2019 Nissan Altima Gets AWD, Variable Compression Turbo Engine

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Set to launch in the U.S. this fall, the 2019 Nissan Altima has debuted at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

The Japanese automaker says the 2019 Altima represents the new global face of Nissan sedan design and is the most expressive Altima ever. It will be available in five trim levels (S, SR, SV, SL, and Platinum), along with a limited-production launch edition, and will be heading to an expanded number of global markets in the coming years.

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All models come standard with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, with available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive for the first time ever on the Altima. The SR and Platinum grades get an available 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine with front-wheel drive only. The new advanced 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generates 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and is the world’s first production variable compression turbo engine. The same engine recently launched in the Infiniti QX50.

Compared to the previous 2.5-liter engine, the new mill has nine more horsepower and three pound-feet of torque. It does, however, have 80 percent new or redesigned parts, resulting in an improvement in noise, vibration, and harshness. It is also more fuel efficient and has cleaner emissions.

The exterior takes inspiration from the Nissan Vmotion 2.0 Concept that debuted at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Compared to its predecessor, the new Altima sits 1.1 inch lower, while measuring one inch longer and 0.9 inches wider. Available exterior enhancements include V-motion grille with dark chrome finish, LED projector headlights with signature daytime running lights, LED fog lights, floating roof with slim pillars, and a single panel moonroof.

2018 New York Auto Show Coverage

The interior also receives numerous changes with a standard seven-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display adding convenience and connectivity. The NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats have been enhanced with dual-density foam and added bolstering, resulting in improved holding and support. Available features include perforated leather-appointed seat inserts, remote engine start with Intelligent Climate Control, and eight-way driver’s seat with memory.

Every 2019 Nissan Altima comes standard with NissanConnect, which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support with an eight-inch multi-touch color display. Bluetooth hands-free phone system and streaming audio are also standard, along with hands-free text messaging assist and Siri Eyes Free/Google Assistant voice recognition. Apple Watch and Android Wear compatibility are available through the NissanConnect services app, allowing users to remote engine start and stop, remote lock/unlock valet alert, and more. There is also an available NissanConnect Navigation and Service, which include a number of new such as over-the-air updates, door-to-door navigation, real-time Premium Traffic updates, and a Bluetooth Device Manager with easy customization features.

Lastly and hardly surprising, the Altima features Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist technology as standard on the SV, SL, and Platinum grades. Along with ProPILOT Assist, the 2019 Altima adds Rear Automatic Braking, which is also standard on the SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels. Standard safety and convenience features include automatic emergency braking, intelligent forward collision warning, and intelligent driver alertness on all grades. Intelligent around view monitor is standard on the Altima Platinum.

Look for pricing information to be announced closer to the 2019 Nissan Altima’s fall launch.

Discuss this story on our Nissan Altima Forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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5 of 9 comments
  • Djroland1 Djroland1 on Mar 28, 2018

    Just as I was thinking Nissan was finally getting their crap together with turbo and AWD, they manage to spread the crap even more by that ridiculous decision of not mating the two. Bad enough that I'm certain a 6 speed manual will not make it to any of the trims... I used to be a Datsun/Nissan guy, many moons ago... so sad.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jeff T Jeff T on Mar 30, 2018

      While I agree with you I think that this signals that the Maxima will get awd and Nissan doesn't want to completely alienate the Maxima by giving a v6 awd setup to the Altima.

  • Gaskel Gaskel on Mar 28, 2018

    Hey, guys. The power-train consisting of VC-turbo engine and CVT has get favorable evaluation from infinity QX50. Altima with vc-tubo will show good performance. Do not jump to conclusions.

    • Horatio Horatio on Mar 29, 2018

      Car enthusiasts need turbo to have manual gearbox and 4WD. Not saying everyone won't enjoy the turbo engine but how the hell do you offer the turbo in auto and fwd only? What mistake!!