New trim highlights 2022 Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima receives just enough updates to this model year to keep it relevant. The special Midnight Edition Package adds some swanky appeal to a car that needed some pizzazz. Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
The Nissan Altima receives just enough updates to this model year to keep it relevant. The special Midnight Edition Package adds some swanky appeal to a car that needed some pizzazz. Contributed

Midnight Edition shows some swanky appeal.

Midsize sedans are sadly becoming a thing of the past. That’s why I appreciated the opportunity to drive one this week. And like so many other vehicles, it’s oh-so-important for carmakers to keep their vehicles relevant. Without major overhauls year after year, there are some things they can do to keep their car offerings relevant and current.

Enter the 2022 Nissan Altima. The midsize Altima receives just enough updates to this model year to keep it relevant and selfishly gives me enough to talk about. This isn’t just a straight model year carryover as there’s a special Midnight Edition Package offered.

If the name Midnight Edition sounds cool, that’s because it is. And it adds some swanky appeal to a car that desperately needed some pizzazz.

The looks of the Altima with the Midnight Edition gives it a sharper, sportier appearance. As part of this special package, available only on the SR trim with the 2.5-liter engine, the Altima has a gloss black grille with special badging as well as a gloss black spoiler and matching gloss black painted 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Even the side mirrors get the Midnight treatment with black painted outside mirrors.

With this cladding the Altima becomes quite eye catching. This helps separate from a very conservative crowd of competitors. The new Midnight Edition Package is offered in three colors – Super Black, Gun Metallic and Pearl White.

There are two engine options for the 2022 Altima – a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine without a turbo. My tester was the 2.5-liter which makes an underwhelming 182 horsepower in all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter is good for 248 horses and that seems like the right amount of power to make this sedan fun. Otherwise it’s fairly pedestrian and the continuously variable transmission (CVT) doesn’t bring much to the table when it comes it excitement.

The Altima is well-mannered and useful in what it is, but if you’re wanting a car with driving personality, it’s best to look elsewhere. The AWD adds some confidence to it, but otherwise it’s a pretty forgettable powertrain.

Inside, the Altima surprises, and with the aforementioned Midnight package, there are some nice elements. As part of the Midnight Package the interior sees some exclusive options like heated front seats, 2-way driver power lumbar and a single panel moonroof.

An 8-inch color touchscreen runs Nissan’s infotainment system. This is one of the more underrated systems in the industry. It has all the technology you could want and is quite straightforward. With so many different technologies and presentations clunking up infotainment systems, it’s good to see Nissan keep things simple with this system.

Rear passenger seat comfort is great offering plenty of legroom and shoulder room. The Altima is rated as a five-passenger vehicle and it’s safe to say that three adults could fit reasonably comfortable in the back seat.

The 15.4-cubic foot trunk is standard for the midsize segment. The rear seats do fold down to expand that overall cargo area although they don’t fold flat, merely angle down.

Base price on the 2022 Nissan Altima 2.5-liter SR trim (before the Midnight Package) is $27,950. With the Midnight Package and a couple of extra niceties, the final MSRP of my tester was $31,490.

The AWD Altima has an EPA rating of 25 mpg/city and 35 mpg/highway. The CVT is meant to improve fuel economy. I could almost forgive the CVT’s behavior if the fuel economy were slightly better (say 40 mpg). But as such, the 25/35 rating is fine and I did average almost 33 mpg in a mixed week of driving.

Despite rising gas prices, I’d still prefer the Altima with the smaller turbo engine and without a CVT and with the Midnight Package. Unfortunately none of that is possible under the current parameters of the Altima.

It’s impressive for Nissan to stay committed to making cars as so many manufacturers forgo them for small crossover (ho-hum). I think there’s a market there for midsize sedans still and with the jazzy Midnight Package, the Nissan Altima is a car to consider within the shrinking segment.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at jimmydinsmore73@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @driversside

2022 Nissan Altima 2.5 SR

Price/As tested price................................................ $27,950/$31,490

Mileage.......................................... 25 mpg/city; 35 mpg/hwy

Engine............................................. 2.5-liter 4-cylinder

Horsepower................................. 182 hp/178 lbs./ft.

Transmission................................. CVT

Drive Wheels................ All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point................ Canton, MS

Combined ShapeCaption
An 8-inch color touchscreen runs Nissan’s infotainment system. This is one of the more underrated systems in the industry. It has all the technology you could want. Contributed

An 8-inch color touchscreen runs Nissan’s infotainment system. This is one of the more underrated systems in the industry. It has all the technology you could want. Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
An 8-inch color touchscreen runs Nissan’s infotainment system. This is one of the more underrated systems in the industry. It has all the technology you could want. Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
The midsize 2022 Nissan Altima receives just enough updates to keep it relevant. This isn’t just a straight model year carryover as there’s a special Midnight Edition Package offered. Contributed

The midsize 2022 Nissan Altima receives just enough updates to keep it relevant. This isn’t just a straight model year carryover as there’s a special Midnight Edition Package offered. Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
The midsize 2022 Nissan Altima receives just enough updates to keep it relevant. This isn’t just a straight model year carryover as there’s a special Midnight Edition Package offered. Contributed

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