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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 218 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

Great MPG, very roomy in rear seat area.

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great vehicle, will buy another later in 2015."

Cons: "4 cylinder engine noise is loud on acceleration."

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

"Vehicle is great on fuel mileage, 40 on Interstate with AC, 27 locally. Only problem is with electronics, on rare occasion the Nav/audio screen will reboot for no known reason. Works great otherwise. Nice vehicle, great on interstate highway."

Stiil great car

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great loocking car."

Cons: "I have model S, no fog lights they are very help."

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

"I left my review a year ago, car had about 1000 miles, now it has 10000 and still great car with a great gas mileage and performance. Just want to tell people who complain about noise, try Ford or Chevy or other vehicles with same tape of engine and you will experience same noise."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Friday, March 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good Price, Stylish, Quiet,Comfortable,Classy"

Cons: "CVT Rubber Bandy at times"

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

"Honestly best car I have ever owned. CVT Is a little annoying at times but then again perfect in certain situations Classy Looks"

About average for the class

By on Thursday, March 19, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: mileage

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Style, good value"

Cons: "MPG, uncomfortable neck supports"

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

"The Altima I owned was a pretty nice car overall. The main complaint is that it never achieved the EPA mpg ratings advertised. If you use the car's computer to calculate mileage it looks like you are getting what is advertised. However, if you perform your own calculations based on miles traveled between fill ups I always ended up about 5 mpg below what the computer calculated. I am not a lead foot, btw. The car is attractive inside and out and I had no reliability issues while I owned it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

MPG may be overstated...

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price, great features"

Cons: "cup holders are a bit small"

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

"I have to say, I love my Altima! However, it is rated at 38mpg on the highway and I have yet to achieve that. I drive 40 miles one way to work everyday on country roads going about 60-65mph. Even with that and minimal in-town driving, I average about 34mpg. I have tried going 50-55mph on my way to work but that doesn't do really anything but make other drivers irritated. Other than that, it is a great car and very economical for what you get. I plan to put well over 100,000 miles on it unless I get a craving for a newer car (:"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Coming from a former pick-up owner

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, build quality, cargo and passenger space"

Cons: "Road noise, backup camera, lack or power"

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

"To put this into perspective, I owned a 96 and 01 Ram and then a 13 Silverado. I purchased this car for the fuel economy, cabin size and trunk space. I never thought I'd own a car let alone a foreign car. I must say however, this car is absolutely fantastic! Given there are some problems, as there are with any vehicle on the market. The backup camera is a bit fuzzy, the cup holders aren't adjustable, the glasses holder don't fit my Oakley's and the CVT makes a lot of noise. HOWEVER, this is the closest I came to a proper luxury car without paying the high luxury price and this is really the best looking car in its class. The fuel economy is amazing, the seats are luxurious, the interior is superb quality and the Bose sound system will definitely get you some dirty looks in quiet neighborhoods. There is a bit of road noise for what you would expect from a car like this and the engine makes a constant quiet but high tone whine from the stainless steel belt in the CVT. The steering wheel does look and feel a bit cheep which I think is a set back due to it's the real connection you have with the car, nothing sets the tone like a comfortable and fat leather wrapped helm to make you feel like you're rolling down the lane in a Rolls Royce, this feels more like an old Honda but when you look down at the bright white dials and feel the leather cushioning in the seats then it won't bother you anyways. Now that was a bit negative so lets go to the positive notes. I live in gloriously cold Canada and nothing is more annoying than sitting in a cold car. Well, Thank you Nissan, the auto climate knows if the car is cold and turns on the heat and defrost with the remote start...AWESOME! The fuel economy is amazing, I actually enjoy looking at the average fuel economy data now and I really do manage to get the manufacturer rated and even better economy, if someone says it doesn't get it then they need to stop driving like its Nascar, and I'm 23 so I don't exactly drive like a grandma myself. The trunk is MASSIVE, I managed to fit a full size snow shovel, all my groceries and my dive gear in the trunk all together (yeah I do winter diving in a wet suit, take that Florida divers!). The back seat is massive, I'm 6'3 and I fit back there, however there could be about an inch or two more headroom. The GPS is extremely accurate and very detailed in directions. The ride is firm but comfortable and controlled, you don't feel like you're driving a boat. All features on the car are simple, easy to customize and friendly. And, as bad as it sounds, you get a lot of jealous looks from people driving down the street in this car. Mine is all black with all the chrome and it is a really slick looking car. Plus Nissan are known to last, inexpensive to repair and maintain a decent resale value if properly cared for. All in all. This is a fantastic car and I think I am a Nissan customer for life. P.S. Really good in the snow, climbed a 50 foot and pretty steep hill with 5" of snow and all season tires. BOSS!"

2 people out of 3 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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