Solid And Sensible: The 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL
The 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL
There are a lot of choices in the midsize family sedan segment.  The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord get most of the attention.  The Ford Fusion is a contender, as well.  But there's one that's in that same class, with enviable sales figures, that just goes about its business without a lot of publicity, and that is the Nissan Altima.

Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL
2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL
The Altima has a lot going for it...a fairly low price of entry in base models, the ability to load them up to near-luxury levels with the SL trim level, and stellar gas mileage with the 2.5-liter 182 horsepower four-cylinder and continuously variable transmission.  How stellar?  An EPA estimate of 27 city/39 highway.

And the good news is that, like Toyota an Honda, Nissan lets you choose the four cylinder engine and the uplevel trim together, which is what we drove.

Interior view of 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL
2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL interior.
$28,570 is the 2.5 SL's base price, and that comes with leather-appointed seats, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, an 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, a four-way power front passenger's seat (both of them heated Zero Gravity seats) a Bose premium audio system including SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, a five-inch color audio display with voice recognition, a hands-free text messaging assistant, a rear-view monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear seat vents, keyless entry,  pushbutton start, remote start, power windows, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, cruise control, automatic headlights, fog lamps and dual chrome exhaust finishers.  Not long ago, those features would have been found only in luxury cars.

And our test vehicle brought still more in the way of extra-cost options.  $395 for premium Pearl White paint, $800 for the moonroof package, $210 for carpeted floor mats, and $1,700 for the technology package (predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, intelligent cruise control and Nissan Connect with navigation and a suite of mobile apps and services).  With $835 destination charges, the as-tested price was $32,510.  Given the combination of space, comfort, fuel economy and luxury, that represents tremendous value.

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