The new body is not only attractive, it is structurally stiffer than the car it replaces. Add to that a redesigned multi-link rear suspension and Nissan's Active Understeer Control, which brakes the inside wheels in a turn to increase control and the Altima delivers a spirited drive.
In keeping with the rest of the Nissan lineup, the 2013 Altima is available in S, SV or SL trims, and each trim is available with either 2.5L or 3.5L power. The 2.5L delivers an impressive 38 mpg on the highway.
The 2.5L inline-4 offers 180 horsepower, while the 3.5L V6 produces 270 horsepower and 251 ft-lb of torque. Both engines feature variable valve timing and drive the front wheels through Nissan's Xtronic Continoustly Variable Transmission. In the 3.5, paddle shifters and manual shift mode offer precise driver control.
In 2.5 S guise, the Altima offers standards like 16-inch steel wheels, power windows and locks, climate control, an AM/FM CD stereo with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and streaming audio, a 6-way power adjustable driver's seat, keyless ignition and an advanced Drive-Assist Display, which puts important information in a prominent position amid the gauges to allow for better ease of use for the driver. With the 3.5L engine, in addition to the generous bump in power, S trim includes paddle shifters with manual mode and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The 2.5 SV includes 17-inch alloy wheels, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 5-inch color display with the latest version of NissanConnect, which provides drivers and passengers with access to select Google search features. The 3.5 SV adds a power moonroof, folding outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators and fog lights.
Finally, the Altima 2.5 SL features goodies like leather-appointed seats, a heated steering wheel and Bose premium sound system, while the 3.5 SL adds xenon headlights.
Several packages are available on the 2013 Altima. The Convenience Package for 2.5 SV offers the power moonroof, fog lights and special interior ambient lighting, while the Navigation Package for both SV models includes Nissan Navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen display and voice recognition, steering-wheel-mounted navigation controls, real-time traffic and weather and Google technologies via NissanConnect. The Technology Package for SL models includes all the features of the Navigation Package plus a blind spot warning system, lane departure warning system and moving object detection.
Safety is engineered into the 2013 Altima, and standard on every model are several airbags to protect front and rear passengers alike, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, stability and traction controls and a tire pressure monitoring system.