A white 2023 Nissan Altima SR is shown.

What Makes the Nissan Altima Unique?

Look around you on the road—notice any repeating trends? Well, it may be evident that SUVs and trucks are dominating the roadway and the sedan is being left in the dust. It seems as though sedans are all but defunct, waiting for the last remaining models to receive their death warrants. Although this may be a common thought among drivers, in actuality, some sedan models are thriving—perhaps more so than ever.

The Nissan Altima, for example, is enjoying spectacular sales figures, with sales up approximately 35% in 2022 from the year prior, and—with the emergence of the 2023 Nissan Altima—this midsize sedan is showing drivers that we can’t count sedans out just yet.

So, what makes the Altima so distinctive, and why are so many drivers compelled to buy one? There are many reasons for this, especially because the Altima has always stood out from the crowd, even from the beginning. If you’re wondering what makes the Nissan Altima so appealing to drivers, read on.

A red 2023 Nissan Altima is shown driving on a street.

VC Turbo Power

As the first mass-produced Nissan vehicle to feature the groundbreaking VC Turbo engine, the Altima showcases a ride that you definitely won’t find in others like it. Nissan states that it exhibits the power of a V6 with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder, all wrapped up into one high-performing package, making it truly unique in the industry.

This engine utilizes a variable compression ratio, which raises and lowers its pistons to adjust to your drive with precision. Being able to harness unmatched performance and incredible efficiency, the VC Turbo delivers the best of both worlds, no matter where it’s traveling. Most sedans utilize a fixed compression ratio, which does not adjust to the changes of the ride, resulting in a lack of performance and efficiency, making the VC Turbo far superior.

It’s able to shoot off the line with 248 horses driving it forward while also unlocking maximum efficiency, able to get up to 34 MPG on the highway. This undeniably impressive engine, paired with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission, delivers top performance to the ride, allowing the Altima to swiftly take out its opponents.

Top-Level AWD

Sedans aren’t typically the vehicles most drivers would choose to accompany them into the woods for a camping trip or through bad weather driving conditions, but—again—the Altima proves itself in this area, too. Through its available all-wheel drive capabilities, the Altima can take on trails with absolute confidence. Continuously adjusting to the changes of the terrain, the Altima’s skilled AWD abilities provide the ride that drivers are looking for, no matter how challenging the environment happens to be on their way to their destination. When all-wheel drive isn’t necessary, the Altima seamlessly shifts power to the front wheels to improve fuel efficiency.

There are other features that accentuate these legendary all-wheel drive capabilities, including Active Brake Limited Slip, which allocates power to the wheel with the most traction to mitigate wheel slippage and provide a more stable ride. The Altima also features Hill Start Assist, which helps it remain in control in hilly environments. The Altima can confidently maneuver through any travel scenario, allowing it to hold its own in the industry even against its larger and more rugged SUV counterparts.

Impressive Innovation

There’s no shortage of tech inside the 2023 Nissan Altima, which is yet another reason why drivers love this particular midsize sedan. The Altima is unique in its segment because it offers a slew of innovative features designed to add intense value to the daily drive. Perhaps what’s most appreciated is the available 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen display, which is much bigger than other comparable models offer.

Wireless smartphone integration and charging capabilities also come in handy, freeing its interior space from wires so that all on board can enjoy a clean and comfortable experience. The Altima comes with a host of helpful tech features, including multiple USB ports, a Wi-Fi Hotspot, active noise cancellation, and more available tech, allowing this midsize sedan to really make the most of its price tag.

An Accommodating Interior

There’s a reason why families are drawn to the Altima, and that’s due to this midsize sedan being pleasantly spacious. The Altima showcases an outstanding interior space that allows those traveling with others to take advantage of ample space for their passengers and their gear. Its trunk space is equally impressive, offering 15.9 cu.ft. of room for everything from diaper bags and strollers to work materials and groceries.

Configurable seating enhances this space even more, with the ability to fold the rear seats down and enjoy 58.8 cu.ft. of cargo space. The Altima also offers 60/40-split rear seats when it’s carrying passengers along with larger gear, which allows this sedan to really resonate with many drivers who are frequently loading up their car with more stuff.

The interior of a 2023 Nissan Altima is shown.

Award-Winning Safety

The Altima is no stranger to IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Honors, with the 2023 Nissan Altima proudly wearing this badge of honor. With this particular sedan appealing to families across the nation, it makes sense that it features some of the best safety tech the industry has to offer. Perhaps what really captivates drivers is ProPILOT Assist, accessed by the touch of a button, allowing the Altima to take over various driving tasks, like remaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and staying centered in its lane.

An available Intelligent Around View Monitor showcases a 360-degree view of the vehicle, which allows drivers to enjoy enhanced visibility, no matter what they’re attempting to navigate on the road ahead. With four camera views at the ready, the Altima can expertly take on tasks like parking, backing up, and navigating through dense traffic with the precision of an icon.

A Rich Heritage

Although it’s easy to say that the Nissan Altima didn’t get its start until the early ’90s, with the debut of the Stanza Altima in 1993, the Altima actually dates back to the 1950s. Known as a continuation of the Nissan Bluebird line in select markets, the Altima’s roots run deep, stemming from some of the most legendary vehicles that Nissan has ever produced. The Bluebird line was unveiled in 1957 and is one of the longest-running nameplates from the esteemed Nissan brand. This medium size car appealed to a variety of travelers around the world, finally making its way onto American roadways in the ’90s as the Stanza model. Throughout the ’90s and into the new millennium, the Altima really came into its own, captivating its audience with its sturdy build and distinctive features.

So, the next time you’re wondering why there are so many Altimas surrounding you on the road, just remember some of the things that make this midsize sedan unique. Whether it’s the powerful and efficient VC Turbo engine under its hood or the spacious interior housing today’s busy families, the Nissan Altima gives as much as it can and then some.

Although SUVs and trucks continue to take over the roadways, sedans that lead the pack still solidly hold their own in the industry. Remember, not every driver wants or needs an SUV, so if sedans go away, they’d be stuck with something unnecessarily cumbersome. Fortunately, the Altima isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and we can expect that it’ll continue to be an icon long into the future.