2014 NISSAN ALTIMA AUSTRALIA
Nissan's new Altima sedan has arrived in Australia with a $29,990 starting price for the ST model, and an estimated drive-away cost of $33,513.
Nissan has again confirmed the Altima will be offered with two petrol engines and four trim grades, topping out at $45,390 for the Ti-S model (estimated $50,784 drive-away).
No stranger to Australian motoring enthusiasts, the new Altima will hit Nissan showrooms as a replacement for the ageing Maxima, first revealed internationally as the second-generation Teana in 2008.
The Altima rides on the same 2775mm wheelbase of the Maxima, although the new car features a 35mm wider track.
Driving the ST, ST-L and Ti model grades will be Nissan's 127kW/230Nm 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to the carmaker's X-TRONIC CVT automatic transmission.
Compared to the superseded Maxima's 2.5 litre V6, the Altima's 2.5 inline four has seven fewer kilowatts but is down on torque by just 2Nm.
But most notably, fuel economy is substantially improved. The four-cylinder Altima consumes an average of just 7.5 l/100km against the Maxima 250 ST-L's 9.5 l/100km.
Driving the top Ti-S model is the more powerful 3.5 litre six-cylinder petrol unit, offering 183kW and 312Nm of torque.
Power and torque outputs are identical to those of the old Maxima 350 Ti - no surprise, given both Maxima and Altima use the same VQ35DE engine. However despite this the Altima is far more frugal, requiring just 9.3 l/100km compared to the Maxima 350 Ti's 10.2 l/100km.
Power is taken to the front wheels excluseivly and the suspension layout is a conventional MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear setup.
Opt for the top-shelf Altima Ti-S and you gain a manual shift mode and steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles.
All Altimas are equipped with Active Understeer Control, which gently brakes the inside front wheel during cornering to help sharpen the car's turn-in response.
The power steering system is a hybrid electronic/hydraulic system, which aims to deliver the best of both worlds: the better steering feel of a hydrualic system with the mechanical efficiency of an electric one.
In the base Altima ST, you get keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, 16-inch alloys, dusk-sensing headlamps and a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth integration.
Move up the range to the Altima ST-L, and the 16-inch alloys get swapped for 17-inch items, the audio speaker count rises to nine, leather upholstery becomes standard and so does sat-nav, parking sensors and a reversing camera.
The top-tier Altima Ti adds 18-inch alloys, Nissan's Around View Monitor top-down camera system, a blind spot monitor, lane departure warning, xenon headlamps, privacy glass and a power rear sunshade.
Nissan will also offer its new NissanConnect system in ST-L, Ti and Ti-S models, offering the ability to hear and read Facebook status updates, to connect with friends and nearby restaurants or attractions using Online Search with Google, and to listen to music online using Pandora.
- Altima ST - $29,990 ($33,513 estimated drive-away)
- Altima ST-L - $35,890 ($39,667 estimated drive-away)
- Altima Ti - $40,190 ($44,025 estimated drive-away)
- Altima Ti-S - $45,390 ($50,784 estimated drive-away)