Midsize sedans are getting harder to find in the market today, but Nissan still provides buyers with an outstanding option with the 2021 Nissan Altima for those who prefer a car. A roomy interior with comfortable bolstered seats paired with clean lines and alluring conveniences makes for a vehicle you will be delighted to drive. With sport-tuned options for performance, available all-wheel drive, and flush with safety features, the 2021 Altima engages you behind the wheel for a thrilling and satisfying ride anywhere you go.
For 2021, the Altima is available in five trims, all of which seat five passengers. It comes standard with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and a continuously variable transmission. All but the S and SR trims have the option of choosing intelligent all-wheel drive, and the uppermost Platinum trim comes with all-wheel drive as the only option. Key features standard for all trims include remote start, the Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button ignition, and a rearview monitor.
Within the trims, a number of choices for conveniences and performance are available, with the sport-oriented SR trim to provide a more exciting driving experience, the increased standard equipment, and available all-wheel drive in the mid level trims, or the premium features of the Platinum trim. The 2021 Altima is widely praised for its supportive seating, perfect for long drives, and a welcoming interior with well-placed controls for both driver and passengers. Classic, clean styling delivers a pleasing appearance inside and out, and safety features are generous across all trims.
For drivers seeking a more responsive driving experience, Nissan rewards buyers with the SR VC Turbo trim. A number of features set this trim apart from the others, including the higher performance of the 2.0-liter variable compression turbo engine, which produces 248 horsepower with 267 lb-ft of torque. The sport-tuned suspension lends itself to a stiffer ride quality, allowing the Altima to hug the road with more precision when cornering or taking curves and translates more of the road quality to the steering wheel. Larger 19-inch wheels fitted with P235 all-season tires add to the sporty feel of the ride quality, and paddle shifters with manual shift mode give more control over the performance to the driver.
Surprisingly, even with the higher performance output of the engine, fuel efficiency is still excellent at 25 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway. When you take those drives on the highway, your Altima SR has active noise cancellation to insulate your cabin from highway noise. Appearance and performance features incorporated into the SR trim’s design are numerous. From the front, the V-motion grille is striking in dark chrome and is enhanced with black mirror caps, chrome dual exhaust finishers, and a charcoal rear diffuser that will signal the improved capability of this model.
Any sport-oriented driving experience can only be enhanced with a powered sliding moonroof which is standard for the SR, and the sport seating in the front includes heat for those chilly days. The driver’s seat includes a powered lumbar control to make long drives more comfortable, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob match the sporty styling of the interior trimmed in faux carbon fiber.
Nissan offers generous standard features for infotainment in the entry-level trim, with several features added for the mid and upper-level trims to provide buyers with a bevy of options for connectivity and convenience on the road. In the entry-level S trim, the 2021 Altima comes standard with Bluetooth, which allows audio streaming for listening to music, podcasts, and other audio content through the infotainment system. Bluetooth also connects your smartphone through voice recognition for hands-free phone use and text messaging for safer driving. Access these features through the seven-inch touchscreen in the center console or through voice commands.
Standard speed-sensitive volume control automatically adjusts the volume according to acceleration, so you can always hear the six-speaker audio system, which can also be adjusted with the steering wheel-mounted controls. An auxiliary input jack and USB charging port in the front allow for smartphone connectivity and charging, and Siri Eyes Free is a standard feature for even more hands-free options to be utilized by iPhone users.
Buyers who choose the SV trim gain a number of standard features that open up connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a SiriusXM trial, and a larger eight-inch touchscreen. For those who purchase the upper trims, a premium Bose audio system with nine speakers improves sound quality for more refined listening and charging ports are added for the rear seat passengers. Nissan’s Door-to-Door Navigation is included with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link for simplified travel anywhere.
Conveniences like the 60/40 split rear folding seat, the six-way adjustable driver’s seat, and a tilting and telescoping steering wheel make the interior easy to adjust for both the driver’s comfort and cargo space flexibility. The climate control system includes a standard in-cabin microfilter that keeps the air clean and fresh, and the ease of remotely starting will make getting on the road as simple as the push of a button.
Your Intelligent Key makes entry just as simple; as long as you have your key in a pocket or purse, you can access the doors and trunk by pressing the “request” button on the door without having to find the fob. This same fob allows the driver to start the vehicle without the key in the ignition as long as the key is in the vehicle, and the fob has built-in lock-out prevention, so you never lock yourself out. Upper trims add standard features to add to the comfort and ambiance with interior accent lighting, leather seats, and dual-zone climate control. Then add further convenience with driver’s seat memory, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated seats, and a heated steering wheel.
Nissan provides several signature safety features which thoroughly cover a wide array of preventative measures through driver-assisted technology and active safety features. One of the most exciting of these features is the semi-autonomous driving system ProPILOT Assist, which comes standard for all trims. While you drive, the ProPILOT Assist system makes lane centering and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles less of a hassle. The combination of two technologies - steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control - allows the driver to use a “stop and hold function” when traffic slows to a stop and then re-engages the set speed when you start driving again. This feature does require the driver to hold the steering wheel and remain alert, but it removes some of the fatigue of driving long distances.
Several other standard and available technologies assist the driver in accident prevention or mitigation, such as Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Driver Alertness, and Lane Departure Warning. Each of these features directly assists the driver to warn of or prevent a potential impact. Other features work behind the scenes to help maintain vehicle control, such as hill start assist, automatic brake hold, active brake limited slip, electronic brake force distribution, vehicle dynamic control with traction control, and brake assist. All of these features work for your safety in the 2021 Altima, in addition to the crumple zones, airbags, and energy-absorbing steering column.
To further improve available safety for all trims, Nissan offers the option of adding Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Automatic Braking, and a rear sonar system, all of which help protect you when driving in reverse or changing lanes in traffic. Mid-level trims gain Active Ride Control and Intelligent Trace Control, both of which utilize automated braking to maintain vehicle control. For the uppermost trim, the Intelligent Around View Monitor gives the driver a 360-degree view around your Altima, so you always know what surrounds you, and Traffic Sign Recognition reads road signs to help the driver retain appropriate speeds or be aware of other important driving information.