Already the best-selling model in its lineup, for 2013 Nissan has caringly redesigned the Altima, delivering a more stylish and upscale look and feel in addition to creating the roomiest mid-size sedan on the market.
“One of the best redesign aspects of the 2013 Altima” said Steve Ainsley, General Sales Manager with Woodmen Nissan “is best-in-class fuel economy at 38 miles per gallon.” In fact Nissan made some valuable engineering adjustments to earn a federal government rating of 27 miles per gallon in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.
Somewhat larger and delivering more power than its predecessor, the 2013 comes with chrome-look outer door handles and chrome-look trim around its windows for a classy high-end appearance, while updated suspension and steering designs continue its standing as one of the best handling sedans.
A key advantage of the new Altima is its size. Front-seat legroom is substantial, while rear-seat legroom and headroom also stays generous. A liberal 15.4-cubic-foot trunk is very competitive with most of Altima’s rivals.
Ainsley also points out that further improvements include “NASA inspired zero-gravity front seating to reduce fatique during long drives.” According to Nissan, the design is intended to minimize the muscular loading of the occupant’s back, pelvis, and torso for a more comfortable sitting position.
A number of premium features have been incorporated for 2013 and some of them are standard, such as keyless push-button start and Bluetooth hands-free phone system, which add to the refined and upscale vibe.
The 2013 Altima comes in sedan and coupe body styles with the sedan offering seven trim levels and the coupe in a single 2.5S trim.
The base 2.5 sedan comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, a four-inch display screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player.
Moving up to the 2.5S gets you cruise control, automatic headlights, a six-way power driver seat, more advanced functionality for the gauge-cluster LCD screen and a six-speaker sound system.
The 3.5S comes with a V6-engine and includes the previous features plus 18-inch alloy wheels and a sport mode with paddle shifters for the CVT.
The SV trim level brings 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote ignition, five -inch color LCD screen, rearview camera and upgraded sound system that includes an iPod/USB audio interface, satellite radio, Pandora radio and hands-free reading of incoming text messages. A Convenience package (optional on 2.5 SV, standard on the 3.5 SV) adds a sunroof and a few other extras.
Top-of-the-line SL delivers xenon headlights, LED taillights, the sunroof, leather upholstery, eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a nine-speaker premium Bose sound system with an auxiliary audio jack.
Buyers can also choose from a Navigation package, Convenience package, Technology package and a Premium package that provide things like a seven-inch in-dash monitor and steering wheel controls, sunroof, heated steering wheel, nine-speaker Bose sound system, and many more extras.
The 2013 Altima 2.5 sedan comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
Altima 3.5 models have a 3.5-liter V6 for 270 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque with the CVT is standard.
The Coupe gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder supplying 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque also with a CVT.
Expanded safety features in the new Altima are also impressive. “The 2013 Altima garnered a five-out-of-five-star rating for frontal and side crash passenger protection in U.S. government testing” noted Ainsley.
Every 2013 Altima comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Sedans, (except the base and S trims), come standard with a rearview camera, and it is available as an option on the coupe. Other options for the sedan are blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and a lane-departure warning system.
Altima's new, standard active understeer control works automatically to brake the front wheels and keep the car under control. The standard Easy Fill Alert tire pressure system, the Altima tells a driver when a tire needs air and then honks the horn when a low tire is inflated to its correct pressure.
In addition, Consumer Reports says predicted reliability of the new Altima is expected to be above average.