2013 Nissan Altima: New York International Auto Show
- 04/06/2012 |
- by Tara Baukus Mello |
- Total Car News / Auto Show
Nissan says it's aiming to "shake up" the mid-size sedan segment with its new 2013 Nissan Altima, which features new styling and more upscale interior and improved fuel economy.
In its fifth generation, the 2013 Altima sports an updated look. The wheelbase is the same as the 2012 Nissan Altima, but it is wider overall. A new grille design, seamless bumper and projector-beam headlights give Altima a new face, while the profile has been changed slightly with a more steeper-raked windshield, higher (and larger) trunk and larger tail lights.
Inside, Nissan designers have made the Altima more upscale with soft-touch materials throughout and a choice of cloth or leather seating, depending on the model. The Altima's seats have been redesigned using NASA research to reduce fatigue, while numerous changes reduce road and engine noise to make the passenger cabin quieter.
New convenience features include the new NissanConnect infotainment system and Advanced Drive-Assist display. NissanConnect integrates hands-free phone and streaming audio capabilities via Bluetooth, as well as Pandora, SiriusXM and USB connection for an iPod. NissanConnect also has an optional hands-free text messaging function, which reads incoming text messages aloud and can send a limited selection of pre-set answers directly from buttons on the steering wheel. Standard on all 2013 Nissan Altima models, the Advanced Drive-Assist display utilizes a 4-inch color display that Nissan says is over 400 percent larger and features more natural graphics than on the 2012 model to help drivers get the information they need more quickly and reduce the amount of time their eyes are off the road. The customizable system features audio information, instant MPG, trip computer and tire pressure data as well as turn-by-turn navigation, if equipped with the optional navigation system. Advanced Drive-Assist can also be linked to three new safety features: blind spot warning, lane departure warning and moving object detection, which are all optional.
As part of the redesign on the 2013 Nissan Altima, engineers made several changes to improve performance and handling. As with the previous generation, the new Altima is powered by a choice of two engines. The 270 hp, 3.5-liter V6 remains identical, but the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder is more powerful. The four-c ylinder now produces 182 hp, a 7 hp increase, while a new intake system keeps the torque curve flat, providing a wider range of power. Nissan's next-generation continuously variable transmission features numerous changes to further improve fuel economy on both engines. Nissan is estimating class-leading fuel economy of 27 mpg city / 38 mpg highway / 31 mpg combined for Altima four-cylinder models and 22 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 25 mpg combined for V6 models. Handling improvements are the result of a lighter body (about 80 pounds less than 2012), a redesigned rear suspension, new electronic hydraulic power-assisted steering and the new Active Understeer Control system.
The 2013 Nissan Altima arrives in showrooms in July.
Here's what others are saying:
Autoblog: "Harmless as it may seem, the new-for-2013 Nissan Altima actually packs quite a punch. Rated at an estimated 38 miles per gallon, it boasts the best four-cylinder fuel economy of any midsize sedan, and that's without the use of any electric motors, turbochargers or even direct injection."
cNet: "we were hoping for something revolutionary from the 2013 Nissan Altima, but it seems that all we got was an evolutionary update to the current generation."
Motor Authority: "The cabin of the 2013 Altima offers a light and airy feel, with an uncluttered dash and a fairly simple-looking center stack."
The New York Times: "With a curb weight as low as 3,106 pounds, the Nissan may be the lightest car in its class, but the styling is a bit ponderous and unresolved, with a thick slab of grille, woozy sine-wave character lines along the body and bulging, Camry-esque taillamps."