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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 200 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

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

Best "Car" I've ever owned!

By on Friday, December 12, 2014

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

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Way more car for the money!"

Cons: "Haven't found one yet!"

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

"I've owned SUV's and Trucks for years, when we went looking for a car we tested the Toyota, Honda & Kia and decided on the Nissan. Greatest car EVER! The ride is great, the mileage is over 31 mpg, the seats are comfortable and I was shocked how great the 4 cylinder engine performs! It's so nice to drive after driving my truck, I feel like I'm in a $50k luxury car! Thanks Nissan!"

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

In Love With This Car

By on Sunday, November 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105

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: "Beautiful Exterior and Interior, Above average MPG"

Cons: "None at All"

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

"Traded in my uncomfortable riding 2013 Honda Accord for the 2015 Nissan Altima, and i think it was the best decision i ever made. i absolutely love driving my 2.5 sv Altima. The ride is so smooth, the seats are very comfortable unlike the Honda Accord. Just a beautiful car. The deck lid rear spoiler really brings out the sportiness in the car. I get many compliments about the car. Oh and the gas mileage is beyond perfect. The 4 cylinder really has some get up and go power. I would highly recommend this car to anyone is who looking for a stylish, fuel efficient, good quality car. I can honestly say that i am a proud new Nissan owner. Thank you Nissan."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

No buyers remorse

By on Thursday, November 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "tech package, cvt when passing, interior,mpg"

Cons: "I don't have one for the wife yet."

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

"2.5 SL I was sad to not get a better deal at 26k but I wanted it loaded and wow, I'm not disappointed. The fit and finish is awesome with the SL, Tech package is the best on the market for ease of use. I recommend the tech package for any nissan, at 1k upgrade its worth every penny. I smile each time i get in it. researched the cvt for 6 months and drove several at dealerships. I drove the 3.5 but honestly the 2.5 drove better and more balanced. 3.5 was a bit to much on the torque steer."

16 people out of 27 found this review helpful

I LOVE my Altima!!

By on Thursday, November 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Ride quality, MPG, Comfort, Sporty look and feel"

Cons: "I didn't get the higher trim level w BOSE/ NAVI"

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

"I absolutely LOVE my new Altima!! I drive a ton, and I bought my Altima just over a year ago. It has been super reliable!! I have had to do only minor required maintenance to it (oil changes, tire rotations, air filter) and I have never had a single issue with it. I recently moved from MA to ID and drove my car out here and had to sit in it for 4 days straight/ 12-14hrs a day; this really proved to me just how comfortable that Nissan's "Zero Gravity" seats really are. Plus, we had a pretty terrible winter last year in MA and my Altima was absolutely fantastic in the snow!! I was never in any sketchy situations in it and was never late to work regardless of how much it was snowing. Thank you Nissan for putting out another incredible car!! And don't even get me started on the gas mileage... half of my car payment is just what I save on gas vs the SUV that I was driving before I got my Altima. Kudos Nissan!!"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Awesome car! Had 5 months thus 9 on Reliability

By on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "MPG 34.1 everyday! Great ride! No shifting CVT!"

Cons: "None so far! Owned 5 months 5000 miles"

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

"Drives great! Smooth quiet ride! CVT with no shift points is awesome! Bose sound is second to none! 34.1 MPG everyday driving is fantastic!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

My Second Review - Great Car

By on Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

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: "Comfort and Fuel Economy"

Cons: "NONE"

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

"I did not have this car long enough to write an honest evaluation the first time. After having it several months now I would have to say that it is truly a GREAT CAR! The fuel mileage has been awesome! I have the 2015, 2.5L 4Cylinder SV with the CVT Transmission. This car is very fast and the seats are very comfortable. I did have a 2014 Nissan Rogue SL however the leg room was a bit cramped for me. The Rogue was a very good car but I needed more leg room. The Altima was the answer to the problem. I actually have to move the seat forward now. I would strongly recommend this car to anyone who is looking for great fuel mileage without sacrificing leg room and comfort, plus performance!"

11 people out of 17 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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