When I got the call from Nissan inviting me to walk the red carpet and attend the world premiere of “Mary Poppins Returns,” plus a chance to preview their all-new 2019 Nissan Altima, I knew they must have something exciting to share. Sure enough, my trip got me thinking, “Would Mary Poppins drive a 2019 Nissan Altima?”
Sound far-fetched? Maybe, but Nissan did create a pretty sweet Millennium Falcon-inspired Nissan Rogue last year. That Nissan Rogue brought Star Wars Droid tech to real life, so maybe they could create a practically perfect car worthy of Mary Poppins.
So why not decide if Mary Poppins would drive a 2019 Nissan Altima? For extra credit, I will give you my thoughts if this car should be among your short list of cars to test drive.
Keep in mind I was invited to the “Mary Poppins Returns” premiere on behalf of Nissan. Their invite has not influenced my opinion; these thoughts are my own. I take full responsibility for any failure to adequately factor in the preferences of the beloved Mary Poppins.
2019 Nissan Altima specs
Mary Poppins isn’t comparing horsepower and torque when she selects a vehicle. Instead, she would want to know about the car’s magic. And the magic that matters most is the magic that keeps your children and other occupants safe and sound.
The magical base Altima features include:
- Intelligent Forward Collision Warning – Vehicle sensors notify the driver to slow down to avoid an accident. Additionally, the seat belt tightens for extra protection should an accident seem likely.
- Automatic Emergency Braking – Standard on every car is the emergency braking system which automatically applies the brakes in an effort to avoid an accident.
Should you have an extra spoonful of funds the most delightful options can be found on a fully loaded Altima, which includes:
- ProPilot Assist – A suite of features to provide nearly automated driving. The system only requires that you select your desired speed and distance from the car ahead of you and it will take over the accelerate & braking plus monitor the lane markers to ensure you remain in the center of your lane traveling safely behind the car ahead.
Building on these magical goodies, Nissan makes a couple of bold claims in their Mary Poppins sponsorship.
1st Claim: Impossibly Smart Altima
Nissan’s promo video featuring Rob Marshall, the director of “Mary Poppins Returns”; Mimi Steele, the Vice President of Visual Effect Production; and Jim Capobianco, the Animation Supervisor for Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” makes the claim the Nissan Altima is Impossibly Smart. Specifically, they are alluding to Nissan’s optional ProPilot Assist as the headline feature among a long laundry list of technological advances. This technology will assist the driver and provide for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.
The Verdict: Not Impossibly Smart, but still impressive
I had a chance to test ProPilot assist during the afternoon rush hour in Los Angeles on the 101. The traffic was a mix of 55 mph zones and nearly complete standstills. I was pleasantly surprised to see that cruise control or ProPilot Assist was perfectly capable of handling the traffic and providing a stress-free drive. In fact a few years ago I had the opportunity to use a similar adaptive cruise control on the 2016 Lexus RX 350 in Denver and frankly, its performance was no better and maybe a little worse than that of the Nissan Altima.
But Mary Poppins likes things to be exact and I can’t say the Nissan system is “impossibly” smart when the technology has been available for a few years. I would say it’s an “impossible bargain” considering I am comparing my driving impressions of a sensibly priced Nissan Altima to a much more expensive Lexus RX 350.
My verdict: not Impossibly Smart, but still impressive.
2nd Claim: Practically Perfect Design
This next promo again features Mimi Steele, the Vice President of Visual Effect Production, and Jim Capobianco, the Animation Supervisor for Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns.” In this video, the claim is the design is practically perfect in every way.
The Verdict: The Design is Practically Perfect
A car’s design is so subjective, it’s hard to say if it’s perfect, but these professional car reviews do support Nissan’s claim.
MotorTrend states: “The 2019 Nissan Altima really does look more refined.”
And I like how CNET describes the new design: “What’s cookin’, good lookin’?”
Yet ultimately if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we have to fall back on Mary Poppins’ own words at the end of the video above and conclude it’s “practically perfect in every way.”