Nissan offered eight model trim lines for the 2019 year and now a mere seven different trim levels for the 2020 year in the Altima model. The humble "S" model is the starting point, followed by and improved upon by the "SR", "SR VC Turbo", "SV", "SL", "Platinum" and finally the top of the line, the Altima Platinum VC-Turbo".
Our closest VW or Nissan dealership, for that matter, is located about a two and a half hour (highway/ freeway) drive from our fair city of Coos Bay.
I drove the car to and from the dealership, as I do with all of the cars I mention on this blog, for consistency, among other reasons.I mention this tidbit of information because I drive pretty much the same in whatever I may be driving, meaning fairly conservative in town and fairly aggressive out on the open road.
First impressions: When I first discovered what I would be driving I must admit I was little disappointed. Asian nameplate, family cars just don't excite me like they used to. With that said, the interior was not bad, although colored in drab grey. The seats, looked decent and were Buick like in their softness, much appreciated by my wife and my 12 year old son, who are both used to leatherette. The car drives quiet on the road and also somewhat Buick like with respect to fair acceleration and handling.
Overall, for the 5 hours of fairly aggressive highway/freeway driving and approximately 20 miles of city driving, it returned a decent 27 Mpg on 87 octane gasoline. No where close to the 47 mpg our 2015 Golf Sportswagen TDi returned, but in line with other gas 4 cylinder engine powered cars I’ve driven.
Observation: The “S” model is the most affordable trim line on the Altima, this point is highlighted with the use of hubcaps. Outside of the use of hubcaps on this car, it’s easy to see why people like the Altima. This car is unique, because, unlike most cars that beg to be driven fast, this car somehow encourages me to just relax and grind on down the highway near the posted speed. Overtime I would probably compensate and drive faster anyway, but in the week’s time I had, this car didn’t encourage it. So, I’m still not excited about gasoline powered Japanese family sedans, but I can see why some people are.