American manufacturers are not making honest-to-goodness sedans anymore so this St. Louis Police Cooperative had to go to Nissan.
The North County Police Cooperative announced on Facebook earlier last week (July 1, 2020) the delivery of ten 2020 Nissan Altima Sedans with AWD as replacement vehicles for some of their older police sedans.
When you’re a police department that covers seven smaller cities under budget constraints, you need a fleet of reliable vehicles at a fair price. With the dearth of sedans as police interceptors from the likes of Ford and Chevrolet, and, where larger, more expensive SUV interceptors are not feasible, departments like this North County Police Cooperative in Missouri resort to other manufacturers, in this case, NCPD went to Nissan.
The pictures show black Altimas equipped with light bars, auxiliary lights, decals outside, and center console instrumentation for a laptop and light-bar operation.
While Altimas come with optional 2.0L turbo engines, this is the AWD model, so that means the standard 2.5L four-cylinder with 188 HP and 182 lb-ft. Compare that with the standard Charger Pursuits with Pentastar V6s good for 292 HP and 260 lb-ft.
Full size Ford SUV Interceptors cost around $34,000 and Dodge Charger Pursuits come in around $27,000. These Altimas come in slightly cheaper at around $24,000. While that $3,000 difference might not seem like a lot, spread over 10 vehicles, that’s a whole extra car.
Since this Altima is FWD-based, this police department might appreciate the easier-to-handle and more nimble driving experience around town.
While the back seat looks a lot more comfortable, that space is reserved for members of the criminal classes.
The biggest pet-peeve the car community has is these Altimas don’t use traditional automatics but CVTs. Nissan CVTs early implementation gained a bad reputation for being jerky, unreliable, and a pain in the wallet for owners. The CVT in this Altima, made by Jatco, seems to be sorted out. According to Jatco, they’ve made 10 million of these particular CVT8s. Hopefully that means, under police duty, they won’t crap out on officers when they need them the most.
A good CVT, theoretically, should deliver seamless performance and the correct gear ratio on demand when a police officer shoves the accelerator to the floor.
There’s also that “it’s not an American brand-name” thing. Consider that Altimas have been built in Tennessee since 1992, with a second Nissan factory in Mississippi shouldering some of the load, coming on-line in 2004. Altimas mean American jobs.
OK, so this Altima isn’t as fast as a Charger nor as spacious as a Ford Interceptor but I bet it’ll be a great, everyday police vehicle for this cooperative.
Only time will tell.