2013 Nissan Altima Debuts, It Gets 38 MPG and Starts at $21,500

The first photos and specs for the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima have popped up on the internet ahead of the sedan’s official debut in New York this week. From these initial photos it’s apparent that the new Altima has borrowed many styling cues from the Maxima, but Nissan expects it to Altima tops the midsize sedan class in style, fuel economy, performance and innovation.

“In a segment as critical as this, with longtime nameplates and new challengers fighting for every sale, it’s not enough to just target the competition. You have to think outside – and far above – the segment,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. “We created the new Altima to set a clearly recognized benchmark for many years to come.”


Nissan has a lot riding on the fifth generation Altima, especially considering that the current model was the second best-selling sedan in the U.S. in 2011. The 2013 Altima’s all-new exterior design features a wide, aggressive stance and dramatic front end styling. It rides on the same wheelbase as the previous generation Altima, but has a wider front and rear track and deeper fenders.


The new Altima represents an astonishing transformation – fresh but still pure Altima, aggressive and premium at the same time. The new look is fit and athletic, just the way Altima drives,” added Carolin. “And inside, the interior is nothing short of a revolution – with one of the most dynamic, involving and complete makeover Nissan interior designs ever.”


To design the interior of the all-new Altima, Nissan used seating and posture research from NASA. According to NASA, the least fatiguing seats are those that come closest to a “neutral posture” – a relaxed position that the human body takes in a weightless environment. Utilizing a new articulated seat shape with continuous support from the pelvis to the chest and distribution of localized deformation characteristics, the “zero-gravity” Altima seats help reduce muscular and spinal loads, and improve blood flow – thereby helping reduce fatigue over long periods behind the wheel. The interior of the 2013 Altima is quieter than the outgoing model and the extensive use of upscale, soft-touch materials gives the Altima an interior that according to Nissan, rivals upscale luxury sedans in ambience and sophistication.


The 2013 Nissan Altima also gets NissanConnectSM and Advanced Drive-Assist Display (ADAD). The 2013 Altima is the first Nissan vehicle to offer NissanConnectSM, which offers Bluetooth and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth, along with available integrated Hands-Free Messaging Assistant, Pandora integration, USB connection for iPod interface and other compatible devices and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. With the available Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant (part of NissanConnectSM), drivers can manage incoming text messages via voice control without taking their hands from the wheel or eyes off the road.

The Advanced Drive-Assist Display comes standard on every Altima and is customizable, easy-to-use and integrates key information right in front of the driver. Located in the center of the instrument display between the tachometer and speedometer, it features a 4.0-inch color display that has more natural 3D-effect graphics, it helps the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road longer than a traditional center-stack information monitor. The system will display information like instant MPG, audio system settings, navigation system updates and information from the tire pressure monitoring system.


As for the engines, a choice of two Altima powerplants – the 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder and 3.5-liter DOHC V6 – are again offered for the new model year. The 2.5-liter engine has been redesigned to be lighter and more efficient. It now includes variable valve timing on both exhaust and intake camshafts, and the new intake system opens the valves at a higher rpm to help keep the torque curve flat. Horsepower has increased by seven to an estimated 182 hp (from 175 hp), while torque remains the same at 180 lb-ft. The 3.5-liter V6 remains rated at 270 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.


Both engines are mated to a next-generation CVT. A full 70 percent of the parts have been redesigned and internal friction reduced by up to 40 percent compared to the old CVT. “With fewer moving parts, less friction and less drivetrain shock to other parts, Altima’s Xtronic CVT® offers better fuel economy, better acceleration and better durability versus a conventional automatic transmission,” said Carolin. The Altima 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gets 27 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined. Fuel economy for the 3.5-liter V6 Altima is rated at 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.

Pricing for the 2013 Altima will start at $21,500 for the base Altima 2.5 and top out at $30,080 for the Altima 3.5 SL.