Nissan debuts a redesigned version of its popular Altima sedan for the 2013 model year. Available in summer 2012, Nissan expects the Altima to achieve 38 mpg on the highway with its four-cylinder engine. A V-6 engine remains available, as does the Altima coupe, which is largely unchanged for 2013. Competitors include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.
Sometimes one signature design cue can define a car, and that's what the redesigned Altima's full-length character line does for the family sedan. Running from the wraparound headlights to the clear-lens taillights, the flowing sheet-metal crease provides a lot of definition to the sedan's shoulder. It also sets off the greenhouse, which is narrower than the lower half of the car.
The front end is fitted with Nissan's new corporate grille and bordered by the more aggressive headlights. The cohesive design carries through to the rest of the car and brings a healthy dose of Maxima styling to the car. Exterior features include:
- 16-inch steel wheels with covers; 17- or 18-inch aluminum wheels available
- Low-rolling-resistance tires
- Available automatic headlights
- Available fog lights
- Available LED taillights
- When filling tires with air, horn beeps when the correct pressure is reached
- Available remote start
- Available moonroof
The redesigned Altima's cabin loses some of the distinctive design cues of the previous-generation sedan, like the trio of air vents in the middle of the dash, but materials quality is competitive for the segment.
Backseat passengers enjoy an elevated seating position with more room than you'll find in the new Chevrolet Malibu. The rear bench provides good thigh support for adult passengers, which isn't the norm for this segment. Combined with good legroom and foot space as well as lots of side glass to fend off claustrophobia, the backseat is a comfortable space.
The 2013 Nissan Altima sedan is the automaker's first car to offer NissanConnectSM, which integrates Pandora audio and has iPod connectivity, a 5-inch screen and text message management via voice controls. There's also NissanConnectSM with Navigation, which gains a larger 7-inch touch-screen and integrated Google search functionality. Interior features include:
- Cloth or leather upholstery
- Bluetooth cell phone connectivity with streaming audio
- 60/40-split folding backseat with armrest
- Customizable 4-inch color screen in gauge cluster
- Available power-adjustable driver's seat
- Available steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
- Available leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Available cruise control
- Available dual-zone automatic climate control
- Available Bose premium stereo
- Available heated front seats and steering wheel
Under the Hood
The Altima's base engine is a 182-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. A 270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 is optional. Both engines work with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Mechanical features include:
- Front strut tower brace
- Four-wheel disc brakes
- Active Understeer Control can brake inside front wheel in corners for improved handling
Safety features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags
- Available blind spot warning system
- Available lane departure warning
- Available moving object detection when reversing
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