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2013 Nissan Altima

Overview
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2013 Nissan Altima Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.6

Unsatisfied with the Altima's runner-up status, Nissan reaches for leadership in America's toughest car segment with a choice of fuel-efficient 4-cylinder or V6 power, the industry's best continuously variable transmission (CVT), handsome styling, sporting dynamics, and a suite of available features competitive with anyone. It follows Toyota's revamped 2013 Camry, Chevy's all-new Malibu and VW's Americanized Passat to market but precedes Honda's 2013 Accord and Ford's new Fusion by a few months. Its mission is simply to beat all of them to take over leadership in this very tough field, and we think it just could.

You'll Like This Car If...

Most mid-size sedan competitors have moved away from available V6 engines in favor of turbocharged fours to ensure CAFE compliance, but this new Altima is the exception for those who still prefer smooth V6 power. And the wide-ratio CVT automatic delivers best-in-class fuel economy with the standard 4-cylinder engine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While this new Altima looks plenty good, some may prefer the somewhat bolder styling of competitors as the Sonata, Optima, Malibu and Fusion. Some may also shy away from the different-feeling CVT in favor of a conventional automatic transmission, and only the Passat (so far) offers a choice of fuel-frugal diesel power.

What's New for 2013

Nearly everything but the engines is either all or substantially new, beginning with the Altima's "class-above" looks, inside and out, and extending to a raft of new features, some class-exclusive. The CVT automatic transmission, thoroughly revamped for pleaseability and efficiency, accounts for much of its class-leading fuel economy.

Driving the Altima

Driving Impressions Thanks largely to a new multilink rear suspension and the much-improved CVT, this is a finer-driving Altima than any before it. Around town, on freeways and on twisty back roads,...

the 2013 Altima feels tight and nimble yet quiet and comfortable on all but the nastiest surfaces, perhaps because its engineers benchmarked the size-smaller BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Much appreciated were the electro-hydraulic power steering, more precise than typical electric boost yet more energy efficient than pure hydraulic, and Active Understeer Control, which brakes the inside front wheel slightly to help get around a curve you may have entered a bit too fast. The 3.5-liter V6 is strong, but the massaged 2.5-liter four is more than adequate – Nissan clocks it at 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds) – at least for light loads and level roads. The unique multifunction rearview camera performed its lookout jobs well, and the NASA-inspired seats proved as fatigue-reducing as claimed.

EASY FILL TIRE ALERT
The new Altima's tire pressure monitoring system does more than simply providing individual tire-pressure information. When adding air to any tire, the hazard lamps flash to tell you the system is working, then the horn beeps to let you know when you have reached the correct pressure.

MULTIFUNCTION REARVIEW CAMERA
Part of an available Technology Package, the Altima's rearview camera provides not just the usual what's-behind-me view when reversing, but also Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Moving Object Detection, the latter two firsts in this segment.

2013 Nissan Altima Details
2013 Nissan Altima photo Interior

The 2013 Nissan Altima's cabin is finely crafted with soft-touch materials, but its prime attraction is NASA-inspired "zero gravity" front bucket seats, which approach the relaxed "neutral posture" that the human body assumes in a weightless environment. We can't test them in space, but we appreciate the research, development and attention to detail that have gone into making them as fatigue-reducing as possible by lessening muscular and spinal loads and improving blood flow. Cloth seats and piano-black trim with chrome accents are standard, leather and metallic or faux wood are available, the former with a charcoal interior, the latter with blond.

Exterior
2013 Nissan Altima photo

About the same length as the outgoing Nissan Altima, the 2013 model sits on the same wheelbase but with 1.4-inches-wider tracks and 0.8-inch-deeper fenders to accommodate larger wheels and tires and give the sedan a strong, athletic stance. Its drag coefficient is a slick 0.299. And while the new Altima's nicely sculpted new body is less expressive than the Sonata's and maybe a bit less pretty than the Malibu's or Fusion's, it's easily more distinctive than the Camry's or Passat's.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Altima 2.5 offers a 6-way manual driver's seat and a 4-way front passenger seat, plus a 60/40-split/folding rear bench seat, power windows and doorlocks, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with touch controls, remote keyless entry with a pushbutton ignition, NissanConnect Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a 4.0-inch color customizable Advanced Driver Assist display. Altima S and SV models add features leading up to the top-line 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL models loaded with leather, premium trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, BOSE Premium Audio, and heated front seats/steering wheel/outside mirrors, plus 18-in. wheels and tires on V6-powered models.

Optional Equipment

With most major features attached to specific models, the 2013 Altima offers just three option packages and two stand-alone options (a remote start and rear spoiler). A Convenience Package and a Navigation Package are available on SV models, and a Technology Package further loads up top-line SL models. On SV and SL Altimas, NissanConnect comes with a 5.0-inch color audio display, integrated Hands-Free Messaging Assistant (it lets you listen to incoming texts and verbally respond with stock replies), SiriusXM satellite radio, and Pandora integration. With Navigation, NissanConnect gets a 7.0-inch touch screen with voice recognition, split-screen display and 3D-effect map views.

Under the Hood

Running counter-trend, Nissan continues to offer a V6 as its "up" engine. The 2.5-liter four is redesigned for lighter weight and higher efficiency, while the 3.5-liter V6 is improved to reduce its fuel consumption. Both drive the Altima's front wheels through the only gearbox offered, Nissan's next-generation Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which has a wider ratio spread, improved control logic and 40 percent lower friction than the one it replaces. Not everyone loves a CVT, which drives engine revs ahead of vehicle speed during strong acceleration, but this one accounts for 15 percent of the new 4-cylinder's efficiency improvement and 10 percent of the V6's gain over 2012s, and it comes with fixed-ratio-simulating manual shift paddles on uplevel models.

2.5-liter inline-4
182 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
180 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/38 mpg

3.5-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg

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2013 Nissan Altima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 224 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.2/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Nice Car

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good Gas Milage, Fun to drive, Good looking"

Cons: "Road Noise, Pricey"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"First 5000 miles and still liking it. Good Fuel economy. Nice looking, Fun to drive, Peppy for a 4 cylinder. My only complaint is its road noisy."

RECALL

By on Thursday, April 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Auto up pasgr window, touch screen, push to start"

Cons: "CVT Transmission Malfunction, small door poquets"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I love the look of the car inside and out. I love the features and the feel of the car at higher speeds. Unfortunetly, after only 26000 miles and less than 9 months with my Altima SL I had to get a new transmission. You can feel the troubleshooting while parked, first and second gear."

16 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Its a good vehicle

By on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,700

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "great on gas, great driver, ok price, no problems"

Cons: "simple, not an agressive look"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Great on gas -The car is a good car but, the old Altima's (2007) looked more aggressive than the new re-modeled ones (2015). Maybe they can add on some HID or LED lights like, the Murano and Rogue. It also feels as if the remodeled ones are slightly smaller. Its a good car but the outside features made it look like a simple toyota corolla. Great car, has not given me any problems even though it has a recall. I will go and check that out ASAP! Nissan's are usually great vehicles."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Besides getting taken for a real ride by my dealer

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "In so deep I cannot get out from under!"

Cons: "ride good, great gas MPG, looks good"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"we love the car. Nissan cheap on basics like rear speakers, and certain other features, very disappointing! The dealer, well lets just say to be kind they showed who they are by their works. As for Nissan once you bought it is yours- period. Do not expect they will assist."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Good car, comfortable seats, no problems.

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, comfortable on trips. good mileage"

Cons: "A little noisy on hard acceleration"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought it new. Average mileage is 34.5 with mostly in town driving. Between wife and myself we have owned 9 Nissans since 1982 and have been pleased. 2 Grown children all have Nissans, and between them have owned 9 Nissans also. No, we do not own a Nissan dealership or own any stock."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best car I have ever owned.

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable and fun to drive"

Cons: "No power pass. seat & driver seat & mirror mem."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Comfortable ride combined with powerful engine and excellent acceleration with sport paddle shifters and 7 speed CVT transmission. Good mileage for a V-6, 275 HP engine: 28 mpg HY using cruise control. Well appointed interior with supportive comfortable leather seats, easy to use controls and safety features including blind spot warning, lane departure warning, back up cross-traffic warning and back up camera with blue fixed and yellow moving back-up guide. Excellent navigation system; Bose sound system with BluTooth and satellite radio capability."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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