Review of Nissan Altima 2.0 SR 2023

The 2023 Nissan Altima 2.0 SR is a pleasant mid-size sedan that doesn’t quite live up to its sporty design but will provide a comfortable and accommodating ride. Its respectable speed and handling make it an appealing option for those needing a reliable mid-size sedan. Professionally speaking, the verdict is that the 2023 Nissan Altima 2.0 SR is a worthwhile consideration.

The Altima is a great choice compared to other mainstream mid-size sedans; its optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers plenty of power, making it feel almost as fast as the top-of-the-line engines in the Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5 and Toyota Camry. While the Altima does not have a hybrid option like the Sonata, Camry and Honda Accord, its impressive performance makes it an attractive option for those searching for a reliable and highly efficient sedan.

For 2023, the Nissan Altima underwent a mild refresh that brought facelifted front-end styling, new designs for the available 17- and 19-inch alloy wheels, a couple of new colour choices and, most importantly, an upgraded 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. The 2022 model featured an 8-inch touchscreen, making this upgrade a significant improvement. Base models now come loaded with higher standard safety features, and new options include a wireless charging pad and wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity; Android Auto is still wired-only. This suite of enhancements is sure to make the Nissan Altima an even more attractive option for sedan shoppers.

Sporty and Turbocharged

For the model year 2023, the Nissan Altima’s lineup has been reshuffled, with the 2.0 SR trim now taking the place of the discontinued Platinum trim as the top-line car. On the Altima 2.0 SR VC-Turbo, you’ll find the powerful VC-Turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, producing 248 horsepower with premium gasoline and 236 horsepower with regular gasoline. This level of performance easily surpasses the Altima’s standard 188-hp engine yet falls short of the turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder in the Hyundai Sonata and Kia K5 with its 290-hp output or the naturally aspirated V-6 in the Toyota Camry with its 301-hp performance. Though the Honda Accord formerly offered a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with 252 hp, it has been replaced with a new 192-hp base engine and a 204-hp hybrid powertrain. Only the 2.0 SR with its VC-Turbo offers the latest top-level engine power from the Altima lineup.

The Nissan Altima is an attractive, feature-packed mid-size sedan that comes standard with front-wheel drive but can be optioned with an all-wheel drive system that pairs with the four-cylinder engine. It offers drivers all-weather traction and the assurance that their Altima can handle everyday driving and general road conditions. For those looking for extra muscle and performance, the Subaru Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive. It offers an optional 260-hp, turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, making it an ideal choice for those who require more power.

The Nissan Altima SR trims offer a sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels with low-profile all-season tires for a responsive yet comfortable ride. Although the ride quality may be a bit brittle over bumps around town, it is well-balanced and smooth on highways. Regarding handling, the Altima offers a competent ride that surpasses most compact and mid-size SUVs yet falls short of the true sports sedan feel. Steering is somewhat unengaging, and the vehicle lacks selectable drive modes for a weightier steering feel or sharper throttle response. It is worth noting that there is no Eco mode to soften throttle response and transmission tuning either. While these are valid omissions for a 2023 passenger car, they mean that the full extent of the Altima’s performance will remain unknown.

Spacious and Comfy

The interior ambiance of the 2023 Altima is pleasant and sporty. SR trims feature updated upholstery with attractive orange and white contrast stitching to give the cabin an even richer feel. All variants of the Altima come with Nissan’s “Zero Gravity” front seats which have been ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue on long drives. During my personal experience, I found the seats supportive and comfortable for my six-hour road trip. However, there was an unusual spongy feel on my backside. Additionally, the soft “sink-in” feel of the cushions could lead to uncomfortably high temperatures on hot summer days, as the Altima does not have ventilated seats.

Nissan’s measurements indicate that the Altima’s trunk provides 15.4 cubic feet of reliable storage space, making it an optimal choice within its class. When packing for my family road trip, I was worried I’d have to play “trunk Tetris” to get all our supplies in the trunk. Still, I could easily fit two carry-on suitcases, a large duffel bag, a trumpet case, a large skateboard, and two large trash bags filled with bedding and gifts. To be extra cautious, I ensured the trunk lid’s uncovered arms wouldn’t damage anything.

Agreeable Controls

The control layout of this model is both simple and intuitive, and the upsized infotainment screen is a major step up from what was already one of the most highly-rated infotainment systems in its class. Bluetooth phone connection is fast and efficient, and the advanced navigation system is filled with features. 

The available wireless charging pad is an invaluable addition to the center console. Its non-slip surface ensured my phone remained securely in place, even during intense cornering. Plus, the easily identifiable indicator light confirms that the device is charging. Moreover, the illuminated USB-A and USB-C ports on the front and back seats are easily visible even in low light, making it just as easy to charge up in the dark. Overall, these features make for a convenient and high-performance charging experience.

Value for the Money

The 2023 Nissan Altima 2.0 SR packs quite a punch, and its base price of $36,085—including destination—is a great deal. Our test vehicle included Scarlet Ember Tintcoat paint ($395) and a $355 package with floormats, a trunk mat, a hideaway cargo net, and dual trunk hooks, bringing the price to $36,835. Comparable vehicles, including the Hyundai Sonata N-Line and Kia K5 GT, check in at $35,815 and $37,315. The Toyota Camry XSE V-6, slightly more luxurious, has a price tag of around $39,500. The sporty Camry TRD, less well-equipped, has a price tag of $34,380 but is limited in optional features.

Regarding family vehicles, the price tags of these models undercut the higher trim levels of the most popular compact SUVs. On top of that, the Altima packs a much stronger engine, with greater than 240 hp. It’s certainly worth considering for shoppers who want to look past the standard SUV market.

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