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Despite the growing popularity of the SUV, the mid-size sedan continues to be the ideal vehicle for many consumers and their families. In 2020, the Nissan Altima shows-off what has made it such a popular option for years. Being the only vehicle in its class with optional intelligent all-wheel-drive, it is easy to see why many drivers are intrigued by the Altima. While it certainly has a lot to offer, there are a few potential drawbacks that may make consumers look elsewhere.
What's New for 2020?
The Nissan Altima saw a significant redesign for 2019. As a result, only a few changes were deemed necessary for the new model. The SV, SL, and Platinum trims now offer drivers a Piano Black interior option. Also new for the top-of-the-line Platinum trim is a convenient memory function for the driver's side power mirror. Perhaps the most significant change is the inclusion of more safety aids on the SR trim as standard features. These same safety aids are now available on the entry-level S trim as well.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Nissan Altima – The Pros
1. Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
These days, many vehicles offer some form of forward collision warning. The 2020 Nissan Altima takes this handy feature to the next level, however. Not only does it monitor the velocity and distance of the vehicle in front of it, but it keeps track of the one in front of that one as well. This means it is aware of things that the driver likely cannot see. This advanced warning may make the difference between a collision and a close call. Intelligent Forward Collision Warning is a class-exclusive feature.
2. Class-Exclusive Available Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive
One of the biggest reasons families gravitate toward SUVs is for the all-wheel-drive. The Nissan Altima offers this feature on any model with the base 2.5L four-cylinder. This advanced system monitors the road and determines how much power to give the front and rear wheels. This makes the Altima more competitive for consumers who experience snowy road conditions, travel rough roads, or who simply like the added grip that all-wheel-drive can offer.
3. Standard 8" Touchscreen for Infotainment System
While many vehicles offer an 8" touchscreen on the top trim levels, the 2020 Altima makes it standard across the board. Plus, the incredibly easy-to-use screen comes with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features for easy smartphone integration. In addition to the touchscreen controls, there are also convenient knobs for radio tuning and volume control. Navigation and a 4G Wi-Fi HotSpot are optional features.
4. Safety Shield 360 Availability
Nissan is moving toward including the most advanced safety features on all versions of their most popular vehicles. Consumers with families will appreciate how many versions of the Altima include these features already. In 2020, all Altima trim levels come with both Front Collision Warning as well as Automatic Emergency Braking featuring Pedestrian Detection. Moving up to the SR trim or above will add Rear Parking Sensors, Blind-Spot Monitoring, High Beam Assist, and Lane Departure Warning. The "360" in Safety Shield 360 references the fact that with all six of these safety features equipped, drivers get advanced assistance features that monitor the vehicle's surroundings in every direction.
5. Powerful Turbocharged 2.0L Engine
The base engine for the 2020 Nissan Altima, which is a 2.5L four-cylinder that produces 188-horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, is certainly respectable. Those seeking more power, however, are sure to enjoy the available turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine that gives them 248-horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. This is the world's very first production variable compression turbo engine and can add some thrill to driving the Altima. Both engine options are paired with a smooth CVT. The turbocharged engine is an available option on front-wheel-drive versions of the SR and Platinum trim levels.
6. Convenient Nissan Connect Services
With available Nissan Connect, the new Altima can work with either Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant to open up a long list of features. Drivers are able to lock and unlock their vehicle remotely using their smart device. It can also start the vehicle in order to allow it to warm up or cool down prior to entering. This advanced set of features can even help drivers find their car, using either the Parked Car Finder on the app or simply honking the horn and flashing the lights on the vehicle. Parents will also enjoy the ability to set curfews on the vehicle, meaning they receive an alert if the Altima is driven outside acceptable times.
7. Comfortable Ride Experience
Consumers will find the 2020 Nissan Altima comfortable to be a passenger in for two reasons. First, the ride itself is incredibly smooth. Steering, braking, and acceleration are all precise and irregularities in the road rarely translate to bumps inside the cabin. Second, the seats themselves are very comfortable. No matter which trim level is selected, the seats are well-designed and made of high-quality materials so that passengers experience no discomfort, even on long drives.
8. Semi-Automated Driving Features Available
ProPilot is a unique and highly-advanced driver assistance feature. It combines the technology used for Steering Assist and Intelligent Cruise Control in order to give consumers semi-automated driving abilities. Not only can a 2020 Nissan Altima equipped with ProPilot Assist maintain a set distance from the vehicle ahead, but it can also bring the vehicle to a full stop. What really sets this feature apart is its ability to then bring the vehicle back up to speed when traffic gets going again.
9. Spacious Cabin with Room for Five
Many sedans claim to have room for five but realistically can only seat two or three adults comfortably. In the front, the Altima offers a spacious 43.8-inches of legroom. Consumers will also find that the 2020 Nissan Altima has ample room in the backseat for adults. This means that this vehicle can stick with a family as the years go on and the kids get bigger.
10. Impressive Fuel Economy
The 2020 Nissan Altima gives drivers impressive fuel economy, especially for its class. With the 2.5L engine and front-wheel-drive, consumers can expect 28 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway. These are very impressive numbers for a midsize sedan. All-wheel-drive models get 26 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. Going with the more powerful turbocharged engine means only a slight drop in fuel efficiency. It will give drivers a still-impressive 25 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Nissan Altima – The Cons
1. Cannot Combine AWD with Turbocharged Engine
Those who want both the safety of all-wheel-drive and the excitement of the turbocharged engine will be disappointed that the two cannot be combined. While this may be a deal-breaker for a small portion of consumers, most consumers will likely be fine with the 2.5L engine with the all-wheel-drive or having front-wheel-drive if they go with the turbo 2.0L.
2. Rear Seats Do Not Fold Flat
While the 2020 Nissan Altima does offer a respectable amount of cargo room, it is important to note that the rear seats do not fold completely flat. Also, in order to fold down the rear seats, they must first be released using handles located in the trunk. This is not the most convenient setup and may irritate some consumers. On the other hand, those who plan on using their Altima as a daily commuter or family vehicle are likely to never even notice this minor flaw. The 15.4-cubic-foot trunk is typically more than enough for the typical grocery shopping trip.
3. Interior Materials Slightly Lacking
In many ways, the 2020 Nissan Altima presents itself as an upper-class vehicle. That is why it is so surprising that the interior includes as much plastic as it does. The simple fact is that many of the Altima's competitors use higher quality materials in their cabins.
4. No Hybrid Option
Many car manufacturers are offering hybrid options of their most popular sedans. So far, Nissan has made no move toward offering a hybrid version of the Altima. While people dead-set on a hybrid will have to look elsewhere, most consumers will likely find the fuel economy of the Altima to be what they need.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
The 2020 Nissan Altima has a lot of competition in its class. One of its main competitors is the Toyota Camry. While the 2019 Camry does have a bigger engine option, it is lacking some of the standard features that the Altima has. These include Android Auto, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, and key fob remote engine start. The Altima also offers class-exclusive USB-C outlets, something that puts it above other offerings in the mid-size sedan vehicle segment.
The 2020 Nissan Altima represents a great choice as either a family car or a daily commuter. It offers drivers cutting-edge safety features, plenty of cabin space, a smooth ride, two great engine options, and more. Although it does have some minor flaws, they are unlikely to be significant enough to deter consumers from giving this vehicle serious consideration. Ultimately, the Nissan Altima is a strong competitor in the midsize sedan market and worth checking out.
• Why buy a 2019 Nissan Altima? w/ pros vs cons