The 2020 Nissan Altima has a higher base price but is loaded with new safety tech

You can think of the Nissan Altima as the middle child between the compact Sentra and full-size Maxima. This also places it in the thick of battle among the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Volkswagen Passat, and Chevrolet Malibu.

But the Nissan Altima has two aces up its shapely fenders: a genuinely sporty driving demeanor and a lower base price.

However, the 2020 model of the Nissan Altima is entering the market brandishing a slightly higher base price, although not by much.

And in order to compensate the pricing changes, Nissan saw it fit to equip the updated Nissan Altima with a slew of safety tech and driving aids.

Here are the new things to expect from the 2020 Nissan Altima.

Nissan Safety Shield 360 is standard in SR and higher trims

The number of available safety features is the biggest changes in the 2020 Nissan Altima. The Nissan Safety Shield 360 package is now standard in the Altima SR and higher trim models. This package includes lane departure warning, rear automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert with high beam assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and a radar-based blind-spot warning system.

On the other hand, the Driver Assist Package with Safety Shield is now optional in the base Altima S. This is the first time Nissan’s comprehensive safety tech is available across the entire 2020 Altima lineup. Meanwhile, Nissan’s intelligent around view monitor is standard in the Altima Platinum trim.

But if you choose the Altima SL, SV, or Platinum package, Nissan will throw in ProPilot Assist as standard. With this tech, you can drive the Altima in semi-autonomous mode.

The new Altima is still available with AWD

All trim models of the 2020 Nissan Altima equipped with the standard 2.5-liter motor can be fitted with Nissan’s intelligent all-wheel drive. This system utilizes an advanced torque-split control to automatically channel power between the wheels. In fact, it can feed all the power to the front wheels or distribute up to 50-percent to the rear wheels.

Still no V6 engine, but Nissan has something better

Nissan VC-Turbo engine

The 2020 Nissan Altima is offered in two engine choices. The standard motor is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-banger with direct injection. It produces 188-horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque.

The next offering is Nissan’s variable-compression turbocharged 2.0-liter mill with 248-horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This motor can alter the compression ratio for enhanced fuel savings and maximum power output. Both engines are mated to a next-gen Xtronic CVT transmission. This is the same engine found in the higher-end Infiniti QX50 crossover SUV.

However, this hi-tech engine is down in power compared to the previous V6. But then again, it achieves 29 mpg and provides more low-end torque, so this new engine is considerably better than the V6.

The new VC-turbocharged motor is only available in front-wheel drive (FWD) and is offered in the Altima SR and Platinum trim.

2020 Nissan Altima Pricing

Nissan has increased the base price on all trim models of the 2020 Altima, although not by much. The base Altima S with FWD and the 2.5-liter engine starts at $24,100 while the SR starts at $25,700. The Altima SV is priced at $27,880 and the SL and Platinum start at $30,240 and $32,180 respectively.

But if you want AWD in your new Nissan Altima, you’ll have to pay around $25,450 for the base Altima S and around $29,230 for the Altima SR. The AWD model of the Altima SV starts at $29,230 while the Altima SL and Platinum AWD is yours at $31,590 and $33,530.

The 2020 Altima with the VC-Turbo engine and FWD starts at $29,750 in the Altima SR and $35,180 for the Platinum trim.

The new Nissan Altima might be reasonably more expensive than the outgoing model, but it still undercuts the competition by having a still-lower base price and a more involving driving experience