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Nissan Altima price and performance: 2014 update

Nissan Altima underwent a few changes in 2014

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The Nissan Altima has become one of the two or three best selling sedans in America in recent years. The 2014 model year brought some substantial changes to the line, but none of them deterred buyers from continuing to make the model a leader for Nissan

New for 2014

2014 nissan altimaPerhaps the most striking change that came this year is that Nissan discontinued the Altima coupe. For 2014, there were seven finish packages/styles (plus a hybrid), all in a four-door sedan body type. All seven finish styles come equipped with the NissanConnect Apps option, a smartphone integration platform that includes Pandora and Facebook connectivity. Nissan also offers one style (the 2.5 S trim) in a Sport Value package that comes with a touchscreen-based Display Audio package as an option.

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Nissan has established itself as something of a risk taker among major car companies and with writers and auto reviewers. The 2014 Nissan Altima, however, seems to be all about staying the course. Except for ditching the two-door coupe body style, little else was done to the Altima. That’s probably a good thing. The Altima is Nissan's top-selling sedan, and one of the best choices available for a midsize family sedan and messing with a winning formula is rarely a good move.

Finish and trim level options

The 2014 Nissan Altima sedan is available in seven trim levels/finish packages:

  • 2.5
  • 2.5 S
  • 2.5 SV
  • 2.5 SL
  • 3.5 S
  • 3.5 SV
  • 3.5 SL

(The number denotes the selected engine and there are two options with the Altima, a 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder or the 3.5-liter V6.)

The base 2.5 Altima sedan comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player.

Step up to the 2.5S and you get automatic headlights, cruise control, a six-way power driver seat, more advanced functionality for the gauge-cluster LCD screen and a six-speaker sound system.

2014 nissan altima2The Sport Value (SV) package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, remote ignition and a trunk lid spoiler. The Display Audio package tacks on a 5.0-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, a USB port, and the satellite radio and smartphone app integration (NissanConnect Apps).

The V6-powered 3.5S comes with all of those features (including the Display Audio package) plus 18-inch alloy wheels and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Upgrading to the 3.5 Sport Value (SV) package will get you 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the contents of the Display Audio package and remote ignition. The Convenience package (optional on 2.5 SV) adds a sunroof, foglamps, rear air-conditioning vents and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The top-shelf 3.5 SL adds xenon headlights, LED taillights, sunroof, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a nine-speaker premium Bose sound system with an auxiliary audio jack.

Power, always power

Picking any of the four, 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder models will get you 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. (Not bad for a family sedan!) The peppy little motor drives Nissan’s continually variable transmission (CVT), which does an excellent job of deftly delivering power to the front-wheel drive train. Driver reviews suggest you can take the Altima from zero to 60 mph in from 7.5 to 7.8 seconds, making the Altima one of the quickest four-cylinder family sedans you’ll find on the market. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 4-cylinder is 31 mpg combined (27 mpg city/38 mpg highway), another big plus for rating a midsize/family sedan.

Step up to any of the three Altimas featuring the 3.5-liter V6 and you’ll get 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. The six-cylinder engines also come equipped with the Nissan CVT. Driver reports and review suggest that the 3.5 can take you from zero to 60 in just a shade over six seconds, putting it near the head of the pack for its class. The added pep and power don’t come at a big expense for reduced efficiency. Fuel economy is strong for a V6 at 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city/31 mpg highway).

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Safety first

The 2014 Nissan Altima comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera comes standard on every model (except the base and S trim levels.) Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and a lane-departure warning system are available but optional.

In government crash testing, the Altima sedan received a perfect five stars for overall front and side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Altima its top "Good" rating in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests. In the new small-overlap front test, the Altima earned an "Acceptable" rating (second best).

2014 nissan altima3Safety doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. One bold, ergonomic highlight is the specially engineered "zero gravity" front seats found in all Altimas. With help from NASA research, the seats were designed to relieve common pressure points and improve comfort for long drives. It seems to work. Reviews and countless online comments suggest that the Altima's front seats are more comfortable and supportive than many other cars in this class.

Normal-sized adults may actually be comfortable in backseat, but rear headroom is at a premium compared to other sedans in this class, and rear legroom is only average. Trunk space is similarly average at 15.4 cubic feet, although the opening is impressively wide.

Prices and warranties

Power, comfort, safety and style don’t come to too steep a price. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for 2014 Nissan Altimas shake out as follows:

  • 2.5 -- $22,170
  • 2.5S -- $22,690
  • 2.5SV -- $24,340
  • 2.5 SL -- $27,920
  • 3.5S -- $26,320
  • 3.5SV -- $28,520
  • 3.5SL -- $30,820

Every Nissan Altima is backed by a 36-month/36,000-mile limited vehicle coverage and a 5-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain coverage. Models that include a CVT transmission (currently all models of the Altima,) have a 10-year /120,000 mile CVT limited warranty extension added to them. Nissan also sells its Security+Plus® extended warranty. (It’s the only extended service agreement approved by Nissan.)


As the 2014 year winds down, deals will be out there for an affordable, stylish, well-powered family or personal sedan. There are many options, but take a moment and give some serious consideration to the 2014 Nissan Altima. Your can depend on Reply! to help you find local dealers where you can schedule a test drive, talk about the current deals being offered, and eventually find yourself behind the wheel of one of America’s best-selling sedans.

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