Nissan’s new design language is now incorporated into the carmaker’s top-selling vehicle in the United States, the MY2016 Nissan Altima. Borrowing heavily from the MY2016 Nissan Maxima that was derived from the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept and some from the MY2015 Nissan Murano that was inspired by the Nissan Resonance Concept, the MY2016 Altima inherits key elements of the exterior and interior styling themes, like the "Energetic Flow" exterior styling theme and "Gliding Wing" interior layout. These contributed to the Altima’s all-fresh appearance inside and out.
Major changes in the interior styling of the new Altima include the revised C-stack, which is home for the available 5.0-inch and 7.0-inch displays for the NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps as well as for the optional NissanConnect Navigation with Mobile Apps.
Nissan also reshaped the vehicle’s standard Zero Gravity front seats, and granted its woven cloth seating and door panel materials with a more open weave pattern. Aside from the refined steering wheel, the MY2016 Altima features twin cup-holders on the center console that could now contain mugs with handles.
For model year 2016, the Altima is now available in the new SR grade, which feature a Charcoal interior color contrasted by blue sport interior accents on the steering wheel, door panels and seats. Additionally, the SR grade features leather-wrapped paddle shifters, steering wheel, and gear shifter.
The new SR is technically a sportier grade of the already sporty Altima, as Nissan tries to enter one of the fastest growing spots in the mid-size sedan segment, sport variants. In fact, sports grades account for almost 40 percent of sales for some of Nissan’s rivals.
In Nissan’s case, the SR grade does not only feature sporty changes in the vehicle’s look, such as larger wheels and spoiler, but also means a new level of performance for the mid-size sedan.
According to Pierre Loing, vice president for Product Planning at Nissan North America, while anyone could decorate a sedan with custom wheels and a body kit, Nissan's long-standing performance heritage is not about that.
He noted that the SR version of the Altima could be powered by the available 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine or the higher-powered 3.5-liter V6. He added that the Altima SR is now 12.5-percent better in terms of cornering performance.
However, since Nissan wants to make the new Altima SR affordable for younger buyers moving into the mid-size sedan segment for the first time, they derived the SR grade from Altima S, instead from the higher grade Altima SV or Altima SL.
On the other hand, Nissan Executive Design Director Mamoru Aoki remarked that what is important is that the new MY2016 Altima exemplifies 'Nissan-ness' inside and out. He added that with the dramatic changes implemented on the MY2016 Altima, this mid-size sedan will continue to stand out in the market.