Nissan Focuses 2021 Altima Lineup on Sporty SR Trim

Christian Wardlaw | Oct 13, 2020

Nissan has announced changes to the 2021 Altima midsize sedan lineup, moving the sporty SR trim level to a new position in the middle of the lineup and restricting the innovative variable-compression turbocharged engine option to the Altima SR. The resulting 2021 Nissan Altima lineup is as follows: S, SV, SR, SL, and Platinum.

2021 Nissan Altima SR Silver Front View

Every version of the Altima includes a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 188 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of torque. It powers the car’s front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT), one of the better examples of a CVT in a modern vehicle. All-wheel drive is an option with this engine, and now comes standard with the top-of-the-line Platinum trim level. However, power output drops to 182 hp and 178 lb.-ft. of torque.

Nissan’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine uses variable compression technology, a design the automaker worked for a decade to perfect. The company says this VC-Turbo engine provides the power of a V-6 with the fuel economy of a 4-cylinder. It is not available with all-wheel drive.

Run the Altima VC-Turbo on premium fuel, and it delivers 248 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. Using regular gas, the engine’s power ratings drop to 236 hp and 267 lb.-ft. It is EPA-rated to get 29 mpg in combined driving, compared to 31 mpg from the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. The VC-Turbo is a $1,400 option for the Altima SR.

Across the range, prices run from $24,300 for the Altima S to $31,400 for the Altima Platinum AWD, not including a destination charge of $925. The repositioned Altima SR starts at $26,200. Every 2021 Altima is available with Safety Shield 360, Nissan’s collection of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS).

Nissan is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on October 13, 2020, but it may have changed since that date.

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