Nissan released this sketch with a four-line press release about the 2019 Altima: "This official exterior sketch reveals an expressive, sophisticated all-new Altima and hints at the future of Nissan's sedan design language." It's peculiar timing for such a stroke for two reasons: Nissan unveiled the in-the-metal Vmotion 2.0 concept one year ago, which previewed design motifs for future products, and we've already seen spy shots of Altima prototypes that — as is to be expected — aren't nearly as slick as the Vmotion 2.0 nor as this sketch.
However, it does appear that the Altima will be the truest Nissan to the Vmotion 2.0 design themes. The grille, the front intakes, the thin, angled headlight design, the jewelry inside the light housing, and the twin shoulder lines look to have been traced straight from last year's concept and made amenable to the midsize sedan crowd. The rear silhouette looks to match as well, and we'll bet the taillights contain heavy references to the concept. We'll have to wait until the New York Auto Show to know how well Vmotion 2.0 elements work when shrunk and applied to a sedan that can't take too many daring chances.
It's just been announced that we'll see the next-generation 2019 Nissan Altima late next month at the 2018 New York Auto Show. That would be the extent of the information provided by Nissan, so let's dig around a bit to see what we know about the future midsize sedan.
For starters, we've already seen a camouflaged test mule. It clearly had a deep grille reminiscent of the Maxima and other recent Nissans, along with thinner headlight units. What it did not have, however, is a shape that's terribly different from today's Altima. We're guessing it'll be pretty evolutionary, which if so, would stand in sharp contrast to the revolutionary Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu and Honda Accord.
This has caused some pundits to proclaim the sedan’s days over, but this is altogether premature, according to Michael Bunce, vice-president of product planning at Nissan North America, who sat down with AutoGuide.com for a one-on-one chat during the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.
Nissan has just released U.S. pricing details for the 2018 Altima, confirming that the refreshed model gets a slight price jump over the 2017 range.
The 2018 Nissan Altima range begins with the Altima 2.5 S priced from $24,025 including the $885 destination and handling fee. By comparison, the 2017 model started at $23,335 but that was for the entry-level 2.5, a variant no longer offered.
With new iterations of midsize sedan staples such as the Accord and Camry on the way to dealership lots, the segment will be tougher than ever before, so it's a good thing that Nissan is finally replacing its aging Altima. We know this because one of our spy photographers caught an Altima prototype running around, and it wasn't well-covered.
Because of the mild camouflage, we can tell that the new Altima pulls many cues from its bigger Maxima sibling. The deep front grille extends all the way through the front bumper and into a chrome V-shaped lower section. It looks a little like the treatment on the Vmotion 2.0 concept, but with a conventional open grille. Other similarities to the Maxima include the floating roof motif at the D-Pillar, highlighted by the swoopy sheet metal just behind the windows on the rear doors. Looking closely, you can also make out the contour of the tailllights, which stretch forward along the car's haunches much like the Maxima.