2016 Nissan Altima Review
2016 Nissan Altima Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Strong acceleration
- responsive transmission
- competitive fuel economy.
- Lackluster infotainment systems
- underwhelming interior materials quality
- more road and engine noise than some competitors.
The 2016 Nissan Altima receives a midcycle styling refresh, along with new advanced safety features and a sporty SR trim level.
The 2016 Nissan Altima's makeover gives it a bit more curb appeal, but underneath it all is a sedan that's not quite as compelling as some other top rivals.
2016 Altima Highlights
- Combined MPG
- 31 MPG
- Cost to Drive
- 5 seats
- front wheel drive
- Engine Type
- 3 years / 36,000 miles
It's only been three years since the Nissan Altima received a full redesign and in that short span its competition has surpassed it in many ways. The 2016 Nissan Altima strives to restore relevance with an exterior styling update, a handful of new features and a sporty new SR trim.
The new V-shaped grille up front brings the Altima up to date with other Nissan vehicles and, when combined with sharper headlights and taillights, it does breathe some life back into its predecessor's comparably plain appearance. The addition of adaptive cruise control, paired with forward collision warnings and automatic braking, may also entice shoppers.
Unfortunately, the interior has largely been ignored in this midcycle refresh. The drumbeat of technology has made the Altima's once praiseworthy infotainment system old news compared to the latest units from rivals. The same holds true for the materials used in the cabin. The Altima's engine performance is still strong, however, and fuel economy remains at or near the top of the field for both the four-cylinder and V6.
Overall, the current-generation Altima isn't quite as dominant in 2016 as it was in 2013. It's still perfectly adequate on its own, but when compared to newer A-rated sedans like the Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Hyundai Sonata and its Kia Optima cousin, it becomes very clear that the Nissan has been surpassed.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Nissan Altima's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with simulated stepped gears to feel more like a conventional automatic. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 31 mpg combined (27 city/39 highway). The 2.5 SR drops slightly to 30 mpg combined (26 city/37 highway).
In Edmunds testing of a mechanically similar 2013 Altima 2.5, we recorded a zero-to-60-mph acceleration time of 7.8 seconds, which is better than average for the class.
The 3.5-liter V6 engine is good for 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque and can propel the Altima to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds. Fuel economy estimates come in at 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway). These estimates, as well as the 2.5's, are very good for a midsize sedan.
Standard safety features for all 2016 Nissan Altima models include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is standard on 2.5 S trims and above. SV and SL trims also receive a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. The forward collision warning and mitigation systems (with automatic braking) are only available on SL trims. The available NissanConnect Services system includes automatic collision notification, emergency assistance and stolen vehicle locating services.
The government has not crash-tested the 2016 Altima as of this writing, but the mechanically similar 2015 model received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for frontal-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2016 Altima its top rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact, roof-strength and whiplash reduction (seatbelts and head restraints) tests. Results for the small-overlap front-impact test were not available as of this writing.
Nissan has done well historically with continuously variable transmissions (CVT) and the 2016 Altima continues that tradition. The CVT is more responsive when you press on the gas pedal compared to its competitors, and the simulated stepped gears reduce some of the engine drone that others suffer from. Still, drivers of an Altima 2.5 will feel the need to floor the pedal to get up to highway speeds confidently, and it will seem overly noisy and loud in the process.
The Altima used to hold a handling edge over other family sedans, but recent redesigns to its class rivals have seen that advantage disappear. It remains composed and predictable on a winding road, but it is limited by the front tires' tendency to lose grip. The new SR trim may make the Altima more competitive when it comes to athleticism, but we haven't yet fully tested it to know for sure.
Sporty handling isn't a priority for most family sedan buyers, obviously, so for the majority of drivers the Altima will be adequate, though not impressive. The ride quality isn't as smooth or composed over rougher pavement as rivals', but it's not overly harsh, either. Like many things about the 2016 Nissan Altima, it neither excels nor fails.
Changes to the 2016 Nissan Altima's interior are subtle compared to the exterior makeover. The design and materials quality are decent for the class, but the infotainment systems have fallen behind the times. The standard 5-inch display is small and difficult to read at a quick glance. The 7-inch upgrade is easier to read but isn't as intuitive or easy to operate as competitors', and the low positioning of the screen forces the driver to take his or her eyes off the road to use it. It also doesn't offer as in-depth smartphone app integration as the latest systems.
The front seats are comfortable thanks to Nissan's NASA-inspired "zero gravity" design, but the leather upholstery on the SL trim can be stifling on warmer days. Rear seats provide enough head- and legroom for the average adult and feature an elevated seat cushion for better forward visibility. Despite an increase in sound insulation for 2016, road and engine noise can sometimes be intrusive.
Trunk space is about average for the class at 15.4 cubic feet, but the Altima scores additional points for the wide and low opening. There's also plenty of storage for your personal items in the cabin.
2016 Nissan Altima models
Classified as a midsize sedan, the 2016 Nissan Altima seats five and is available in five main trim levels: base, S, SR, SV and SL. These trims are further differentiated by an engine size prefix: 2.5 for the four-cylinder and 3.5 for the V6, but the 3.5 is only available in SR and SL trims.
The Altima 2.5 in base trim includes 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, keyless remote entry, push-button ignition, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a six-way manually adjustable driver seat (four-way front passenger seat), 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a four-speaker stereo with a CD player and Nissan's Easy Fill Tire Alert system that flashes the lights and beeps the horn to signal when the tires reach the correct pressures.
The 2.5 S trim adds automatic headlights, cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, Siri Eyes Free voice recognition for iPhone users, a rearview camera and a six-speaker audio system with a 5-inch display, a USB port and basic NissanConnect smartphone app integration.
The new sporty SR trim upgrades the 2.5 S with 18-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, foglights, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, simulated manual shift control via shift paddles, sport seats and an eight-way power adjustable driver seat (with two-way power lumbar).
Compared to the 2.5 S, the SV trim has 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way power driver seat, remote engine start, a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, dual-zone automatic climate control and satellite radio.
The 2.5 SL adds a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats, air vents for the rear seats, a four-way power front passenger seat, two-way adjustable front headrests, ambient interior lighting and a premium Bose nine-speaker sound system. The 3.5 SL gets 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, shift paddles, front and rear parking sensors, a larger 7-inch color touchscreen, voice commands and a navigation system with Google connectivity.
Some features are available on lower trim models as options. Other add-ons are available either in packages or standalone and include a sunroof, heated mirrors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. SL trims are eligible for bundled Technology packages that include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings with automatic braking and enhanced NissanConnect services with emergency telematics.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 Nissan Altima.
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Great car so far
Nick A, 09/13/2016
2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Love the styling of the altima for 2016. It has great acceleration even with the four cylinder and handles pretty good. Ive been averaging 31mpg with mostly city driving. Road noise is a little much but i think its these cheap tires it comes w from the factory. Engine makes alot of noise but i like to hear my engine most of the time. The A/C in this car will freeze you to a solid block … of ice in no time even on low. Only have 1200 miles so far but will update my review as time goes on. Great car for the money, if you want something that's going to drive like a million bucks then spend a million bucks.
5 out of 5 stars
No test drive needed
2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SR 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Once again Nissan made a car that was so easy to drive and enjoy........But I warn everyone that if you do not spend another $600 for the LED upgrade on the headlights you will not get the boomerang daytime driving lights on your car. Gas … mileage is thru the roof and seating space is ample and comfortable.
5 out of 5 stars
Altima 2016 3.5
Paul Boyd, 04/03/2016
2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
I love this car. Only have one gripe. The headlights suck. One needs to keep the high beams on at night in order to drive safely.now I have 24,000 miles on it. Not one problem. I’ve been using Mobil one synthetic for the last 24,000 miles. Best car I’ve ever owned. Bought it in February 2016
5 out of 5 stars
The 2016 changes make this car.
2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
I am a dyed in the wool gearhead. I love cars, I have always loved cars. However, as age caught up to me I felt it was time to leave my Detroit muscle and sports cars behind. When I first decided to buy a more (as my wife puts it) “Adult” car I looked at the 2013 Altima. I liked the features but I let the dealership steer me to a Dodge Avenger because that was the only car they had … that would be suitable for getting me out of the Audi A6 I was upside down in. They made it clear they could work the deal on the Dodge but not the Nissan. What a fool I was. I should have stuck to my guns and not have gotten the Dodge. When I decided on the Nissan I drove the Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu and the Toyota Camry. While I liked the Optima most of all (2.0 liter turbo) it was more expensive than the others and the dealer wouldn’t deal with us. The Altima and the Sonata hybrid were actually tied as far as driving and initial quality. But the Sonata hybrids in the area were all base vehicles and the limited were hard to find. The Malibu and the Toyota were both in last place as a tie. The Malibu just didn’t have the fit finish and feel of the others. Cheaper plastics and the infotainment system was not to my liking. The Camry fell so low because it lacked styling and didn’t seem as advanced as the others. The Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) on the Altima works really well. I was actually very surprised at what it could do. To test it; I allowed it to slow me all the way to a stop. When it came to a stop the car sat there for about two seconds and a chime warned me the ICC was turning off. The front seats are nearly lazy boy recliner comfortable. Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are not just a gimmick they really are very comfortable. I find them just as comfortable as the 2005 Audi A6 I had two cars ago. Here is where most people have a problem with the Altima. They are not accustomed to the Constant Variable Transmission (CVT) and the way it feels. For a four cylinder car that gets as high as 42mpg on the freeway (I got that on a 180 mile trip) And 0-60 in 8.2 seconds is not that bad for a midsized 2.5l car! It just doesn’t feel like a normal transmission. Even in Ds (Sport mode) the transmission doesn’t give shift points really. It tries to simulate them, but it does fail. What the CVT doesn’t fail at is giving smooth power at a constant rate and delivers great MPG. I was a little concerned about the reliability issues with the transmission. Until I read the article about Nissan demanding Jatco (the manufacturer of the CVT) make them right. Everything I have read shows the early problems were just that, early problems… I also own a Subaru Outback with a CVT and it feels different. Much more “slushy” feeling.
2016 Nissan Altima video
ALISTAIR WEAVER: This is Alistair Weaver for Edmunds with the Nissan Altima. So does it hit the heights or is this a bottom of the class? The Altima takes on rivals like the Honda Accord, the Toyota Camry, and the Chevy Malibu. It does so with a restyle front end [? including ?] some pretty dramatic looking headlights. Under the hood, there's a choice of either a 2.5 liter 4 or a 3.5 liter v-6 if you want a bit more performance. It's a decent steer, but the ride quality is not as composed as most of its rivals. To be honest, like so much of what the Altima does, it's neither top of the class nor bottom. Inside, the Nissan Altima is pretty drab and boring. It all looks quite old school. Check out this digital display here when most of its rivals have got sophisticated touch screens. What's more curious is that it's old school without being particularly old. We are not massively convinced by these fabric seats either. Here in the rear space is a genuine concern. Knee and foot room is no better than mediocre. And headroom, well, that's a real problem thanks to this sloping roof line. When you're up against super spacious rivals like the Kia Optima and the Volkswagen Passat, it's not good enough. Overall, the Altima isn't all bad. Those power trains are actually pretty good. But it certainly lags behind the best cars in what is a very competitive class. For more information, check out Edmunds.com.
2016 Nissan Altima Review
Alistair Weaver takes you on a walk around Nissan's 2016 Altima which received a midcycle styling refresh. He goes over specs, design, the interior and more.
More about the 2016 Nissan Altima
Used 2016 Nissan Altima Overview
The Used 2016 Nissan Altima is offered in the following submodels: Altima Sedan. Available styles include 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5 SR 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 1/16 (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 1/16 (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), and 3.5 SR 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 2016 Nissan Altima comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2016 Nissan Altima?
Price comparisons for Used 2016 Nissan Altima trim styles:
- The Used 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 S is priced between $8,999 and$19,998 with odometer readings between 27167 and131719 miles.
- The Used 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV is priced between $12,395 and$21,990 with odometer readings between 18722 and104308 miles.
- The Used 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SR is priced between $11,990 and$19,998 with odometer readings between 58477 and104187 miles.
- The Used 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL is priced between $15,590 and$19,998 with odometer readings between 51570 and92134 miles.
- The Used 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 is priced between $8,981 and$17,990 with odometer readings between 26039 and111279 miles.
- The Used 2016 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL is priced between $17,998 and$17,998 with odometer readings between 74836 and74836 miles.
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Which used 2016 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) 2016 Nissan Altima for sale near. There are currently 81 used and CPO 2016 Altimas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,981 and mileage as low as 18722 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 2016 Nissan Altima.
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Should I lease or buy a 2016 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.
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