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It’s important to note that the Altima’s redesign only extends to sedan versions of the car – the sportier coupe remains unchanged for 2013 and will be updated by Nissan at a later date.
The Altima’s new look is familiar but with a few substantial changes. There’s a brand new grille up front and more aggressively swept back headlights, which lead straight into a very prominent character line that runs all the down the side of the car all the way to the taillights and is the Altima’s defining feature. Above the line, the top of the Altima actually turns slightly inward making the cabin slimmer than the sides of the car, a look that’s more aggressive than the outgoing model. The rear lights are very similar to those found on the Maxima, although instead of a flat trunk lid in the rear it actually bows up slightly.
The engine options for 2013 remain the same; the base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that outputs 175-horsepower in the coupe but gets a slight bump in the sedan thanks to some tuning changes for 2013 to 182-horsepower. A more powerful 270-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 is also available in both the sedan and the coupe. The Altima sedan has only one transmission option, a CVT, while the coupe also offers a six-speed manual for those who prefer to row their own gears.
Fuel economy as we mentioned is the biggest improvement for the 2013 Altima. Although the engines are the same, the Altima went on a diet and shed weight even though its overall size increased. Less weight means not just better handling, but great gains when it comes to fuel economy as well. The new Altima, with the four-cylinder engine, now gets 27 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway which leads the midsize segment. All told, the 2013 Altima with its 18 gallon tank has a range of over 680 miles. V-6 equipped versions of the sedan return 22 mpg/city and 31 mpg/highway. The coupe’s fuel economy is unchanged: 23/32 mpg with the four-cylinder, 20/27 mpg with the V-6.
Inside the new 2013 Altima sedan there are upgrades as well, plastic components have been replaced with more soft-touch material and upgraded “zero-gravity” seats have been added as well. Standard features include cloth seating, Bluetooth connectivity, remote keyless entry air conditioning, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. There are a few new notable options for 2013, including NissanConnectSM, Nissan’s first telematics system that integrates Pandora audio, iPod connectivity, and text message management via voice controls. Available features include leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats and steering wheel, and a navigation system with a seven-inch touch-screen.
The 2013 Altima also includes a few nifty new safety features as well, including an Easy Fill tire system which will beep the car horn when the tires reach the correct pressure. Other safety options include a blind spot warning system, lane departure warning, and moving object detection when reversing.
With upgrades all around and class-leading fuel economy, the rising 2013 Nissan Altima looks to overtake the most competitive segment in American by storm and we think, with its combination of style, good dynamics, and great efficiency it might.
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