2018 Nissan Altima: Dissed By Critics, Loved By Consumers

Depending on where you look, the 2018 Nissan Altima is a good car to buy used. Many buyers favor the Altima for being remarkably comfortable to ride in, but it’s not highly rated by critics. Here, we’ll help you pick a side. 

Driving the 2018 Nissan Altima 

Nissan’s Altima gets major points for its sensible driving dynamics. Those who value contentment over thrills will appreciate the Altima’s comfortable ride quality. Although, some critics have called this Nissan painfully average

As Consumer Reports highlighted, most 2018 Altimas will have the standard 179-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission. This four-cylinder is ideal if you value fuel efficiency since it has an EPA rating of up to 31 mpg overall. But if you’d like more power, shop for the 3.5 SL variants with the available 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine.

While critics like CR reviewers recognize the Altima for its fuel economy, they weren’t all that impressed with the sedan’s performance in general. CR described this 2018 model as lackluster. Furthermore, the organization noted that the Altima ranks below “virtually all of its competitors” because of its humdrum driving experience.

Although there is a shallow veneer of smoothness, ride comfort is neither settled nor absorbent. Handling suffers from an overly light steering that contributes to a mushy demeanor that saps the driving experience out of any sense of precision and control.

Consumer Reports (2018)

Cabin comforts 

The back row of a 2018 Nissan Altima with beige seats.
2018 Nissan Altima interior | Nissan

Reviewers like CR have more positive things to say about the Altima on the inside. This Nissan offers exceptionally comfy seats, and its back row is spacious enough to accommodate adults. Cloth upholstery came standard on this model; upgraded versions will have leather. 

The Altima’s cabin looks attractive overall, but some critics say it lacks the “pizzazz” that its rivals have, as U.S. News calls out. CR felt that the standard Altima’s interior was bland, and its cloth upholstery was so-so. Its plastic finishings don’t do it any favors either.

Front row of a 2018 Altima with a center infotainment display.
2018 Nissan Altima front front row | Nissan

On a brighter note, the Altima does offer desirable in-car tech. Standard infotainment features on the 2018 Altima include a 5-inch display screen, Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free. Base models will also have active safety functions, including automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning. 

If you’d like more connectivity features, look for models with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Some versions will also have more driver’s assistance tech, such as blind-spot monitoring. But as U.S. News noted, some people found that the Altima’s interface was dull and that its screens were too small.

What owners say

The Nissan Altima is one of the brand's best-selling sedans.
Nissan Altima | Nissan

The Nissan Altima Isn’t Selling Like It Used To

Despite some cheeky comments from reviewers, many 2018 Altima owners have nice things to say about their car. According to CR’s member survey, owners are most happy with the Altima’s styling and its value. Some specifically favored the Altima for its power delivery, while others felt the car was a bit laggy. 

That said, if you want a more dynamic midsize car, you might want to check out the 2018 Honda Accord. But if your main priority is finding a relatively cheap and dependable ride, the Altima is likely for you. Depending on mileage, you can get a 2018 Altima for under $14K.