Sales of the Nissan Altima reached 37,763 units in March, making it best-selling car in the U.S. for this month.
But the Altima isn't just a perennial strong seller. It's also the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment with best-in-class highway fuel economy of 38 miles per gallon (mpg)*1.
In the video below, Program Director Kazuaki Iwamoto explains how Nissan's designers and engineers reached 38 mpg without compromising the looks, performance and riding comfort that customers have come to expect from the Altima.
Altima Program Director Kazuaki Iwamoto:
As part of Nissan's goal of becoming the leader in fuel efficient vehicles, we thought the best way to appeal to our customers was to promote the new Altima as the leader in fuel consumption. That is why we have positioned fuel consumption as the highest priority among our targets.
As U.S. customers are particularly concerned about fuel consumption when traveling at relative high speeds, we established 38 miles per gallon as the target value for highway economy. This is a goal that would have been entirely unachievable in the past, but we put our best effort into achieving it through various measures.
Fuel efficiency is a performance indicator that reflects the overall technological capability of a company. Although we have attempted several approaches, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) remains the optimal solution.
This CVT has undergone a complete renewal, and we believe that it is at the highest level in all aspects of performance, including engine and driving performance. We have further improved fuel efficiency and we have achieved a performance level the clearly surpasses that of our competitors.
The second point is reducing vehicle weight. The new Altima has achieved significant weight reduction.
The third point is engine refinement. We have made detailed refinements in all areas such as the rolling resistance of the tires and the brake drag, helping us reach the level of fuel efficiency that we aimed for in the new Altima.
Nissan has recently changed its internal positioning with regards to fuel consumption.
We now want to be in a leading position in the area of fuel efficiency as a corporate goal. The new Altima can be regarded as the first vehicle that is leading us to this goal. We continue to make efforts in improving fuel efficiency of our vehicles through various improvements in technology.
- *1 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rating for highway fuel economy. Comparisons are made against mid-size sedans using gasoline engine and exclude hybrid and diesel models.