What Is the Fastest 2022 Nissan Altima Trim Level?

When shopping for a mid-size sedan like the Nissan Altima, most shoppers don’t put speed or horsepower on their shortlist of needs. However, there are some car shoppers that do like a mix of power with practicality and Nissan knows this. As such, here is the fastest 2022 Nissan Altima trim level you can buy.

The fastest 2022 Nissan Altima trim has a technologically advanced engine

2023 Nissan Altima in white shining at dusk
2022 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo | Nissan

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The 2022 Nissan Altima has seven different trim levels, but the SR VC-Turbo trim level is the fastest. What makes it so fast? Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine that makes 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent to the front wheels through an Xtronic CVT that can be semi-controlled by the driver via paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

That automatic-transmission setup may not sound like the most fun way to make use of a turbocharged engine, but it works pretty well in terms of performance. The editors at MotorTrend were able to get the mid-size sedan up to 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.8 seconds.

According to their testing, that’s slightly slower than the Honda Accord 2.0T and on par with the Toyota Camry TRD. And if you’re into drag racing, then you’ll be happy to know that the Altima SR VC-Turbo can blaze down the quarter-mile in just 14.3 seconds, which is quick for a family sedan. Also, its top speed is 130 mph, according to Topspeed.com.

In case you’re wondering, the “VC” in this Altima’s moniker stands for “variable compression.” Without sounding too technical, the Altima’s engine has the ability to change its compression ratio – from 8.1 to 14.1 – depending on when more power or more fuel efficiency is needed.

What is the second-fastest Altima trim level?

2022 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo engine
2022 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo engine | Nissan

If you decide that you don’t have a need for speed, then the 2022 Nissan Altima Platinum model is the second-fastest trim level you can buy. Just like the other non-turbocharged trim levels, the top-trim Platinum is powered by a 188-hp 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-four engine. This engine is also mated to a CVT, however, it can route power to all four wheels thanks to the brand’s Intelligent AWD system.

That AWD system helps with the car’s handling capabilities in the corners in addition to giving it more traction on slippery surfaces. In terms of performance, you can expect the Altima Platinum to get from 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds according to Nissan, which is markedly slower than its VC-Turbo stablemate. But if you don’t plan to get in any stoplight drag races, then this trim should suit you just fine.

Speed aside, the 2022 Altima is a sensible sedan

2022 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo | Nissan
2022 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo | Nissan

Whether you care about speed or not, the 2022 Nissan Altima is a sensible family sedan. It has plenty of room for five adults, however, its ride comfort depends on the trim level you pick. The MotorTrend editors noted that the “Altima rides poorly” as “sharper impacts send shudders resonating through the body structure.” However, they did also note that the larger 19-inch wheels and thin tires could be to blame for some of the discomforts.

If you pick one of the lower trims with the 17-inch wheels, then the ride could be better. Regardless, the 2022 Nissan Altima is a formidable competitor in its segment and provides buyers with plenty of sensibility and speed.

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