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Nissan Altima has long been one of the best-selling cars in America. It has passed the test of time and held its position. Which is the best year Nissan Altima?

The Nissan Altima focuses more on comfort and utility than performance. It is an excellent family car that works well as a daily grocery-getter and even on long highway cruises. It provides a lot of safety and comfort for all occupants and comes equipped with many techy features.

2017 is the best year for Nissan Altima due to the high safety ratings from IIHS and NHTSA. This model is also equipped with modern features, some of which are hard to find on a vehicle that falls in this price bracket. Overall, the 2017 Nissan Altima offers great value for your hard-earned money.

The Nissan Altima has it all, from electronically adjustable suspension to adaptive cruise control with emergency braking. The aggressive façade muscular contours are combined with a soothing and luxurious interior to give the owner the best of both. It is smooth and comfortable and provides a pleasant drive for an everyday driver.

Car experts believe that one of the key features that has made the Altima last so long is how Nissan has kept it up-to-date with market standards. They claim that the four-door sedan delivers a lot of reliability and sturdiness in addition to safety, which makes it an excellent utility vehicle for everyday driving.

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The 2017 Nissan Altima

For the mid cycle refresh towards the end of 2016, Nissan apparently threw everything except a sink at its mid-sized sedan. The tail seems sharpened, and the front presents a stark resemblance to the Altima's bigger and very blood-related sister, the Maxima.

Some find the idea of combining the aesthetics of two cars interesting. The now-signature V-shaped grille gives the front an aggressive look. The headlights and fender outlines add to the aggressiveness, making the Altima look bolder and stronger. The muscular look does well to make the Altima blend in with other sporty rivals like the Mazda 6.

On the inside, the car carries forward many of the features from the previous model, with slight changes here and there. If you are a fan of minimalistic color tones, you can look for a 2017 Altima with a completely black interior.

2017 Altima Style

Not every vehicle has the talent to blend in with the market trend, but the Altima seems to be a natural performer in this area. Even with the aggressive facelift, the Altima seems innocent. This innocuous look helps because most of its target buyers are not looking for something overly flashy.

The 2017 model features reshaped front fenders and a stylish hood. The front fascia and grille give the sedan the modern Nissan signature look. The rear end flaunts wide tail lights, a stylishly contoured lid, and a beefy bumper. It does resemble the Maxima but misses out on the floating-canopy aesthetic. Instead, the rear pillars flow down and merge gracefully with the rear fenders.

The SR trim level gets you smoked headlights, a rear spoiler, and fog lights for those seeking more style. The trim even comes with a unique wheel design. On the inside, you find black upholstery with blue stitching. The look is more oriented to compete with rivals like the Accord Sport and the Camry SE.

The heavily designed exterior of the 2017 Altima translates into an equally impressive interior. The dashboard is wavy yet remains symmetrical and restrained. The center stack houses the controls to give the driver easy access. The center console holds a large and useful storage bin, cup holders, and gear selector.

2017 Altima Performance

There was a time when the Altima was known for its agile handling and sporty performance. But now, the sedan is more focused on delivering a smooth and comfortable ride.

Adding comfort to the ride works nicely because the average Altima buyer is more of a family guy looking for a utility car than a car enthusiast looking for the fastest 0-60. The Altima delivers in the comfortable ride segment, and the ride quality can be termed as luxurious.

The steering response of the 2017 Altima is quite accurate. The sedan features a system to control understeer, which applies extra braking pressure to the wheels on the inside of the turn to ensure sharper cornering. The Altima is more focused on handling than on performance. However, the vehicle does not feel sloppy.

When browsing through the 2017 Altima lineup, you will find most of them powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, which is a good and refined engine. It delivers an impressive fuel economy and can produce up to 182 hp. During your search, you might come across a few V6 powered Altimas. These engines push the power figure up to 270 hp.

If you are into speed and neck-breaker accelerations, V6 is the engine you would want to have. This engine is hoarse at low rpm, but push it towards the red line, and you will be pleased with the loud growl.

Both engines come coupled with Nissan's CVT, which is responsive and smooth. The CVT on the 2017 Altima features massive improvements over the previous models. With Nissan's upgrades to this transmission, it works so smoothly that many even fail to notice it is a CVT. Nissan has been a key player in CVT technology for several years, and it shows.

The CVT is tuned to deliver maximum efficiency on the four-cylinder Altima and is not very performance-oriented. On the V6, however, there are paddle shifters to simulate conventional gear changes.

2017 Altima Quality and Comfort

The 2017 Altima outshines many of its rivals with better material quality and a comfortable interior. The cabin is spacious and offers ample space for backseat passengers. The boot space is over fifteen feet, enough to store luggage for weekend getaways.

Nissan has equipped the 2017 sedan with acoustic glass, improving noise cancellation and making highway cruises even more comfortable. The interior aesthetics of the sedan are soothing and deliver a luxurious experience.

The cabin is spacious for four adults and five if the center passenger doesn't mind getting a little squeezed in. The front seats feature spacious legroom of 45 inches and headroom of 40 inches, which is ample, even for drivers taller than six feet. The back seat loses a little on the headroom due to the downward rake of the roofline; it sits at 37.1 inches, which is adequate to keep tall occupants from making contact with the headliner. The rear seat offers the best-in-class legroom of 36.1 inches.

Nissan claims that NASA's research inspired the "Zero Gravity" seats equipped on the Altima. They feel supportive and comfortable on short and long trips, but you would not want to use them for your next trip to the moon. On most trims, the front seats are power-operated with a high degree of adjustments.

The 15.4 cubic feet trunk is enough to compete in the mid-size sedan category. Nissan has mounted the rear seat release latches in the trunk, which are an added utility. These handles are made of fabric rather than plastic, making them easy to use.

2017 Altima Safety

The Altima is equipped with a unique safety structure and offers many safety features. However, many of these features require selecting higher trim levels. These safety features include:

  • Blindspot alerts - sound an alarm when a vehicle is in the driver's blind spot.
  • Rear traffic cross alert – warns the driver of traffic behind the sedan when backing up.
  • Adaptive cruise control – match the speed of the vehicle in front when running on cruise control
  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking – this system detects crossing pedestrians, stopped vehicles, or other obstructions in the line of the moving vehicle, and can apply brakes as required.

However, this safety Tech Package is only available with the SL trim, which means you will have to buy many additional features like a moonroof. The base model lacks these features, and even the basic rearview camera is missing.

On the other hand, the 2017 Nissan Altima has received "Good" ratings, the top score, for crashworthiness from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). Few cars earn the Top Safety Pick+ award from the federal organization, but thanks to the crash protection, and optional equipment, the Altima received that award for 2017.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) agreed with IIHS and awarded the 2017 Altima a five-star overall rating. This rating comprised five-star overall front impact, five-star side-impact, and a four-star rollover rating.

2017 Altima Features

When shopping for a 2017 Altima, you will come across a wide range of trim choices. To begin with, you have the option of an inline four-cylinder or a powerful V6 engine. The Altima is equipped with many features, some of which are a surprise to find on lower trim levels.

There are five trip options available on the Altima: the base variant, S, SR, SV, and SL.

All trims come standard with a four-inch screen located between the gauge cluster, which displays the car in 3D effect and correct color along with detailed trip information.

Another standard feature on all trims is Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming. Except for the base variant, which was aimed at fleet use, all variants are equipped with a five-inch screen for the infotainment system. If you can find an SV or SL with navigation, you will have a seven-inch touchscreen.

One step above the base variant is the S, which is equipped with steering audio controls, a proximity key, and a rearview camera. However, this trim rides on basic steel wheels covered with hubcaps.

Move up a level, and you arrive at the Altima SR, which is the sporty version of the sedan. It adds the following on the S trim:

  • 18-inch alloy rims
  • Power driver seat
  • Variable suspension settings
  • A few small exterior and interior styling upgrades

Optional on the SR trim was the Midnight Appearance Package, which adds black alloy wheels, a black rear spoiler, black mirror caps, LED headlights, and remote engine start.

Next up the line is the SV, also called Altima Premium Plus. This trim adds features to the S variant and not the SR. Some of the features equipped on this trim are:

  • Remote start
  • Alloy wheels
  • Power Seat for the driver
  • Rear traffic cross alert
  • Blindspot monitor

The SV could be built up further with the Convenience Package, which added:

  • Moonroof
  • LED blinkers on side mirrors
  • Rear air conditioning vents
  • Heated front seats and steering wheel
  • Navigation Package

The top-of-the-line Altima is the SL trim. It features:

  • Optional moonroof
  • Technology Package discussed above
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Front collision alert with emergency braking

All trims are available with the four-cylinder engine. However, the V6 is available with SL, and SR trims only. Mostly, the features of the four-cylinder and six-cylinder variants remain the same. However, you will find LED headlights on the V6 SR.

2017 Altima Fuel Economy

Engineers at Nissan deserve credit for squeezing out extra fuel economy from this midsize sedan. The four-cylinder models can achieve EPA ratings of 27 miles per gallon in the city, 39 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg when driven combined.

With the V6 engine, the Altima achieves 22 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. Due to sportier tires and other design features, the four-cylinder SR trim achieves 26 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined.

On previous models, Nissan did have a hybrid Altima. But with up to 39 mpg on the 2017 model, the hybrid version did not make much sense. However, it might return as it became a popular choice for New York taxi operators.

2017 Altima Price Range

The price range of the sedan falls between $14,000 and $22,000, with the average price being around $17,500. Many factors play a crucial role in the price; these include, but are not limited to, trim level, mileage, optional features installed, and condition of the vehicle.

2017 Altima Running Costs

The estimated annual running costs of the sedan come to around $4,500 per year, which translates to $22,500 for five years. For comparison, the average running costs for five years of the 2017 Accord and 2017 Optima are around $24,000 and $23,500, respectively.

Why is 2017 the Best Year Nissan Altima?

The 2017 model is part of the fifth generation. This year offers excellent safety ratings and only three recalls. The model also offers many features for the price you pay, making it a good bang for the buck. With improved safety ratings, fewer recalls, and great features, 2017 is the best year for Nissan Altima. 

Best Year Nissan Altima

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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