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New York Auto Show: Nissan goes big with changes to 2019 Altima

By David Undercoffler | March 28, 2018

In an effort to remind car shoppers that Sedans Are Still Cool! and to keep them from defecting en masse to crossovers, Nissan’s next-generation Altima sedan will pull out all of the stops when it goes on sale this fall.

The 2019 Altima will offer a choice of two new engines (one turbocharged for the first time), optional all-wheel drive (also a first), new safety technologies and sleek styling.

Nissan unveiled the new Altima on Wednesday at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

The stakes are high. The Altima is Nissan’s midsize sedan and its second most popular model. It competes against the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry — which were also recently redesigned — as well as the Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, VW Passat and Subaru Legacy.

Beneath the new look of the Altima — a look that will trickle out across the Nissan lineup in the future — the car comes with a choice of two new engines.

The base engine is a redesigned 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 188 horsepower. It will be available with front-wheel drive or a new, optional all-wheel-drive system.

This will be the first Altima to offer AWD, and it gives the car a competitive advantage since nearly all of its competitors are front-wheel drive only (Subaru’s Legacy and certain versions of Ford's Fusion being the only exceptions).

For 2019, the Altima will ditch the optional V6 engine in favor of an optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine — a move many automakers are making in order to keep up with increasing fuel economy regulations.

The new turbo four will be a 2.0-liter unit that makes 248 horsepower. It uses a sophisticated compression system that gives it more power while using less fuel.

Both engines will be paired with a CVT automatic transmission.

On the safety front, Nissan has added a number of standard features in an effort to keep up with its competitive set. All 2019 Altimas will come standard with pre-collision warning and braking and driver attention assist.

The three highest trim levels (out of five total) will come standard with what Nissan calls ProPilot Assist. This system is essentially an adaptive cruise control system that can automatically bring the car to a complete stop in traffic and helps keep the car centered in its lane.

Those three trims will also come standard with blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and pedestrian detection.

The 2019 Altima will go on sale this fall.