2018 Nissan Altima Expert Review

4.0 Overall Score
Performance 3.9 Comfort 4.2 Styling 3.6 Value 4.2

Editor's Overview

A popular family sedan, the comfortable, sporty and sophisticated 2018 Nissan Altima is improved with new safety technology and features. Every new Nissan Altima now comes with standard Automatic Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning. Four trim levels are available, and unlike many competitors, the 2018 Altima offers buyers a choice between a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder and a more potent V6.

You'll Like The 2018 Nissan Altima If...

If you’re looking for a stylish and comfortable family-friendly sedan with a solid reputation for reliability and value, you’ll like the 2018 Nissan Altima. Drivers wanting a little more performance will like the 2.5 SR trim level, which adds a manual mode to the automatic transmission, paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension and larger 18-inch wheels and tires.

You May Not Like The 2018 Nissan Altima If...

Nissan does not offer a hybrid version of the 2018 Altima. If you’re looking for ultimate fuel efficiency in the midsize-sedan class, check out the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Honda Accord Hybrid. Also, the Altima is not available with all-wheel drive like the Ford Fusion and Subaru Legacy.

What's New

For 2018, Nissan has simplified the Altima’s lineup; the 2.5 and 3.5 SR trim levels are no longer available. Also, Automatic Emergency Braking and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning are now standard on all Altimas and the top-of-the-line Altima 3.5 SL receives standard Intelligent Cruise Control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Interior Features

While not as roomy inside as a Honda Accord or Kia Optima, the 2018 Nissan Altima is a comfortable place for four adults, and its interior is both stylish and sophisticated. There’s plenty of room for five with good legroom in back, although headroom is snug in the rear if you’re over 6-feet tall. Up front the seats are comfortable for a variety of body shapes, whether outfitted in the standard cloth or optional leather. Visibility is excellent, and the placement of all controls is intuitive. The Altima’s spacious 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space is about average for the class, and a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat is standard.

Exterior Features

Nissan’s new Altima bears a strong family resemblance to the rest of the company’s car line, with Nissan’s familiar V-shaped grille design and sleek headlight housing. Around back, the Altima’s rear sports an expressive bumper, and taillight housings that extend horizontally into the trunk door. The 2.5 SR variant is distinguished with a subtle integrated spoiler. All models feature a pair of chrome exhaust housings for an athletic vibe. Overall, we'll call the Altima's shape handsome and on the conservative end of the sedan spectrum. It may not pop as much as others, but the design should hold up well in the years ahead.

Driving Impressions

From behind the wheel, the 2018 Nissan Altima is one of our favorite midsize sedans. It’s comfortable, with a smooth ride and a quiet interior, and it feels solid and substantial. Unlike some of its competition, the Altima is also engaging to drive with good steering feel and response, although the Ford Fusion and Mazda6 are still more fun to drive. The 2.5 SR trim improves the Altima’s handling, adding a sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels and tires, but it still rides well. The standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is strong with 179 horsepower. It’s also refined and works well with the automatic transmission, although it can get a bit loud if you rev it past 5,000 rpm. The 270-horsepower V6 in the 3.5 SL model delivers excellent acceleration and passing power, although it’s still out-muscled by the 301-horsepower Toyota Camry XSE V6 and the turbocharged 325-horsepower Ford Fusion Sport.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Nissan Altima has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at around $24,000 including an $885 destination and handling charge for the base 2.5 S model. The sporty and better-equipped 2.5 SR variant is still a good deal at about $25,000. A V6-powered 3.5 SL Altima starts over $36,000. These prices are in line with major rivals like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion, and are slightly above the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and all-wheel-drive Subaru Legacy. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Nissan. As for the Altima's resale value, we expect it to be about average, trailing leaders like the Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. See how the 2018 Nissan Altima compares to the 2018 Toyota Camry!

Notable Equipment

The 2018 Nissan Altima is available in five trims, from the base 2.5 S to the top-line 3.5 SL. Spring for the least expensive and you'll get an automatic transmission (optional on some rivals) and basic amenities like power doors, windows and air conditioning, along with push-button ignition, keyless entry and Bluetooth connectivity. The base audio system is a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input but no USB port. We suggest spending the extra money to step up to the Altima 2.5 SR or 2.5 SV, which include a power driver’s seat and larger alloy wheels. Automatic Emergency Braking and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning are standard on all models.

Notable Options

Continuing to climb through the Nissan Altima’s trim levels brings amenities like power front seats, leather interior, 17- or even 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, power moonroof and LED headlights. Many extras are bundled into packages and vary by trim. Highlights include a navigation system with upgraded 7-inch touch screen, a cold-weather package with heated front seats and steering wheel, and technology packages with everything from blind-spot monitoring and dynamic cruise control to Cross Traffic Alert. Audio buffs can delight their ears with a 9-speaker Bose premium sound system. The top 3.5 SL model even includes rear air-conditioning vents and remote start.

Favorite Features


For 2018, Automatic Emergency Braking is now standard on all Nissan Altimas. The system first warns the driver of a possible collision. If the driver does not act to avoid the accident, the system will apply the brakes for the driver. Intelligent Forward Collision Warning is also standard. Several other active-safety systems are also available, including Intelligent Cruise Control and Blind Spot Warning.


This system is standard on all 2018 Nissan Altimas. It improves both the performance and overall safety of the sedan by lightly braking the inside front wheels during cornering, which enhances traction and the sedan’s ability to turn. Its operation, in combination with the Altima’s traction-control and stability-control systems, is completely undetectable by the driver.

Under the Hood

Unlike many rivals that offer hybrid, diesel and various turbocharged gasoline powerplants, the Altima keeps it simple with two offerings: a 4-cylinder in 2.5 models and a V6 in the 3.5. Both use a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Nissan’s 2.5-liter is made more efficient thanks to active grille shutters, revised engine compression ratio and less internal friction, all of which contribute to its nearly 40-mpg highway estimate. V6 models, meanwhile, still post a respectable 32 mpg, and both engines run just fine on regular unleaded to keep operating costs down.

2.5-liter inline-4

179 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

177 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/38 mpg, 26/37 mpg (SR models)

3.5-liter V6

270 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm

251 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg

Editors' Notes

Comfortable, sporty and sophisticated, the 2018 Nissan Altima has been improved with new safety technology and features. Every new Nissan Altima now comes with standard Automatic Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning. A popular family sedan, the Altima sedan is available in four trim levels, and unlike many competitors, Nissan offers a choice between a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder and a potent V6. Prices start around $24,000 for an Altima 2.5 S with the standard 179-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, but the 2.5 SR model adds a significant list of features and performance for just $1,000 more. Prices climb to over $36,000 for the V6-powered Altima 3.5 SL. With 270 horsepower, it’s one of the most powerful sedans in the midsize-family-sedan class. Both engines work with a smooth continuously variable automatic transmission. Competitors include the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima.

Road Test Video Reviews

2018 Nissan Altima Owner Reviews

221 Reviews
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Amazing car for the price! Great fuel economy and enhanced safety features make this car one of a kind!

I absolutely love my Altima! It's spacious, comfortable, and drives extremely smoothly and quietly. The backup camera is extremely useful for anytime I have to reverse my car. It makes pulling out of my driveway or a parking spot THAT much easier and I can ALWAYS see what is behind me and how much room I have. The backup sensors/ camera also make parallel parking a breeze! One of my favorite features is the lane change lights on both side-view mirrors. When I am changing lanes, they will light up if I am not clear to go(for example if I have a car in my blind spot), though as soon as it is clear the light goes out and I know it's safe for me to merge lanes safely. The look of the car is beautiful and sporty, yet elegant and sophisticated. I am proud to drive my car and have others see me in it. It has all the bells and whistles! You can move the driver's seat into the perfect position and be completely comfortable even for an 8 hour trip like the one I took this past summer. I get incredible gas mileage and love that I can look at the dash and see exactly how many miles of gas I have left. Also, the tire pressures are displayed on the dash so if for any reason I ran over a nail and had a slow leak, I would immediately be alerted to the loss in tire pressure, allowing me to get somewhere safe before it ever went flat. It is Bluetooth compatible and I can make and answer calls using the buttons on my steering wheel when my phone is connected. The last thing I will say is that I love to be able to just press the "start" button instead of having to use a physical key. As long as I have the key fob in my purse/pocket, I can get right in and press START!

- Jessica P

2018 Altima SV- It’s a Dud

Pretty disappointed In this car considering it was recommended by several people. Picked up off the lot new and now have 14,000 on it. To be fair the car is a company provided vehicle and there very few upgrades although it’s an SV. Problems have been many, car smells hot every time you park it, cruise control did not work ( only partially now), emergency braking / collision avoidance system turns itself off continuously ( especially in traffic or when driving in left lane by a partition), weather stripping came out on a section of the inside of the windshield, for a while leaked oil and finally lits extremely gutless when going up a hill or mountain pass. Not particularly comfortable on long drive even with zero gravity seat. The technology that came with this car is dated and lacks any appeal even over the most basic cars. The only redeeming qualities of the car are the milage and roominess.

- Mike

Nissan Altima 2018 White color cloth material. This is my Honest review.

I really like my vehicle but I'm not a fan that it does not have cup holders in the back between the driver seat and the passenger seat. It has then on the doors but it does easily get forgotten and sometimes opening and closing the doors knocks it done. But I really do like the quality of the cloth material. Super durable and it seems stain resistant. Trust me I have had pets, and kids in there. Since we only have that one vehicle, it gets used a lot. It really saves on gas. Believe it or not but it's been almost a year and a half but the interior still looks new. Granted that the car gets detailed every 3-4 months. That still isn't very often and the car has taken lots of use especially since my husband also used it for work. It is also roomy. I also sometimes have 2 car seats that fit nicely. I really hope this review helps someone who is interested and considering a Nissan Altima

- Jessica A

Altima makes my day better

My Altima is a 4 door sedan. My seat has seat warmers' and multiple ways to maneuver the seat. I am a tall, large woman and have no trouble making the seat comfortable for myself. I love having the steering wheel warmer. The car is very comfortable and seats 5 with no problem. It's most comfortable for 4. The audio system connects in a variety of formats and uses Bluetooth, auxiliary cable, USB, radio, and CD. Steering wheel and voice control are part of this system. The car drives well, gets decent gas mileage, (between 24 mpg street and 35 mpg highway), and has several safety features, including blind spot indicators and backup camera. Overall, I really enjoy my car and feel a little bit pampered in it.

- Rebecca P

Very Reliable, Very Comfortable, Great Incentives, and VERY Affordable!

I did have a 2016 Nissan Altima, but got rear ended and my car was totaled. Everything about the Nissan Altima saved my life so I got another one. I got the Midnight Edition sport in black on black. I love it! I love the leather interior with the sport blue trim. I love the touch screen display and I know I'm going to love the heated seats when it gets cold outside. I do miss the dual climate control and the sunroof, but it was less expensive to do with out. The seats are the zero gravity seats and they are so comfortable you don't mind driving for long periods. This is my 6th Nissan I've owned. They are completely reliable vehicles and this winter I will be purchasing a Pathfinder as well.

- Brenda M

Highway mileage is excellent.

I really love my car. Its reliable, comfortable, and is excellent on gas. At first I was not into cars I am more of an SUV type of person but I had to be reasonable wallet wise. The only thing I can say about the car is its pick up when you fully don't break. It will feel like the car is struggling to get back to the speed it suppose to, but it doesn't stay like that. All in all it's a very good car. Nice sound system, Bluetooth audio and phone, with paddle shifter for the sr model in which I have. If your going to go with Nissan it's a very good choice they work with you and there service centers are excellent.

- Andrea W

It is roomy enough for a growing family.

We have only had our Altima for two months but during that time we have come to love it. My husband is 6’2” and we have two children in car seats. One child is in a rear facing seat, my husband is able to have the rear facing seat behind the driver's seat and have the seat in a comfortable position for him. The car is roomy enough that a small adult is able to sit in between the two car seats! One feature we are very pleased with is the way the car handles; it is smooth, quiet and picks up speed nicely. The trunk is also very roomy, it is great for a family that needs to take lots of things with them!

- Ashley L

We love our new Altima! It is comfortable, roomy, and the price was right.

Our new updated Altima is just right for us. It is comfortable and easy to drive. There is a lot of legroom front and back and it has a good sized trunk. I love the back up camera and Bluetooth . We are getting 40 miles to the gallon on the highway and almost that with city driving. The sun visors slide on a rod when using them on side windows. The headlights afford a lot of visibility at night. We have another older Altima (with 175, 000 miles!) That still runs great and when we purchased the new car you could just get in and drive it without looking everything up.

- Trish K

Love the cup holders in the front seat.

I love the way it drives, and how large the cabin space is. I also love how it does not sit so low to the ground, it does not feel like your trying to crawl off the floor like some cars. I also love the location of the cup holders in the front, I know that may seem weird but some cars your having to bend your arm or hand all weird just to get your drink, not in the Nissan Altima, its right there. There's also plenty of legroom in the back seat, as being a bigger people family, we need something that is going to fit us, this sedan does it!!

- Jessica K

The Altima is a great ride.

This is the 2nd Altima I have owned. I had the first one for 10 years and traded it on this one because I liked the vehicle so much. The Altima is extremely dependable and low maintenance, it is very comfortable, rides well, and is very well appointed with all of the useful features one needs. Very reasonably priced and the dealer provided a fair trade arrangement. The s model is on the low end, but has all the features most people might need. The higher end fancier models are even nicer, if one wishes to spend the money. Great ride..

- Carl R

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