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2014 Nissan Altima

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/11/2014 Austin Lott

New for 2014

After a major redesign for 2013, the Altima remains largely the same for 2014. However, noteworthy refinements include upgraded seating materials, the latest NissanConnect infotainment system, and a sport value package that includes 16-inch allow wheels, remote engine start, and trunk lid spoiler.

Vehicle Overview

The Nissan Altima is the automaker's popular midsize sedan that fits above the smaller Sentra and below the Maxima in the lineup. Once available as a coupe, the 2014 Altima is now only sold as a sedan.


The 2014 Altima is Nissan's entry in the competitive midsize sedan segment, which nips at the heels of the sales-leading Toyota Camry. EPA estimates for fuel economy place the Altima either slightly or significantly ahead of the Camry in efficiency. The miserly 2.5-liter I-4 puts its 182 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque down to the front wheels via CVT for a rating of 27/38 mpg city/highway. Stepping up to the more powerful 270-hp 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 251 lb-ft of torque will get you 22/31 mpg.

Nissan's new "zero-gravity" seats were introduced with the 2013 redesign of the Altima and were praised by the Motor Trend editors who had to spend time in them. Nissan's 4.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display is angled away from the driver, making it easier to see.

The 2014 Nissan Altima has a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and is considered a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

What We Think

In a 2014 Big Test we lined a Nissan Altima up with a Honda Accord Sport, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima, (2015) Chrysler 200, and a Mazda6. The Altima finished fifth, ahead of the Malibu. As we evaluated the contenders we said: "Time and again, we were astonished at just how competitive this segment is. There just simply wasn't a car in the group that could be classified as 'bad.'" Despite competitive fuel economy numbers (in both the EPA and Real MPG testing), the Altima was faulted for a noisy CVT at full throttle. We said it offered "good value and space; shame about the lethargic powertrain and poor steering response." Contrasting with the as-tested fuel economy in the comparison, our long-term Nissan Altima earned a best of 44.5 mpg at an average of 62 mph on a two-and-a-half hour journey, which goes to show that driving style can make a huge difference, especially with the I-4.

You'll Like

  • Observed fuel economy of I-4 model
  • Roomy interior
  • Interior layout

You Won't Like

  • CVT groans at full throttle
  • I-4 performance is not class-leading
  • Poor steering response

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Camry
  • Honda Accord
  • Chrysler 200
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Kia Optima


3 star


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