With new versions of midsize sedan staples like Accord and Camry on the way to dealerships, the segment will be harder than ever, so it’s a good thing that Nissan is finally replacing its aging Altima. We know this because one of our spy photographers caught an 2019 Nissan Altima prototype running, and he was not well covered.
Many elements of the concept have been incorporated into the production model, but in a weakened form. Despite the heavy camouflage, the angular headlights, the V-shaped grille and the floating roof can all be clearly visible on the prototype.
We also have some interior plans that reveal a digital screen in the dashboard and another larger screen at the top of the center console. Fortunately, there are still physical potentiometers for important functions such as volume and temperature control. The speed selector looks like what we see on the current Altima, suggesting that a CVT will be transmitted to the next-gen model. One difference, however, should be the availability of AWD. Front wheel drive will be standard, however.
We have not heard much about the powertrains of the new Altima, and the current 2.5-liter, 3.5-liter, 3.5-liter V-6 engine could have power and efficiency effects. Nissan could also be looking to equip the four-cylinder turbocharged many competitors with either a new engine or the 1.6-liter unit of 188 horsepower that it currently offers in other models, while a hybrid option could reappear. The old Altima Hybrid was discontinued in 2011. Whatever the engines are under the hood, they operate thanks to a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The 2019 Altima is scheduled to debut early next year, perhaps at the January Detroit show as a follow-up to the concept, before hitting dealers by the summer. The current model starts at $ 23,385; figure on a slight bump for the new.
Altima rivals include the Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, Honda Accord, Subaru Liberty and Toyota Camry.