The 2019 Altima will replace the fifth-gen model that has been on sale since 2012 — an admittedly long product cycle these days — as Nissan renews its family four-door following a redesign of the larger Maxima in 2015.
What can we expect from the new Altima when it comes to design? The Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept unveiled at the Detroit auto show in 2017 (seen above) gives a few hints about design direction. You can bet that the production version of the sedan will wear the new vertical V-motion grille, but it will likely skip the faceted side surfaces of the concept in favor of more slabby door panels, interrupted by two character lines just below the windowsill. No big surprise there — Nissan will aim to keep the design appealing to traditional buyers — but one interesting departure from the looks of the current model will be a more fastback roof profile, leading to a relatively tall trunk lid with a spoiler bill. This means more headroom for rear seat passengers and longer rear doors that will reach farther into the C-pillar to help ingress and egress. And we wouldn’t rule out the Altima adopting the floating-roof C-pillar element of the larger Maxima.
When it comes to engines, the Altima is expected to keep an inline-four as a base engine — the outgoing model uses a 2.5-liter unit connected to a CVT, good for 182 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque — but it remains to be seen if it will keep the beefier 3.5-liter V6 in the top-trim SL model. A V6 in a sedan of this size is slightly overkill these days, and that’s the Maxima’s role in the lineup, after all.
When the sixth-generation Altima goes on sale later this year, it will do so in a climate that is different from the one its immediate predecessor found when it debuted; midsize sedans have lost ground to SUVs and crossovers of all sizes, with automakers scrambling to field a greater variety of taller vehicles. Still, Nissan sold just under a quarter of a million Altimas in 2017, and the Altima still made it into the top 20 selling vehicles in the U.S., landing in the 13th spot after segment favorites such as the Honda Accord, Civic, and Toyota Corolla and Camry.
We’ll see the all-new Altima in the metal in New York at the end of March.