The all-new sedan is still a compelling choice.
The Nissan Altima sedan is all-new for 2013. The design is an evolution of the old car, with a curving character line along each side, a larger front grille, a sloping roofline, and incremental increases in length and width. The interior has smarter materials, new seats designed with NASA input for better comfort, and an exceptionally large trunk. Whereas some rivals have switched to turbocharged engines, the Altima continues with updated versions of the old car’s 2.5-liter in-line four and 3.5-liter V-6. Aerodynamic improvements and a new continuously variable transmission help improve fuel economy to as much as 38 mpg on the highway. A special wide-angle backup camera also performs lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring, but it’s only available on the pricey SL. Standard features include push-button start and a four-inch LCD in the instrument cluster. The Nissan Altima coupe is unchanged, with only one available configuration. Its sporty styling cues include dual exhaust tips, clear taillight housings, and an optional trunk spoiler. Unfortunately, the chassis is soft and the steering feel is poor, making the Altima better for commuting and highway cruising than aggressive driving. As the coupe can no longer even be equipped with a V-6 engine, it feels like a lame-duck until Nissan redesigns it to match the new sedan.
new for 2013
The 2013 sedan is completely new, although the powertrain choices are very similar to the 2012 car’s. The coupe is now offered in just one configuration: a 2.5-liter four and a continuously variable transmission. New paint choices are metallic slate, pearl white, and cayenne red.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are stability and traction control, ABS with brake assist, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. The sedan is available with lane-departure and blind-spot monitoring.
Sedan is roomy
Nearly class-leading fuel economy
Powerful V-6 engine
Safety tech only on priciest models
Base Price Range: $22,280–$30,860
TRIM LEVELS: 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SV, 2.5 SL, 3.5 S, 3.5 SV, 3.5 SL, 2.5 S CVT (coupe)
BODY STYLES: Sedan, coupe, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 2.5L I-4, 175/182 hp, 180 lb-ft
3.5L V-6, 270 hp, 251 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: Continuously variable
PASSENGER VOLUME: (sedan/coupe) 101.9/89.3 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: (sedan/coupe) 15.4/8.2 cu ft