The 2013 Nissan Altima is here, which means we can dispense with the painfully slow teaser-unveiling show that Nissan has been putting us through. That’s the best part, though the car itself is pretty nice too.
The engines are both (mostly) carried over from the outgoing model. Nissan still offers both a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder and a 3.5 V6 – though the I4 is up in horsepower. It makes 182 HP this year, up from 175. The V6 is still good for 270HP. The real story is the transmission – Nissan completely reworked the CVT. When they were done, the internal friction was reduced by 40 percent. Not too shabby. But you may be asking – why do I care?
Of course. Less friction means more efficient. In the case of the 2013 Altima, the estimated ratings are as follows:
- 2.5 liter: 27 MPG city / 38 MPG highway
- 3.5 liter: 22 MPG city / 30 MPG highway
Just in case you didn’t catch that – the new Altima gets 38 miles per gallon on the highway. That’s better than most compacts. It’s as good as most subcompacts. So… same engines, more efficient – it must be smaller, right? Well, no. It’s bigger, actually. Just slightly, of course – it’s 0.8 inches longer and 1.4 inches wider than the 2012 Altima. Through some sort of advanced scientific wizardry, the 2013 Altima did shed 79 pounds. It’s hard to complain when you increase the size of a car while dropping pounds.
Are you kidding? It looks great. This is a fantastic time to be in the market for a midsize sedan. From the front, angles, and side, the Altima looks like a much more expensive car than it is. The rear isn’t quite as nice, but it’s hardly an eyesore. The front grille is very Infiniti-esque, which is a nice touch.
There’s a fancy new multi-link rear suspension for would-be sports car owners to enjoy. There’s also a magical feature called Active Understeer Control. Somehow, through magic, I assume, the Altima will brake the front wheels to keep understeer in check. You don’t have to push a button, pull a level, or recite any spells. It just figures out what needs to happen, and makes it so. Oh, and how about a lane-departure warning system? Or a blind-spot warning system? Check and check.
The 2013 Altima comes in quite a few different flavors. Rather than the many options packages of the outgoing model, Nissan decided to offer many trim levels and few options instead. I think this is a much simpler way of doing things – Honda has used a simple version of this method for years. Here are the different trims of Altimas with prices and key feature upgrades:
- 2.5: $22,280
- 2.5S: $23,280 – Adds Intelligent key, cruise, power driver’s seat
- 2.5SV: $24,880 – Adds Dual zone A/C, Rear A/C vents, 17” alloys, 5” color display, RearView monitor, SiriusXM, remote engine start, Pandora integration
- 2.5SL: $28,830 – Adds leather, BOSE audio, heated seats, LED taillights, Homelink, Moonroof, foglights
- 3.5S: $26,140 – Adds (to 2.5S) V6 engine, paddle shifters, 18” alloys
- 3.5SV: $28,560 – Adds moonroof, Homelink, 5” color display, USB connection, SiriusXM, Text Messaging Assistant, Rear A/C vents, Pandora integration
- 3.5SL: $30,860 – Adds leather, BOSE audio, heated seats, LED taillights, HID Xenon headlights
There are just three packages available in total. They are:
- Convenience package: $1350 – Available on 2.5SV – Includes moonroof, fog lights, Homelink
- Navigation Package: $590 – Available on 2.5SV, 3.5SV – Includes Navigation with 7” display, NavTraffic & NavWeather, Google Send-To-Car
- Technology Package: $1090 – Available on 2.5SL, 3.5SL – Includes Navigation with 7” display, NavTraffic & NavWeather, Blind Spot Warning, Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Google Send-To-Car
While it may sound complicated, it is actually much cleaner than the current setup. The navigation price point on the SV models is fantastic as well. Don’t forget – this is a full 7” screen, as well.
It’s gorgeous. It’s crazy efficient. It performs. It’s full of all sorts of cool gadgets. And it’s priced right. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2013 Nissan Altima.