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2020 Nissan Altima SL Review

Jerry Reynolds | July 29, 2019
2020 Nissan Altima SL Review

This week we take a look at the 2020 Nissan Altima SL, a car that was completely redone in 2019. This is Nissan’s best-selling car and the 5th best-selling car in America.


Nissan’s edgy styling has been a big part of the success of this car. The V-shaped Nissan grill connects to the LED headlights. From the rear, the big wraparound taillights start bodylines that run to the front of the car. Completing the look is a front spoiler with fog lights, a rear spoiler and dual exhaust, and some sharp-looking alloy wheels.


Under the hood is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 182-horses. It is hooked to a continuously variable transmission. Some people don’t like CVTs but a few years ago, Nissan programmed in the sensation of shifting which makes it much more tolerable. There is a larger, variable-compression engine that is turbocharged and putting out 236-horses.

My tester is all-wheel drive, something you don’t find on a lot of the mid-sized sedans these days.


This is the SL model, next to the top-of-the-line Platinum. If you wish you can start with the basic S model, then the SR, or the SV.

The interior is nicely done with leather seats, a mix of wood and aluminum, and an easy-to-read configurable gauge cluster. There are controls on the steering wheel.

A stand-alone 8” touchscreen operates the Bose stereo, Bluetooth, navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and truly one of the best backup cameras I’ve seen. You get a host of apps with real-time traffic, weather, sports scores, stock prices, gas prices, and more.

Under the screen is the dual-climate controlled air conditioning operated with round knobs. The center console houses the start button, two cup holders, the emergency brake, and the terrific auto hold button that lets you take your foot off the brake when you come to a stop.


Rear seat leg and headroom is incredible, I was very surprised. There are rear air vents, and USB ports in the front and the rear of the Altima. Also surprising was the huge trunk space with a low cutout to make it easy to load things. Both rear seats fold down for additional cargo.

Standard Equipment and Safety Technology

This package comes with some great standard features like power moonroof, dual power seats, heated seats and steering wheel, remote start, steering assist, and adaptive cruise control. Perhaps the story of this car is the Intelligent Mobility standard safety features. The list is long but notable are automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, rear automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning with intervention, and rear cross-traffic alert.

As a side note, two cool standard features include EZ Fill tires: when adding air, the horn will toot when you get to the right pressure. Also, it has driver alertness, which will warn you if the car detects you may be drowsy.

Fuel Economy and What You’ll Pay

The Altima drives really nice, is surprisingly quiet inside, and the all-wheel system gives it unusually good cornering.

The small 4-cylinder is a bit sluggish but will get on the freeway just fine. The plus side is 26 MPG in town and an amazing 36 on the highway, which is terrific on a car this size with all-wheel drive.

Total MSRP is $34,855 as equipped and for what you get, it’s a great value.

2020 Nissan Altima SL Review

  • What I liked most: Interior room and fuel economy.
  • What I would change: This would be awesome with a turbocharger.
  • MSRP: Base price $31,590. MSRP is $34,855 with transportation.
  • Fuel Economy: 26 City/36 Highway/30 combined.
  • Fuel Tank: 16 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
  • Dimensions: 192.9” long/72.9” wide/56.7” high.
  • Weight: 3208 pounds.
  • Trailer Towing: N/A.
  • Miles When Tested: 500 miles.
  • Official Color: Storm Blue Metallic.
  • Spare tire: Inflator kit.
  • Final Assembly Point: Smyrna, TN.
  • 2020 Altima in a few words: A very nice sedan that is easy on the wallet!
  • Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile power train warranty with roadside assistance.
  • Manufacturer’s website: www.nissanusa.com
  • Next up: 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR
Tags: Nissan, Altima, Altima SL Review
Enjoyed todays show.
Wanted to let you know that I read every word of your Altima review.
The Car Pro
THANKS SO MUCH! I appreciate the support and appreciate you listening to the show!

Jerry Reynolds
Jerry, I felt sorry for you this morning, saying that you had not had many views on this car, so I thought I would boost your number by one more. Love listening to your show. You guys are the BEST.
The Car Pro
Anthony thanks so much! I appreciate that and appreciate you listening to the show! Always let me know if I can do anything for you!

Jerry Reynolds