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2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Altima
All-new version feels like a class above midsize.

By Ted West

Review Pages
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1. Overview
2. Walkaround and Interior
3. Driving Impressions
4. Summary, Prices, Specs

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Overview

The Nissan Altima is all-new for 2013. With a combination of innovative mechanical components, carefully tuned ride and handling, advanced cockpit connectivity features and sleekly contemporary styling that belies its price class, the fifth-generation 2013 Altima feels like it's a class above its mid-size segment while providing comfortable, efficient family transport.

Most 2013 Altima models will come with a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but a a vigorous, upscale 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 is available. The thrifty four-cylinder engine is newly redesigned and, combined with a vastly improved Nissan CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), the result of 20 years of refinement, this drivetrain results in a segment-leading 38 mpg EPA Highway rating. That's better than Ford Fusion Hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu ECO, Hyundai Hybrid or any other competing mid-size sedan.

We found the Altima 3.5 with the V6 engine a brilliant performer, but the Altima 2.5 with the four-cylinder engine delivered just average performance.

Inside, the top-of-the-line Altima SL trim was very luxurious, and the SV trim with cloth upholstery was also very nice. All of them are very quiet underway.

Combine headline-making fuel efficiency with a variety of features and creature comforts not generally found in non-luxury mid-size sedans, and the 2013 Altima, already shouldering its way into Nissan Maxima territory, makes a stylish, affordable and tempting choice for families working their way up the scale.

Nissan Altima competes with Volkswagen Passat, Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion.

Model Lineup

2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 models are powered by the 184-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder, while Altima 3.5 models feature the 270-hp 3.5-liter V6. Both come with a continuously variable transmission.

Altima 2.5 ($21,500) comes standard with cloth upholstery, 6-way manual driver's seat, AM/FM/CD with 4 speakers, Bluetooth hands-free phone. Bluetooth Streaming Audio, speedometer, tachometer, coolant gauge, fuel level gauge w/ fuel door location, Nissan Advanced Drive-Assist display, power windows, power locks, dual remote power sideview mirrors, remote keyless entry, steering wheel cruise control, center console w/ armrest and power outlet, 4 cup holders, 4 bottle holders, 16-inch steel wheels, 215/60R16 tires, halogen headlights. Altima 2.5 S ($22,500) upgrades with 6-way power driver's seat, AM/FM/CD w/ 6 speakers.

Altima 2.5 SV ($24,100) adds leather-wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, 215/55R17 tires, speed-sensitive audio volume control, USB port with iPod, satellite radio, Pandora, Google POI Search, Hands-Free text messaging, rearview monitor, dual-zone climate control, rear heating/cooling vents, remote engine start. An optional Convenience Package for 2.5 SV ($1350) includes power moonroof, fog lights, sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals, manual folding sideview mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, front passenger window with one-touch auto up/down, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Homelink Universal Transceiver, compass, mood lamp, side cargo net. The SV Navigation Package ($590) includes the 7-inch color screen, turn-by-turn navigation integration into Nissan Advanced Drive-Assist display, steering wheel navigation system controls.

Altima 2.5 SL ($28,050) upgrades with leather seating, heated front seats. 8-way power driver's seat w/ power lumbar, 2-way adjustable head restraints, Bose 9-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux, compass, folding power sideview mirrors, Homelink Universal Transceiver, power moonroof, wood-tone trim, metallic texture trim, LED front map lights, mood lamp, side cargo net, fog lights, outside mirror LED turn signals, LED taillights and CHMSL. An optional SL Technology Package ($1090) features Nissan Navigation system with 7-inch color screen, turn-by-turn navigation integrated into Nissan Advanced Drive-Assist Display, steering wheel navigation system controls, Blind Spot Warning, Moving Obstacle Detection, Lane Departure Warning.

The V6-powered Altima 3.5 S ($25,360), 3.5 SV ($27,780), and 3.5 SL ($30,080) are equipped the same as the respective 2.5 models and offer the same option packages.

Safety features on all Altima models includes ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, all federally mandated airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, child seat anchors, LATCH child-seat system, power window lockout, child safety rear door locks, emergency inside trunk release, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Traction Control, tire-pressure monitor, Vehicle Immobilizer System.


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