Nissan's 2019 Altima and the New Mary Poppins Movie Share a Common Goal: Creative Innovation

by Kristin Shaw

Photo: Nissan

Photo: Nissan

When Disney animators are sketching out a design for a movie like Mary Poppins Returns, they may start with pencil and paper, transfer their work to storyboards and then to digital files. It’s a process guided by the creative vision, and the outcome is a result of all of the iterations along the route (and maybe a spoonful of sugar, too).

In the same vein, the designers at Nissan have combined technology and art to create the new Altima, the manufacturer’s mid-size sedan.

“At Nissan, innovation means taking something everyone knows and making it new and exciting again,” says Nissan’s Ken Lee, Program Design Director, in a special video tying the auto manufacturer to the movie. “In the same way that filmmakers combine artistry and technology, this is how we’ve created the impossibly smart Altima.”

With a bit of automotive-industry magic, Nissan has invested time and energy into the updated Altima to make it stand out in its class. Recent popularity surges in the crossover market have forced manufacturers to get creative; the efficiency of the Altima’s new engine* (see footnote) and available all-wheel drive give this sedan an opportunity to compete while staying true to its roots.

On that note, the return of Mary Poppins is much the same: the new movie keeps the sweet whimsy of the 1964 original, and enhances it with incredible new animation techniques, songs, and modernity. Nissan’s Vice President, Marketing Communications and Media Jeremy Tucker, a former Disney Consumer Products executive, saw the potential for partnership and led the creation of two videos to show the similarities of car and movie design.

“The reality is, five million sedans are sold in America every year,” Tucker told us just before the red-carpet premiere of Mary Poppins Returns in LA in late November. “There’s a tremendous opportunity that we see here. How do we take what we love about a sedan… one of our best models and a tremendous nameplate for Nissan, and modernize it, without losing who we are?”

Photo: Nissan

Photo: Nissan

Billed as “impossibly smart”, the 2019 Altima is touted as the most fuel efficient all-wheel drive sedan in its class, and the company has updated several exterior and interior elements of the vehicle. Technology is also a major focus, and Nissan’s marketing team has done a good job on its site outlining which features outperform competitors, item by item.

Available since October of 2018, the Altima is offered in five trim levels: S, SR, SV, SL, and Platinum. The 2019 Altima also offers available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (on all trim levels equipped with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine) for the first time ever on a Nissan sedan in the U.S.

You can expect to pay starting at $23,750 for Altima S, up to $35,750 for the Altima Edition ONE. Edition ONE offers 24/7 Nissan Concierge service live assistance, which is included for three years. If you’re on the road quite a bit, like to explore, and enjoy having access to a live person to guide you for restaurant recommendations and travel assistance, this is the package for you.

If you think about what Disney has done with Mary Poppins Returns, they had a similar challenge to take something well-loved by its fans and offer a fresh and innovative approach. Animation technology has changed tremendously in the last 50 years; while the newest Mary Poppins movie seamlessly blends animation and live action in a way the original could not have at the time, it still retains what made us all fall in love with Mary the first time. It’s Mary Poppins 2.0… plus the Altima 2.019. Each practically perfect in its own way.

Wendy and Kristin red carpet.jpg

What to know about the new Altima:

Standard on every 2019 Altima:

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,

  • Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System

  • Streaming Audio via Bluetooth

  • Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant

  • Siri Eyes Free voice recognition

  • Key fob remote engine start

  • USB Type-C outlets (faster charging!)

  • Also available (for additional cost): Bose Premium Audio System

Safety features available:

  • Rear Automatic Braking: alerts the driver to potential collisions with approaching vehicles and stationary objects when reversing, and braking to help avoid impact.

  • A symbol on the dash will alert the driver when tire pressure is low, identifying which specific tire is down. Then the Easy-Fill Tire Alert taps the horn when the tire is at the right pressure.

  • By monitoring the distance and velocity of the vehicle in front of you, and the one in front of that one as well, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning alerts the driver to potential risks ahead of what he or she can see.

Engine note:

The industry is very excited about Nissan’s VC (variable compression) Turbo engine. This shape-shifting piece of machinery increases fuel economy and zip by responding to the driver in real time. The way Nissan explains it is like this: “When you press on the gas, the piston moves to produce a lower compression ratio. Similar to when a sprinter crouches to launch off of the starting line, it results in instant V6-like power from this mighty 4-cylinder turbo engine. When you cruise at lower speeds, the rotating assembly transforms to produce a higher compression ratio. And like the more relaxed stance of a long-distance runner, it conserves energy and increases your fuel economy.” The result is a miles per gallon average of 25 in the city and 34 on the highway.

Photo: Nissan

Photo: Nissan

Kristin Shaw