The Nissan Altima is your crossover alternative.
Shoppers looking for a new ride that combines value, room, tech, and safety features might consider the Nissan Altima. This midsize, five-passenger sedan offers a solid alternative to crossover utility vehicles (which Nissan offers in abundance) and at a price point below $30,000. Importantly, Nissan is not abandoning the segment. Instead, it has doubled down with a thoroughly modern sedan.
2022 Nissan Altima Overview
Nissan offers the 2022 Altima, a four-door sedan, in five trims and nine configurations. Prices range from $24,650 to $34,350, plus a $1,025 destination and handling fee. All but one trim comes with a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with your choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Also available is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive.
The current-generation Altima is now in its fourth model year. This year, the Midnight Edition Package rolls out and is exclusive to the SR trim.
Highlights of the 2022 Nissan Altima
With the current-generation model, the Nissan Altima offers a more refined and, in some cases, sporty (SR trim) appearance. Its gaping double v-motion grille is at once elegant and muscular, pressed in by attractive LED lighting elements and with character lines climbing the hood.
Several dramatic flourishes on the profile include carefully placed body sculpting and signature lines. The beltline kicks up to meet the falling roofline, supplying a floating look we like. A raised rear deck is topped by a spoiler, at least on our SR trim which also features diffuser-like garnishment and dual exhaust tips.
The base model comes with 16-inch steel wheels. Move up to the SV trim and this one adds LED lights and 17-inch alloy wheels. The SR trim features custom 19-inch sport wheels. At the Platinum level, the Altima gains power heated side mirrors with LED turn signal indicators.
Our test model came with the optional Midnight Edition Package. Exclusive to the SR trim, this package ($1,750) bundles a variety of equipment and a special look. This includes a gloss black painted sport grille, spoiler, 19-inch wheels, and black painted side mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. Also, Nissan incorporates LED fog lights and a moonroof. Lastly, heated front seats and two-way driver power lumbar support rounds out the package.
Slip inside the Altima’s cabin and it’s apparent that there is ample room for five. Moreover, the seats are cozy and supportive. Ample legroom front and rear help make this a true five-seater.
There is nothing eye-popping about the cabin nor is it dull. Nissan’s designers aimed for the middle of the pack and succeeded here. Soft-touch materials are found at eye level and above, while hard plastics are relegated to lower sections including the dashboard and door panels. Our SR trim came with contrasting dual stitching and we appreciated the padded, leather-wrapped steering wheel and front armrest/storage compartment.
The list of standard features includes full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, cloth seats, and air conditioning. Keyless entry, push-button start, and remote start are included.
Move up through the trim walk and features such as an 8-way power driver’s seat roll out. Heated front seats, leather-wrapped seats, and dual-zone climate control are available. Our test SR model featured paddle shifters and sport seats. The Platinum trim adds a four-way power front seat and cabin accent lighting.
Key Safety Features
Nissan equips the 2022 Altima with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection as well as forward collision warning.
On most trims, Nissan also supplies rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, and rear automatic braking. Lane intervention and traffic sign recognition are offered on select trims.
Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist system, which works with steering assist and adaptive cruise control, is standard on the SL and Platinum trims. It is also available on the SV.
Most trims come with a 6-speaker audio system. Choose the SL or Premium models and these come with a 9-speaker Bose audio system.
Beginning with the SV model, Nissan includes a 7-inch instrument panel readout and an 8-inch touch-screen display. Satellite radio, two front and two rear USB ports are also present.
All but the base model comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, and hands-free text messaging are standard. Connected services are available to all but the standard trim; navigation is relegated to the SL and Platinum models.
Wither the midsize sedan segment! Once the largest seller of cars, this segment has taken a beat down in the face of a crossover onslaught. Yes, customers are choosing utility vehicles and manufacturers are responding with more models.
Before we look at the competitive set, it is worth noting the models that are no longer offered. These include the Buick Regal, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Ford Fusion, Mazda6, and the Volkswagen Passat. We are not including models that left years earlier, such as the Mitsubishi Galant, and from the retired brands.
What’s left besides the Nissan are the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. This trio represents the lion’s share of the market. But they are not alone as the Subaru Legacy, Kia K5, and the Hyundai Sonata remain. Yes, the Chevrolet Malibu is still available, but it seems relegated mostly to fleet status.
Before we dive into all things driving, the 2022 Altima offers two engine choices. Most trims come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 188/182 horsepower and 180/178 pound-feet of torque. The second set of figures is the power numbers with all-wheel drive.
The SR trim is the only one that offers the available 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This engine makes 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Both engines work with a continuously variable transmission.
We drove an SR trim with the standard engine and all-wheel drive. The engine offers adequate step-off acceleration and decent passing power. With the CVT, this powertrain is optimized for fuel-efficiency. Indeed, some trims earn upwards of 39 mpg on the highway.
Nissan tuned the CVT to not irritate drivers. Offering gearless “shifts” this transmission does not cause the engine to excessively whine under hard acceleration. Instead, computer coding lowers the RPMs at intervals. You may still notice that it’s a CVT, but quickly forget it just the same.
We think the available all-wheel-drive system is a difference-maker for the Altima. With it, power shifts to the rear wheels as needed, kicking this sedan planted on twisty roads and slick spots. Therefore, consider it much more valuable for everyday driving than for a sporty experience.
Finally, regardless of the model, light steering with decent feedback is in order. Decent handling, firm braking, and a comfortable ride are other features of note. But there is one qualifier: drivers may find the larger wheels on the SR and Platinum trims provide a slightly less comfortable ride than the other models.
The 2022 Altima fulfills its mission by offering a competent midsize sedan at a competitive price. Start your search with the SV trim as this one includes smartphone integration, nicer wheels, and available all-wheel drive. For some buyers that is all that they need to enjoy a five-passenger model.
We like the all-wheel-drive option, something the Toyota also offers, which is standard with the Subaru, but not available with the Honda. Consider this feature, especially if you live in a wintry climate.
As for the available turbocharged engine, we think it is unfortunate that it is available only with the SR trim. It is a desirable option for anyone needing extra power, especially V6-equivalent grunt for highway driving.
See Also — Nissan is the Latest to Ditch V8s
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