All-new sedan premieres in New York
Update (30/3): Nissan Australia has issued a statement regarding local prospects for the new-generation Altima. See bottom of article for details.
The new-generation 2019 Nissan Altima has been revealed at the New York motor show, bringing an all-new design, upgraded technology and all-wheel drive to the long-running nameplate.
Scheduled to go on sale in the US fall (September), the new Altima is the first Nissan sedan to be offered in the States with the option of all-wheel drive, and debuts the company's new variable-compression turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine – first seen on the Infiniti QX50.
In terms of its design, the Altima was inspired by the Vmotion 2.0 concept, meaning there's a gaping V-shaped grille up front, angular headlights with boomerang-shaped LED daytime-running lights, and strong character lines through the bonnet and sides.
Wheels up to 19 inches in diameter are available, while the rear has been completely reworked in line with Nissan's current range of vehicles. A diffuser-style rear bumper treatment adds a touch of athletic character.
Significant changes have been made inside the cabin, too. There's an all-new dashboard design, featuring an 8.0-inch floating tablet-style infotainment display offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Wood-like interior trims adorn the dash and doors, while a new D-shaped steering wheel from Nissan's recently-updated models like the X-Trail (Rogue) and Qashqai (Rogue Sport) debuts ahead of a revised instrument cluster with a larger TFT driver's display between the physical dials.
The company says the seats feature increased bolstering for added holding and passenger support, too.
In terms of technology, the Altima gets Nissan's Safety Shield driver-assistance systems – meaning autonomous emergency braking is available in forward and reverse, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, and high beam assist.
The Altima also gets ProPilot Assist, which takes care of acceleration, braking, and steering inputs during single-lane highway driving – though the driver's hands are still required on the wheel.
Powertrains are new for this generation as well. Standard on all grades is a new 2.5-litre direct-injection inline four, which the company claims is more powerful than its predecessor, while also offering improvements in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) along with enhanced economy and reduced emissions – though no outputs or figures have been released.
The 2.0-litre VC-Turbo, meanwhile, replaces the outgoing 3.5-litre V6. Outputs again aren't detailed, though Nissan says the new engine offers "near V6-level performance with four-cylinder fuel economy".
Intelligent all-wheel drive is available for the first time, available on all trim levels equipped with the 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine – it looks like the VC-Turbo will be front-wheel drive only for the time being.
Tony Mee, told CarAdvice: "Nissan Australia will consider all new products as they become available, however at the moment there are no current plans to reintroduce Altima".
When asked about whether we'll see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in local models soon, Mee added: "No announcements in regard to CarPlay".
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