The redesigned 2019 Nissan Altima returns with two strong engine choices, excellent fuel efficiency, and a spacious cabin, plus a new exterior look dominated by a larger grille. For the first time, the Altima has AWD as an option; it’s available on all trims with the 2.5-liter base engine. That engine gets an EPA-rated 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway, while the innovative variable compression turbocharged option achieves up to 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, depending on the trim. The ’19 Altima standard safety features make it an IIHS Top Safety Pick. The cargo space volume measures 15.4 cubic feet, more than the Toyota Camry can claim.
Trims and Standard Equipment
There are eight trims to choose from: S, SR, SR VC-Turbo, SV, SL, Platinum, Platinum VC-Turbo, and Edition One. As their trim names indicate, the SR VC-Turbo and Platinum VC-Turbo trims have the option to upgrade the standard base engine to the powerful 2-liter engine with exclusive variable compression turbocharger technology; this powerplant comes standard in the Edition One.
The base trim comes with numerous features that were not standard in previous years, such as a larger infotainment system and iPhone and Android compatibility. The SR adds a blind spot monitor, upgraded upholstery, a sport suspension, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob. The SV adds a moonroof and more driver aids (pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and dynamic cruise control), while the SL adds features such as leather seats, a Bose audio system, and navigation. The lively SR VC-Turbo comes with the same sporty elements as the SR, plus the turbocharged engine.
The Platinum trim deserves its name, as it adds some luxurious touches, including interior ambient lighting, driver’s seat memory, and eye-catching 19-inch alloy wheels. The Platinum VC-Turbo adds the groundbreaking variable compression turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The ONE VC-Turbo stands apart with puddle lights and the exclusive Nissan Concierge Service, which supplies a 24/7 live assistant to help you make reservations, arrange travel, and provide wake-up calls, restaurant suggestions, directory assistance, and weather forecasts.
The ’19 Altima comes with a revised base engine designed for more power (188 hp) and better fuel economy. The other engine offered is the 2.0-liter turbo-4, which boasts 248 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This engine is the only one of its kind, as it features exclusive variable compression technology; it is only offered on Altimas with front-wheel drive. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission, which ranges from an 8:1 ratio for performance, to a 14:1 for better fuel efficiency. This year’s Altima comes equipped with electric power steering, a first for this model.
Technology and Safety
On every trim level, the infotainment system has an 8-inch multicolor touchscreen interface with two USB ports and iPhone and Android compatibility; all ’19 Altimas also get the Advanced Drive-Assist Display. The SL adds SiriusXM services and active noise cancellation, and the Platinum gets a surround-view camera system and a navigation system standard with a new door-to-door feature, which allows directions to continue run on an app on smartphone devices once drivers exit the vehicle.
Every Altima comes equipped with forward collision warning paired with automatic emergency braking. Other safety features include stability and traction control systems, a rearview camera, and airbags for all passengers. Move up to the SR and drivers will receive a blind-spot warning and rear-cross traffic alert. The SV and higher trims get pedestrian control added to the automatic brake system, plus a lane-departure warning, and rear auto braking.