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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 229 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

The best car out there!

By on Sunday, May 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to Drive, Ride, Seats, Brakes, Fuel Economy"

Cons: "None"

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

"The 2015 Altima is the best purchase I have made so far. It is the most comfortable car that I have driven in my life. The ride comfort is at its best. I have owned many cars including a 2005 Altima 2.5 S which was nice, and currently own an Infiniti FX50S. Before signing the papers and driving the new altima off the lot, I test drove everything from a Honda Civic to two year old BMW 335i, 535i, Audi A4 Premium plus, 15' dodge charger sxt, accord sport, and many other cars . They were nice, but not the cars I was looking forward to. They all ranged around the same price, but Nissan sold me mine for $19000, which was an SV with many accessories ($27650). The first time I test drove the new Altima, I fell in love with it! The NASA zero gravity make long travels a breeze, and a great leather steering wheel is a pleasure to hold. The car gets great mileage, ~ 45 mpg on the highway and 34 in the city while driving efficiently. The remote engine start is great in the winter. The engine is super punchy, and has great acceleration. I have gotten about 7.3 0-60. The 2.5 provides plenty of power, with no wheel spin of the line! The car comes with very good Michelin tires, and alloy rims. The car rides super smoothly, while having terrific handling, great brakes, and superior sound isolation at any speed, even while going above 90mph. The car does 90mph at 2300rpm which is impressive, especially how quiet it is inside. The visibility is good. The CVT is very quiet, and responsive. This is the best car out there in my opinion!!!!"

Love my altima!

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, comfortable, good power & gas mileage"

Cons: "Only a 1 cd player, passenger seat not electric"

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

"I had a Nissan Maxima before purchasing the Altima two years ago. While I believe the Maxima is still superior to the Altima, I wanted better gas mileage. I am very happy with the Altima and don't regret the decision to purchase it over another Maxima. My altima is very comfortable and reliable, both highly important to me, good power with the 4 cylinder and it's a very attractive car. My husband talked me into getting the navigation package which I also love. The only cons, is that I miss the six-cd changer and passenger electric seat that the Maxima had."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent MPG, handles quite well in the snow

By on Sunday, May 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "MPG is better than good. Nice ride for long trips"

Cons: "Wipers, seat fabrics, definitely not a sports car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I have the S model and bought it for the MPG. I put lots of miles on a car, and the Altima is worth the money I paid for it. It is comfortable for long drives, and in the summer I consistently get 34+ combined MPG. The acceleration is respectable, and the passing is good for a 4 cylinder. The cabin is fairly quiet for a car in this price range, and all of the controls are easy to find, read, and use. Things Nissan really needs to change include the fabric on the seats. Every piece of lint, dog hair, and whatever else can get on the seats sticks so tight it is horrible to keep the seats clean. The wipers are THE WORST when there is snow. The passenger wiper is so small it is constantly getting packed with snow and then becomes useless. On the drivers side, the wiper should get at least 2-3 inches closer to the window pillar. Additionally, headlights cost $100 to replace because the wheel lining needs to be removed to change a bulb, and the lining of the glove box needs to be removed to replace the cabin filter, another $100 job. Overall, for a $17K - $19K price tag, I think you get quite a bit of car."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

A well designed auto.

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Average price model with options, well appointed."

Cons: "Noisy, choppy ride, CVT performance."

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

"I have owned Nissan automobiles for many years, primarily Maxima types. This model has been a true gasoline saver with the 2.5L 4 cyl engine, The average fuel use averaged around 33 miles per gallon. The motor was a real eye opener, the pick-speed is on par with previous V8's, passing also tops. However, the ride is choppy with a very bothersome tire/road noise. The CVT transmission is a wonderful addition in the heavier Maxima, in this lighter model it does not perform as smoothly."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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."

23 people out of 33 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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