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2013 Nissan Altima

Overview
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2013 Nissan Altima Review

By

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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.6
  • 8.8
  • 8.4
  • 8.4
  • 8.4
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#8

out of 34

Fuel Economy

#15

out of 35

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

7.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Nissan Altima Low/wide front photo 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
2013 Nissan Altima Front angle view photo

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.
Favorite Features

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 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view 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
2013 Nissan Altima Engine photo

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

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Nissan Altima starts at $22,280 MSRP (including destination), a bit more than the comparable 2012 VW Passat and 2013 Hyundai Sonata, but slightly less than the 2013 Toyota Camry or Chevy Malibu. A loaded 3.5 SL V6 stickers at about $31,000. We expect the all-new 2013 Honda Accord and Ford Fusion to come in somewhat higher when they arrive later this year. The Altima's resale value should also be mid-pack, a little less than perennial favorites Camry and Accord, but better than the rest in this highly competitive class.

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2013 Nissan Altima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 149 Ratings for the 2013 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    7.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.0/10
    Performance
    7.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

This car great in value, cost, incentives, price

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 338

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: "Value, controls, ride, audio, blind spot warning"

Cons: "rear backup camera too small"

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

"the car was last bought March 27th I have been having so much fun driving my Altima. Its a gorgeous car after owning compact cars for many years decided upgrade to a midsize this time. Altima was equipped with an 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine, cloth heated seats, Bluetooth, Nissan connect system, remote smart key, fog lights, blind spot warning, moon roof, turn signal indicators on dual outside mirrors. I drive (8,500 miles) commuting to work everyday non stop a good bit drive so there is plenty of comfort having in seats and available Nissan GPS system best in voice recognition but rear backup camera needs to be bit upgraded as too small for the larger nav/audio touch screen. The Bose sound system works incredibly crystal clear on a nine speaker with USB port/iPod interface love added my music to the system as everything I have is at Nissan Drive (D) Advanced Assist Display fully equipped with navigation, radio, hands free device, fuel gauges being low on fuel when need filling up and low tire pressure monitoring. Vehicle has some remarkably good handling to car it drives very powerful being quietest car ever driven on the highways going 70 mph I love my Altima its been two weeks since bought it and a good car for the money being best in all available features."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

GREAT VEHICLE

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,254

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: "Engine, handling, information display, comfortable"

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

"I bought my Altima in July 2013 now have 8,000 miles on it. Test drove both engines 6 and 4 but preferred the 4 over because get better gas mileage and rides more like a car in horsepower. This car is best in being comfortable its great in quality. Handles smooth with impressive ride love controls pretty amazed on nice touches. Heated seats, audio system, blue tooth, rear/moving object detection camera all works absolutely great on car. Interior is very quiet what I like about this car is how have the vehicle information display setup right at speedometer on everything from maintenance warnings and fuel economy so much featured best without looking down at electronics as radio, blue tooth when having text sent off my phone at the hands free phone system. Overall luv my car after having for 8 months now the best new car purchase ever made one of my favorite vehicles in purchased for 32 years doing my new car buying experiences."

GREAT VEHICLE

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,254

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: "Engine, handling, information display, comfortable"

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

"I bought my Altima in July 2013 now have 8,000 miles on it. Test drove both engines 6 and 4 but preferred the 4 over because get better gas mileage and rides more like a car in horsepower. This car is best in being comfortable its great in quality. Handles smooth with impressive ride love controls pretty amazed on nice touches. Heated seats, audio system, blue tooth, rear/moving object detection camera all works absolutely great on car. Interior is very quiet what I like about this car is how have the vehicle information display setup right at speedometer on everything from maintenance warnings and fuel economy so much featured best without looking down at electronics as radio, blue tooth when having text sent off my phone at the hands free phone system. Overall luv my car after having for 8 months now the best new car purchase ever made one of my favorite vehicles in purchased for 32 years doing my new car buying experiences."

Like the car

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 254

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: "Nasa ''zero gravity seats'', controls, ride, quiet"

Cons: "nav issue,"

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

"I was afraid buying this car after heard bad reviews about this model. Well drove a Camry it lasted until 115/Km things fell apart: Stripped bolts replaced several times, oil sludge on 2nd engine replacement and stalled tremendously the parts were expensive took a loss and bought another car. This is the first time buying a Nissan vehicle do like vehicle. Bought with better features on everything being fully loaded on car. Got a SXM radio, navigation system, heated Zero gravity seats, moving object detection, lane departure, blind spot warning, rear camera, remote starter intelligent key, Bose sound system, steering controls, USB/Nissan apps capability. Has more technology now so got car with a 2.5 SL Tech package got a excellent deal when dealer shopped had a end of month sale they were nice enough to take my clunker trade-in and putting me into a more reliable vehicle. I have had my Altima for 2 weeks its a great car so far on having all bells and whistles. What would be in Cons: For car is navigation programmed a street I drove on my destination it seemed not to reroute me on the location like should went on a street almost on outskirts of city my mainly concern right there nothing isn't anything wrong with it works well just recalculated me on another area don't go on for some reason. Overall I love the car being comfort in luxury something would have in Lexus or BMW but its a Nissan automobile and have all the features worth a grand for this car. Hope it won't give me issues seems to be doing great at this time. CVT transmission delivers great horsepower includes a small 4 cylinder engine available its really impressive in performance while putting my right foot down on acceleration the throttle is very smooth in responsive handling have from the car."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

MY FIRST NEW NISSAN PURCHASE

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138

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: "Blind spot warning, SXM radio, seats, controls"

Cons: "mpg isn't recommended like supposed"

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

"After coming from a 1995 Toyota Corolla that finally retired bought brand new car off showroom lot. My Corolla was the best reliable auto ever so had to scrap it (SAD). When car shopping looked at some midsize cars could afford. I purchased a Nissan Altima SV its a great quality car has lots of great features includes much more upgrades. The Altima handles excellent have the (zero gravity seats) they are built in plenty comfort as NASA. Equipped with SXM radio, Bluetooth, navigation, heated seats, blind spot warning, remote start button, Nissan connect system, Vehicle information (D) Display. 4 Cylinder engine under 182hp is very powerful and quiet with smooth start up. The car ride is pretty solid while giving me a great drive have bigger interior space. CVT does best job in making vehicle have effortlessly acceleration but engine is somewhat lousy under heavier take offs not a major problem for me compared to what I used to drive after purchasing more high tech vehicle. Overall love the car was best decision purchasing this vehicle on everything worth $30,000 something actually could afford. Like the options, the value and comfortable support get from (0) zero gravity seats built by NASA are really comfort in lots of support."

What a mistake

By on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,300

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Looks pretty & good gas mileage"

Cons: "Not reliable"

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

"I am in the middle of a 3 year lease and am looking to offload this car early - even if it costs me. Within the first three months the battery died. When we tried to jump it - sparks flew. It was almost impossible to push it out of the garage to the street to get towed (it was head first in the garage). The dealer balked at paying the tow fee. There have been several times when the car has been slow to start but finally "catches". There is a reoccurring rattle in the ceiling and, the warning displays frequently do not display correctly. I leased this car because I thought it was a sensible choice. I have lost all confidence in it and am constantly afraid of getting stranded. I can not recommend it at all and really miss my Toyota :-("

1 person out of 6 found this review helpful

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