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After a disappointing first quarter, the Nissan Sentra and Maxima saw impressive sales growth in Q2 2023. But the brand’s best-selling sedan, the Altima, was still down compared to last year. Here’s a look at U.S. sales numbers for these three Nissan cars and possible reasons why fewer people are buying the Altima this year than last.

2023 Nissan sales saw a Q2 shakeup

Nissan Sentra
2023 Nissan Sentra | Nissan Motor Corporation

Nissan’s U.S. sales took a peculiar turn during Q2 2023, as the Maxima and Sentra saw the highest sales growth. Meanwhile, the Altima, the brand’s flagship sedan, saw a drop. Before Q2 2023, the Altima and Rogue compact SUV topped the brand’s sales charts.

However, in Q2, Maxima sales jumped from 2,207 to 3,970, while Sentra sales leaped from 22,517 to 34,938. The Altima remains one of Nissan’s best-selling cars; however, it saw a decline in sales performance from 32,832 to 30,409.

So, why didn’t the Altima recover like the Sentra and soon-to-be-dead Maxima? One reason might involve the announcement of the new 2024 Nissan Altima, which debuted this past August. Buyers might have been waiting for the new model year before purchasing.

The Sentra and Maxima improved, but the Altima remained down

2023 Nissan Maxima exterior
2023 Nissan Maxima | Nissan Motor Corporation

Before 2023, the Altima dominated Nissan car sales. The midsize sedan received high marks from reputable automotive experts for its comfortable ride, impressive fuel economy, and affordable price point.

A new 2023 Altima starts at $25,630, whereas popular rivals the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord start at $26,320 and $27,895, respectively.

Although the Altima remains a hotter seller than Nissan’s other sedans, the brand’s highly rated and affordable compact car, the Sentra, made impressive gains in Q2 2023. The 2023 Sentra starts at only $21,295.

Furthermore, while the Maxima isn’t a big seller, its year-over-year growth of 884 units in Q2 2022 to 3,970 units in Q2 2023 represents a nearly 450% gain. Starting at $38,340, this premium sedan is pricier but packs driving performance and interior luxury.

Meanwhile, one of the Japanese automaker’s flagship models, the Altima, continued its Q1 2023 sales decline in Q2. Still, the Altima represents a significant chunk of sales for the brand, as Nissan data shows.

Can the 2024 Nissan Altima break the car’s sales slump?

Nissan gave the 2023 Altima a makeover to its exterior styling, so the 2024 Altima doesn’t look much different. However, the new model boasts enhanced driver-assistance technology, connectivity features, and a few flashy design updates.

Though the 2024 Nissan Altima doesn’t significantly improve the engine or performance, new models are always more appealing to car buyers than the previous model year. Specific updates include a new grille design and a longer trial period for NissanConnect. This service lets owners use their smartphones to start and shut off their Nissan vehicle, lock and unlock the doors, and more.

Though the 2024 Nissan Altima hasn’t changed much, it’s a bargain for all its features. For instance, LED headlights are standard on all trims, as are a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless phone charging, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Now that the 2024 Altima has hit dealership lots, time will tell if Nissan’s most popular sedan can escape its sales slump.