Have you seen the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima? “Wow!” was just about all we could say after not only seeing this beauty, but taking one for a spin. Nissan has completely redesigned the Altima – changing everything except the name!
One of the things we love most about Nissan is that this company is all about innovation. Nissan strives to make changes to its vehicles only when they are necessary and have an innovative reasoning behind them. Making changes for change’s sake is what a lot of other car manufacturers do, and that is just not how Nissan operates.
Each and every change from the outgoing Nissan Altima to the 2013 edition was made for a reason: either to improve the overall performance and safety of the vehicle and/or to improve the owner’s driving experience.
The 2013 Nissan Altima has gone through what we would call a moderate body style change. Not only does the new Altima resemble the Nissan Maxima more than it ever has before, but it was also designed to resemble the Infiniti M37. This is a tactic Nissan used back in the ‘90s when they first released the Altima. To recap, when the original Altima launched 20 years ago, it wore a kid-sized version of the Infiniti J30’s luxury “jumpsuit.”
In the car world, many of the manufacturers of affordable models (like the Nissan Altima) will copy the look of more expensive, luxury vehicles to enhance their appeal. We think this is genius because Nissan copies higher models in its own brand and also from its Infiniti luxury brand. Nissan’s goal in modeling the Altima after the Infiniti M37 is to provide the look and feel of a $40,000+ car for far less. The 2013 Altima’s price tag tops out in the $25,000 range. In this economy, who wouldn’t opt for the least expensive of the two?
As you can see in the side by side images above, the 2013 Nissan Altima has a sticking resemblance to the 2013 Infiniti M37. Very smart move on Nissan’s part!
The most noticeable body style changes from the 2012 Altima to 2013 Altima include:
- A wider front end, giving it a more aggressive, sportier look.
- A more sophisticated back end that consists of sharper angles and straighter lines than previous models.
- The position of the tail lights: dropped slightly lower on the back end, giving the car the illusion of being wider.
Existing Altima owners reported that they were perfectly happy with the size of their cars. Respecting the feedback from its client base, Nissan kept the size essentially the same. Minor tweaks to the car’s dimensions were made making the vehicle wider, longer and lower to the ground by a mere inch or so.
In addition to the physically noticeable changes to the body’s look and feel, Nissan has also made some significant and innovative changes that are not so obvious to the eye. The fully-loaded SL 2.5-liter four-cylinder model now weighs in at 3,102 pounds, an impressive 124 pounds less than last year’s model. The reduction in weight contributes greatly to enhancements in performance as well as increasing fuel-efficiency.
What has contributed to the weight reduction is a change in materials. The trunk, hood, and roof are now made from aluminum, and the body uses more high-strength steel to cancel out the modest increase in size. The wheelbase is unchanged, but the added width makes for extra shoulder room in the larger cabin.
Nissan used a NASA zero-gravity study to determine the best support points for the front seat. Photo © Aaron Gold
At first glance, the interior of the 2013 Altima is essentially the same as the 2012 model. The basic layout of the dash is unchanged, and drivers are still presented with clear gauges, a large, easy-to-read LCD screen, and simple climate controls that can be operated without taking your eyes off the road.
One change that is worth noting, although not visually noticeable, is the amazingly comfortable new front seats, called Zero-Gravity® Seats.
Zero-Gravity® Seats – In the weightlessness of space, humans tend to take a relaxed posture that minimizes stress on the body. To recreate this “neutral posture” when you’re behind the wheel, Nissan designed a new, articulated front seat shape that offers continuous support from the pelvis to the chest, along with seat cushions that flex in response to your unique pressure points. The result is a seat that helps reduce fatigue for drivers of all sizes.
Nissan used data from a NASA study that determined the optimum support point for the human body. They used this information to create some of the most comfortable car seats available today. Supportive and soft, the seats have a memory-foam-like feel that embraces your body with a uniform amount of pressure. Meanwhile, back seat passengers have an excellent amount of leg room.
Nissan has done extensive refinements to the Altima’s 4-cylinder engine and Continuously Variable Transmission® (CVT) to help ensure it is as powerful and fuel-efficient as ever.
The 182-hp 4-cylinder engine gets an amazing 38-MPG HWY (which is a best-in- class fuel economy). Nissan has also refined the Xtronic CVT® to reduce friction by up to 40% which provides better acceleration, smoother performance, and ensures excellent fuel economy. In addition, the 2013 Altima is proud to wear the PUREDRIVE® badge, meaning that it meets or exceeds the industry average US Federal CAFE standards for model-year 2016. We think that is especially impressive, and it is just one of the many things that Nissan is doing to stay on the forefront of eco-friendly vehicle development.
Bucking the trend of offering only four-cylinder engines in mid-size family sedans, Nissan offers an optional 270-hp V-6 engine. The V-6 provides drivers with a sports car-like performance, while getting an astounding 31-MPG HWY. One of the popular attractions of the V-6 is the incorporation of paddle shifters. They are mounted right to the steering wheel and give drivers the option to shift gears quickly and easily.
In addition to the engine refinements, Nissan has done some pretty innovative changes to the way the car handles the road that make driving a breeze. We think Nissan does a great job of explaining these in the 2013 Altima brochure, so we have extracted that content for you below:
Active Understeer Control. This innovative technology helps improve control when you take a corner. It reads the cornering situation and, if needed, will imperceptibly brake the appropriate wheel to help you steer though the turn.
Suspension. Altima’s all-new rear multi-link suspension was designed for exceptional agility. You’ll feel it especially in the corners, when the layout of the suspension allows the rear wheels to turn slightly to match the front – giving you the sensation of riding on rails.
Shocks. Altima’s luxury sedan-inspired shocks significantly reduce vibrations for a smooth, flat ride. A rebound spring inside of each shock absorber makes for minimal roughness and more secure cornering, combining great performance with great ride comfort.
Nissan’s Advanced Drive Assist™ Photo © Nissan Motors.
The 2013 Nissan Altima comes equipped with the new Advance Drive-Assist™, an in-dash screen that presents you with important information while you are driving. Whether it is turn-by-turn navigation, Caller ID from your cell phone, or other important information about your car, Advance Drive-Assist puts the info right in front of you, minimizing time looking away from the road.
Pandora Radio Capabilities and iPod USB Input
Why settle for listening to just the radio? Nissan has taken huge strides in incorporating technology that drivers and passengers use every day on other devices, like their Smartphones, and incorporating it into the 2013 Altima. The all-new Altima has the capability to stream music from Pandora Radio, as well as any Bluetooth-enabled device. That means your friends can connect their Smartphones and play DJ from the back seat – AWESOME!
In addition to these great new music features, the 2013 Altima continues to offer direct inline hook-ups for the iPod and other USB devices.
Safety Shield Technologies
The 2013 Nissan Altima is available with Nissan’s Safety Shield Technology. Safety Shield uses the RearView Monitor system as a second set of eyes to check your driving situation at all times. Below is how Nissan describes each aspect of the Safety Shield Technology:
Blind Spot Warning. If another vehicle is detected in your blind spot area, an indicator appears in the driver’s or front passenger’s doors and on the Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display. Put your turn signal on, and the indicator flashes with a warning chime to alert you.
Lane Departure Warning. If Altima detects that you’re straying from your lane, the Lane Departure Warning system will give both a visual and audible alert. The system is so smart that it is designed to stop the warnings whenever your turn signal is engaged!
Moving Object Detection. Shift into reverse, and the available next- generation RearView Monitor displays what’s behind you. If it detects something moving by the rear of the vehicle when you’re in reverse, it gives a visual and audible alert.
Schedule your test-drive today!
We think you will agree that the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima is, in fact, the most innovative Altima ever. We would be delighted to show you in person just how amazing this car is! Simply click below to schedule a test drive of the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima.
In the meantime, please share your questions, thoughts, and comments with us below. We would be glad to discuss these with you as soon as possible!