The 2013 Nissan Altima offers one engine in the coupe, but two in the sedan, and they are both outstanding. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder provides 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels to push the sedan to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Coupe is just a hair behind. Fuel economy is fantastic, returning 27 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. The 3.5 models get a spirited 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. This model is one of the quickest in the segment, taking only 6.2 seconds to reach 60 mph. Fuel economy is still praise-worthy at 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Altima has long had a reputation of being one of the most enjoyable family cars to drive, and this certainly holds true for the newly designed 2013 model. Revised steering is more accurate than ever before. Combine this with the retuned rear suspension and you get a vehicle that is incredibly agile and composed, even when cornering and maneuvering. Wind and road noise are kept to a minimum as well.
• Audio - Base model comes with a four-speaker sound system. A slightly upgraded six-speaker system comes standard on S sedan and coupe. SV improves the system and adds an iPod audio interface, Pandora, and satellite radio. The real treat is the available Bose® system with nine premium speakers.
• Navigation - A Navigation package is available and includes steering wheel controls and seven-inch in-dash monitor. If you get the Technology package, the system is incorporated with electronic safety features.
• Bluetooth -Send, end, and receive calls without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
Altima is consistently a top safety pick. Once again, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded Nissan's hallmark vehicle with a -Good- rating in roof, front, and side-impact crash tests. Also, the 2.5-liter sedan takes 130 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is below average, but the 3.5-liter manages to do this in 114 feet. A few safety features standard or optional include:
• Rearview camera
• Blind-spot monitoring system
• Lane-departure warning
• Cross-traffic alert
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Stability control
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Child seat anchors
• Engine immobilizer
• Traction control
• Turn signal mirrors
• Emergency interior trunk release
• Rear door safety locks
• Emergency braking assist
The fifth generation has gone from ordinary to extraordinary. The redesigned exterior boasts graceful but modern lines with upscale finishes. The new look is not dramatic, but it is just enough to give the vehicle a more youthful appeal. The 17-inch alloy wheels, standard on coupe and optional on sedan are icing on the cake.
Altima has always had a nice, practical, and comfortable cabin. The 2013 model keeps the latter two characteristics and trades in its -nice- look for one that is much more elegant. NASA research helped create the -zero gravity- front seas that support yet soothe your body. There is ample legroom throughout and the entire cabin receives higher quality materials. As for the layout, everything is thoughtfully placed and the gauges are even easier to read now.
If you need a generous amount of trunk space, you will want to stick with the sedan that offers 15.4 cubic feet. Coupe only gives you 8.2 cubes, but less volume is to be expected.