Last year around this time I was invited by Nissan to the media debut of the 2019 Altima. It was big news due to some of the biggest changes in the 26-year history of the vehicle. A 2.0-liter variable-compression turbo four cylinder replaced the V6 engine and the model’s first AWD system debuted.

Driving around Santa Barbara in that all-new model was a highlight of my car-reviewing year. A great ride – amongst beautiful scenery – with a lot of pep, roominess and smooth cruising.

Nissan recently rolled out its 2020 version of the Altima with less fanfare than last year as it receives some minor updates along with some changes and additional features.

The mid-size sedan continues to offer available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, ProPILOT Assist and Nissan Safety Shield 360 technologies. I continue to be a fan boy of these features.

The Altima keeps it sleek, expressive look with that character line running just below the belt line. The manufacturer’s signature floating roof design that debuted on the 2019 model is still an eye-opener.

Enhancements for the new model year include the addition of Nissan Safety Shield 360 as standard for the SR model. The S grade adds the Driver Assist Package. The higher-level SV, SL and Platinum models now includes the option of a Piano Black interior finish and a mirror memory function.

Though Santa Barbara – or even a Nashville media debut – was not in the cards for me this year I did get to spend time in the 2020 Altima recently.

Inside it’s pretty much the same car. I used most all of its 188 horsepower to hop on freeways with no giddy-up issues. It really does have a smooth ride thanks the lower, wider stance than the previous generation. The backseat has plenty of leg and headroom with easy access via large doors.

Inside finds the “gliding wing” instrument panel with high-contrast colors and trim. A standard 8” touchscreen display is within reach of the driver though I preferred sitting back in the comfy Zero Gravity seats, a NASA-inspired feature.

Audio and infotainment choices include a Bose Premium Audio system with nine speakers.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard along with Bluetooth, a hands-free text messaging assistant, and Siri Eyes Free voice recognition.

Pricing on the 2020 Altima aren’t much different than last year. The base S trim is up just $100, to $24,995. The top-tier Platinum trim is just over $33,000 with FWD. The AWD version adds another $3,000. Surprisingly the SV trim is $300 cheaper than it was last year.

Sales of mid-size sedans have slowly been in decline in recent years but Nissan continues to add life, pep, comfort and power to the new-and-improved Altima. The generous passenger space and modern technology make this a contender amongst the best family sedans.

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