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2020 Nissan Altima Review

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For those looking for a stylish mid-size sedan, the Nissan Altima is an affordable option with a long list of standard features. It was updated in 2019 and offers a roomy cabin, lots of usable cargo space and up-to-date safety and driver-assist technology. It’s also the only sedan in its class to offer all-wheel drive as an option. Sporty turbo models offer extra performance and luxury features. Overall, the 2019 Nissan Altima is seen as a practical vehicle, with a range of attractive but restrained exterior paint options.

2020 Nissan Altima pricing and trims

The Nissan Altima lineup starts with the S trim level, with a base manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) of $24,100 for the front-wheel-drive model. Add all-wheel drive and the MRSP climbs to $25,450. The range tops out with the Platinum VC-Turbo at a cost of $35,180. Each trim builds on the one before it, adding comfort and convenience features and driver aids to the base model. All-wheel drive is available on all trims except the SR VC-Turbo and Platinum VC-Turbo. The 2019 Altima SR equipped with the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine was named an Automobile Magazine “All-Star” in 2019.

Trim S SR SR VC-Turbo SV SL Platinum Platinum VC-Turbo
FWD BASE MSRP $24,100 $25,700 $29,750 $27,880 $30,240 $32,180 $35,180
AWD BASE MSRP $25,450 $27,050 N/A $29,230 $31,590 $33,530 N/A
Features Apple CarPlay /Android Auto, 8″ Display, Cloth Seat Trim Paddle Shifters, 19″ Alloy Wheels, Sport-Tuned Suspension Turbo 4-Cylinder Engine, 8-Way Power Driver’s Seat, Sport Cloth Seat Trim ProPILOT Assist, Moonroof, Rear Passenger Vents Premium Nine-Speaker Audio System, Navigation, Leather Seats Intelligent Around View Monitor, Driver’s Memory Seat, Active Ride Control Piano Black Interior Trim, Advanced Drive-Assist Display, Chrome Grille & Door Handles

*All MSRPs are the lowest base price for each trim. The feature list is not exhaustive.

All-wheel drive: Starting with the S trim, buyers can choose between front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), which adds $1,350 to the base price. While AWD provides better traction, it reduces gas mileage by 2 to 3 MPGs.

Standard features: The Altima strives for a near-luxury feel, with a standard 8-inch infotainment display and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across all ranges. The S model gets automatic emergency braking, intelligent driver alertness, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and more.

Driver Assistance Packages: The Driver Assist Package is an $890 option for the S level and comes standard on other trims. See the safety section below for more information.

Exterior colors: Choose from a range of nine available exterior colors, including standard colors Brilliant Silver Metallic, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Glacier White, Deep Blue Pearl and Storm Blue Metallic. Premium colors Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, Sunset Drift ChromaFlair and Pearl White TriCoat are an additional $395 each on some trim levels.

Of course, you don’t have to pay MSRP for a vehicle. Depending on where and when you go shopping for a car, you may be able to find one at a lower price. As you’re shopping for a vehicle, remember to shop for a vehicle loan, too. Potential lenders include Nissan financing, your bank, credit union or an online lender.

You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree and get up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness. It does not hurt your credit to apply to several lenders any more than it does to apply to one, as long as you submit the applications within a 14-day window.

Research the value of the car you’re looking at using online tools such as Kelley Blue Book and NADAGuides. These tools will help you find current sales prices where you live.

2020 Nissan Altima safety

Results of crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) earned the 2020 Nissan Altima a five-star rating.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety declared the Nissan Altima a Top Safety Pick for 2019, for cars with specific headlights. The S trim level with halogen reflector lights without high beam assist was rated marginal for headlight safety. The other trim levels, including the S with high beam assist, were rated adequate in headlight safety. Overall, the IIHS rated the Altima “good” across most categories. Since there have been no updates to the 2020 version of the Nissan Altima, these ratings apply to the current model year as well.

Here are the notable safety features for each trim level. Each trim level includes the features from the levels before it and adds to them.


The base S trim of the Nissan Altima features cruise control, intelligent forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rearview monitor, Active Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control and Intelligent Driver Alertness as well as the 8-inch Driver Assist Display.

The Driver Assist Package is an $890 option that adds pedestrian detection to the automatic emergency braking. It also comes with lane departure and blind spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alert, rear sonar system, rear automatic braking and High Beam Assist.

SR & SR VC-Turbo

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 package beginning with the SR trim includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.


Starting with the SV trim, the ProPILOT Assist package is standard along with Intelligent Lane Intervention and Automatic Brake Hold.


At the SL level, Traffic Sign Recognition and Door-to-Door Navigation with Premium Traffic information become standard features.

Platinum & Platinum VC-Turbo

The Platinum trim adds Intelligent Around View Monitor as a standard feature.

This is not a comprehensive list of safety features on the Nissan Altima.

2020 Nissan Altima competitor comparison

As the only mid-size sedan in its class to offer all-wheel-drive, the Altima has at least one advantage over the competition. Its spacious cabin and standard level of technology stack up well against the competition.

If you’re car shopping on a budget, you can look at the best new cars under $30,000 to see more sedans and other options.

Nissan Altima Toyota Camry Honda Accord Mazda 6
Base MSRP $24,100 $24,095 $23,720 $23,800
Expert Score Average 4.1** 4.2 4.4 4.3
Standard Technology Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Active Ride Control, Intelligent Driver Alertness Pre-Collision System, Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Hill Assist Control Honda Sensing, Road Departure Mitigation, Traffic Sign Recognition Blind Spot Monitoring, Smart City Brake Support, Radar Cruise Control
Fuel Economy city/hwy/combined 28/39/32 MPG 29/41/34 MPG 30/38/33 MPG 26/35/29 MPG

*Chart data is for base 2020 models except for the 2019 Mazda 6. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (but is not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined city/highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

** Edmunds expert score only

The bottom line on the 2020 Nissan Altima

If you’re looking for a family sedan that can seat five comfortably, the Nissan Altima is worth considering. Even the base trim comes with many desirable features. The turbo versions offer a sporty driving experience in a family car. However, in a field full of popular sedan options, you also have many other choices to consider.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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