Detroit, Michigan – Ahh, Detroit in November. Blue skies, 22-degrees Celsius, sunblock, golf, relaxing on the patio. It’s enough to give global warming a good name!

And we wondered why Nissan chose Detroit for its launch of the 2016 Altima…

Coincidentally, we’re told, Detroit’s the location of the company’s North American Technical Centre, where 1,200 employees work and where the new Altima was developed. But the choice of location was apparently down to the less interesting “logistics.”

It’s not an all-new Altima, however. It’s a “mid-cycle refresh” which means we’re about halfway through the current generation Altima, and time for some updates. In the case of this model, the updates are considerable.

It starts with the appearance, and pretty much a new front end from the windshield forward (actually, the windshield’s also new, as it’s now made of acoustic laminated glass). The most visible change is the grille, which is smaller and better integrated between the new headlights. Called “V-Motion” by Nissan, it’s the same grille design used in the latest Maxima sedan and Murano crossover. It’ll eventually find its way to the front of all Nissan cars and SUVs.

The new-look headlights are accented by a “boomerang” shaped daytime running lights, and Altima also receives redesigned fenders, bumper and hood, giving it a somewhat sleeker and lower appearance. The boomerang theme is echoed in the redesigned rear lights and is also found inside the car (on the doors). There’s a new rear trunk lid and bumper to complement the lights.

At the side, Altima receives new 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels, and a unique 18-inch wheel for the sport-trim SR model (the entry level model is fitted with 16-inch steel wheels with covers).

So, there’s a lot that’s different on the outside and there are some differences inside. A new steering wheel, a redesigned centre stack, new trim for the dashboard to emphasize width, and some aluminum-look and piano black features enhance the cabin. Siri Hands-Free is available, too (although not the full Apple CarPlay system or Android Auto). The mid-range SV model has a power driver’s seat, but a manual passenger seat, a cost-saving measure presumably.

Also on Top Picks: Popular Used Family Sedans at a Glance

The suspension is tuned for a more stable ride and the steering is altered for a sharper, more responsive feel. A new choice of tires improves braking performance by a surprising 10 percent and underbody panels make the car more aerodynamic (and hence more fuel efficient).

Connect with