Still A Great Value: Nissan Releases 2021 Altima Details
The Brand's midsize sedan reshuffles trim content and features for 2021, but sees no base price increase.
It's hard to believe that the sixth-generation of Nissan's midsize sedan, the Altima, debuted nearly three years ago. The current generation, known as the "L34", ditched its previous naturally-aspirated V6 gasoline engine for a new VCT (Variable Compression Turbocharged) Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) unit, introduced All Wheel Drive (AWD) for the base naturally-aspirated 2.5L Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline engine, and echoed the styling of the latest version of Nissan's flagship sedan, the Maxima. While Honda and Toyota have both introduced refreshed versions of their midsize sedans (the Accord and Camry, respectively), Nissan has reshuffled trim level and feature content for the 2021 Altima. Read on to find out more about the 2021 Nissan Altima. NOTE: Any and all pricing discussed in this article includes a mandatory destination fee, but does NOT include any applicable taxes, or other fees.
Perhaps the biggest change for the 2021 Nissan Altima is reduced availability of the 2.0L VCT (Variable Compression Turbocharged) Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline engine, known as the "KR20DDET". The engine, which produces 236 horsepower and 267 lb. ft. of torque, is now only available on the sporty 2.0 SR trim (the 2.0T engine had also previously been available on the range-topping Platinum trim). Speaking of the luxurious Platinum trim, Front Wheel Drive (FWD) been dropped for 2021, and the 2.5 Platinum is now available exclusively with All Wheel Drive (AWD). Also, if you want All Wheel Drive (AWD), you'll have to opt for the naturally-aspirated, 2.5L Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline engine (known as the "PR25DD") in 2.5 S, 2.5 SR, 2.5 SV, and 2.5L trims, which produces 182 horsepower and 178 lb. ft. of torque. Regardless of engine choice, you still get Nissan's "X-Tronic" Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT) Transmission, which has been the sole transmission choice in the Altima since the 2013 model year.
Along with reduced availability of the 2.0T engine for the 2021 model year, Nissan has also reshuffled some of the Altima's trim levels this year, as well as some of the feature content in each trim level. The 2.0 SR and 2.5 SR models, which previously sat just above the base 2.5 S trim, has swapped places with the 2.5 SV trim, which is now the next level up from the 2.5 S. Speaking of the 2.5 S, that model unfortunately loses some of its previously-standard equipment for 2021. According to the "Specifications" guide on the Nissan Media website, these features, such as SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a paid trial subscription, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, LED front headlamps, a seven-inch (7.0") full-color LCD instrument cluster display, and dual front USB and USB-C ports are no longer available on the 2.5 S trim for 2021. Instead, 2.5 S buyers will receive only a single front USB port with no USB-C port, a five-inch (5.0") color LCD instrument cluster display screen, and halogen front headlamps, and will now have to upgrade to the mid-level 2.5 SV trim to get those aforementioned (and previously-standard) features. However, the 2.5 S is now offered with an optional Driver Assistance Package for an additional $475, which adds features such as a blind spot warning (BLIS) system, rear cross-traffic alert, rear autonomous emergency braking, and parking assist sensors mounted in the rear bumper. In addition, 2.5 S buyers can also upgrade their Altima's standard sixteen-inch (16") steel wheels and plastic wheel covers to seventeen-inch (17") aluminum-alloy units (also replacing the standard-equipment sixteen-inch (16") tires to seventeen-inch (17") units) (a $910 option, also available as an accessory (for the same $910) on nearly all other Altima trims).
For the now-midlevel 2.5 SV trim of the Altima, Nissan now offers a 2.5 SV Premium Package for an additional $1,800, which adds premium features to the mid-level Altima trim. These features include a single-pane power moonroof, LED turn signal indicators for the exterior side mirrors, dual heated front bucket seats, two-way, power-adjustable front driver's seat lumbar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped transmission gear selector, the Nissan ProPILOT Assist System, an Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), an electronic parking brake with Auto-Hold functionality, Intelligent Lane Intervention, and exhaust system finishers. The sporty 2.5 SR trim also offers the 2.5 SR Premium Package ($1,200), which adds features such as a single-pane power moonroof, power heated exterior side mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators, dual heated front bucket seats, and two-way, power-adjustable front driver's seat lumbar. A rear trunk lid spoiler ($420) and front and rear splash guards ($205) can be added to any Altima model, although, the rear trunk lid spoiler cannot be had with the base 2.5 S trim. Nissan has added a new safety feature, Rear Door Alert, to all 2021 Altima models, which, upon shutting off the vehicle, sounds a chime and shows a visual alert for the driver to check the rear seat for children, pets, or otherwise important items, if either of the rear doors were opened upon initially unlocking and entering the vehicle (Nissan has begun to add this feature to some of their vehicles).
Nissan builds the Altima at one of its two American assembly plants in Smyrna, Tennessee, or Canton, Mississippi. Pricing for the 2021 Nissan Altima starts at $24,300 for a base 2.5 S model with Front Wheel Drive (FWD) and no additional options or packages, to $34,100 for a 2.5 Platinum model with All Wheel Drive (AWD). The 2021 Nissan Altima is on sale at Nissan dealerships nationwide right now. What do you think of the minor changes Nissan has made to the Altima for 2021? Let us know in the comments down below, and stay tuned right here for more information as it becomes available!