2019 Nissan Altima - Te Awd: What It's Like To Drive An Altima On Tracks

2019 Nissan Altima-TE AWD: What it's like to drive an Altima on tracks

MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec — All-wheel drive comes to the Nissan Altima with the model's 2019 redesign, and while that's big news for the U.S. market, it's an even bigger deal in the Great White North, where all Altimas are so equipped. To herald the news, Nissan had built what it calls the Altima-TE, an AWD Altima outfitted with snow tracks, and we recently had a chance to drive it. "Altimate" ... get it?

The tracks are 30 inches tall, and although the car's standard suspension travel is retained, the tracks necessitated raising the ride height by three inches. It's not unlike the Nissan "370Zki" we drove in February of last year, in concept if not execution. The result is a big climb up to get in, but once inside, the interior is standard Altima. The powertrain is unmodified, which means even this AWD Altima sends 100 percent of its torque to the front wheels — er, tracks — unless it detects slippage (which seems unlikely in this application).

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2019 Toyota Rav4 Review And Buying Guide

2019 Toyota RAV4 Review and Buying Guide

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 represents a bold new direction for what has been the bestselling SUV in America. With characterful styling, best-in-class power and an ulta-efficient Hybrid model, it stands above top rivals in key areas, while at least matching their quality, safety and tech offerings. It's not quite as spacious any more, but few would deem it cramped. It also continues to benefit from Toyota's strong reliability, resale value and included scheduled maintenance program. Really, anyone shopping for a compact crossover would be wise to consider the 2019 RAV4.

What's new for 2019?

Everything about the RAV4 is new for 2019. The styling is blockier and more SUV-like, while the ground clearance has been raised. Certain trim levels, including the RAV4 Adventure, also get special off-roading drive modes and a more sophisticated all-wheel drive system. Importantly, driving dynamics have been sharpened for 2019 on every RAV4, the powertrains seriously upgraded for both the base gas engine and the more efficient RAV4 Hybrid, and the interior made more attractive and functional. Cargo capacity is a bit down, however, as is headroom.

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