What Does the DS Mean on a Nissan Altima: Simple Answer You Should Know

What Does the DS Mean on a Nissan Altima

On specific Nissan Altima models and trims, you may notice the letters “DS” incorporated into the name. 

This refers to the performance-oriented “Drive Sport” enhancement package equipped with sporty Altima variants.

Drive Sport (DS) Feature Overview

The DS feature is an available addition to specific Altimas focused on delivering an extra fun-to-drive modes. 

Upgrades include:

Sport-Tuned Suspension

The DS feature equips a performance-oriented suspension system designed to carve corners while maintaining a smooth bump impact. 

Upgrades include:

Lowered Chassis and Revised Springs

  • A lower ride height by 10mm drops the center of gravity for enhanced grip and flat cornering. 
  • Custom springs are 15% stiffer to reduce the body lean when changing directions significantly. 
  • The Altima models usually stays steady when pushing the edge of adhesion.

Returned Dampers and New Bushings

  • Special dampers utilize thicker oil and rebound springs to provide firmer compression and rebound control compared to standard settings. 
  • This keeps the tires glued to the pavement over undulations. 
  • As a result, new front suspension bushings curb lateral movement.

Enhanced Handling and Traction

  • By curbing body roll and keeping the tires squarely planted, the underpinnings provide much sharper turn-in response and mid-corner adjustments for confident driving. 
  • It is noteworthy to mention that G-Force limits are heightened thanks to its peak traction levels.

Faster Steering System

The steering rack receives new programming and hardware for quicker reflexes. 

The upgrades focus on improved road communication for instinctive reactions behind the wheel

Such as:

Quicker Gearing and Increased Effort

  • The electronic power steering unit is reprogrammed with reduced gear ratios for faster response and less required lock-to-lock rotation (2.2 turns vs 2.7). 
  • The EPS has also been tightened for a heavier, more connected feel at speed or during committed manoeuvring by elevating the driver’s confidence.

Enhanced Feedback and Feel

  • Hardware modifications like a fixed steering shaft dynamic damper expands the sensation of the tires interacting with the road surface for instinctive reactions. 
  • Moreover, driver inputs result in instant, linear responses to take full advantage of the capable chassis dynamics for adrenaline-inducing the motor performances.

Altima 2.5 S/SV/SL DS

  • While the SR represents the core Altima performance variant, Nissan also offers the DS feature on lower S, SV, and SL trims equipped with the base 2.5L 4-cylinder engine for the drivers who are looking for a sportier feature.

Handling Focused

  • On these models focusing more on comfort and value, the Drive Sport upgrade brings welcome chassis enhancements. 
  • Lowered suspension, unique tuning, and quicker steering vastly improves the body control for confident corner carving while maintaining a compliant ride.

Cost Effective Performances

  • The 2.5L four-cylinder produces a peppy 182 horsepower through an efficient Xtronic CVT. 
  • Drivers can explore the chassis improvements without the premium fuel requirement of the turbocharged engine. 
  • It’s an affordable way to access the DS feature.

Altima Platinum DS

  • Flagship luxury models can also experience the DS feature. 
  • On range-topping Platinum models focusing on premium accommodations and technology, the package adds a level of driving enjoyment to match the elevated features.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Does the DS Mean on a Nissan Altima

Q: Does choosing the DS option impact the resale value?

A: Yes. The Drive Sport feature is a desirable option for enthusiasts seeking greater performance and handling. Having the factory DS upgrade may improve the resale value.

Q: Does having the DS mean I can only run on premium fuel?

A: No, even performance DS variants still only require regular unleaded fuel for the 4-cylinder engines. However the optional turbo engine does mandate premium gasoline.

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