Report: Nissan Altima design was swayed by Hyundai Sonata, sights still set on Camry

It seems that the Hyundai Sonata has every mass automaker of mid-sized sedan shaking in their boots. In an interview with WardsAuto, Nissan’s executive vice president-global planning Andy Palmer admitted that the fifth-generation Altima faced a brief halt to design because the company had its sights set on the Sonata.

“Clearly, we referenced the Sonata when we were going through the design process,” Palmer said. “We even delayed development by a short amount just to check that the (new Altima’s) proportions were right, the (package) was right (and that) the product overall was right.”

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Check out more news on the Nissan Altima.

Nonetheless, the Toyota Camry is the car that Nissan has its sights on.

“It’s Camry that is in our sights, (and) the target market is, relatively speaking, conservative,” Palmer says. The American midsize sedan buyer is “clearly looking for a vehicle with elegance but not so showy.”

Refresher: The 2013 Nissan Altima is available with a 2.5-liter QR25 4-cylinder engine producing 182-hp and a peak torque of 180 lb-ft. Buyers can also opt for the 3.5-liter V6 VQ35DE, which keeps its 270-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Prices start at $21,500.

– By: Omar Rana