Bolstered in its fight against all-new editions of key rivals from Toyota and Honda with the standard fitment of automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning, the 2018 Nissan Altima’s price rises by only $240 compared with the outgoing model.
The base 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 S rises a few ticks above $24K to $24,025, including destination and handling charges. The Altima continues with a 179-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder linked to a continuously variable transmission.
Given the era in which we live, it’s not surprising to see a more significant price increase for the lone remaining V6 model — the sportier 3.5 SR is dead.
Nissan reserves its 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 for the top-tier SL trim. Switching from the 2.5 SL to the 3.5 SL requires a $4,515 leap, one that’s accompanied by a handful of additional features such as NissanConnect and adaptive cruise. The least costly V6-engined Altima you can get in 2018 will now cost $34,395, $520 more than last year. For MY2017, the least costly V6 Altima was the 3.5 SR at $28,825. That car’s sportier suspension tune, with larger stabilizer bars and unique damper setup and 20-percent less body roll, is now reserved for the four-cylinder 2.5 SL.
Blessed by a high degree of daily rental fleet desirability, the Nissan Altima continues to be America’s third-best-selling midsize car, but even before the new editions of Camry and Accord began to garner headlines, the Altima was beginning to fall further and further behind. Through the first eight months of 2016, the Altima trailed the second-ranked Accord by only 14,125 sales, roughly an 1,800-sale gap per month. In 2017, the Altima has generated 4,700 fewer monthly sales than the Accord, on average.
Nissan is on track in 2017 to sell 260,000 Altimas in America, a seven-year low. The Altima’s 16-percent year-over-year decline is only slightly better than the 17-percent drop experienced by the midsize category as a whole. 2018 is the sixth model year for the fifth-generation Altima. The 2019 Altima is expected to inherit many of the latest Maxima’s design cues.
Beyond the removal of a base Altima 2.5 (non-S) that was priced for MY2017 at $23,335 and the 3.5 SR’s discontinuation, the 2018 Altima range includes the $25,085 Altima 2.5 SR, the $26,670 Altima 2.5 SV, and the $29,880 Altima 2.5 SL. Options on the base Altima 2.5 S include $690 16-inch alloy wheels and a $390 Convenience Package. At the top end, top-spec Altima 3.5 SL maxes out at $35,935 with special paint, a rear spoiler, and assorted minor add-ons.