The 2013 Nissan Altima earns an above average Total Car Score for the Midsize Sedans & Wagons segment.
In the 20 years since it was first introduced, Nissan’s Altima has worked its way into the mainstream, becoming one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. The all-new, fifth-generation Altima sees changes inside and out that should help it cement that standing, and maybe even climb a few rungs up the ladder towards the number-one spot.
The Altima’s restyled exterior has a more sculpted, purposeful look, enhanced by a wider track and slightly flared fenders over the tires. Inside the Altima, Nissan strove to bring the sedan upscale, using premium materials and making equipment like Bluetooth, keyless entry and pushbutton start standard across the lineup.
A full array of high-tech features can be ordered for the Altima, including turn-by-turn navigation, hands-free text-messaging assistant and the NissanConnect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen.
Under the hood, Nissan has reworked the base 2.5-liter engine and mated it with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in an effort to squeeze as much fuel economy out of the engine as possible.
If they’ve done their homework properly, Nissan’s engineers expect the 2.5-liter Altima to return a segment-topping 38 highway mpg. The V6 engine carries over from the previous model, but hooking it to a CVT should help the 2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 achieve 30 mpg on the highway, says Nissan.
The 2013 Nissan Altima is a four-door five-passenger sedan that’s available in seven trim levels: 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SV, 2.5 SL, 3.5 S, 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL.
Those models with 2.5 in their name are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. The 3.5 models host a 3.5-liter V6 under the hood producing 270 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are joined to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels. (V6 CVTs have a manual-shift mode and are equipped with column-mounted paddle shifters.)
Standard equipment aboard the base Altima 2.5 includes 16-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split rear seat, remote keyless entry and pushbutton ignition, power accessories, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system and Bluetooth hands-free phone and streaming audio systems. S models (with either engine) add a power driver’s seat and an upgrade to the audio system.
Moving up to the SV trim level brings 17-inch wheels to the 2.5 models, 18s to the 3.5; Pandora, Google, satellite radio and hands-free text message assistant to the audio system; dual-zone automatic climate system and rearview monitor. The top SL models come with HID headlamps (V6 only), LED taillights, perforated leather upholstery, upgraded front seats with power lumbar support, a power moonroof and a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system.
The EPA has not yet rated the 2013 Nissan Altima, but the maker expects the 2.5-liter engine to return 27 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined, while the V6 is slated to achieve 22/30/25 mpg.
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