The new-for-2019 Nissan Altima offers all-wheel drive to hold a unique space in the market and satisfy those looking to hold on to the styling and inherent handling of a traditionally shaped sedan.
This particular SV trim with AWD sneaks past the $30k but also comes equipped with Nissan’s ProPilot driving assist technology that works more smoothly than most, automatic emergency braking, automatic braking in reverse, LED headlights, proximity entry with push-button start, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a total of four USB ports. The infotainment system’s 8-inch touchscreen is easy enough to use, though its screen is dim and the surface lacks the solid glass feel.
The interior of the Altima goes about its business with an emphasis on comfort and ease of use. It’s roomy in the front while rear passengers that are over 6-feet tall will likely be frequently reminded of the sloping roofline.
With all-wheel drive, Nissan looks to make headway into a small segment that is mostly shrinking. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder generates peak values of 182-hp and 178 lb-ft of torque though, at 6,000 ft above sea level, the Altima can only pull away from a stop with mediocre acceleration. Once underway, the CVT helps keep the engine spinning at its sweet spot, and acceleration is less of a notable issue. The Altima earns an EPA estimated 30 mpg combined. As a side note, Nissan’s new variable compression turbo engine is offered on front-wheel-drive Altimas only.
The new Altima offers the traction assuredness of all-wheel drive currently not offered by its major competitors. For those looking to avoid the crossover craze without losing the reassurance of all-wheel drive, the Altima AWD is a well-suited alternative to help take on most winter adventures, especially in the unpredictable Rocky Mountains.