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2019 Nissan Altima AWD Quebec winter conditions


For many drivers, all-wheel drive is basically a theory; at best, a safety net for those rare winter moments.


But those drivers don't live in Prince Edward Island. In many instances, a driver in the Sun Belt appreciates the traction advantages his or her AWD system offers in just-in-case scenarios. Here in PEI, however, the need for top-tier traction is a constant for much of the year.


That's why, when designing the all-new sixth-generation Altima that's recently been arriving at Centennial Nissan in Summerside and Charlottetown, Nissan determined that every Altima in Canada would be equipped with Intelligent all-wheel drive.


Every Altima. At no extra charge.


You can't buy an all-wheel-drive Toyota Camry, an all-wheel-drive Volkswagen Passat, an all-wheel-drive Chevrolet Malibu, or an all-wheel-drive Hyundai Sonata. Direct competition for the 2019 Altima is extraordinarily rare, and growing even more uncommon with Ford's discontinuation of the Fusion. 

The obvious question then is, "How does the Altima fare in real winter conditions?"


To answer that question, Nissan invited a host of Canadian publications to a decidedly winter setting at the Mecaglisse complex in Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, Quebec. Here's some of what the drivers had to say, with links to full reviews.


2019 Nissan Altima AWD


Driving.ca: "As much fun as ripping round the Mecaglisse circuit was, it was the real world driving on snow-packed and icy Quebec backcountry roads that truly demonstrated the appeal of the new Altima. No studded tires were required to reveal the grip provided by the AWD system."


AutoTrader: "A hundred kilometres of winding, hard-packed roads, tunnelling through Tremblant's towering snowbanks proved a satisfactory challenge for the new Altima's handling abilities. The front-wheel-drive-biased car has "on demand" torque, distributed by Nissan's Intelligent AWD to send as much as 50 percent of the power to the rear if needed. The system works imperceptibly, defaulting to front-wheel drive under normal conditions to save fuel, and can't be deployed nor shut-off by the driver. At 7.9 L/100 km, fuel consumption is only slightly higher than the previous 7.5 L of the outgoing front-wheel-drive model."


Wheels.ca: "Nissan was kind enough to oblige and we were led to the Circuit Mécaglisse North of Montreal. There, we were able to push the Altima around a nearly frozen circuit, letting the AWD system shuffle power around. Indeed, the AWD system along with the low, compact dimensions (as well as studded tires) made it nearly impossible to un-seat the Altima, no matter how hard we tried."


Autofile: "But when in need (which was the case for most of this journey), it can instantly send up to 50% of its power to the rear. That torque distribution is constantly in flux guiding the vehicle through the turn and on course throughout without the assistance being noticeable from the cockpit."


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