2019 Nissan Altima SV FWD new car reviews

The big news with the 2019 Nissan Altima? Something Nissan calls ‘ProPILOT Assist’.

We’ll let Nissan explain it: “When it comes to enhancing driving enjoyment, the 2019 Altima stands alone with Nissan's advanced ProPILOT Assist. Unique in the class, ProPILOT Assist eases driver workload by reducing the amount of driver acceleration, steering and braking input under certain driving conditions, such as single-lane highway driving.

ProPILOT Assist is the foundation for the autonomous vehicles of the future, helping drivers stay centered in the lane, navigate stop-and-go traffic, maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a set distance to the vehicle ahead.”

Now that’s pretty cool. Especially on our FWD SV, a car that starts at $28,180.

Altima. It sounds very Latin, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not, though we surmise that its similarity to ‘ultimate’ did not go unnoticed by Nissan Execs. Sounds like they’re trying to make the new Nissan Altima the ultimate driving machine.

Wait, where have we heard that before?

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

A new Nissan means more time with a CVT. At first, these gearboxes didn’t feel much more refined than the one in my ’84 Honda scooter as the engine kinda whined away as the car went from Point A to Point B.

Yes, power was sent to the wheels, and I’m sure that efficiency was improved, but the driving experience felt rather lackluster. It was up there with receiving a weak handshake. “Oh, hi, nice to meet you. I think.”

But, wait, the gearbox in the new Altima feels normal. What’s up?

What’s up is Nissan’s latest Xtronic CVT gearbox. It’s still a CVT, but it feels more like a traditional automatic box. Let’s call it 85% normal.

Here’s how Nissan describes it:

"For drivers, it feels very much like the automatic transmissions they are familiar with. D-step shift logic can hold a constant gear ratio like a conventional step-gear automatic transmission but adds the flexibility and smoothness of a CVT."

I’d give the rest of the car strong marks. Nissan, give your styling team a pony. The new face and chiseled lines look great. Great use of chrome up front.

The seats, though, could use a bit more bolstering. I’d call the fronts a bit too flat for me. The controls felt good, though. Steering felt overboosted yet not dead on-center.

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Vigo MegaDork
6/28/19 10:12 p.m.

I wish the Maxima wasn't in such a place that it was basically just used to beta-test Altima redesigns. 

Car looks nice. 

Feedyurhed UltraDork
6/29/19 3:44 p.m.

CVT? I am out. I simply won't do that or a start/stop vehicle. Every time I have to rent a vehicle they have one or both of these features. Hate them all. 

Shadeux New Reader
6/29/19 4:47 p.m.

Nissan usually releases a really well-baked product, and then rides that thing into the sunset.  It's probably decent.

StuntmanMike New Reader
7/23/19 6:38 a.m.

"a weak handshake" That is the best description of a CVT!

The looks good though, and I read somewhere that it pulls more g's on a skidpad than an 3 series

Duke MegaDork
7/23/19 8:43 a.m.
The press release said:

“When it comes to enhancing driving enjoyment, the 2019 Altima stands alone with Nissan's advanced ProPILOT Assist. Unique in the class, ProPILOT Assist eases driver workload by reducing the amount of driver acceleration, steering and braking input under certain driving conditions..."

So... the best way to enhance driving enjoyment in your new Altima is to have it do most of the driving for you?

That doesn't say much for how fun it must be to drive the old fashioned way, with your hands and feet and stuff.

The styling is OK, I guess.  Certainly better than the last few years of Nissan products, and anything Toyota is currently inflicting on the world.

edwardh80 Reader
7/23/19 9:28 a.m.

You can keep your autonomous vehicles, Nissan. All these "driver aids" really do is make people lazy. If drivers don't need to pay as much attention to staying in their lanes etc, they don't look ahead as far either, and bang - end up rear-ending someone in stopped traffic. I wouldn't be surprised if the attempt to make cars do the driving themselves actually increases the road toll.

bmw88rider SuperDork
7/23/19 9:28 a.m.

I got a brand new one as a rental about a couple months ago. It literally had 5 miles on it when I grabbed it. Compared to the normal appliances I get to rent, it was pretty good. I put almost 800 miles on it in a week running around Virginia.  It was not exciting in any way but it was very competent in it's job and in that class that is a win. I wouldn't be a buyer for it based off of it not really fulfilling any of the categories that I need but I was looking for an appliance in the lower price band, I'd be a shopper. 

TJL Reader
7/23/19 10:23 a.m.

In reply to bmw88rider :

the cvt in the altima i didnt think was bad. Ive prob had 10-15 of them as rentals over the last 2 years or so. For an appliance, its quite good.  Ease of bluetooth pairing is big with me. The current nissan system is very easy and fast. Ive had many that were terrible, the worst being a dodge minivan i got stuck with. 

I did just have a NEW maxima. I was very excite to have the nice maxima, until i realized they put a CVT in it too. Pitiful. Sucked the low end performance right out of it. I kinda got used to it but low end still sucked compared to a regular auto or manual. 

The other drivers aid’s id rather skip, generally. 

I had a nissan armada rental with a 360 “aerial” camera picture, that was quite neat-o. 


irish44j MegaDork
7/23/19 4:40 p.m.

bleh. no thanks.  cosmetically looks decent, but not interested in anything under the skin. 

pointofdeparture PowerDork
7/23/19 6:23 p.m.

Fun fact: this new Altima is larger than the Maxima, which really calls into the question the existence of the latter.



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