The 2018 version will be Nissan’s 25th year of producing Altimas, which first debuted in 1993. Altimas are one of those cars you’re just used to seeing on the road all the time, which is a testament to its staying power.
A lot has changed since it first debuted, as the Altima has gotten progressively bigger over time, and added a number of interior features. But the thing is, so has every other car for the most part. The Altima hasn’t had a full redesign since 2012, and the 2017 version was just a continuation of the 2016, wth nothing new to offer.
While this may have worked a few years ago, Nissan is now starting to be outpaced by the Honda Accord, Mazda6, and Kia Optima. It’s time for a change, and the 2018 Nissan Altima is going to provide just that.
A complete redesign is on the way for one of America’s most popular sedans, which is certainly welcome news. For those that are fans of the core look of the Altima, don’t be too worried; the new style will be familiar, with some key updates that improve both the look and function of the new Altima.
With this new version of the Altima, I fully expect it to climb a few spots back up to its perch, remaining one of the most recognizable and popular midsize sedans on the market.
The Exterior — 2018 Nissan Altima
We’ll start with what you’ll notice from the outset. The 2018 Nissan Altima has a reimagined body, that still offers a nod to its former design. Things are a bit more sportier this time around, which is more appropriate considering there’s likely going to be a more powerful engine.
The front end has sharper angles than the previous model, doing away with the more curve-based design that was more pronounced before. The hood has a more sloped look that creates a more aggressive style on the front end.
A redesigned front grill makes ample use of air intakes, with a geometric design that adds the sedan’s sportier feel. The headlights slope with the hood for a sharper aesthetic. Extra turn signals are affixed just above the fog lights, which maintain a lower profile than before.
The rear end of the 2018 Altima continues this feel. The back is a little taller than before, helping to give the car that pointed, sloped-down aesthetic it has going on. Understated tail lights and split dual exhaust round out the look, which is more imposing than years past.
The new Altima does borrow from Nissan’s recently unveiled Vmotion 2.0 prototype in a few ways, mainly on the front end with the enlarged grille. It’s obvious that Nissan is trying to give the Altima a little more of an edge, avoiding that drab sedan look that many are leaving behind.
The Interior — 2018 Nissan Altima
The interior of the Nissan Altima was once adequate, and at one point, slightly more progressive than others. Time has caught up now however, and the car began to show its age in 2017. The new Altima will address this issue directly with a modernized cabin and the implementation of newer infotainment features.
In keeping with the more modern and sporty theme, I wouldn’t be surprised to see seat options that offer a racier feel and a more muscular, sculpted dash that reflects the new exterior design.
The center consoles and rear seats will likely implement more charging outlets and USB plugs, and there should also be some notable tech updates that make the Altima more appealing to a younger generation. This will include larger touchscreens, advanced audio systems withmore speaker options, more connectivity, and also some contemporary lighting accents.
The Altima typically has a surprising amount of room inside that is not all there smaller that a Maxima, although the new design may cut into some of that room, especially in the back. Still the changes will not be all that significant, and the trade-off will be worth it.
The Performance — 2018 Nissan Altima
Engine power has always been an area where the Altima is lacking, even though Nissan always did what they could to help offset this in other ways, usually with a good amount of success.
The engine power of the Altima is expected to take a step up, which should finally include a turbo option, or at least an engine upgrade that’s available. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nissan use the 2017 Sentra SR Turbo’s 188-horsepower 1.6-liter engine, or perhaps a modified version of its cousin, the INFINITI’s 208-horsepower 2-liter or 300-horsepower V6.
Safety has never been an issue for the Altima, as it is consistently a Top Safety Pick+ vehicle This is not expected to change, but I am looking forward to a re-worked suspension system that offers a snappier feel to match the newfound engine performance.
The transmission will remain a CVT automatic, but the higher trim packages will most certainly come with advanced safety features such as parking assist, lane monitor, a reverse camera, and more.
To Sum it Up
Although 2017 would’ve been the more ideal year for the Altima to get a makeover inside and out, 2018 will be just fine. The Altima should take this opportunity to re-establish itself as an influential and favorable midsize sedan that will remain just as popular, if not more.
The added sportiness and improved engine come at the right time, and should serve to inject some much needed life and updating into an already solid line that is primed for another 25 year run.
The 2018 Nissan Altima is set to hit dealerships in the late fall, with a price range of $23,335 to $33,525.