2015 Nissan Altima Review
2015 Nissan Altima Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Impressive acceleration and fuel economy with either engine
- strong crash test scores
- satisfying ride and handling balance
- capable and user-friendly electronics
- above-average cabin quality.
- Relatively modest rear headroom and legroom
- four-cylinder engine can be noisy.
The 2015 Altima 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL trims now come standard with the Technology package (including touchscreen navigation and upgraded safety features), which remains optional on the 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL. Also, the remote ignition system can detect the ambient temperature and activate climate/defrost functions accordingly, and all SV models get a standard eight-way power driver seat. As a running change to the 2015 Altima 3.5, Nissan discontinued the S and SV trim levels. The remaining 3.5 SL trim later gained front and rear parking sensors as standard features.
The 2015 Nissan Altima continues to be a top choice among family sedans, delivering excellent fuel economy and a rare blend of comfort and agility.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.23 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Altima 2.5 S
Avg. Midsize Car
Goldilocks has already starred in a few too many car reviews, but there's no better way to say it: The 2015 Nissan Altima is a "just right" family sedan in most respects. You want fuel economy? Both the four-cylinder engine and the V6 are class leaders. Power? Even the base four zips to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds. Driving dynamics? The ride is quiet and refined, yet the Altima's still got the handling athleticism that has long set it apart. Safety? Check the crash-test scores; they're nearly perfect across the board. It would appear Nissan has built the perfect car.
So why wouldn't you buy an Altima? Well, for one thing, the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) may not be to everyone's liking. Although it promotes fuel efficiency, it has a tendency to rev the engine noisily during modest acceleration and "lug" it at low rpm while cruising -- especially in four-cylinder models. Also, if you want a backseat that's built for 6-footers, there are better choices. Many rivals offer nearly full-size accommodations out back, and by this measure the Altima comes up a bit short.
One such rival is the spacious Honda Accord, though it's got a similar CVT in four-cylinder models that may also take some getting used to. The 2015 Ford Fusion shares the Altima's slight rear headroom deficit, but it's a stylish and highly competent choice overall. We'll also vouch for the 2015 Mazda 6, which lacks the Nissan's sophisticated infotainment offerings but compensates with comparable fuel economy and even sportier handling.
Returning to our theme, though, it's not easy to pick a bowl of porridge from this group -- they've all got their pros and cons. In the end, only one can be just right for you. We like the 2015 Altima's chances of earning that distinction.
Performance & mpg
All 2015 Nissan Altimas employ front-wheel drive and a CVT.
The Altima 2.5 models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, an Altima 2.5 zipped from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, one of the quicker times we've measured for a four-cylinder family sedan. EPA-estimated fuel economy is an extraordinary 31 mpg combined (27 city/38 highway).
The Altima 3.5 models upgrade to a 3.5-liter V6 that pumps out 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. We hustled an Altima 3.5 from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds -- another impressive result. Fuel economy, too, is very good at 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway).
The 2015 Nissan Altima comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on 2.5 S and standard on 3.5 S and all SV and SL models. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning are available on the 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL and standard on the 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL.
In Edmunds testing, an Altima 2.5 SV sedan stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is average in its segment. A 3.5 SL, however, stopped in a superb 114 feet -- about 10 feet shorter than the norm.
In government crash testing, the Altima sedan received a perfect five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Altima its top "Good" rating in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact, roof-strength and whiplash reduction (seatbelts and head restraints) tests. In the small-overlap front-impact test, the Altima earned an "Acceptable" rating (second best).
The 2015 Altima is one of the most rewarding family sedans to drive. The four-cylinder engine provides good power for passing and merging, which is particularly laudable given its exceptional fuel economy. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) does leave room for improvement when matched to the inline-4 -- we've found it too eager at times during moderate acceleration, causing needless engine noise, only to settle into a cruise at an rpm that feels too low -- but on the bright side, its gearless operation means you'll never feel a shift. The V6 powertrain, meanwhile, is one of the most capable in this class, and the CVT draws less attention to itself with the bigger engine.
In real-world driving, it's the Altima's well-roundedness that stands out. The ride is hushed and compliant, even on rough surfaces, but there's a sense of control that you don't get in some similarly smooth-riding competitors. Should you find yourself alone on a winding road, the precise steering and well-tuned suspension will quickly make themselves known. The Altima isn't the sportiest family sedan, nor the most luxurious, but if you're looking for both traits in the same package, it's hard to think of a competitor that does it better.
The 2015 Altima has one of the nicer cabins in its class. The overall look is simple yet upscale, while a closer inspection reveals tight construction and mostly high-quality materials. Behind the sporty three-spoke steering wheel, the crisp driver information screen is flanked by a large speedometer and tachometer, all of which are easily read at a glance.
Drivers and front passengers of all shapes and sizes should have no problem finding their comfort zone in the standard NASA-inspired "zero gravity" front seats, which are remarkably well-shaped and supportive. The backseat, however, is so-so, with limited headroom and just average legroom for a family sedan. Normal-sized adults will be fine back there, but 6-footers may feel a bit cramped.
The Altima's technology roster is highlighted by the widely available NissanConnect Apps system, providing support for various smartphone applications. The system is paired with a 5-inch touchscreen by default, and it can accommodate multiple users by storing individual profiles for app connectivity. The Technology package adds a navigation system, voice controls and a more advanced 7-inch touchscreen, as well as the safety technologies discussed above. Overall, we've found these systems very easy to use.
Trunk space is pretty standard at 15.4 cubic feet, but the opening is conveniently wide.
2015 Nissan Altima models
The 2015 Nissan Altima is available in two main configurations: 2.5 or 3.5. The number signifies the engine specified (2.5-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6). From there, you'll have your choice of a base model (2.5 only) or increasing amounts of features through the S, SV and SL trim levels. Note that early in the model year, the 3.5 version loses its S and SV trims, leaving just the loaded "SL" trim level.
The base 2.5 Altima sedan starts with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, a 4.3-inch LCD information display in the gauge cluster, a height-adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary input jack.
The 2.5 S steps up to automatic headlights, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, a six-speaker sound system and an optional power driver seat with six-way adjustability (i.e., a powered version of the standard seat). It's also eligible for the Display Audio package, which contributes a 5-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, a USB port, satellite radio and smartphone app integration (NissanConnect).
The V6-engined 3.5 S comes with all of those features (including the Display Audio package) plus 18-inch alloy wheels and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The 2.5 SV trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the contents of the Display Audio package and remote ignition.
The Altima 2.5 SL boasts LED taillights, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a four-way power front passenger seat and a nine-speaker Bose sound system. You can also get two additional packages for the 2.5 SL: The Convenience package includes a sunroof, rear air-conditioning vents and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, while the Technology package bundles a 7-inch touchscreen, voice controls, a navigation system and electronic safety features including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning.
The Altima 3.5 SV and SL are equipped similarly to their 2.5 counterparts, but they also come standard with the contents of the Convenience and Technology packages. The 3.5 SL also comes with xenon headlights and, later in the model year, front and rear parking sensors.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Nissan Altima.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
On To My Next One...
2015 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
I had a 2013 Altima 3.5 SL and it was a great car!! I never experienced a problem with it....perfect for over 24k miles. My lease was up and I turned it in for a 2015, black with beige and practically identical to my 2013. No other car in the Altima's category can compete with the Altima's driving experience. I drove an Accord (plastic feeling dash board), Passat (engine noise), Malibu … and a Camry (both ho-hum). The Altima is at the top of the fun factor guage! I've gotten so used to the CVT that driving a standard transmission bugs me. And, no other car company can compete with Nissan's incentives, they make buying a Altima easy-breezy! The 12,000 mile update: My Altima has been terrific!
3 out of 5 stars
2.5S - The good, the bad, and the ugly.
2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Updating my review. The airbag sensor issue described below is now being recalled: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/04/30 Also there as another recall on the hood latch. Lowering the reliability and resale values to one star. The Good: The car is a joy to drive. It has great acceleration for a 4 cylinder. The handling is great and responsive for a car of its size. The steering may be a bit … too soft feeling and aggressive for some, but I like it. The car brakes well, the brakes feel tight and I haven't yet, knock on wood, had a situation where I had to engage the anti-lock brakes. The car gets great gas mileage, but I have a heavy foot so I average around 27 mpg mixed highway / city driving. The keyless entry and push button start are a convenience, but the most convenient feature of the car is the car honks when you have filled the tire up to the correct pressure. Just turn the car off. Press the start button twice with your foot off of the brake, fill up the tire until the car honks and you're off. Best feature by far when it's cold and you're pumping air not having to fool around with a pressure gauge exposed to the elements. The Bad: Engine noise. This may not be bad to people who enjoy sports cars or are used to driving manual transmissions, but this car is really loud in certain situations. It purrs when at speed, but roars when getting up to speed and coasting downhill. I'd compare coasting downhill in this car to downshifting from 4th to 2nd in a manual; you feel the car employing engine braking and a tug then the RPMs rev. I think this is a feature of CVT to keep the same MPH going downhill and not over accelerate causing the car to surge MPH down the hill. Engine noise may not be an issue with the V6. The transmission feels a bit frail after accelerating after shifting from reverse. The car flutters a little and even does it sometimes when accelerating from a standstill. I caution you not to reverse roll with this transmission. I feel it's too fragile to handle going in reverse putting it in neutral while you roll and engage the drive gear. That's a bad practice general for any automatic but may be fatal for this one. I bet that's why a few reviews said their transmission went out after 10k miles. The car feels cheaply made after driving it awhile. Road dirt and grime gets from the floor panel all of the way up to the door jamb where the car door closes. Never had that happen in any other car. The rain pings on the car like rain on a tin can; makes me feel the car has little to no noise insulation. At highway speeds there is a ton of wind noise, but one will get used to it unless that type of thing is a deal breaker. The "carpet" on the floor is paper thin. Literally. It's the cheapest carpet I've ever seen in a car. Wait until you vacuum it you'll see what I mean. Feels like it could tear easily. It seems like the carpet that comes standard in the trunk of cars. Nissan decided to cut corners and put that cheap stuff in the interior. The Ugly: The visor fell down while my wife was driving maybe month 3 into owning the car. Took it back to the dealer to get repaired under warranty and they claimed the visor would have cost $300! For that price why is it falling down?! While there we also got the fix done for the hood latch recall. Fast forward 2 months later my wife gets in the passenger seat and the passenger side airbag disengaged light came on. She got out of the car and back in and it stayed on. Drove for fifteen minutes and still disengaged, so I had to park turn the car off and back on to get the airbag to turn back on. It happened two more times. Took it to the dealer and they claim nothing was wrong but gave us a manual on how the feature worked. Mind you the 2014 Altimas had this very same issue. It has happened once since taking it back to the dealer. Trip three to the dealer was because of squealing brakes on a brand new car. If it rains and the car has been sitting they squeal. If it's cold and the car has been sitting they squeal. This is a "feature" of the metal on metal brake pads the dealer says. I say another corner was cut. The projection headlights are dangerously dim. They work OK in dry conditions, but in the rain forget about it. You can barley tell they are on. Just compare other cars' headlight beams on the road to the Altima you'll see. The interior windows fog at the drop of a dime. I live in a humid region and this is a constant problem even with the recirculation off! It takes the defroster awhile to address the fogging. The technology package and Nissan connect are a joke. It barely connects with my Droid Turbo, and partially connects with my wife's iPhone 5s and her Droid MAXX, it did the best with her Galaxy S3. I have to turn the Bluetooth off and on on my phone several times before it connects and when it does the entire system freezes on the In Call for 0:01 display until the car is reset. Does not recognize voice
5 out of 5 stars
Almost a grand slam
2015 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
There is a lot to like about this car! I shopped around and after trying several competitors, the 3.5L won me over with its smooth power, quiet ride, and extremely comfortable seats. Before I got this car, my daily 45 minute plus commute was an ordeal. But now the daily commute is comfortable, and I arrive without stiffness or back pain. When traffic is heavy, I just sit back, … turn up the Bose system, and enjoy the extremely comfortable ride. Overall, the car hit a home run that would have been a grand slam except for a few details with the Nissan Connect app - it's buggy. Update: It's a year later, and I still love my Altima! The ride is still smooth, and there have been no mechanical glitches. Oh, and the Nissan Connect App has been improved with updates, and I can connect to the Pandora and I Heart Radio apps about 90% of the time. The times is doesn't connect it says 'Make sure you app is updated and running.' I check my phone (Android on Galaxy S6) and it's updated and running. When that's the case, I just have to listen to those services with the Bluetooth Audio connection. The Bluetooth connection always works. There is one small annoyance the car has, it beeps at me urgently if I have the driver's door open and turn off the car. Strange, it can be in Park, emergency brake on, engine running, and open the door and it doesn't beep at me, but it will beep rapidly if I turn off the engine. If I then shut the door the beeping stops, and I can then reopen the door without beeping. I think its annoying and unnecessary.
4 out of 5 stars
1 Year Later
2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Bought my one owner car in the spring of '17 with 17,000 miles on it. Fully loaded SV model (Navigation, cold weather package, technology package, moonroof). I paid 16,300 for the car with a lifetime powertrain warranty included. Out the door after fees and everything for a little over $18,000 with a full bumper to bumper lifetime warranty. I have a pamphlet with the entensive coverage … list on it. I've owned the car a year this month. It now has 34,500 miles on it. Car drives great and gets great gas mileage. I drive 60 miles round trip to work every day and I average 34-36 with cruise set at 75. Impressive response and pick up for a 4 cylinder. Handles well. Only problems have been the infotainment system was buggy and didn't work correctly all the time. Update seems to have fixed that problem. Navigation is still difficult to use though. Transmission "shifted" weird at times. CVT did take some getting used to. Recall and update by dealer seems to have fixed that. Only thing that seems to really bother me is that I have wind noise around my driver side door that is right next to me when I'm driving. It's nowhere else in the car. The brakes also squeal at lowers speeds and stops sometimes. Nissan said it's normal. I don't think my brakes should squeak at only 25,000+ miles. My mother-in-laws has had a 13 and now a 15 and they both have had brake noise.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 27 City / 38 Hwy / 31 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.0 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 182 hp @ 6,000 rpm
- Torque: 180 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 3 yr./ 36,000 mi.
- Length: 191.5 in. / Height: 57.9 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 72.0 in.
- Curb Weight: 3,177 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 15.4 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall4 / 5Driver3 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat3 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover10.3%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
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More about the 2015 Nissan Altima
Used 2015 Nissan Altima Overview
The Used 2015 Nissan Altima is offered in the following submodels: Altima Sedan. Available styles include 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5 SV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5 SL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 6/14 (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 6/14 (3.5L 6cyl CVT), and 3.5 S w/Prod. End 6/14 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT). Pre-owned Nissan Altima models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 182 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2015 Nissan Altima comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2015 Nissan Altima?
Price comparisons for Used 2015 Nissan Altima trim styles:
- The Used 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 S is priced between $7,999 and$20,000 with odometer readings between 13554 and136708 miles.
- The Used 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV is priced between $11,200 and$18,998 with odometer readings between 23794 and120296 miles.
- The Used 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL is priced between $13,654 and$18,998 with odometer readings between 65588 and119834 miles.
- The Used 2015 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL is priced between $16,990 and$19,998 with odometer readings between 42650 and67503 miles.
- The Used 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 is priced between $15,998 and$16,998 with odometer readings between 88348 and117631 miles.
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Which used 2015 Nissan Altimas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Nissan Altima for sale near. There are currently 107 used and CPO 2015 Altimas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,999 and mileage as low as 13554 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Nissan Altima.
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Should I lease or buy a 2015 Nissan Altima?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Nissan lease specials
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