After being teased for about six weeks, the fifth generation Nissan Altima has finally made its world debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show. The model comes with a completely redesigned exterior, a better equipped interior, and a choice of two engines. Customers will have to choose between seven highly equipped models with prices starting at a lower $21,500.
On the exterior, the 2013 Altima has received a new grille design, seamless bumper, projector-type headlights, muscular fenders, unique taillights, and a dual exhaust system. The interior adds some of the most impressive technologies, like NissanConnectSM and Advanced Drive-AssistTM Display, while other updates include a three-spoke steering wheel, wood trim, and metallic accents.
Under the hood, Nissan has kept the usual 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 engines, but the four-cylinder engine has been updated to deliver a total of 182 HP - up from 175. The V6 remains at 270 HP.
UPDATE 04/03/2012: This review has been updated with the official images and specs for the 2013 Nissan Altima.
UPDATE 05/21/2012: Nissan has unveiled a new set of images for the 2013 Altima presenting the car in action. Enjoy!
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Nissan Altima.
While the 2013 Altima is a clear evolution when compared to the previous generation, it is also clear that its design has been inspired by its bigger brother - the Nissan Maxima. The fifth generation Altima keeps the same wheelbase as the outgoing Altima, but features a wider front and rear track (+1.4 inches) and deeper fenders (+0.8 inches each side).
When designing the new Altima, Nissan started by adding a wide, aggressive stance and dramatic front end styling. You will easily notice a crisp new grille design, seamless bumper, and projector-type headlights to create a bold, sophisticated appearance.
The headlamps feature an automatic-on function that offers an improved two-stage function: in lower light situations during the day, the headlights illuminate automatically, but the gauges remain in daylight mode. In late evening/night conditions, the headlights remain illuminated and the gauges revert to nighttime lighting.
The design continues with a longer sloping rear roofline and a raised trunk, while the A-pillar angle is now slightly more sloped, and the drip rail has been lowered and the waistline raised. At the rear you will find large taillights with LED lights and numerous chrome trim levels.
"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," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. "And inside, the interior is nothing short of a revolution - with one of the most dynamic, involving and complete makeover Nissan interior designs ever."
Just like the exterior, the interior has also been significantly improved. While designing their car seats’ position, Nissan was inspired by NASA researches who say that the least fatiguing seats are those that come closest to a "neutral posture." This is exactly what Nissan tried to do with their seats: their design reduce muscular and spinal loads, and improve blood flow.
Another great feature of the car’s interior is that it offers premium quietness through efforts to reduce cabin noise coming from the powertrain (new engine and exhaust mount designs), climate system (increased HVAC mounting rigidity), and the body (increased body rigidity).
Other great features offered by the 2013 Altima are: AM/FM/CD design with RDS, MP3, aux-in and six speakers, along with a BOSE Premium Audio System with nine speakers (including woofers).
The 2013 Altima is also the first Nissan vehicle to offer NissanConnectSM, which offers Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth, along with available integrated Hands-Free Messaging Assistant, Pandora integration, USB connection for iPod interface, and other compatible devices.
The new Advanced Drive-AssistTM Display will also be offered as standard feature in every Altima model. It features a 4.0-inch color display and helps the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road longer than a traditional center-stack information monitor.
"The new Altima’s interior offers just the right balance of mature sophistication with a highly dynamic and emotional edge. It’s refined, not gimmicky, with features that you’d expect to find on a much more expensive vehicle," said Carolin.
For the 2013 Altima, Nissan will be offering a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder and a 3.5-liter DOHC V6. The 4-cylinder version has been redesigned to be lighter and more efficient: it delivers a total of 182 HP (up from 175) and a peak toque of 180 lb-ft. Nissan claims that this engine will deliver a fuel economy of 27 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined.
The top model will receive a 3.5-liter V6 that delivers a total of 270 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque. It has a fuel economy of 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Both engines will be mated to the next-generation Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).
The list of standard safety features includes: Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Moving Object Detection (MOD).
Seven Well-Equipped Models
The all-new 2013 Nissan Altima is offered in four 2.5-liter engine equipped models, 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SV and 2.5 SL, along with three 3.5-liter V6 equipped models, 3.5 S, 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL.
The Altima 2.5 S model includes:
- 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, Advanced Drive-AssistTM Display
- Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
- Cruise control
- Nissan Intelligent Key
- Six speakers
- Auto on/off headlights
- In-cabin microfilter
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure readouts
Altima 3.5 S adds:
- 18-inch wheels and tires
- Paddle shifters with manual mode
Altima SV models include:
- Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control
- Remote Engine Start System
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Aluminum-alloy wheels (17-inch on 2.5 SV, 18-inch on 3.5 SV)
- RearView Monitor
- NissanConnectSM with Pandora radio capability
- SiriusXMTM Satellite Radio (SiriusXMTM subscription required, sold separately)
- 5.0-inch color audio display
- USB port with iPod connectivity
- Hands-Free Messaging Assistant
The 3.5 SV also adds:
- Fog lights
- HomeLink Universal Transceiver
Altima SL models includes:
- Leather-appointed seating,
- BOSE Premium Audio System with nine speakers (including woofers)
- 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats and steering wheel
- Heated outside mirrors
- LED taillights
- LED outside mirror turn signals
- Premium interior trim
- Power sliding moonroof
- Auto dimming rearview mirror
- HomeLink Universal Transceiver
- Altima Sedan 2.5 CVT $21,500 USD
- Altima Sedan 2.5 S CVT $22,500 USD
- Altima Sedan 2.5 SV CVT $24,100 USD
- Altima Sedan 2.5 SL CVT $28,050 USD
- Altima Sedan 3.5 S CVT $25,360 USD
- Altima Sedan 3.5 SV CVT $27,780 USD
- Altima Sedan 3.5 SL CVT $30,080 USD
Nissan claims that its new Altima will be more fuel efficient than the BMW 328i, but the list of competitors also includes models like the Ford Fusion and the Subaru Legacy - also making its debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
According to the official BMW USA page, the 328i sedan has a fuel economy of 33 mpg (on the highway) , meaning that the Altima with better numbers will be the one powered by a 4-cylinder engine. This model only delivers 182 HP, while the 328i goes up to 240 HP, so be careful what you claim Nissan!
Seven models, two engines to choose from
Impressive list of standard features
Competition can be more impressive