2013 Nissan Altima

Starting MSRP: $21,760

Estimated MPG: 27 city / 39 hwy

2013 Nissan Altima Review

The Nissan Altima is a midsize, five-passenger front-wheel drive sedan. Over the years it has grown in size and sophistication and is one of the better selling models in its segment. Beginning in 2013, Nissan released the latest generation of this stylish sedan.

By Matt Keegan
Last Updated 05/03/2016

The best selling cars are midsize models, and Nissan has its own strong competitor in the Altima. Sold separately as a coupe, the 2013 Altima sedan is larger and more roomier than ever before. It provides strong acceleration, very good handling and a refined interior. This model comes in seven trim levels.

Exterior

Exterior
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The latest version of the Nissan Altima, introduced in 2013, is the largest one yet. Its proportions rival the full-size Nissan Maxima, making it one of the largest sedans in its class. Though bigger, it comes in lighter due to the inclusion of aluminum for the hood, roof and trunk.

For 2013, the Nissan Altima gets a complete overhaul with a new exterior. The latest version features an expansive, chrome-trimmed grille, flanked by sporty headlamps.

Strong shoulders, elegant lines and a stylish rear deck make this model look more like an Infiniti than a Nissan.

Base 2.5 and 2.5S models are outfitted with steel wheels; all other models come with aluminum-alloy, machine-finished wheels. All-season tires are included; a temporary spare tire is standard.

 

Interior

Interior
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No doubt about it Nissan poured its resources into the Altima’s interior design, creating a cabin that is polished and upscale. Nissan paid much attention to detail, by providing piano black interior trim, silver color accents and chrome rings. In the SL editions, wood and metallic accents are included.

The now larger interior is bright, roomy and comfortable. Up front, sport seats provide superior shoulder, thigh and leg support, a design based on NASA research to decrease seating fatigue.

The seats are ventilated, comfortable and can be ordered with a heating feature.

To the rear is a 60-40 split, fold down bench seat with a fold down armrest in the middle position. The seat is comfortable, with ample back and thigh support as well as very good leg room. When the center armrest is folded down, there are two cup holders. Two more cup holders are found in the front center console. Bottle holders are located in all four doors.

Cloth seating is standard; leather is included with the SL editions. Nissan offers standard 6-way manual driver’s seat adjustment and 4-way front passenger seat adjustment. Power support for the driver and lumbar support is available. 

Keyless entry and push button start is standard across the model line. Every Altima comes equipped with power windows, power door locks, dual power-operated side mirrors, steering wheel mounted control switches, front map lights and an audio system. Upgrades include two-way height adjustable head rests, Pandora Radio, folding side mirrors, dual-zone climate control, a rearview monitor, a power sliding glass moonroof, a roof console mood lamp and remote engine start. 

In the Altima, Nissan does not skimp on the storage compartments. Besides the glove box, a deep storage compartment is located between the front seats, doubling as a padded armrest. In-door storage pockets, front seat back pockets and a trunk storage net are included. The 2013 Altima offers 15.4 cubic feet of standard trunk space with additional room gained by folding part or all of the rear seat.

Performance

Performance
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Two engine choices are available with the 2013 Nissan Altima. A standard 2.5-liter four cylinder engine makes 182 horsepower and 180 foot-pounds of torque. An available 3.5-liter V-6 engine is rated at 270 horsepower with an output of 251 foot-pounds of torque. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The standard engine is wholly sufficient for this model, offering robust power off the mark and while passing on the highway. The sedan handles very well, taking turns with ease and nearly absent of torque steer.

Though not tested, the V-6 may be more engine than what most buyers want — the base engine is that good.

The fuel mileage ratings for the base engine come in at the best in the class, delivering 27 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. In real world testing this model delivered an outstanding 35 mpg. Choose the V-6 and it is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Both models take regular grade gasoline.

Technology

Technology
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Today’s car buyers want technology and the Nissan Altima delivers. However, to obtain a navigation system with a 7-inch color display, Nissan does not make one available with its base and S editions.

In the SV editions, the navigation package provides turn-by-turn navigation, drive assist and steering-wheel mounted navigation controls. In the SL editions it is known as a technology package, what adds several safety features beyond the navigation package.

Safety

Safety
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In crashworthiness testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Nissan Altima sedan received a Top Safety Pick+ award, the institute’s best safety rating. The Altima was rated “good” — the IIHS’ highest score — in all categories except small overlap front, where it received an acceptable rating.

All 2013 Nissan Altimas come equipped with vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Top-end 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL editions make available lane departure warning, moving object detection and blind spot warning systems a part of a package upgrade.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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When offered new, Nissan priced the Altima from $21,760. Its fully-optioned 3.5 SL edition retailed from $30,560. Add in a rear spoiler and such accessories as splash guards, body side molding, illuminated kick plates, a security system and floor mats, and the top end price comes in around $32,000.

Most buyers should find the base engine and the 2.5 SV edition sufficient. A well-equipped new sedan for $25,000 makes this model one of the better values in its class.