Midsized cars, once at the heart of new vehicle sales across the United States, have dwindled as consumers have moved towards pickup trucks and utility vehicles.
But the 2020 Nissan Altima shows how and why midsized cars still have a place in the changing automotive landscape. There were lots of reasons why midsized cars were popular. They are practical, efficient and relatively inexpensive in a time when pickup trucks and SUVs.
In addition, the 2020 Nissan Altima underscores of the fundamental fact of automotive life that on pavement or even a well-defined dirt road a passenger car is almost always more fun to drive than a truck or a SUV.
During my test drive of Altima, I could not help but be impressed by the way the car handled curves and passing maneuvers with ease. It also mastered varied pavements, wet surfaces and even the few dirt roads on which I ventured. The Altima’s suspension made even rough passages easy to traverse and the electric power steering was crisp and accurate. The brakes on the Altima were formidable.
I’ve never been a fan of the continuously variable transmission, or CVT, but Nissan has hung on to the technology in the face of some rather biting criticism and the company’s persistence has paid dividends with transmission used in the 2020 Altima.
The CVT is matched up with a 2.0-liter, I-4 engine with variable compression turbo charging and never misses a beat or a shift, up or down, has the powertrain deliver the 236 horsepower and 267 foot-pounds of torque.
The favorable power-to-weight ratio helps the 2020 Altima, couple with its impressive driving dynamics, makes the car fun to drive out on the open ride. I suspect anyone who gets behind the wheel of this car will begin to remember that driving can be enjoyable in a vehicle that delivers movement with relative ease.
However, there is more to the Altima than its solid powertrain and passenger-car driving dynamics.
The exterior of 2020 Altima is also pleasing to the eye with a sleek roofline, sweeping neatly down to the rear of the vehicle. It presents a pleasing silhouette when sitting at the curb and while critics, throughout the years decried, the sameness of all midsized sedans, the Altima’s exterior design does have its own unique character.
I also was impressed with the interior of the 2020 Nissan Altima.
Altima doesn’t pretend to be a luxury car, but the interior is deftly laid out to make it comfortable for the use and nicely furnished with an material of good quality that vanquish the old “rental car” stigma that attached to so many midsized cars over the years. The interior on the 2020 Altima genuinely is a step up.
The engineers of pickup trucks and utility vehicles generally have made the most of the revolution in technology that has swept over the car business in the past decade and particularly in the last half decade when new features, which once seemed exotic, have become standard equipment.
The 2020 Altima, however, has kept up with trends reshaping consumer expectations particularly among younger buyers, who often seem to care less about power, performance and driving dynamics for the quality of the car’s connected systems.
It comes with Bluetooth and hand-free calling an texting an eight-inch digital screen, Nissan’s “Door-to-Door,” Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Sirius XM Traffic and a separate driving assistance display with traffic-sign recognition as well as rear-facing sonar and two USB ports as well as steering-wheel controls.
There are also features such as push-button start, an auto-diming rear-view mirror dual-zone climate controls, heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors and remote start. As the features move into mid-sized segments, prices have gone up and the manufacturers suggested retail price of the 2020 Altima that I drove was $38,840, which included an $845 destination charge.
In other words, it is roughly the same price as the average price of a new vehicle currently sold in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Overall, 2020 Nissan Altima is practical car for commuting, running errands and is roomy enough to carry passengers to and from play dates or an evening out if the lockdown ever ends. Not everyone needs a truck, or an SUV and you can always borrow one on the once day of the year you need to haul something home from Lowes or Home Depot.
It is also a whole lot more fun to drive.