Why Would You Pay $35,000 for a Nissan Altima?

The Nissan Altima has been among the more dependable midsize cars. This Nissan doesn’t get credit for being one of the most satisfying, though. You may want the 2021 Nissan Altima for the comforts it provides. But would you pay top dollar for one?

Driving the 2021 Nissan Altima Platinium 

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

As you do your research, you’ll see that most reviewers critique the Altima for the same reasons. While the Altima provides a comfortable driving experience, it’s not responsive as the Honda Accord or Mazda6. Although, the Altima’s top-tier Platinum trim offers something that many of its rivals don’t.

The Platinum model comes with a 182-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and a continuously variable automatic (CVT). While this engine isn’t the most potent option in the Altima lineup, it does come standard with Nissan’s Intelligent all-wheel drive. The AWD system is designed to help you feel more confident in challenging road conditions. Additionally, AWD Altimas standout for fuel efficiency with an EPA rating of 30 mpg overall. 

Road testers at Car and Driver weren’t thrilled with how loud the Altima’s engine can get when pushed. Still, the team appreciated its comfortable ride quality. The team was also surprised that the Platinum model had more cornering grip than the 2019 BMW 330i xDrive they tested. 

Platinum cabin comforts 

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

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The Altima has a comfortable cabin with seats for up to five people. However, reviewers aren’t all that impressed with the Altima’s base trim. The common complaint here is that the base model doesn’t come with as many upscale trimmings as its rivals. That said, you may want to splurge on the Platinum trim for the grandest experience the Altima provides. 

Platinum Altimas have leather upholstery and less boring, plastic finishings. And as Edmunds highlights, Platinum models have an array of upscale amenities. These include ambient lighting, a driver’s seat with memory settings, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Naturally, the Platinum trim offers the most in-car technology too.

Center console of the 2021 Nissan Altima Platinum edition.
The 2021 Nissan Altima Platinum edition’s cockpit | Photo via Nissan

Like the mid-level trims, the Platinum model has an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto. Additionally, it comes with a navigation feature, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, and satellite radio. You’ll also appreciate that the Platinum variants have the most advanced safety equipment, such as a 360-degree camera system that helps you better maneuver tight driving situations. Other standard safety gadgets are forward-collision warning and driver drowsiness monitoring.

So, would you pay top-dollar for a new Nissan Altima?

2020 Nissan Altima All Wheel Drive is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Nissan Altima | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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The 2021 Nissan Altima Platinum trim has a price tag of $34,025, including the destination charge. Platinum editions may appeal to you if you want discreet luxury. But at this price range, it’s worth exploring other options. 

The Accord is a real splurge-worthy option, and so is the Toyota Camry. The Camry is a more well-rounded performer, and it offers AWD too. You may even want to look at the Altima’s luxurious cousin, the Infiniti Q50, for a little more razzle-dazzle.