NASHVILLE -- Just three years into the success of the latest-generation Altima, Nissan's top-selling model in the U.S., the company is giving the midsize sedan a midcycle overhaul in hopes of narrowing a sales gap with the Toyota Camry.
The 2016 Altima, which goes on sale in mid-November, receives a restyled body, new front and rear lights, new wheel designs, a revamped interior and new center stack, reshaped seats and new interior materials.
Nissan also has made its most advanced safety systems available in the midsize sedan for the first time, including forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, radar-based blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
Those systems were introduced on luxury Infiniti models and migrated to Nissan’s higher-end products -- the Murano and Maxima -- this year.
Increased competition in the midsize sedan segment is forcing automakers to shorten the product cycle, Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America, said on the sidelines of an Automotive Press Association luncheon Tuesday in Detroit.
The Altima’s mid-cycle updating comes after three years rather than four. And rather than a mild makeover, it includes a new interior and extensive exterior restyling -- “Everything from the A pillar forward,” Munoz said.
“This is almost a full redesign,” Munoz said, and the company calls the freshening “one of the most extensive midcycle product makeovers in Nissan history.”