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2016 Nissan Altima Review

The 2016 Nissan Altima has a quiet and spacious cabin, refined handling, and great crash test scores. Even so, it ranks in the middle of the competitive midsize car class because most rivals have better reliability scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, comfortable interior
  • Great fuel economy
  • Refined handling
  • Some cheap cabin materials

New for 2016

  • Updated exterior and interior styling
  • Retuned transmission, suspension, and steering
  • Forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control made available




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Nissan Altima Overview

Is the 2016 Nissan Altima a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Altima is a fine option if you’re shopping for a used midsize car. The Altima rides comfortably, returns excellent fuel economy, and rewards with athletic handling. It also rates well for crash safety and offers an extensive list of advanced safety features. That said, several cars in this class rate higher for reliability, such as the 2016 Hyundai Sonata and 2016 Toyota Camry.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 39 Nissan Altima reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Nissan Altima?

You can expect to pay between $11,900 and $20,000 for a used 2016 Altima. These figures are based on 5,000 listings for the 2016 Nissan Altima on our site. The average price is $15,100. Prices will vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Nissan Altima Cost to Own?

The Altima’s ownership costs are average for a midsize car. Over five years, you can expect to pay around $21,700 for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance – or about $4,300 per year. By comparison, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata has slightly lower projected ownership costs of around $21,300.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Altima?

The 2018 Altima starts at $23,260. That’s typical for a new midsize car, but it’s still $8,100 more than the average price of a 2016 Altima. Going with a used Altima will save you a considerable amount of money up front. Also, because both models share the same engines and transmissions, you’ll get similar performance and fuel economy with the used model. Buying a new 2018 Altima has its perks, like longer warranty coverage, standard forward collision warning, and available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also wouldn’t have to worry about a questionable maintenance history, as you’d be the first owner. Still, these benefits are hardly worth the substantial difference in price. Stick with the used model.

Read about the new Nissan Altima »

If you’d still prefer a new car, consider the smaller 2018 Kia Forte. It starts at a lower price than a new Altima ($16,800), and it earns similar fuel economy ratings. Though it’s a compact car, the Forte offers comparable rear-seat space. Its quality interior materials even outshine some of the Altima’s. In addition, you may find monthly deals from the manufacturer that lower the Forte’s price even further.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Nissan Altima?

The 2016 Altima has average reliability, earning a score of three out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Altima reliability »

2016 Nissan Altima Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are two safety recalls for the 2016 Altima. One recall addresses an issue with the sedan’s rear doors, which may unlatch and open when the rear windows are lowered. Another recall covers a fault with the Occupant Classification System, which could fail to detect a front-seat passenger and disable the airbag. Before buying a used Altima, make sure these recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Nissan Altima safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Nissan Altima Is Best?

The 2016 Altima is part of the sedan’s fifth generation, which debuted in 2013 and includes the 2018 model. The 2016 Altima is the best model year to buy. It received a major midcycle refresh with updated styling, retuned transmission software, additional sound insulation, and several new options, including forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. The 2017 model saw no major updates, and the 2018 offers only minor improvements (though it does make Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available).

While you’re likely to find used 2013, 2014, and 2015 Altimas for sale at lower prices, these models aren’t as refined or well-equipped as models from 2016 and later.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Altima »

Which Used Nissan Altima Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Nissan Altima has five trim levels: base, S, SR, SV, and SL. A four-cylinder engine is standard in all trims; a V6 is available in SR and SL models. You’ll likely want to skip the base model since it’s light on features. Its standard equipment includes air conditioning, cloth seats, power windows and doors, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth, and a CD player.

The Altima S is a better value. It adds a 5-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, a USB input, cruise control, and iPhone connectivity through Siri Eyes Free. The sport-oriented Altima SR adds fog lights, alloy wheels, and a stiffer suspension. The Altima SV trim adds dual-zone climate control, remote start, satellite radio, and blind spot monitoring. Lastly, the Altima SL trim adds leather upholstery and heated front seats. Both the SV and SL trims are available with 7-inch touch-screen navigation systems, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control.

See 2016 Nissan Altima trims and specs »

What Does Nissan's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Nissan offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each Nissan CPO vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like rental car reimbursement, a three-month SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a Security+Plus Extended protection plan, towing, and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully.

Nissan’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer, according to our research. Mazda, Honda, and Chevrolet all have more robust programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Altima?

The 2016 Altima has excellent safety scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Altima a 2016 Top Safety Pick+ and gave the sedan ratings of Good, the highest offered, in all areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Altima a perfect five-star rating for overall, front, and side crash safety, as well as four stars for rollover safety.

A rearview camera is standard in all but the base 2016 Altima model. Available active safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with brake assist.

See Altima safety scores »

2016 Nissan Altima Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Altima or 2016 Honda Accord?

The 2016 Honda Accord and Nissan Altima rank in the middle of the midsize car class. Both offer refined driving dynamics, high fuel economy, and many advanced safety features. Both also have average reliability ratings. Though the Accord has a roomier rear seat, higher-quality cabin materials, and better tech features – like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – that doesn’t mean it’s a great buy. The Nissan offers lower projected ownership costs, and used models are typically less expensive up front. It may be the better bet for these reasons – though, ultimately, neither model is a top pick in this class.

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Altima or 2016 Toyota Camry?

The 2016 Toyota Camry is the better midsize sedan. In fact, we named it our 2016 Best Midsize Car for the Money. The Camry boasts more standard features, roomier seating space, nicer cabin materials, and a class-leading reliability rating. Used Camrys are often within the same price range as the Altima as well. Opt for the Toyota.

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Altima or 2016 Nissan Maxima?

The 2016 Nissan Maxima is a full-size sedan, and it outclasses the Altima in many areas. The Maxima has an easier-to-use infotainment system, better cabin materials, muscular performance from its standard V6 engine, and a higher reliability rating. If you want a luxe Nissan sedan, the Maxima is it. But if you have a smaller budget, you should go with the Altima. Used Altimas are typically thousands of dollars less. The Altima also offers a roomier back seat, superior fuel economy, and lower projected ownership costs.

Compare the Altima, Accord, and Camry »

2016 Altima Performance

How Does the 2016 Nissan Altima Drive?

The 2016 Altima has two engine options: a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive are standard in all models.

The four-cylinder engine scoots the Altima up to speed briskly and provides adequate passing power on the highway. The CVT responds quickly to throttle changes as well. Unlike many CVTs, it feels as smooth as a conventional automatic – thanks to its simulated gear shifts. That said, some drivers note a vibration from the transmission at certain speeds, which can be unsettling. The V6 provides even livelier acceleration, but at the cost of lower fuel economy. Regardless of engine, the Altima rides comfortably and soaks up most road bumps and dips with poise. Its steering is quick and nicely weighted, especially in the sport-tuned SR model.

Does the 2016 Nissan Altima Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Altima’s four-cylinder engine delivers up to 27 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, which is great for a midsize sedan. The six-cylinder engine gets 22/31 mpg city/highway, which is also competitive for the class.

Read more about Altima performance »

2016 Altima Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Altima Seat?

The 2016 Altima has five seats. The front seats are comfortable, providing fine support and generous head- and legroom. The rear seats can accommodate average-sized adults comfortably, though rear legroom is a bit stingy for the class. Cloth seats are standard, while heated and leather seats are available. The Altima’s cabin remains especially quiet at higher speeds, and most of its interior materials have a quality look and feel. However, there are a few cheap plastic trim pieces here and there.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Nissan Altima?

The Altima has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats. The IIHS gave this LATCH system scores of Acceptable (the second-highest rating) and Marginal (the third-highest), depending on the trim level. Some of the lower anchors are hard to access.

2016 Nissan Altima Features

All models come standard with a CD player and Bluetooth. Features available in upper trim levels include 5- and 7-inch touch screens, a navigation system, satellite radio, and NissanConnect, which provides crash notification, roadside assistance, and speed or distance alerts when someone else is driving the car. Both infotainment systems are fairly easy to use, but they feel somewhat low-tech compared to others in this class.

See 2016 Nissan Altima specs »

Read more about Altima interior »

2016 Nissan Altima Dimensions

Nissan Altima Cargo Space

The Altima has 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which is about average for a midsize sedan.

2016 Altima Length and Weight

The 2016 Altima is 16 feet long and has a curb weight ranging from 3,197 pounds for base four-cylinder models to 3,463 pounds for V6 models.

Where Was the 2016 Nissan Altima Built?

The 2016 Altima was built at plants in Tennessee and Mississippi.

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