The Nissan Altima is the mid-size sedan contender from Nissan stable. The sedan was thoroughly updated in 2019 with a new platform, two engine options, and a much better overall package. The 2021 model carries forward the same philosophy.
As standard, the Nissan Altima is powered by a 2.5L inline-four-cylinder engine mated to a CVT transmission. Another option is the 2.0L turbocharged engine that flaunts the innovative variable compression technology for enhanced performance without sacrificing fuel efficiency. The prices for the 2021 Nissan Altima starts at $24,300.
The Midsize Sedan segment has seen the same cars being volume sellers for quite a long time, the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, and the Nissan Altima. Now, while the Altima has been a volume seller for Nissan for quite some time now, it still faces stringent competition from the Camry and the Accord.
Nissan has tried to make the Altima more appealing and the move is well justified, owing to the market scenario, carmakers would want to capitalize on their volume sellers, amidst this slowdown, as it is one of the safest bets. Speaking of the 2021 Nissan Altima, though there has been no official word about the release date of the 2021 Altima, we expect it to hit the dealerships sometime in October.
The 2021 Nissan Altima is offered in 5 trim levels, namely: S, SV, SR, SL, and Platinum trim. No, don't go back, you read that right. Nissan has altered the trim lineup of the Altima for the model year 2021. For the 2021 model year, the Altima SR grade is repositioned above the SV grade.
The prices for the 2021 Nissan Altima starts at $24,300 for the base S trim and tops-out at $34,100 for the top of the line Platinum trim. The vehicle is priced in accordance with the segment standards, and there is a wide range of trims to choose from, so finding the right Altima for you won’t be a problem.
Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
Adds/upgrades from S:
Adds/upgrades from SV:
Adds/upgrades from SR:
Adds/upgrades from SL:
Automatic Emergency Braking
Power sliding glass moonroof
9 Speaker Bose Audio
Interior Accent Lighting
Rear View Monitor
Dark Chrome V-Motion Grill
Dual-zone Auto Temperature Control
Driver’s Memory Seat
16” Steel wheels with covers
19” Aluminum Alloys
17” Aluminum Alloys
4 Way power-adjustable front seats
19” Aluminum Alloy
8” Touchscreen Display
Nissan Pro-Pilot Assist
Nissan Door to Door Navigation
Around View Monitor
The basic S trim level is priced at $24,300 and the bottom line is that it is functional and utilitarian. Despite being the base trim, the Nissan Altima S comes standard with features such as cruise control, keyless entry, and a decent suite of safety features.
The SV trim is the next pedestal in the 2021 Nissan Altima's trim lineup and comes at a price of $25,400 for the FWD drivetrain and $26,800 for the AWD drivetrain. The SV trim adds on to the S trim level, and you get some more quirky features like LED lighting, 19-inch alloys, and most importantly a sport-tuned suspension among others.
The next trim is the mid-spec SR variant that gets some luxury features such as a power sliding glass moonroof, dual-zone automatic temperature control, and several other highlights in addition to the features on offer on the SR trim, and most people would feel that it suits their needs and is priced at $26,200.
The SL trim is feature-packed and has a lot of luxury features too, the Platinum trim is an edge ahead of the SL trim and comes with all the bells of whistles, at $34,100. However, the Platinum trim of the 2021 Nissan Altima can only be availed with an AWD drivetrain.
2021 Nissan Altima Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty
The Altima is a part of the mid-size sedan segment, and reliability and ease of ownership are essential parts of any buyer’s checklist. The Altima fares well in this department, as it is easy to maintain this sedan. The car is free of any major issues and hasn’t seen any significant recall either. it is easy on the pocket and overall, it is quite a hassle-free experience to own one.
Reliability and Ownership Costs
The Nissan Altima competes with the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, both of which have a very strong image for being amongst the easiest to own cars, so it is reasonable to say that the Altima needs to have a very strong game to beat its rivals. According to the user reports, the car manages to keep up with the rivals and offers a good ownership experience.
When you compare it to the Toyota Camry or the Honda Accord, it might seem a bit below standard, but in reality, things aren’t that way. The car does seem cheap only relatively and is quite a reliable and durable buy in itself, and over the years the car has garnered some good numbers, and to make that possible, ease of ownership has been a big factor.
The Altima has been a volume seller and has given a positive growth rate to Nissan in 2019, moreover, Nissan has been striving to make the car an even compelling package. The Altima, over the years, has evolved slowly, and the design of the car is palatable to a larger audience. The Altima scored decently on the reliability front too, but somehow it's flair fades away when it is put head to head with its competitors.
Taxes & Fees
True Cost to Own
Speaking of the ownership cost of the Nissan Altima, well this sedan is expected to shell out a sum of approximately $33,000 from your wallets in the name of ownership costs, over a span of 5 years. This amount includes a number of costs such as insurance, taxes and dealership charges, depreciation, repairs, fuel, financing, etc.
The 2021 Nissan Altima is offered with a decent warranty pack, though not the best in the segment, still it is reasonable. The car comes with a 3 year-36,000 miles basic warranty pack, along which the powertrain gets a 5-year or 60,000 miles warranty coverage. The vehicle also gets a 5-year-unlimited mile anti-perforation or corrosion warranty.
36 months / 36,000 miles
60 months / 60,000 miles
Complimentary maintenance package
The warranty pack covers the car quite extensively and most of the shortcomings will be taken care of under the package. The Altima, otherwise too, isn’t known for having any major issues or high running costs.
Miles Per Dollar
The new-age buyers do not only want a handsome and dynamic car, but they want something which they can own easily, and it doesn’t become a burden to use or to maintain. More importantly, a car with minimal ownership costs is an easy choice for any prudent buyer.
Let us assume that a standard owner drives the Nissan Altima for around 5-years, with the average distance driven per year being somewhere around 15,000 miles, which brings us to a tally of 75,000 miles driven, at the end of 5 years.
Now, estimating standard fuel costs, depreciation, taxes, insurance, financing, after-sales service costs, standard repairs, and normal wear and tear, alongside little probability of unforeseen damage and expenses, we will calculate the miles per dollar cost for the Nissan Altima.
After taking all of the factors into consideration, our estimates say that the Nissan Altima will return about 1.8 miles per dollar, which is well within the segment bracket and is quite reasonable for a car of this size.
2021 Nissan Altima Buying Advice
We would recommend the SR trim of the 2021 Nissan Altima for buyers on a tight budget and the SL or Platinum trim for buyers who are willing to shell out a little more cash.
The SR variant has majorly all the essential features and will suffice most buyers, while the top-spec trim levels have all the features alongside a little extra touch of luxury and you can feel the money you’ve spent while you’re inside the car.
Is buying a used car Nissan Altima a good idea?
The Nissan Altima has been on the market for quite a long time now, and over the years, the car has been bringing good numbers for Nissan. For those who might be interested in a similar package but at a lower cost, finding a well-maintained example will not be a very difficult task.
The question that still stands is, that should you buy one? Well, it is pretty much on the buyer, as to what he/she wants and the reason we say that is the Altima still has a slightly dated cabin, and cars which are a few years old, are a good way to save money. More importantly, the car doesn’t have any major issues, so it is quite a safe bet.
However, if you go for a used Nissan Altima, you will miss out on the new styling elements and design cues and also some modern tech which was added on later year models.
The 2.5-liter engine is good for a 188hp and 180-lb ft of torque, while the 2.0-liter turbocharged motor churns out 248hp and 280-lb ft of torque, both the motors feel refined and offer adequate power to make the Altima a decent car to drive.
With that said, the turbocharged 2.0-liter motor will be the pick of the lot for the enthusiasts. The turbocharged motor seems eager and is always willing to offer more.
Regardless of the engine option you go for in the 2021 Nissan Altima, what you'll find handling the transmission duties is an XTRONIC CVT transmission. What distinguishes the XTRONIC CVT transmission from other conventional CVT setups is its capability to adjust torque according to the circumstances, hence making the sedan feel quite powerful to drive.
The XTRONIC CVT transmission of the 2021 Nissan Altima routes all the grunt to the front wheels of the sedan, until and unless you pay a few extra bucks and go for the AWD drivetrain on offer. Nissan offers an Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system with the 2021 Altima.
Not that you'd be taking this mid-size sedan to the drag strip but in case it matters, it can chase the quarter-mile in dot 16 seconds when equipped with the naturally aspirated motor. Once again, enter the 2L turbocharged motor and the Intelligent AWD, and the quarter-mile figures for the 2021 Nissan Altima drop to 14.6 seconds.
The Intelligent AWD drivetrain of the 2021 Nissan Altima is indeed impressive as it uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically redistributes torque to the wheels according to road and driving conditions
2021 Nissan Altima
2021 Toyota Camry
2021 Honda Accord
The braking on the 2021 Nissan Altima is quite sure-footed and has an evident bite to it. Although it is not the best braking car in its segment it’s not the worst either. The ride requires a distance of around 120 feet to come to a complete halt from a speed of 60 mpg but it does so with composure, without swaying away from its path.
2021 Nissan Altima Ride and Handline
The Nissan Altima positions itself as a family sedan that can hall you and your family with the utmost comfort around the town. However, this does not mean that the Altima compromises the performance aspect for the sake of comfort. Throw the Altima in a set of tight corners and you'll do nothing but agree with us.
The 2021 Nissan Altima maintains its composure quite well even through the corners. There is not much body roll and the car glides into and out of fast corners and sharp turns rather beautifully. What further strengthens the case for the Altima is its steering assembly that is utmost precise and provides a great level of feedback.
The Nissan Altima feels right at home on the city roads thanks to a light steering that makes maneuvering this long sedan a breeze and a suspension that's pliant and can handle everyday potholes without much drama. Moreover, if all this isn't enough to catch your fancy, you can always go for the SR trim that offers sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels, which allow this sedan to handle the corners even better.
The Nissan Altima offers great fuel efficiency and is well suited for the city as well as highway commutes. The 2021 Nissan Altima can roll for 28 miles in the city or can cruise through 39 miles on the highway for every gallon of gasoline you feed it. Summing up these figures, the 2021 Altima returns a combined mpg of 32 which is at par with the segment standards.
However, the Altima offers the best in class range figures, owing to its class-leading 16.2 gallons of fuel tank capacity.
2021 Nissan Altima Interior
The interiors of the 2021 Nissan Altima have a minimalistic look, and there is a certain elegance in the simplistic way it has been laid out. The dash is adorned with soft-touch materials and a wooden strip runs throughout; the touchscreen infotainment stands upright in the center of the dashboard. The design is functional and things fall to hand quite easily.
The quality of materials used is also slick but fit and finish at all places is not so good as some panels feel flimsy to touch. The steering is thin with a flat bottom and houses several controls for various things. The 2021 Nissan Altima has a very pleasing cabin to be in which has been designed very aesthetically.
The front seats are very well bolstered and hold you tight in place, knee room is adequate, but the driving position does not give you a wholesome view outside the windscreen, partly due to the thick pillars, and that might be a problem for some drivers.
2021 Nissan Altima
2021 Toyota Camry
2021 Honda Accord
Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
The rear seat has ample of space and legroom as well as headroom is more than adequate. The cabin is pretty spacious, and the rear bench itself is very comfortable.
The Nissan Zero Gravity rear seat is amongst the best in the segment and the bench is very well cushioned, wide, and supremely supportive. Under-thigh support is really nice and overall, it is a very nice place to be, for both city drive and highway commutes.
How’s the 2021 Nissan Altima’s infotainment system?
The 2021 Nissan Altima dons an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is standard across the line-up, and it is a very advanced setup. The vehicle is a connected car and comes with 4G connectivity, which is becoming increasingly popular in modern-day cars.
The system also gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay alongside Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and satellite navigation. The system is majorly controlled by touchscreen command, however, there are some physical controls too.
The Nissan Altima also gets a decent sound setup, it gets a 6-speaker set up on the base trims and a 9-speaker setup on the higher trim levels. The infotainment system too has quite an easy and quick to respond interface and the visuals and graphics too are quite crisp and clear.
Some of the most prominent standard infotainment features of the 2021 Nissan Altima are:
The Nissan Altima is quite a modern and handsome looking car on the outside. It has great proportions, looks really balanced, and has a composed stance.
The car has a very modern and aesthetic front fascia, and it has some sharp character lines on the bonnet too. The front end is dominated by Nissan's signature thick “V-motion grille”.
The front grille of the 2021 Nissan Altima lends it a very distinctive appeal as it comes down the entire length of the bumper, which is further surrounded by another dark-chrome V-shaped bar.
On the side, it has a strong shoulder line which culminates into the quarter panels, and the rest of the side profile is left clean, which gives it a certain subtlety. A set of big diamond-cut wheels has a striking design that adds to the sedan’s appeal.
2021 Nissan Altima
2021 Toyota Camry
2021 Honda Accord
The dimensions of the 2021 Nissan Altima are well in line with segment standards, and it has got a decent wheelbase. The Altima is a very balanced and tranquil car to look at from the outside, and it gives the rivals a tough battle in this department.
Some of the most eye-catching exterior features of the 2021 Nissan Altima are:
Active grille shutters
Intelligent auto headlights
Led headlights with signature
Led fog lights
External ground lighting
Heated outside mirrors with led turn signal indicators
Power sliding glass moonroof
Acoustic laminated glass
Chrome V-Motion grille
Dark chrome v-motion grille
Charcoal rear diffuser
Dual chrome exhaust finishers
2021 Nissan Altima Safety
The 2020 Nissan Altima has been rated as the Top Safety Pick by the IIHS and has also received a 5-star rating from NHTSA, which is the highest that any car can get. Now, since the 2021 Nissan Altima happens to be a carryover model, we expect it to fare similarly in terms of safety ratings.
The 2021 Nissan Altima also gets a lot of other safety and security features bundled as Nissan SafetyShield 360 package, which are offered as standard across the lineup, highlighting Nissan's seriousness when it comes to the safety of its occupants. Most of the Japanese carmakers have been emphasizing a lot on creating safer vehicles and Nissan Altima is no different.
With that said, some of the most prominent standard safety features of the 2021 Nissan Altima are:
The Nissan Altima is a very capable car. However, it has been losing ground to the Camry and the Accord for a very long time, but Nissan has been trying to make the Altima an even better package and the car has been selling in great numbers for the carmaker. Just a little bit of improvement in the interiors will make the Altima an even compelling package for any buyer.
The Camry carries Toyota’s brand name and has really comfortable interiors, but it isn’t that exciting to drive and it doesn’t like to be pushed around that much. However, the Camry happens to offer a much well-rounded package than the Altima,.
Nissan Altima vs. Honda Accord
The Honda Accord, just like the Toyota Camry, is a highly popular choice amongst buyers and is also an intriguing car to drive. It gives a tough competition to the Altima. The Altima is the best of both worlds, the turbocharged engine delivers a great performance and the spacious interiors give you the comfort of a Camry.
However, buyers really see the Accord as a great package with hassle-free ownership and it is more or less a tried and tested volume seller which satisfies a wide range of audiences, and these are facts that no one can deny.
2021 Nissan Altima Final Verdict
The Nissan Altima is a handsome looking and spacious mid-size sedan, which has been a good seller for Nissan. With this new version, the automaker has tried to maintain its appeal, and it has managed to do that to a great extent.
The 2021 Nissan Altima is spacious, practical, good to drive, and reliable too. It ticks all of the boxes for a customer looking for a mid-size sedan. The sedan has very few complaints and should be a decent buy.
Not just fast but better cornering machine. If it impressed you on highways, it will leave your jaw wide open on twisties
by Joseph M. Stockstill
User Overall Rating
Valued above than real
Surely not the best for price but at least I don't have any remorse since I got it. Drives safe if I come straight to the point.
by Francisco K. Espinoza
User Overall Rating
Missing turbo punch
First car without turbo and so many things needed getting used to. The accleration is decent but the turbo charged engine in my previous car proved to have more punch even if not for real.
by Walter B. Wilson
User Overall Rating
Altima is a good car
The car drives pretty well and ends up with considerable mileage in the city(27mpg) and on the highway path(33mpg). Lets me know if there is anything approaching from blind spots.
by Paul C. Hail
User Overall Rating
Safe. That's how I would go about describing the Altima's drive quality. Although it has other good aspects as well but safety is top notch and has been kept as a priority it seems while designing Altima. Rear windshield due to being slanted affects visibility and needs getting used to.