Sneak Peek: 2013 Nissan Altima

Vehicle Highlights

2013 Nissan Altima: What is it?

Altima is Nissan’s midsize car that’s been offered in coupe and sedan body styles–the latter being the far more popular variant. For 2013, Nissan has redesigned the Altima sedan; at this point there’s no word regarding the future of the coupe version. Four-cylinder and V6 engines are offered.

Altima has proven very popular of late, with sales closing in on class leader Toyota Camry and surpassing the Honda Accord. Other top rivals include the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, and Hyundai Sonata. Altima is built in the U.S. 

2013 Nissan Altima: What’s New

The 2013 Nissan Altima sedan has been redesigned. It gains new styling, a new continuously variable transmission, and additional features. The gas/electric Hybrid model has been discontinued.

2013 Nissan Altima: Model Lineup Features and Options

The 2.5 model is offered in base, S, SV, and SL variants. The 3.5 model comes in S, SV, and SL versions.

Base 2.5 sedans come with many popular features, including power windows/locks/mirrors. Keyless access and starting, wireless cell-phone link, and audio streaming are also standard. Added in the 2.5 S models are cruise control, automatic headlights, and 6-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat. Nissan predicts the 2.5 SV will be the volume leader of the 2013 Altimas. It adds dual-zone automatic climate controls, an upgraded audio system with satellite radio, rear-view camera, and 17-inch tires on alloy wheels.

The 2.5 SL is the top-of-the-line 4-cylinder-powered Altima. It adds a heated steering wheel, leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats, power sunroof, Bose audio system, LED taillamps, compass, and a driver’s seat with 8-way power adjustment and lumbar adjustment.

V6-powered 3.5 models are equipped like their 2.5 counterparts, but each adds 18-inch tires on alloy wheels and a manual-shift mode with paddle shifters for the continuously variable transmission.

Nissan offers a handful of individual options for select Altima models; most are not offered for the base 2.5. These include a rear spoiler, splash guards, body-side moldings, and a trunk organizer.

A few option packages are also available. The 2.5 SV’s Convenience Package includes a power sunroof, mirror-mounted turn signals, illuminated visor mirrors, universal garage door opener, compass, automatic day/night rearview mirror, automatic up/down passenger-side front window, interior mood light, cargo net, and fog lights.

The Navigation Package for 2.5 SV and 3.5 SV adds an in-dash navigation system with steering-wheel-mounted controls.

A Technology Package for 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL adds the navigation system, blind-spot warning, moving-obstacle detection, and lane-departure warning.

2013 Nissan Altima: Engines, Transmissions, and Drive Wheels

Altima’s base engine is a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that’s found in 2.5 models. The only other engine is a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that powers 3.5 models. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) that behaves much like an automatic is standard on all 2013 Altima sedans. 

All Altimas are front-wheel drive.

2013 Nissan Altima: Fuel Economy

At the time of this writing, official EPA fuel economy estimates are not available. Nissan projects the 4-cylinder/CVT automatic combination will be rated at 27 city/38 highway, and the V6/CVT combination will earn a 22/30 rating.

All Altimas use regular-grade gas.

2013 Nissan Altima: Safety Features

Altimas come with all the expected safety features as standard. The SV and SL models include standard rearview cameras.

Note, this evaluation is based on preview test drives of pre-production vehicles.

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