While conventional wisdom might suggest it’s time for Nissan to walk away from sedans, the sales numbers tell a different story — and that’s why it’s giving the Altima a significant refresh for the 2023 model year.
Along with exterior and interior design updates, the 2023 Nissan Altima will add new safety and other tech features. And it will be offered with two powertrain options, with all-wheel drive available as an option.
The market for sedans, coupes and other passenger cars has sharply declined in recent years as motorists by the millions shift to SUVs, CUVs and pickups, including Nissan products like the Rogue crossover and recently updated Frontier pickup. But the Altima is defying that downward trend, and it remains the brand’s second best-selling model.
U.S. motorists purchased 38,295 Altima sedans during the first quarter of 2022, a 19.6% year-over-year increase. Only the Rogue did better, generating 45,235 sales — a 47.8% decline. (Nissan only reports quarterly sales numbers.)
Just a few tweaks
The 2023 Altima gets a fairly conventional mid-cycle refresh that includes an updated front fascia with the new V-Motion grille and redesigned brand logo. The look varies by trim, the SR grade featuring a “black chrome” grille finish. LED headlights are now standard and feature integrated turn signals and daytime running lights.
Nissan added new exterior colors and wheel designs for 2023.
The cabin gets a number of modest improvements, starting with dual-stitch fabrics on the SR and revised instrument panel materials across the line-up. But the most notable revision is the addition of a 12.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen replacing the old 8-inch display on the SL and SR VC-Turbo packages. The larger screen comes with onboard navigation, Android Auto, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging and a WiFi hotspot.
Nissan’s Advanced Drive-Assist package is available, depending upon trim. It now uses forward-facing cameras and radar sensors to keep the Altima centered in its lane — though motorists must keep their hands on the wheel. The system’s active cruise control feature maintains the traffic flow and can bring the vehicle to a complete stop in traffic.
Altima features the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced driver assistance systems including: automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, high-beam assist, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic rear braking and blind-spot warning.
Let’s talk about power
The 2023 Nissan Altima is available with two powertrain packages.
A 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder direct injection engine is offered in both front and all-wheel-drive versions of the sedan. In RWD it makes 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. In AWD it drops to 187 hp and 178 lb-ft.
The performance option is the VC-Turbo which uses a unique design that can continuously vary the displacement of the 4-cylinder engine to a maximum 2 liters. It peaks at 248 hp and 273 lb-ft and, when using 93 octane fuel delivers up to 25 mpg city, 34 highway and 29 combined. The VC engine is available only on the SR front-wheel-drive trim.
The 2023 Nissan Altima will go on sale this coming autumn. The automaker has not yet released pricing. The outgoing model starts at $24,900 before delivery fees.