By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.5
The midsize sedan market is about the toughest segment in the industry – led by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord – so if you're coming to play, you'd best bring your A-game. With the 2014 Altima, Nissan has done just that. Not only has the automaker maintained the cool look and sports-car-like handling that made the original Altima such a success, they've done so while thoroughly modernizing the Altima in ways crucial to younger buyers. A new Apps-based music and navigation system spearheads the effort, as do a 38-mpg fuel economy rating (2.5 model) and premium materials throughout the handsome cabin. Nissan has done a masterful job making complex audio and navigation systems easy to operate and understand – something both old and young will appreciate.
If you like choice, the 2014 Nissan Altima delivers a broad range of models, features and engines including an available V6. Impressive fuel economy on the 4-cylinder model will likely win over most buyers, as will the very affordable Navigation and Technology packages.
While the Altima offers a lot of great features, it is outgunned by more lavish (and expensive) offerings from Kia, Hyundai and Chevrolet. Those seeking a hybrid or diesel option will need to shop elsewhere.
The big news for the 2014 Nissan Altima is the addition of the latest version of NissanConnect, an apps-driven infotainment system for iPhone and Android smartphones. The system allows connectivity to such apps as Facebook, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Online Search powered by Google. Hands-free text messaging is also included.
Driving Impressions Nissan's 2014 Altima may be the best driving family sedan the company has ever produced, thanks in part to the advanced multi-link rear suspension and what is arguably the industry's...best continuously-variable automatic transmission. Nissan engineers benchmarked such premium sedans as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series when designing the Altima and the results speak for themselves. The Altima is nimble and light in around-town driving, yet sufficiently aggressive in tight turns as to satisfy the most demanding enthusiast. So long as the road surface remains smooth, so does the Altima's ride, but over rough patches the taut suspension can fell a bit harsh. The 3.5-liter V6 is strong, but the massaged 2.5-liter four is more than adequate – Nissan clocks it at 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds – at least for light loads and level roads. The unique multifunction rearview camera performed its lookout jobs well, and the NASA-inspired seats proved as fatigue-reducing as claimed.
EASY FILL TIRE ALERT
The Nissan Altima's tire pressure monitoring system does more than simply providing individual tire-pressure information. When adding air to any tire, the hazard lamps flash to tell you the system is working, then the horn beeps to let you know when you have reached the correct pressure.
MULTIFUNCTION REARVIEW CAMERA
Part of an available Technology Package, the Altima's rearview camera provides not just the usual what's-behind-me view when reversing, but also Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Moving Object Detection, the latter two firsts in this segment.
The 2014 Nissan Altima sedan's cabin is finely crafted with soft-touch materials, but its prime attraction is NASA-inspired "zero gravity" front bucket seats, which approach the relaxed "neutral posture" that the human body assumes in a weightless environment. We can't test them in space, but we appreciate the research, development and attention to detail that have gone into making them as fatigue-reducing as possible by lessening muscular and spinal loads and improving blood flow. Cloth seats and piano-black trim with chrome accents are standard, leather and metallic or faux wood are available, the former with a charcoal interior, the latter with blond.Exterior
The 2014 Altima rests on the same wheelbase as the 4th-generation car last produced in 2012, but with 1.4-inches-wider tracks and 0.8-inch-deeper fenders to accommodate larger wheels and tires giving the sedan a strong, athletic stance. Its drag coefficient is a slick 0.299. And while the new Altima's nicely sculpted new body is less expressive than the Sonata's and maybe a bit less pretty than the Malibu's or Fusion's, it's easily more distinctive than the Camry's or Passat's.
The base Altima 2.5 offers a 6-way manual driver's seat and a 4-way front passenger seat, plus a 60/40-split/folding rear bench seat, power windows and doorlocks, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with touch controls, remote keyless entry with a pushbutton ignition, NissanConnect Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a 4.0-inch color customizable Advanced Driver Assist display. Altima S and SV models add features leading up to the top-line 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL models loaded with leather, premium trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, BOSE Premium Audio, and heated front seats/steering wheel/outside mirrors, plus 18-inch wheels and tires on V6-powered models.
With most major features attached to specific models, the Nissan Altima for 2014 offers six option packages and a few stand-alone and dealer installed options. A new Sport Value Package is offered on the 2.5 SV and includes 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, remote start and a rear spoiler. The Convenience Package and a Navigation Package are available on SV models, and a Technology Package further loads up SV and top-line SL models. On SV and SL Altimas, NissanConnect comes with a 5.0-inch color audio display, integrated Hands-Free Messaging Assistant (it lets you listen to incoming texts and verbally respond with stock replies), SiriusXM satellite radio, and NissanConnect. With Navigation, NissanConnect gets a 7.0-inch touch screen with voice recognition, split-screen display and 3D-effect map views.
Running counter-trend, Nissan continues to offer a V6 as its "up" engine. The 2.5-liter four is designed for lighter weight and higher efficiency, while the 3.5-liter V6 is improved to reduce its fuel consumption. Both drive the Altima's front wheels through the only gearbox offered, Nissan's next-generation Xtronic continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT). Not everyone loves a CVT, which drives engine revs ahead of vehicle speed during strong acceleration, but this one accounts for both the 4-cylinder and the V6's impressive fuel economy, and it comes with fixed-ratio-simulating manual shift paddles on uplevel models.
2.5-liter inline-4 (2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SL and 2.5 SV)
182 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
180 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/38 mpg
3.5-liter V6 (3.5 S, 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL)
270 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg
The 2014 Nissan Altima starts just under $23,000 MSRP (including destination), a bit more than the comparable VW Passat and Hyundai Sonata, but on par with the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu. A loaded 3.5 SL V6 stickers for about $31,000. To make your best deal on a 2014 Nissan Altima, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price which shows what others in your area are paying for their cars. The Altima's resale value should also be mid-pack, a little less than perennial favorites Camry and Honda Accord, but better than the rest in this highly competitive class.
By Altima Girl (OK) on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 357overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "luxury with zip, comfort, great MPG-love everythin"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The 2014 Altima is very comfortable. The interior is luxurious, the seats are wonderful. The exterior is awesome - a looker. I bought the 2.5 S and it is plenty car for me.I traded my 2013 Rogue for the Altima and the gas mileage rocks! The trunk space is big. The ride is smooth and quiet. Pure luxury. Perfect car with lots of room. I absolutely love, love, love it!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By crashnburn (TX) on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, Fuel Economy, Bluetooth"
Cons: "Unreliable, Cheap interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I am expecting a new child so I had to upgrade my vehicle from the 2012 Nissan Juke to a larger car. After much debate I chose the Altima. I liked the styling and the features for the price. I wish I knew that I was going to have problem, after problem, after problem. I started having transmission problems about 500 miles into the vehicle. The car sputter/judder/trembles at random times while shifting at low RPMs. I thought this was odd so I drove it another 100 miles hoping the issue would "work" itself out. No dice. Took it into Nissan and they serviced it no problem. "Reprogrammed" the transmission they told me. Ok. I drove it out of there and thought the issue fixed. Nope. It is still stuttering but different. It is not as pronounced and happens more randomly. Took it to Nissan to have it repaired and they couldn't "recreate" the issue. Now I have to take it back in a 3rd time. I am having a sour taste in my mouth. :("
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By odindio (MN) on Saturday, November 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,600overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "milage, comfort, safety, price"
Cons: "durable?,noise?,options raise price,limited colors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I've seen near 50MPG, but expect around 40 freeway. Center console is peeling/bubbling slightly. I've had some fan and cabin noise, and I've not figured that out yet as it comes and goes. At times the car seems to get blown from left to right on the freeway. Nissan will try to sell you extra stuff (warranties, coatings, etc.). I'd avoid them. There are too many thing too list in 50 characters that I like about this car."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Joe (TX) on Saturday, October 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great all around car."
Cons: "Wind noise from the side mirrors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This vehicle would be great if it was not for the wind noise coming from the outside mirrors. I have taken it in several times and they can't fix the problem."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Goofyfan (CA) on Saturday, October 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,600overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent looks, Mileage and comfort."
Cons: "The dealer can not fix their cars......."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased this car on September 13, 2013 and the auto start feature has not worked still to this day. It has been in the shop 5 times and I have had a rental for 12 days of the 6 weeks I have owned it, in order for the dealer to fix it. I have Multiple Sclerosis and the Auto Start feature is manditory for me to own the car. I have to have the temperature under 80 degrees in the car or I get light headed and could pass out. This is why I purchased the SV model. It is the most amazing car for looks, and gas mileage. I averaged 48 miles per gallon on a trip from Idaho to California. It drives like a dream and I would love to keep it but the dealer can not fix the car. Corporate is not willing to do anything and I have never had a dealer sell a car that they are not willing to sell that works to perfection. Or at least fix it so it works every time. Nissan is Worthless at helping me and the Buena Park Nissan Dealer isn't willing to make it right. I will NEVER PURCHASE A NISSAN EVER AGAIN.... Buyer beware. The 2013 Nissan Altima is the first model ever to offer Auto Start. So they are new to auto start. But it is manditory for me to have it work or I can not drive it on hot days. And in Orange County it has been in the 80's to 90's since I bought the car."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Mike (IN) on Sunday, October 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,400overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great looks in and out. Great MPG. Large back seat"
Cons: "CVT . Weird Auto headlamps. Bang 4 Buck"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Purchased new for my wife. She loves it but it did/does have a few issues. There was a fluttering sound coming from the hvac vent , had to tear dash apart and fix...after the 3rd trip back to dealer. Headlight are always on (not day running lamps) while in "auto mode" and everyone claims this is normal??? Gets great MPG city and HW but the CVT drives me nuts (thank God I dont drive it often) Again, my wife loves it but I feel there are better deals out there for 30k for a 4 cyl auto."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful