Nissan Altima Ti 2014 review

Nissan Altima Ti 2014 review

nissan-altima-ti-2014-front

Did you love the Nissan Maxima? If so, you’re going to have to get used to a new name in town because the Altima Ti is the replacement.

Yes, Nissan has canned the Maxima as its mid-level executive offering, instead giving the Altima (which, if you remember, used to be a pretty average car) a bunch of bells and whistles and some sleek styling.

nissan-altima-ti-2014-around-view-monitoringWe don’t get the gruntier V6 Ti-S in New Zealand; we have to settle for the four-cylinder 2.5-litre 127kW Ti with its CVT gearbox and fuel economy of 7.5l/100km. I achieved 9l/100km during my week of driving, but I never put it in Eco mode.

Touted as a medium-sized car, it isn’t – it’s huge. The Altima is long at almost 4.9 metres and wide at 1.83m, and with its sleek and swooping lines it’s difficult to judge the corners. This is where the ‘around view monitor and reversing camera make life much simpler.

Shift the Altima into reverse and you’ll see a split screen view. On the right there is the conventional reversing camera with guidance lines that curve as you turn the wheel, and distance markers. On the left there is, what looks like, a bird-eye view of the car which is an optical illusion formed by cameras on the bottom of each of the wing mirrors and at the front and back.

nissan-altima-ti-2014-rearThe length means that rear seat passengers get a huge dollop of legroom while the boot remains very useful at 488 litres. Rear passengers get the same quality of seating as the front seats have.

From the driver’s perspective, all looks good. I prefer the driving position in this to the Lexus ES300 I had a couple of weeks ago. The centre console is uncluttered, but perhaps a little dated in some of its features.

Most of the features are very easy to access via the 7-inch screen which doubles up as the satellite navigation and reversing camera display. You can pair your phone via Bluetooth and plug in your iPod or other music device, and you’ll listen to your music through nine Bose speakers – which are more than adequate in a car of this price.

nissan-altima-ti-2014-side

There’s a lengthy set of acronyms to describe the safety features which include VDC (vehicle dynamic control), AUC (active understeer control), TCS (traction control system), ABS (anti-lock brakes), EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) and BA (brake assist). The Altima should be all but impossible to crash, but if you do it has six airbags and a 5-star ANCAP crash test result.

Two other safety features are present that are useful. The blind spot monitoring warns you if there’s a vehicle in your blind spot by illuminating a light near the wing mirror, whereas ‘moving object detection’ attempts to detect moving objects when you are reversing at around 10kph. This video explains the camera and MOD.

When moving, the Altima is very quiet. At 100kph the CVT gearbox is ticking over about 1500rpm and is barely audible which makes it great for cruising and long distance travel. However, there are three small blots on an otherwise picturesque landscape, the first of which is that the engine can be noisy at high revs and the CVT gearbox interrupts the beautiful silence with its whining.

nissan-altima-ti-2014-front-interiorYou’ll hear this every time you try to overtake something. The Altima isn’t exactly fast – you can overtake, but it’s not going to challenge your neck muscles in any major way. Nissan’s engineering bods have tried to keep the weight down by using aluminium in the boot, roof and bonnet to help with acceleration performance and it comes in at 1467kg dry.

Handling is benign. There’s speed-sensing electric power steering which provides enough feel, but it’s not an engaging drive, and nor would you want it to be.

The ‘lane departure warning’ (LDW) warns you if you stray from the lane without indicating, but it goes off frequently in certain city driving conditions; fortunately you can turn it off, and I probably wouldn’t bother with it at all unless on a really long journey.

nissan-altima-ti-2014-blind-spot-warning

Finally, no seat heaters – quite a significant omission in my opinion, mainly because I am warm of heart and cold of bottom.

The Altima is a mid-level exec cruiser with some tricks up its sleeve. It’s not going to tow a big boat, you won’t win the traffic lights GP, and you’ll sometimes curse its size if you frequently try to find car parking spots in the city. However, it is extremely comfortable and the seats have super thick cushioning and are electrically adjustable in just about every way. It’s a worthy competitor to the Camry, as long as your garage is long enough!

Price: $53,290

Pros

  • Looks sleeker than a Camry
  • Some good spec, e.g. ‘around view monitor’ when manoeuvring
  • Beautifully comfortable seats both front and rear
  • Good legroom

Cons

  • Still not a fan of that CVT gearbox
  • ‘Lane departure warning’ is tiresome in the city
  • No seat heaters

Specifications

  • 5-star ANCAP safety rating
  • Body style: 5-door large sedan
  • Engine: 2.5L petrol
  • Transmission: Xtronic CVT automatic transmission
  • Power: 127kW
  • Torque: 230Nm
  • Fuel economy: 7.5L/100km (combined)
  • 18” alloy wheels
  • Xenon headlamps with auto levelling
  • Door mirrors with auto tilt reversing
  • Leather accented seat trim
  • Leather accented steering wheel
  • Rear privacy glass
  • 8-way power adjust drivers seat with lumbar support and memory settings
  • 4-way power adjust front passenger seat
  • Front fog lamps
  • Automatic rain sensing wipers
  • Satellite navigation
  • 7” touch-screen BOSE audio with Bluetooth and audio streaming
  • 9 BOSE speakers
  • Nissan ‘connect’ smartphone integration
  • Around view monitor (AVM) with rear view camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot warning (BSW)
  • Lane departure warning (LDW)
  • Moving object detection (MOD)

 

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