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Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S #5342087 02/05/20 05:50 PM
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pezzy669 Offline OP
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So while my 2012 Sportwagen is stuck in purgatory at the dealership for a new headliner, new sunroof drains and some carpet due to a water leak (CPO is covering it - $50 deductible) and they did not have any loaners (would have loved to try a 2019/2020 Jetta) they booked me with Enterprise where I was handed the keys to a 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S with ~12k miles on the clock.

I have had a number of Altima's as rentals (4th-6th generation) and this 6th generation is just a reminder on how solid of a value these cars are. Even in base S trim it comes very well equipped with pretty much everything you would want if looking in the low $20k price range.

Power, handling, ride:

So call me crazy but I miss the "real" CVT operation from the 4th gen and early 5th gen. 5th gen switched to simulated shifts but mainly only while driving hard and it still mostly operated like a CVT during normal driving. They have now expanded the fake shifts to some lower speed normal acceleration and in this car they are noticeable - they took 1 of the major benefits of a CVT (shock free shifts) and tossed it out the window.

Power is completely adequate for the 2.5 4 banger - I believe its rated at 188HP and 180 lb/ft or about class average. It is a bit slow to get on the boil when you mat it, prior gens seemed to have faster to react CVT's but my last one was probably 2 years ago so my memory may be foggy. It is more sedate driving that the 2.5/CVT combo really shines - when you are riding the big 4 cylinder torque wave you can really get up to speed pretty quicklywith the engine sitting around 2k RPM and you barely hear yourself accelerating. Best thing this side of an electric car for sedate acceleration.

Ride and handling are decent enough. I know the Altima has always sat on the sportier side of the midsize segment, but it seems they keep making each generation lean more and more towards the comfort end of the spectrum. The steering is a major buzzkill as its pinky finger light and just feels like it is disconnected from the wheels. The 16" wheels on this car handle bumps quite nicely and the overall structure is incredibly solid.


Interior, exterior, styling and features:

Interior is pretty ho hum. Perfectly functional and easy to use but its not going to win any styling awards, honestly it is kind of boring. Has standard fare Nissan switchgear which dates back at least 2 generations. Large display screen, Apple Carplay and Android Auto are all standard even in this base model and it was ULTRA easy to connect my phone to the car for music and phone. Base model comes standard with autonomous emergency braking but is strangely missing blind spot warning - I believe there are extra packages that have the lane keep assist and adaptive cruise. Remote start seems to be standard as this S has it.

Fuel Economy:

I believe the Altima is one of the midsize fuel economy champs at 28/39 - I think the Camry might slightly beat it at 30/40. My short trip commute really sucks it so pretty much any car I have driven gets pretty horrific fuel economy. I reset the fuel economy monitor when I picked the car up and I am sitting about 18MPG average over ~30 miles - 37% below EPA city, 2019 Camry I had as a rental with same commute was about the same over ~30 miles. I will say my turbo diesel does not lose as much MPG with the crap commute - my 2012 is rated at 29 city and I average 24-25 MPG on each fill up so only lose about 16-17% over city.

Overall:

These really are solid cars and very pleasurable to have as rentals - great long distance cruisers from my experience. I'm still not terribly convinced on the Nissan CVT reliability and resale on the Altima is pretty horrific because Nissan dumps them en-masse to fleet customers. I would vote this one a lease it type car so you can dump it before the CVT can cause issues and not have to suffer from the depreciation hit.


2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI - 69k - Castrol Edge Professional LL03 5W30
2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI - 49k - Castrol Edge Professional LL03 5W30
Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342133 02/05/20 06:25 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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How are the seats. Nissan use to be a little better than the competition in that regard.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: skyactiv] #5342144 02/05/20 06:35 PM
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pezzy669 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
How are the seats. Nissan use to be a little better than the competition in that regard.


They honestly are spectacular and have been across all 3 generations I have driven, these even beat my Volkswagen seats which I have always considered some of the best for long distance comfort. I have done a number of 7-8 hour days behind the wheel of the 4th and 5th generation and never had any issues with starting to get sore/achy. As of the last generation Nissan has something called zero gravity seats which are supposed to be the bees knees for comfort and support, but even the non-Zero gravity seats in the 4th gen were great for long distance cruising.


2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI - 69k - Castrol Edge Professional LL03 5W30
2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI - 49k - Castrol Edge Professional LL03 5W30
Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342151 02/05/20 06:43 PM
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D1dad Offline
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I’ve driven an Altima since 03 and they’ve been great. My current 09 Is an oil burner, but only use it to run to Detroit airport, park it and leave it set for a couple weeks. Even at that I’ve never replaced anything but brakes and tires. I spend half the years in rentals and I’m not a Camry fan, the Honda’s ride hard, especially in Philly. Hyundai’ and Kia feel cheap to me. I got a Nissan SR with the 3.5 and holy crap was that fun. My wife drives a 2018 rogue and when my son gets out of college I’m getting the SR.

Last edited by D1dad; 02/05/20 06:43 PM.
Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342199 02/05/20 07:54 PM
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wdn Offline
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The Altima actually gets identical fuel economy to the 2020 Camry LE for city, highways and 32 MPG combined. The Subaru Legacy sedan gets 30 combined but it’s AWD of course. The 2020 Impreza Premium which is a hatchback with a 2.0 gets 31 MPG.

The programmed shifts on CVT is the direction they are all going. It still has all the fuel economy benefits of CVT but people asked for it. It is funny they use different numbers of programmed shift point for example Camry and Legacy both have 8, while Impreza has 7. I do not have a problem with it but opinions vary. People expect it to shift like an auto transmission, automakers have researched the issue.

I rented a Altima a year ago from Hertz in DC/Reston, VA area so would have been a 2019. Probably like yours. it was an OK ride. It was pleasant. Extremely generic car which is not a bad thing. I have driven a lot worse. Traveling on business you don’t want surprises in a rental car.

Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342302 02/05/20 10:52 PM
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GZRider Offline
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The Altima rents and leases great. Nissan's worth owning and maintaining long term are the FM chassis stuff, Z,G,M,FX,GTR and the pickups.

Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342327 02/05/20 11:23 PM
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FirstNissan Offline
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I had one of these as a rental in January for a week while on a work trip. I put about 200 miles on it during that time, I agree that overall it was a good car. I could not get used to the CVT however, under fast acceleration it always felt like the transmission was "slipping" and not that quick on power delivery.
This was my first time every driving a CVT however so take my comments with a grain of salt.


2017 Toyota Sienna
2019 Toyota Camry
Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342400 02/06/20 04:09 AM
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Char Baby Online Content
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Thanks for the review, it's a good one! smile
I like the Altimas and have since I bought my first one in '04. I especially like their overall demeanor(not Accord, Mazda6). More pre 2018 Camry-like demeanor.

I really hope NISSAN fixes their reliability problems and gets back to where they once were. Maybe not quite HonYota but, they were a good alternative for those who wanted something different.

They've certainly been aware of the issues by now especially their CVTs. And the fact that NISSAN sales are down a staggering ~70%. I mean, for a car company that was ~ 4th largest in sale in the world, you'd fix that $#!+

GEE, ya think?

Last edited by Char Baby; 02/06/20 04:12 AM.

"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342408 02/06/20 04:29 AM
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Skippy722 Offline
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I was pleasantly surprised by the power of the 2018 Altima rental I had. It was also comfortable and kind of fun, if a bit soft, to throw through corners. Engine/exhaust had a nice sound as well.


2016 Chrysler 300S v6
2018 Dodge Grand Caravan GT

Slight Mopar obsession
Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342511 02/06/20 07:47 AM
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diyjake Offline
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I drove my dad's 2013 Altima a few times, I was very impressed how soft the ride was and the front seats were extremely comfortable! If the CVT's very reliable I would buy one.

Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342516 02/06/20 07:51 AM
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SeaJay Offline
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I've rented a couple of Altima's over the years. As a very tall, long legged driver I found them very comfortable on long drives.

Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342523 02/06/20 08:11 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Thanks for the review but .... yawn.

And, no you don't want to drive the new Jetta pile of junk.
I have one parked in the driveway right now.

I dont know if anybody makes a fun, really sporty midsized sedan for under 23K anymore.

Audi? BMW?

Alfa?


2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#8 60864mi-Subaru Idemitsu 0W20 + SOA Filter
Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342567 02/06/20 09:48 AM
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Tom NJ Offline
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I bought the 2019 Altima 2.5 SL AWD last year and now have 9,500 miles on it. It is my second Altima, having had the 2008 SL for 11 years and 128,000 miles with no problems, just routine maintenance. I agree basic trims are, well, basic - but the fully loaded SL trim is as luxurious as any luxury car I have driven, even better than the BMW 530e I rented in Scotland last year which cost twice as much (and which had the most uncomfortable seats ever!). The ride is smooth and quiet, the seats very comfortable, and it averages 30 mpg even with AWD. On the eight 450+ mile highway road trips I have taken with this car so far I have hit as high as 39 mpg (actual calculation, not car computer MPG).

MSRP fully loaded as below was $34,225, but after working 10 local dealers against each other by email and phone I got mine for $29,500. If you are considering a Nissan, be aware their fiscal year ends on March 31st and they need to move them as it approaches. I bought mine on March 27th and it was a lovefest. I couldn't be more happy with this car.

Here is a photo of my car in my driveway and a list of its features.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

And the interior from their catalog:

[Linked Image]

Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: pezzy669] #5342857 02/06/20 03:55 PM
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Quattro Pete Offline
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Nice ride, Tom!


2002 530i   2015 Q5 3.0T   2018 Charger SRT
Re: Rental Review - 2020 Nissan Altima 2.5S [Re: ARCOgraphite] #5342923 02/06/20 05:44 PM
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marine65 Offline
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Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Thanks for the review but .... yawn.

And, no you don't want to drive the new Jetta pile of junk.
I have one parked in the driveway right now.

I dont know if anybody makes a fun, really sporty midsized sedan for under 23K anymore.

Audi? BMW?

Alfa?


Not a sedan or mid size but...........
the 2 Elantra GT hatchbacks I have are almost perfect cars for their segment.
Fun to drive and around 22K or so.
I really can't find a weak spot with them.


2018 Hyundai Elantra GT black
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT silver
yup got two of them.
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