that no car buyer should overlook.
- Engine: 2.0-liter Turbo-4
- Torque: 273 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 98 mph
- EPA: 25 City / 34 Highway / 29 Combined
- Horsepower: 248
- 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 110 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 31.6 MPG (Regular)