3 Ways the 2022 Nissan Altima Could Become the Best-in-Class Midsize Sedan

The 2022 Nissan Altima is a midsize sedan with—well, many peers. It’s in constant competition with the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, and the Hyundai Elantra. Apart from these four popular cars, the midsize sedan segment is shrinking. There have been questions about whether the Nissan Altima was being discontinued. However, the newest Altima was one of the best-selling cars for 2022. It’s in no danger of disappearing any time soon.

There’s a lot to like about the Altima—but there’s a lot that could be better. 

3. A more engaging powertrain for the Altima sedan  

Sporty red 2022 Nissan Altima sedan parked next to a garage building at sunset
Nissan Sentra | Nissan

According to Cars.com’s 2022 Nissan Altima review, there are a few key areas where this midsized sedan could improve. The first won’t surprise you—a more powerful engine and a more engaging powertrain option. The base engine in the 2022 Altima is a less-than-impressive 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. 

There is an available turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s good for up to 248 horsepower. Cars says that “the turbo engine makes the Altima more fun and the AWD makes it more versatile while helping it stand out in the mid-size sedan class; unfortunately, you can’t combine the two.” The turbo is pretty powerful and fun to drive, but it’s not the most powerful in the class.

The availability of an all-wheel-drive sedan makes the 2022 Altima a more tempting choice against the Elantra and the 2022 Honda Accord, but the inability to have your cake and eat it, too, is a bit downside for the Altima. A more engaging powertrain could help Nissan’s midsize sedan become a stronger competitor.

2. A better backseat build and a more eye-catching cabin

Interior of the 2022 Nissan Altima midsize sedan. It's practical but not particularly exciting.
Nissan Altima interior | Nissan

Cars says that “not much in the Altima’s cabin stands out, good or bad, in terms of materials quality and design,” and it’s hard to disagree. A fully loaded 2022 Altima does offer a nice selection of features and accessories, but the more affordable trim levels feel a little barren.

The Midnight Edition, a new package available for the 2022 Altima, does offer some eye-catching goodness for this sedan, but overall it’s lacking. The design of the backseats can also be frustrating for anyone who travels with young kids. Cars claims “the backseat’s biggest pitfall is with child-seat fitment. I struggled installing boosters, both high-back and backless models.” Families are a main driver of midsize sedan sales, so poor backseat design can be a killer for moving models.

A more premium cabin, a more family-friendly backseat, and a smarter interior design could be what the 2022 Altima sedan needs to become best in class.

1. A new Nissan Altima Hybrid sedan

Dark silver 2022 Nissan Altima Midnight Edition sedan parked in dramatic lighting
Nissan Altima Midnight Edition | Nissan

The lack of a hybrid sedan is one thing that’s really holding the Altima back from its full potential. Once upon a time, there was one. A 2007 Altima Hybrid started the fad, but it only stuck around until 2011. It also only offered about 33 mpg combined, which is barely competitive with gas-powered-only sedans these days. 

If Nissan were to roll out a partial-electric 2022 Altima Hybrid, an Altima plug-in hybrid, or even an all-electric Altima, this midsize sedan would become a serious contender against the Camry and Accord—the segment’s heaviest hitters.

Is the Nissan Altima sedan a good car?

Overall, the 2022 Nissan Altima is a solid, affordable midsize sedan. Prices start at $24,900 for the base Altima S FWD. The mid-range SV and SR sedans start at $25,900 and $26,900, respectively. At the top of the range, the premium SL starts at $30,340, while the fully loaded 2022 Altima Platinum will cost you about $34,600. 

The special-edition 2022 Altima SR Midnight Edition costs $28,650. The powerful Altima SR VC-Turbo model starts at $31,250.

These prices make the Nissan sedan a more affordable option for those comparing between top midsize cars, but there are a few things that are really holding the Altima back.

If Nissan made these improvements for the next model year, the 2023 Altima could take the best-in-class crown.

RELATED: 8 Cheapest All-Wheel Drive Cars According to TrueCar