2016 Nissan Altima SL
Text and photos by Cor Steenstra
It’s a significant statement that the current Nissan Altima SL has withstood the test of time so well over the past 4 years. With a design language that clearly was pushing the boundaries at the time, the few minor facelift retouches we see on this 2016 version proves that the foundation of the design was indeed a solid one.
When we first drove the Altima in 2012, and again in 2014, it proved to be a spacious and affordable option to its competitors, with a very modern styling wrapping it all up. The exterior changes now are actually really quite minor. The front end has the new grille in line with the current Nissan trend to emphasize the chrome element over less than the full grille width, plus the new front lights. On the rear there are subtle changes in the deck lid, new tail light, and there are new wheels. You really have to hold them side-by-side to get it right.
As for driving, in my personal opinion, the Altima seems to have aged a bit. I realize it is aimed at the US market, but from the looks of it, one would think still at the dynamic end of the market to accept the bold design language. That is not backed up by the feel while driving. I would at best call it a bit spongy, a sedate sedan for the older generations, not exactly the sort of car you take out for a dynamic drive along the coast or up the mountain. It is spacious, for sure, but there is tough competition out there, and I am not convinced this will suffice anymore.