The 2021 Nissan Altima Goes Backwards in 1 Distinct Way

Nissan fans may be tired of reading the same critiques about the Altima. The Altima is a worthy choice for everyday comfort, but it lacks drivers’ engagement- yadda, yadda, yadda. But fan or critic, the 2021 Altima loses a key feature, and it’s rather disappointing.

Driving comfort is still a selling point for the 2021 Nissan Altima 

A silver 2021 Nissan Altima driving down a highway road
The 2021 Nissan Altima in action | Photo via Nissan

Like we mentioned, the Altima still earns praise for the comfort it provides, no matter which engine you pick. Additionally, this Nissan offers enough performance options to keep things interesting. The base model comes with a 188-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. This powerplant is the best option for fuel efficiency with an EPA rating of 32 mpg overall. If you want a sportier Altima experience, consider the SR trim. 

A gray Nissan Altima at the rear.
Nissan Altima at the rear | Nissan

The SR trim replaces the Altima’s standard front-wheel-drive setup with all-wheel drive. SR models come with the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but it’s tuned to make 182-hp. For the most power, there’s the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates 248 horses. A continuously automatic transmission is standard across the board. The biggest downer to consider here is that the latest Altimas still lack agility, as most reviewers point out.

The interior isn’t bad either 

Side interior view of the 2021 Nissan Altima Platinum Edition model.
2021 Nissan Altima with leather | Photo via Nissan

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Nissan has made the Altima more upscale over the years, much to the delight of critics and buyers alike. There’s generous room for up to five passengers. Like most of its rivals, the Altima comes with cloth upholstery. The upper-level models entice with lavish amenities, including leather trimmings and a driver’s memory seat. Furthermore, the Altima offers decent cargo space too. 

“While fine in terms of volume, the trunk’s lid hinges dip into the load area, there’s scant underfloor storage, and the folded rear seat backs rest about three inches above the level of the cargo floor — though the last is common in the class. Seat-back releases are in the trunk, as are handy fold-down grocery-bag hooks.”

Consumer Guide (2020)

Where the 2021 Altima clearly lacks 

Front seats of the standard Nissan Altima.
Nissan Altima interior | Nissan

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The 2021 Altima is part of the generation Nissan launched in 2019. One of the most significant highlights of the current generation is the long list of in-car tech. There are plenty of advanced safety features that are now standard, including forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. 

Conversely, the newest Altima is no longer as appealing in the infotainment department. The entry-level S trim starts at $24,300. It comes with a 7-inch touchscreen that’s user-friendly enough, plus Bluetooth and satellite radio access. However, now you have to go up to the SV trim to get the 8-inch touchscreen along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. 

There’s a $1,100 price difference between the S and SV trims. The larger touchscreen and smartphone integration apps were standard for the 2019-2020 versions. We now expect advanced infotainment gadgets across the board, so the fact that Nissan took these away is a bummer. Rivals, including the Toyota Camry and the Mazda6, come with more equipment. These options are arguably more fun too.