The Nissan Altima is now on sale in Australia, arriving in showrooms nine months after making its debut on the streets of Adelaide in the opening round of the 2013 V8 Supercars championship.
There’s no V8 in the production car, though Nissan Australia hopes its new medium sedan will sell on value rather than supercar-style performance.
The Nissan Altima starts at $29,990 in ST specification – undercutting the top-selling Toyota Camry by $500 and the class-leading Mazda 6 by $3470, as well as its predecessor, the Nissan Maxima, by $4200.
Despite measuring 35mm longer than the Maxima large car (4885mm from nose to tail), Nissan Australia insists the Altima is a medium car – desperately seeking to distance its new nameplate from the declining segment occupied by the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Toyota Aurion.
Unlike the Maxima, the Nissan Altima ST, ST-L and Ti grades come standard with a four-cylinder petrol engine. The 2.5-litre unit produces 127kW of power at 6000rpm and 230Nm of torque at 4000rpm, and claims a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 7.5 litres per 100km.
The 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine in the flagship Altima Ti-S produces a meatier 183kW at 6400rpm and 312Nm at 4400rpm, bettering the old 2.5-litre V6 by 49kW/84Nm and using 0.2L/100km less fuel at a claimed 9.3L/100km.
Both engines are paired with an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT), which features Eco and Driver Sport modes in the four-cylinder models and an additional Manual mode with steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters in the V6.
The entry-level Nissan Altima ST comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels (with a full-size steel spare), auto headlights, keyless entry and push-button start, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, rear-seat centre armrest, five-inch central display screen, and a six-speaker audio system with AUX/USB inputs and Bluetooth phone connectivity (but no audio streaming).
For $5900, the Nissan Altima ST-L adds larger 17-inch alloys with a full-size alloy spare, fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power-adjustable seats, leather upholstery including wrapped steering wheel, seven-inch display with satellite navigation and rear-view camera, and a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system with NissanConnect smartphone integration and Bluetooth audio streaming.
The Nissan Altima Ti costs another $4300 and adds 18-inch alloys (17-inch alloy spare), auto-levelling xenon headlights, rear privacy glass, driver’s seat and side mirror memory settings, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 360-degree around view monitor camera system, and Nissan’s Intelligent Technology Suite comprising blind spot warning, lane departure warning and moving object detection.
A further $5200 affords the Nissan Altima Ti-S, which adds the V6 engine but is otherwise identically equipped to the Ti.
All Altima grades feature 60:40 split folding rear seats and a 488-litre boot, which trails the Camry by 27L and the Maxima by 18L, but beats the Mazda 6 by 50L.
Electronic stability control and six airbags (dual front, side and curtains) headline the Altima’s standard safety package.
CarAdvice is at the Australian launch of the new Nissan Altima in Phillip Island, Victoria. Stay tuned for our review, coming soon.