Nissan Tweaks Altima, Adds Tech and Offers VC Turbo Engine

nissan tweaks altima adds tech and offers vc turbo engine

Despite the propensity of most North American shoppers to gravitate solidly towards crossovers and SUVs, there remain a few gloriously stubborn souls who prefer the look and feel of a four-door midsize sedan. This explains why a vanishingly few companies still sell the things, taking advantage of holes in the marketplace left by the exodus of brands such as Ford.

Nissan has decided to re-up its Altima for 2022, giving it a nose job and infusing its interior with updated technology.

That tweaked front fascia introduces a new take on the so-called ‘V Motion’ grille and incorporates the brand’s new minimalist logo. LED headlights are now standard across the board, plus the usual smattering of midcycle refresh items like new paint colors and wheel designs. Heady stuff here, folks.

More notable improvements await inside the 2023 Altima, most notably a new 12.3-inch display which is the same size as the jumbotron found in the zooty Nissan Armada full-size SUV. It replaces the previous 8.0-inch display, which could have passed for an oversized smartphone, and – if it’s anything like the screen in that Armada – will feature a high-res display providing clear images and crisp graphics.

The 12.3-inch screen is optional in mid-level trims and is standard on the top tier. Pro tip: Spend the money and get it. Bose-branded gear is available, as are the likes of an active noise cancellation kit and Amazon Alexa in case you just simply can’t wait until you’re home to order a fresh package of paper towels.

Under its hood, the 2023 Altima is available with a choice of two four-cylinder powerplants: A 2.0-liter Variable Compression turbo or a more pedestrian 2.5-liter four-banger. All-wheel drive is available with the latter. For those of you with short memories, the VC technology utilizes both multi-point injection and Nissan’s Direct Injection Gasoline system to change its compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). A trick multi-link system inside the guts of this thing continuously raises or lower the pistons’ reach to change the compression ratio.

We’ve opined on the VC Turbo before but it bears repeating that the technology must have cost a king’s ransom to develop and produce. In theory, it seems like the golden ticket for ICE-powered vehicles to blend power and efficiency but official EPA fuel economy stats don’t really bear fruit, at least for the ’23 Altima: The 248 horsepower VC is rated at 29 mpg combined while the 188 hp 2.5L is rated at 31 mpg combined in front-wheel-drive applications. The VC also requires premium fuel to make all its horses.

The 2023 Nissan Altima will go on sale this autumn.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • AK AK on Jun 10, 2022

    Interior looks decent and I'm sure the seats will be comfortable. Looks like a fine rental.

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Jun 13, 2022

    Accountant where I work recently acquired 22 Altima. It's AWD and has the Midnight package. SR trim level if I remember correctly. Very comfortable seats and exterior actually looks sharp. They are very happy with it. Said average 30 mpg and it was under $30K. I'm not in agreement with haters of this vehicle. I'd rate it as competitive with Camry and other vehicles in it's class. Better than Malibu IMHO.

  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.