Following the rollout of a completely redesigned Nissan Altima midsize sedan for 2019, this year brings a few more upgrades.
Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 is now standard on the Altima SR model. It’s a group of important and protective features including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic high beam control.
The base model Altima S now offers the extra-cost option of a Driver Assist Package that gives it the Safety Shield 360 features.
A mirror memory function is added to the top-tier Platinum model, and a Piano Black interior finish is now available for SV, SL, and Platinum trims.
There are five grade levels of the 2020 Nissan Altima: S, SR, SV, SL, and Platinum. All five versions come standard with front-wheel drive but are available with all-wheel drive for an extra $1,350.
The standard engine for every grade is a 2.5-liter four cylinder with 188 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. A 2.0-liter VC-Turbo four-cylinder engine is available on the SR and Platinum grades with front-wheel drive. It produces 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque with premium fuel.
Both engines are paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
Pricing with destination charge included ranges from $24,995 for a front-drive S model to $36,070 for a Platinum with the turbo engine. Note that all-wheel drive is not available with the turbo engine.
Fuel efficiency is a distinguishing characteristic of the 2020 Nissan Altima. Fuel economy ratings of the 2.5-liter engine are 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined for front-drive S, SV, and SL models.
For front-drive SR and Platinum models the numbers are 27/37/31 mpg. AWD versions are 26/36/30 mpg.
Fuel economy ratings for the 2.0-liter turbo engine are 25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.
For this review I drove an Altima Platinum model with the 2.5-liter engine and all-wheel drive. The Safety Shield 360 group is standard on the Platinum, and the amount of comfort and convenience features is gratifying. For instance: a power moonroof, nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar, heated steering wheel and heated front seats, and the NissanConnect multimedia system with navigation, SiriusXM radio, two USB ports, and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The tester was equipped with eight optional items totaling $2,765 that give Altima a sophistication boost, but they could be eliminated without duress in the interest of saving money, and the Altima Platinum would still be sophisticated. They include premium paint, ground lighting, interior accent lighting, illuminated kick plates, and a rear spoiler.
The 2.5-liter engine and CVT work together well to provide consistently smooth acceleration. Altima shows mercy for its passengers by absorbing bumps from uneven road surfaces before they can impact the cabin, and overall the cabin is soothingly quiet and comfortable.
2020 NISSAN ALTIMA 2.5 PLATINUM AWD
Base price, including destination charge: $34,425
Price as driven: $37,910
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.