Update: 08/30/23 6:00 p.m. ET: The article has been updated with Nissan's comment on the matter.
The Nissan Altima is often the butt of the joke. It's a default budget used car, often seen poorly maintained and even more poorly driven. Now, though, its days may be numbered as a new report suggests Nissan will soon drop the long-running midsize sedan from its lineup.
News of Altima's planned demise comes from Automotive News, as part of the outlet's ongoing survey of future product pipelines based on intel from suppliers and other sources. Nissan is expected to end production of the Altima in 2025 with no direct replacement on the horizon. The Altima will follow in the footsteps of the Nissan Maxima in this regard, which will itself end production this year. Automotive News also says Nissan will launch a new unnamed electric sedan in 2026, but there's no indication it will carry on the Altima nameplate.
The Drive contacted Nissan for confirmation on the Altima's future.“Altima was updated in the fall of 2022 with refreshed styling and new technology. We are continuing to invest in the sedan segment to offer our customers great-looking cars equipped with convenient, entertaining and safety-enhancing technologies," said a Nissan spokesperson, adding "As we accelerate towards realizing Nissan’s Ambition 2030 vision we have many exciting plans in development, but we don’t have anything to share at this time.”
The Altima isn't a particularly old product, with the current generation having entered production in 2018 for the 2019 model year. It even got a refresh last fall, including a new fascia and upgraded infotainment system. Available in front- and all-wheel-drive models, it's a competent sedan, intended as basic transport and little more. The problem is that it lives in a market increasingly bored with such vehicles.
The Altima's reputation is similar to that of the Toyota Camry, given it occupies a similar role as an affordable basic sedan. However, the Altima is often ascribed a more chaotic personality out on the roads, and the model and its drivers have become a popular subject of automotive memes.
This reputation has grown out of a basic reality that some Altimas do end up in wild and dangerous situations. We saw a great example earlier this year when a Nissan Altima ramped off a parked tow truck and flew 120 feet in the air before slamming into another Nissan Altima. Oh, and the driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
It's unlikely too many automotive enthusiasts will miss the Altima, at least in its current state. Perhaps it would be remembered differently if Nissan made 'em more like the short-lived SE-R of the mid-aughts. Those who fear the stereotype of the out-of-control Altima driver may similarly praise its demise. At the same time, the impending death of yet another affordable, straightforward car means even fewer choices for the huge swath of buyers shopping in the $20,000-$30,000 range.
For better or worse, it appears we are truly approaching the end of the Altima era.
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