The Nissan Altima has been around since 1992 and has seen four generational changes since its initial debut. After more than a month of teasing, Nisan finally debuted the fifth-generation Nissan Altima at the 2012 New York Auto Show, and with it came a redesigned exterior, updated interior, and even a little engine updates for one of the Altima’s two engines. Highlights of the exterior include an all-new grille design, a seamless front fascia, more muscular fenders, updated taillight units, projector headlights and dual exhaust system. Nissan really put work into the interior, bring the NissanConnect infotainment system and Advanced Drive-Assist display, a three-spoke steering wheel and some wood trim to go with metallic inserts throughout the cabin. If you’re wondering about the drivetrain department, Nissan carried over the 2.4-liter four-banger and the 3.5-liter V-6, with the four-cylinder getting an increase of seven horsepower.

On another side of things, the 2013 Altima was actually a bit larger than the outgoing model, but despite this, the car was actually 120 pounds lighter than before and was still the lights midsized sedan in its class. Outside of this, there are a couple of sad things to note as well. First, the six-speed manual transmission in the Altima sedan was discontinued due to slow sales – you know, since the few of us who would want the manual have to pay for the fact that the majority doesn’t. Furthermore, the Coupe was also discontinued for the 2014 model year, again likely due to slow sales.

The Altima eventually went on to go through a minor facelift in 2016 that brought about some new exterior styling, but we’ll save that for another discussion. For now, let’s take a look at the 2013 to 2015 Nissan Altima and everything that it brought to the midsized sedan market.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Nissan Altima.

  • 2013 Nissan Altima
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  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    next-generation Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • MPG(Cty):
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • Price:
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2013 Nissan Altima High Resolution Exterior
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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."


2013 Nissan Altima High Resolution Interior
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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.


2013 Nissan Altima High Resolution Exterior
- image 446934

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:

  • Moonroof
  • 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


2013 Nissan Altima High Resolution Exterior
- image 446932
  • 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


2013 Nissan Altima High Resolution Exterior
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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!

2013 Nissan Altima High Resolution Exterior
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What do you think?
Show Comments


  (530) posted on 07.3.2012

One of its asset is that this Altima will be more fuel efficient than the BMW 328i. Good thing we have two options on the engine, and it’ll come up with seven models.

  (798) posted on 07.3.2012

The attention received is equally on the exterior and interior. The interior is flushed with luxurious and elegant leather in seats and matched well in the dashboard. This reminds me of Mercedes S-Class.

  (395) posted on 06.27.2012

I agree with you guys. This one is not as good as the innovative productions of leading cars.

  (372) posted on 06.5.2012

This re-launch is god-sent. Nissan has given us a chance to buy it again.

  (600) posted on 05.29.2012

This looks like Toyota Camry’s long lost twin automotive.

  (677) posted on 05.24.2012

There will be no more fascinating features than the moon roof of Nissan Altima. 

  (238) posted on 05.23.2012

There will be seven models of this Altima and two engines to choose from. This is also inspired by Maxima. People would definitely love the greatness of its look. 

  (484) posted on 05.2.2012

I don’t think I’ve seen this fully yet. Has it been released now?

  (858) posted on 05.1.2012

I hate how they revealed its most unappealing parts. Well, it’s not like it is attractive overall.

  (498) posted on 05.1.2012

I’ve seen it fully and clearly, so I can give my judgment upon its appearance already. It has no captivating feature in particular, but its whole figure is pleasant.

  (504) posted on 04.30.2012

Most likely, there’s a secret feature to it as to why Nissan hasn’t shown up at this one big event.

  (530) posted on 04.27.2012

Unlike the other teasers that are proven to stimulate the fans, this really annoys me. I’ve seen it all now, and it’s nowhere near innovative at all.

  (382) posted on 04.25.2012

I was expecting a good production because the Nissan company is one of the best in the automotive industry. I’m disappointed with this supposedly fresh innovation.

  (619) posted on 04.19.2012

I still think it’s inappropriate for Nissan to miss Geneva because of this. It’s not as extravagant as I expect it to be.

  (630) posted on 04.18.2012

I’m expecting a massive improvement of this ever since its first production since Nissan spent great amounts of efforts on it.

  (446) posted on 04.17.2012

I don’t quite understand Nissan. Altima isn’t even as impressive as their other automotive.

  (444) posted on 04.13.2012

I can already see why Nissan has chosen not to participate. This will be aiming for the markets rather than the shows.

  (595) posted on 04.12.2012

For Nissan to neglect the great even, Altima must be a big project. It would be depressing if this doesn’t do well in the upcoming year.

  (714) posted on 04.4.2012

The SRT Viper will be unveiled in approximately 48 hours, and a photo has already leaked. What about this?! Have they not taken an interest in this?

  (397) posted on 04.2.2012

Calm down, people. Teasers are supposed to be like this anyway. I think the revealed parts are unattractive, by the way.

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