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2013 Nissan Altima Overview
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Based on 2 reviews
For the 2013 model year, Nissan has revamped its hugely popular Altima from (almost) the ground up. The Altima was the second most popular automobile with consumers in 2011, and this re-engineering is sure to strengthen its foothold, perhaps even helping it overtake the number-one Camry.
Although it sits on the same wheelbase as last year, the new Altima is almost an inch longer and about an inch-and-a-half wider. But it’s shed a few pounds—79 to be exact—thanks to its use of ultra-high-strength steel throughout the frame. It’s more curvaceous and stylish in the front and rear, while still appealing to the mainstream midsize buyers it has so effectively courted.
Two engines and 3 levels of trim for each will be initially released for the sedan. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine gets a slight boost in horsepower, up from 175 to 182, while torque stays at 180 lb-ft. For those looking for a little more adventure, the 3.5-liter V6 with 270 hp and 258 lb-ft (same as last year) is also available. An impressive 27 mpg city/38 highway is estimated for the 2.5, largely thanks to tweaks in the continuously variable transmission (CVT) that comes standard. A 6-speed manual transmission with paddle shifters comes installed in the 3.5 and gets an estimated 22/30, still good for its class. A hybrid trim is also anticipated, but with such high mpg for the 2.5, one can only imagine what numbers it will tout.
Trims available will be the S, which includes 16-inch steel wheels, Bluetooth, keyless entry, a 6-speaker audio system and cruise control; the SV, which adds 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, hands-free text messaging and upgraded audio with a 5-inch display; and the SL, which includes a heated steering wheel, LED taillights and turn signals, and an 8-way adjustable driver’s seat, amongst other goodies. The 3.5 trims contain a few special bits of their own: the S includes 18-inch wheels, the SV tacks on a moonroof and fog lights, and the SL has xenon headlights and luxury wood or metallic interior trim.
All levels include a configurable drive-assist display, which is cradled between the two analog dials and can display incoming calls, turn-by-turn driving assistance and audio controls. And Nissan is touting its “NASA-inspired” seats, which promise to relieve pressure points and reduce fatigue.
It’s an impressive refresh for Nissan, which has kept the good and improved overall performance. Economically minded shoppers seeking a midsize sedan that’s pleasing to the eye and easy on the wallet may have found a new object of affection. Watch out, Camry!
by Stephen Moramarco
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