Despite having been sold in the United States for as long as I have, the Nissan Altima has not received the same level of critical acclaim as other options in the class. Nissan’s long-running midsize offering receives a small makeover for the 2023 model year, bringing it closer to the competition. However, a considerable distance remains to be covered.
Aside from its improved aesthetics, the Altima’s updated technology makes it a more well-rounded vehicle. In addition, for 2023, the sporty SR model, while still not a full-fledged performance sedan, gets more aggressive with some extra aesthetic alterations and a small suspension tuning.
Exterior and Interior Design
The 2023 Altima’s V-Motion grille incorporates new “black chrome” embellishments that are exclusive to the SR model, even though it retains the same basic design as the sixth-generation vehicle that debuted in 2018. This gives it an aggressive appearance. New for 2023 is the sleek, birds-nest-style 19-inch wheels and the $395 Gray Sky Pearl paint. It sits between not-quite-silver and not-quite-white, and it is a truly gorgeous color.
- Exterior Color: Gray Sky Pearl
- Interior Color: Black w/Red
- Wheel Size: 19 Inches
The interior of the Altima is a combination of hard plastics and softer, plusher surfaces, with dual-stitched accents on the door armrests and seats. In terms of quality and general appearance, it is comparable to others in its category.
The Altima’s interior is spacious and provides superb visibility. The driver’s seating position is a little off since the pedals are too far back in the footwell, but the “Zero Gravity” leather-upholstered front seats are wonderful. With eight-way power adjustability, lumbar support, and heating capabilities, it was simple for me to find a comfortable position. What is instantly apparent, though, is that the combination of 19-inch wheels and tires and the adjusted suspension both alter the ride quality. Too much exterior noise penetrates the cabin, including road, tire, and engine noise.
- Seating Capacity: 5
- Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
- Cargo Capacity: 15.4 Cubic Feet
The introduction of a new 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is one of the most significant Altima updates for 2023. In addition, the SR trim offers wireless phone charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The enlarged screen features a vastly enhanced UX with a cleaner home page and nicely organized apps, although the images are still not entirely crisp. Likewise, the resolution of the backup camera is of subpar grade.
Engine and Performance
The 2.0-liter variable-compression turbocharged engine is an improvement over the antiquated 2.5-liter normally aspirated engine. Additionally, the 2.5 is the only available engine with all-wheel drive. But even with the upgraded engine, there is excessive turbo lag off the line, and the Altima is slow to accelerate. Once the turbo kicks in, there is decent torque, but the continuously variable transmission protests if the throttle is pressed too hard.
- Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-Liter I4
- Output: 236 Horsepower / 267 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: Continuously Variable
Nissan also claims that it has made the SR’s suspension more lively. We wouldn’t go so far as to term this midsize sedan “sporty,” despite the fact that it handles nicely compared to other non-performance-oriented midsize sedans. There is still a considerable degree of body roll, and the suspension is not suited for tight turns.
Altima Safety Features
Standard on every Altima is Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 technology, which incorporates automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and high-beam assist, among other features. ProPilot is standard on the SL, SV, and SR models, like the one we evaluated. ProPilot is still one of the best active safety systems available and performs a fantastic job of keeping the vehicle in its lane.
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Five Stars Overall
- IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick Plus
2023 Nissan Altima Prices
The Altima SR isn’t a good buy because it doesn’t improve upon the SL or SV in terms of performance, and it doesn’t add that much extra stuff. The tested price was $37,060, up from the base price of $36,085, including the destination charge of $1,095.
- Base Price: $25,290 + $1,095 Destination
- Trim Base Price: $28,585
- As-Tested Price: $37,060
For a small amount less money, you can get the 290-horsepower Hyundai Sonata N-Line, which is faster and more dynamic than the retiring Honda Accord Sport. When compared to the Altima SR, the price of a full-throttle, 300-horsepower Toyota Camry TRD is ridiculously low.