Some cars that have been around for decades may seem outdated or irrelevant. This is not the case with the Nissan Altima. Since its inception in 1992, it has continued to develop, inside and out.
In this post, I will be taking you through the changes that the Altima has been through over the past 24 years. Enjoy!
· First Generation
The Altima was first made in 1992 and was based on the U13 chassis. At first, it was called the Stanza Altima, but the first part of the name was soon dropped. The 4-door sedan began with a 2.4-liter engine and was available in 2 transmission options—5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. Beginning in 1995, safety features were added, including passenger airbags, and, in 1997, crash protection was upgraded. The first generation continued through 1997.
· Second Generation
The second generation of Altima began in 1998. This generation brought with it a redesigned interior. Now based on the U14 chassis, this sedan offered the same engine and transmission, but it was externally longer and wider. Its interior features included revisions to the glove box, cup holders, airbags, and back seat. In 1999, the cassette/CD stereo got an updated faceplate. In 2000, the engine power increased. The second generation continued through 2001.
· Third Generation
The third generation lasted from 2002 to 2006. This generation brought more changes than ever before. This new Altima was based on a new chassis model (L31) and contained a more powerful engine. There were 4 different transmission options available. Externally, the third generation Altima was larger than ever before. It offered a broader wheel base, and it was taller, wider, and longer than in previous generations. This brought the sedan into the full-size category.
In 2005, the Altima received the exterior and interior design updates that it needed to stay relevant. It got a new front grill, updated taillights, and a navigation system.
· Fourth Generation
Beginning in 2007, the vehicle was fitted to the L32A chassis. In the fourth generation, the Altima now came with a Smart Key, a parking camera, and Bluetooth capability. Its suspension was upgraded, but the engine was nearly the same as that of the third generation. Many conveniences were added inside the car, including cup holders, larger buttons, and extra storage compartments.
In 2010, the sedan received another facelift. It received a new hood, headlights, and wheels.
Beginningin 2007, Nissan also began to sell the Altima as 2-door coupe, giving drivers more options than ever. Smaller than the sedan overall, the coupe was available with 2 engine options—a 3.5-liter V6 or a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder.
Also in 2007, Nissan introduced a hybrid version of the Altima. It was sold with a 2.5-liter engine and offered greater fuel efficiency than the standard Altima model. The Altima Hybrid was available through 2011, when it was discontinued due to struggling sales.
The fourth generation wrapped up in 2012.
· Fifth Generation
The fifth generation began in 2013 and continues through the present. This new generation of Altimas comes in 5 different trimsand offers 6 different engine options, including a 2.0-liter diesel option. Manual transmission is no longer available, again, due to low sales. This Altima is larger than before, but it weighs less, making it the lightest mid-sized sedan on the market. Its high fuel economy and low sticker price have made it an industry favorite.
The Altima continues to evolve. In 2016, it received another facelift, this time getting new bumpers, taillights, and headlights. It will be interesting to look at this story again in another 24 years to see how much the Altima continues to evolve.