In the world of budget-friendly sedans, it's hard to get too excited about the options. However, the 2021 Nissan Altima is an intriguing choice. There are a few ways in which the Altima can be enhanced from a performance standpoint, and its cabin is comfortable and can come with many convenient amenities. In this class of vehicles, cost is going to be a sticking point. Fortunately, the lower trims are competitively priced while the higher trims are still reasonable while offering some nice upgrades.
For this model year, Nissan has made some small changes to the Altima. First of all, the lineup has been shaken up a bit. That's because a turbocharged engine is now only available on the SR, making it a more premium option. The SV gets taken down a notch on the hierarchy, but the tradeoff is that it's now more affordable. There is a new package that can be added onto the SV to give it high-end amenities, such as heated front seats and a sunroof.
There are five trims available, starting with the modest S trim. The SV is next in line, and it's followed by the SR. The SL is a good option for people with a more sophisticated style, and the Platinum is the top-of-the-line model that gives consumers a taste of luxury.
The S comes with many standard driver-assist systems, so it should please people who want to have those technologies to back them up as they drive. With the SV and SR, there are more technology and safety systems in place, and these could be important to some buyers. The SR's upgrades also include 19-inch wheels and paddle shifters to make driving a more interactive experience. In the SL, there's a premium audio system and more infotainment features, and the Platinum has an elegant cabin with even more high-quality components.
Standard on the 2021 Nissan Altima is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. It can definitely supplies drivers with a sufficient amount of power, coming with nearly 190 horsepower. The other choice is also a four-cylinder model, but it's a 2.0-liter version. The main difference is that it has a turbocharger. This gives it the ability to generate up to 248 horsepower. Remember that this is only offered on the SR trim, and with this engine, the model is designated as the SR VC-Turbo.
All-wheel drive is an option on the Nissan Altima. Unfortunately, it's only available with the 2.5-liter engine. Buyers will have to decide whether they need the extra traction from all-wheel drive, would like the extra power of the turbocharged engine, or would be happy with the standard engine and front-wheel drive.
It's important to note that the SR can come with a a sportier suspension and larger wheels. As a result, it's the most spirited trim out of the collection. The Platinum has the 19-inch wheels as well, and it handles itself quite well.
On the S trim, there are some basic infotainment elements. The S has a five-inch information display and a seven-inch touchscreen. Voice recognition is a convenient feature, as is Bluetooth.
While the S doesn't have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, all the rest of the trims do. On these trims, the information display measures seven inches, and the touchscreen is eight inches. In addition to having smartphone compatibility, the other trims have SiriusXM Satellite Radio and multiple USB charging ports. One of the most enticing things about the Platinum is that it has integrated navigation. Turn-by-turn instructions can be very helpful for drivers, and since the Platinum has SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, people will be given the quickest route that takes any traffic congestion into account.
The two rows of seating give the Altima space for five passengers. Rear-seat leg room is a little over 35 inches, so this should be enough space for most adults. The trunk has a volume of 15.4 cubic feet, and while this isn't a huge amount of space, it does make the car practical for going on longer road trips.
In terms of seating, there are several ways in which Nissan is going to take good care of its passengers. All trims have a power-adjustable driver's seat, and some could also have a power-adjustable front-passenger's seat. Cloth upholstery is standard, with sport cloth and leather being available. A higher trim could have heated front seats and another heating element built into its leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Across the Altima lineup, there is an Intelligent Key system. With a smart key fob, drivers can keep their keys secured in a pocket or purse while they walk up to their doors and touch the handles to unlock them. Remote engine start is another standard feature that makes the Altima more appealing.
As mentioned, driver-assist technology is standard in the Nissan Altima. The car has a few different warning and mitigation systems that can work to prevent frontal collisions and other accidents that could occur when drivers veer out of their lanes. On the SV and higher trims, there is the addition of several mechanisms, like rear automatic braking and rear cross traffic alert, that make it easier to be avoid obstacles that can't always be seen. On the Platinum, there's a 360-degree camera view that can provide a greater perspective of what's going on around the Nissan.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here)
Note: All Nissan Altima MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.