by Daniel DeGasperi

The Nissan Altima mid-sized sedan will launch in Australia in October, likely with a price tag of less than $30,000.

Speaking at the Australian media launch of the all-new Nissan Patrol, Nissan general manager of marketing Peter Clissold confirmed that a thorough analysis of the Altima’s competitors in the mid-sized class is “underway”, hinting that a starting price starting with a ‘two’ would be ideal.

“It’s a little early for pricing discussions, but certainly that [under $30,000] is a sweet spot in this segment,” said Clissold.

The Nissan Altima will launch locally with a choice of 136kW 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder and 201kW 3.5-litre V6 engines, both matched to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Clissold confirmed that the introduction of the Altima would kill off the slow-selling Maxima (above), ending the nameplate’s 23 year tenure in this country. The Maxima shares the Altima’s V6 engine, but Nissan has never sold a four-cylinder Maxima in this country, making the 2013 Altima the first four-cylinder mid-sized Nissan since the 1997 demise of the Bluebird.

It also equips the company with a true competitor to the four-cylinder-only Toyota Camry, which captured a staggering 39.6 per cent share of the mid-sized segment in 2012, and left a sizeable gap to the second-placed Mazda6 with its 11.8 per cent share.

Nissan is hoping this year’s introduction of a Nissan V8 Supercar using the mid-sizer’s nameplate and styling cues will maximise its exposure and sales potential.

“The luxury of being able to launch a new name like that, months before the new vehicle we have the V8 Supercars platform,” the marketing boss said.

“I expect that we’ll be visible, above the line in terms of launch communications, in addition to leveraging … the V8 Supercars [campaign].”

Asked whether the Altima will be marketed differently to the Maxima – which has long been pegged as a large affordable-luxury car – Clissold explained that while discussions were ongoing, the way the car was launched in the US provided a good indication of the Australian marketing message.

“If you look where the US launched that vehicle … It’s chocked full of technologies, whether it’s the seats, the navigation system, the heads-up display…

“I think we can get some good stories out of that.”

Clissold did, however, deny that a push would be made to correlate the production Altima front-drive V6 sedan with the rear-drive V8 racer (above) of the same name. Nor would the Altima be pegged in the same league as other production Nissan sports cars.

“The V6 is a really powerful vehicle. It’s certainly not going to be marketed as a sports car a la Zed [370Z], but it’ll be a performer … it’s a great chassis, and great power delivery.”

Pushed whether Nissan would introduce the Altima two-door coupe seen in the United States, Clissold was non-commital.

“We’ll see how it goes … we’re focusing on the sedan at this stage.

“It’s part of a sedan renaissance for Nissan, so we’re focusing all our energies on that.

“But never say never”.

Clissold’s boss, Nissan managing director and CEO Bill Peffer, later told CarAdvice that introducing a manual version of the V6 sedan was also on the cards for a local introduction, but wasn’t yet a priority.

  • Pro346

    Looks good in the top pic much better than the pic of the maxima below it.

  • 451

    so pulsar to tiida to pulsar…

    now maxima to altima…and one day back to the maxima?

    • Erthehe

      nah, call the v6 a skyline pmsl

    • Ace

       Tiida replacing the Pulsar was one of the worst automotive decisions in the last few decades, never understood why you would replace such a beloved car with a terrible name and car. I doubt Nissan would repeat that mistake.

  • Antmindel

    I think it looks ugly,recently saw them in America…

    • Henry Toussaint

       Yes I went there and there are a fair bit of them, but there isn’t much  special with them. Personally I like the Maxima for its Interior..

  • Dudeface

    Exterior is not bad, not great either. A bit anonymous I think. Interior looks good though, and the V6 should be a corker. But CVT… ehhhhhh

  • Zaccy16

    my god that things ugly! it looks like a melted but slightly bigger pulsar/almera, this will only sell to old people because of the low cost, nissan need to put effort in their cars like they used to not just toyota wannabes! 

  • Crazy n00b

    They got to do a lot better than pricing it just under $30k before on road costs. The Camry is selling for $27k drive away no more to pay (equivalent to $24k before on road costs) and 0% or 2.9% finance for 4yrs and $130 per service. Those on 2.9% finance also get 4yrs free roadside assist.

    So I’d say the Nissan’s goal to become no.1 or no.2 importer with their $30k ($33k includes on road costs) Altima is laughable. The durability of the belt CVT is questionable and $400-$700 per Nissan service. 

    • Hung Low

      The Cvt’s have been chain drive for years and they are currently the n.o 2 importer according to recent results. With new models lie the pathfinder on the way, I think they will do quite well.

      • Crazy n00b

        What I mean is belt(or chain) CVT as opposed to planetary gear CVT in the Prius which is durable.

  • pixxxels

    I know our retarded car-buying masses rarely think about their purchases, but the Altima and Camry should really struggle against the new Mazda 6 and Ford Mondeo. Besides looking thousands of times worse, they’re beaten in pretty much every category. 

    • Zaccy16

      Exactly!! Why would anyone in their right mind but this over a 6 or Mondeo!!

      • Zaccy16


        • Al Tungupon

          If it were Holden Altima, then many people will buy it in a heartbeat.

          • Darryl

            Well if it’s instead of Malibu I could understand.

      • $29896495

        Dare I say it it – 6 cylinders. 

    • Hung Low

      Chances are the Altima will be cheaper, better equipped and more refined with the V6 drivetrain. If anything the struggle will be with the new name plate and a fading category.

      • petron

        The V6 will be good because it is a great motor. However, you can bet there will be a big price jump from the 4 to the V6.

    • LowRezFez

      Ummm? Price, reliability? A Mazda 6 is a better car, but you are paying upwards of $10k for the privilege.

      • Passer By

        Come one, you know these forums aren’t here to make realistic comparrisons. they are for a load of people that know so much more about cars than everyone else based on their first hand experience as owners…

    • Mondeo Man

      Maybe when the Mondeo eventually arrives downunder…Still waiting, Ford.

  • Al Tungupon

    Nissan sedans of late have had lardy backs, and the Almera is the worst.

  • F1orce

    The 3.5L V6 in this Altima is a blast as it gets from 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds

  • MisterZed

    Very surprised they’re bringing in the V6 considering nobody buys V6s anymore. I guess Nissan still think that the 6-cylinder Falcon/Commodore/Aurion market is still viable… lol.

    • Passer By

      They make them for other countries that buy in large numbers and this tiny little market offers a possibility of making a little bit of extra money from something that already exists.
      Some people might refer to it as business accumen.

    • $29896495

      Speak for yourself, I love a good quad cam V6. More economical than a V8, smooth, more powerful than a 4 and almost as economical. Once you’ve had a good V6, it’s hard to go back.

      • F1orce

        Thank you huwtm !!

      • Hung Low

        The VQ35 is hard to beat for a mass model V6, and this in the real world will have as good or better economy than most mid size 4 bangers with effortless torque and reserves of power.

  • MIKE

    I just bought a new SV6 Commodore 4 months ago and I really love it.  It is getting 7.5lt per 100klm on the highway.  Looks great, heaps of room for the kids, I will probably upgrade to the VF.  This thing above is ugly as.

  • Iggy

    I drove one in Hawaii last year, hhhmmm it was very bland, felt like a 2000 Camry …

  • LowRezFez

    Sorry Nissan I’ll never buy a CVT equipped car, not unless there is a 10 year warranty on the transmission.

    • Hung Low

      They offer a 10y warranty on Cvt’s in the US and the new generation of Xtronic CVT with lock up convertor and 7.0 ratio spread are brilliant behind a torquey V6.

  • Able

    I think it looks so much better than the Maxima and the prospect of a V6 mid-sizer with a MANUAL is hugely exciting for me. I hate Nissans, but this Altima is rather nice. Bring out the US Maxima too while you’re at it too Nissan Aus.

    • $29896495

      It is NOT  a mid size car! The dimensions put it in the same category as the Falcon Commodore Aurion/Camry. It’s going to need the V6. I think time will show the four cylinder doesn’t have enough guts.

      CA NOT a MID size! This is a large car, look at the spec sheet.

  • 451


    • 451

      ooo just thought i saw an infiniti Q50…oh no…

  • Fasdf

    I wonder what Nissan’s servicing costs will be like on this? Maxima, just like all Nissans, costs a bomb to service (oh but it’s Japanese!). Check it out Maxima services prices (from Nissans website).

    1st year: $620.71
    2nd year: $798.15
    3rd year: $620.71
    4th year: $903.59
    5th year: $1053.83

    • Hung Low

      From my experience, you can half those costs by getting a better service elsewhere. Nissan, Hyundai, Mazda, Subaru and Honda offer overpriced servicing. Also there is no such parity with the cost between dealerships,shop around.

      • Dfg

         Of course you can go to a independent and get better prices. But most people with brand new cars want to go to the dealer with the expectation that it will make any potential warranty claims easier

        These prices are Nissan’s “fixed price servicing” costs as published on Nissan’s website. I think it’s unlikely that there will be much variation if you shop between Nissan dealerships.
        Hyundai’s dealer prices are nowhere near this at $299 a year, less than half.

  • Norm

    What is going on with automatic transmissions?!

    Engineers appear to have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory?

    People have been building perfectly great – reliable – no fuss – fully automatic transmissions for years?!



    Just a decent auto please.

  • Ash

    All new Mazda 6 is beautiful is slightly more powerful…when compared to this UGLY Altima..what the heck are Nissan thinking?

  • Noely

    That grille…

    • $29896495

      Yeah, Nissan’s grills are horrendous. To heavy with chrome, they detract from the car. 

  • $29896495

    Here’s a couple of points, this car is a full size car, NOT a medium car. Which in one way with a whole lot of kit on board may make it good value. on the other hand It is, give or take a mil. the same width as a Falcon or Aurion/Camry and about the same length. With people shying away from BIG cars, will having a low price draw people in?

    The new coupe, which is quite a nice looking car, only comes with four cylinders(?).