A red 2021 Nissan Altima is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a used Nissan Altima dealer.

Why Is the Nissan Altima Perfect for Commuting?

Whether we like it or not, commuting is a crucial part of many of our lives. The way I see it, commuting comes down to two things: comfort and fuel efficiency. Saving money on fuel is obviously beneficial, and given how much time you’re going to spend driving your vehicle, you may as well be comfortable while you’re at it. So, where do you start? Well, a used Nissan Altima dealer might be the best place to look. Why is that? It’s because the Nissan Altima is built from the ground up with commuters in mind first and foremost. Best of all, a used Altima will be saving you money from the minute you grab the keys from the dealership onwards.

If there’s any vehicle that you should be purchasing right now for your commute, regardless of its length, it’s the Nissan Altima. Understandably, it might not be that easy on the surface, given the nature of the market. Purchasing a vehicle is a big decision, and doing your research will ensure that you make the right choice before you even step foot into a dealership lot. But the Nissan Altima is the topic of today’s discussion, and I’ll be taking this moment to walk you through some of the more notable features that commuters should know. Before long, you’ll be heading to the dealership to try one out for yourself.

The Altima’s Got Your Back

Have you ever had back pain? I know I have, several times. How do we prevent back pain? Well, aside from practicing karate in an ice skating rink, which is a story for a different time, the answer is proper back support that promotes a healthy posture. Whether you’re sitting at the dinner table, in a chair in the living room, or in the driver’s seat in your car, you should be comfortable, no questions asked. Don’t be afraid to be a Goldilocks when shopping for a vehicle; take a seat in as many cars as possible. If a seat feels too firm, for example, take a hard minute to envision yourself behind the wheel for the entire length of your commute. With the Altima, Nissan offers a plethora of amenities to assist with comfort.

With comfort in mind, if you’re planning on purchasing a used Altima, then we recommend that you keep trim levels in mind. Base Altima models regularly don’t include power-adjustable seating; instead, they resort to tried and true manual seats. Given how many Altimas there are on the used market, you can acquire a pre-owned Altima with power-adjustable seats for a far lower cost than a brand-new one that keeps the manual ones.

In many Altimas, stepping up a trim level will give you an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. With this seat comes power-lumbar support, which, if my statement about back pain taught us anything, is what you’ll want for some cushion for your lower back. Not only are these power-operated seats easier to adjust than manual seats, but in this case, they can offer you more degrees of posture to find the ideal position for driving comfortably. And, of course, investing in heated seats is a brilliant idea if you live in an area where you find yourself commuting in cold weather.

The interior of a 2021 Nissan Altima is shown with the driver reversing.

No More Mundane Commuting

Think about this for a second, if your vehicle didn’t have a radio or speakers of any kind, wouldn’t that be boring? I don’t think we credit the simplistic act of being able to listen to our music on the road enough. No, this isn’t anything new; vehicles have commonly played some form of audio ever since the 1930s. We all listen to music for many different reasons, but one thing’s certain, and it’s that music can give us energy. This can not only be a great way to start your day but one to unwind on the commute back home with your favorite songs.

As time went on, we gained the ability to curate personal playlists that we could fill with our favorite songs for any mood or occasion. Not too long ago, the easiest way to play your playlists was in the form of “mixtapes,” which later turned into burned CDs full of MP3 files. While CDs and radio stations are still around, the latter of which has resurfaced in popularity with new services such as SiriusXM satellite radio, there are some newer options too.

Shopping for a pre-owned Altima means you’ll have the perfect chance to buy your commuter with the best audio system you can. Even looking back at models as old as the 2014 Altima, you could get a proper infotainment center with a 7-inch touchscreen. A variety of apps are housed within this console, such as navigation software, and you can connect your cell phone via the built-in aux or USB ports. Later models added to this set of features, but even the 2014 Altima can be fitted with a Premium Bose audio system with nine speakers.

This set of features would remain the standard for a while, but in 2019 Nissan added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which many would agree was sorely missing before that point. However, that’s not to say that the infotainment centers in the Altima models released in 2018 or before aren’t appealing––they still share many features with the newer versions, albeit without the smartphone integration.

A white 2021 Nissan Altima is shown from behind while driving down a snow covered road.

More Money For Yourself

Now that we’ve discussed comfort and entertainment, let’s direct our attention to the last but arguably most important factor you should consider when shopping for a pre-owned vehicle for commuting: fuel efficiency. Fortunately, the Altima has consistently been an efficient car, and you can expect to visit the gas station far less often than those with competing vehicles.

Looking at models released between 2014 and 2018, you can equip yourself with either a 2.5L I-4 or a 3.5L V6 engine. Starting with the 2014 Altima, the standard 2.5L I-4 engine comes paired with a CVT, and this powertrain earns you EPA-estimated ratings of 27 MPG city and 38 MPG highway. Stepping up to the more powerful V6 engine will only reduce this to 22 MPG city and 31 MPG highway. Realistically, the difference between fuel economy ratings against the power of the two engines means that the V6 remains a fantastic option, even if fuel economy is a major concern.

When the 2019 Altima was released, the 2.5L I-4 returned, but its EPA-estimated ratings have been slightly adjusted, this time to 28 MPG city and 39 MPG highway. In the place of the aforementioned 3.5L V6 engine is a turbocharged 2.0L I-4, but both engines are still paired to a CVT. With the turbocharged engine, your Altima will receive ratings of 25 MPG city and 34 MPG highway. More fuel efficiency in your vehicle means you can get where you need to go faster, and this includes getting to and from work with no stops in-between. Ultimately, the Altima was made for commuters, and its exemplary cost-saving measures further illustrate why I believe that it’s the best pre-owned vehicle you can purchase right now for your daily slog to work.