Altima along with the Accord, Fusion and Passat are IIHS crash test standouts in the hotly contest midsize segment. [fflash=left]http://www.youtube.com/v/2dnGCCdvAYU?version=3[/fflash]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Dec. 20, 2012 2013 Nissan Altima S - $21,500 to start ($22,500 with CC on the SV so forget about the S) with its included CVT AT and a 27/38 mpgUS city/highway rating. It performed well on the IIHS’ all-new “small overlap” crash test as well! The completely redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima has just received an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award adding to its 5-star crash test rating it received from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) this past September. The 2013 Nissan Altima First Drive The new Altima is quiet, comfortable, affordable and efficient. An all-new aerodynamic design provides not only a modern look but a more premium appearance. Overall body weight has been reduced by 80 pounds from its predecessor by utilizing an aluminum hood, aluminum bumper reinforcements and expanded use of high-tensile steel. The coefficient of drag has been reduced by five percent to 0.299 through smoothing airflow around the body, and adding six air deflectors and two large underbody panels. Drivetrain Achieving the best-in-class fuel economy of 27/38 mpgUS city/highway, the Altima's new 2.5L Puredrive engine (meaning it meets or exceeds the industry-average US Federal CAFE standards for model-year 2016) while weighing 11 pounds less than the engine it replaces. It also provides seven more HP to a class competitive 182 HP. Variable valve timing on both exhaust and intake, and the new intake system opens the valves at a higher rpm. Torque is rated at 180 lb-ft. Mated to the 2.5L is Nissan’s latest CVT. The new CVT features expanded gear ratio coverage (7.0:1) with a lower 1st gear and higher ratio overdrive that helps reduce noise and definitely lowers its fuel consumption. The new CVT also includes a Lift Foot Hold function that holds the gear ratio if the accelerator pedal is momentarily released and then reapplied, such as when merging onto a freeway; and a Brake Downshift function that "downshifts" the transmission when braking is applied before entering a corner, so re-acceleration is enhanced when exiting the corner because the CVT is already in a lower gear ratio. Suspension and Steering Bits A new multi-link rear suspension incorporating Active Understeer Control is included. The new design starts with a new structure with enhanced stiffness, helping enhance stability, tracking and response to steering inputs. Refined toe angle control is achieved with the addition of new connect bushings, resulting in enhanced tire deformation compensation when cornering, and improved camber angle control under load helps increase tire contact with the road, also when cornering. When behind the wheel, it holds the road well while still providing a compliant ride. All manufacturers are getting really good at this as of late and Nissan is no exception. The new Active Understeer Control system utilizes intelligent control logic and high-response brake actuators to brake the inside front wheels during cornering (as required) to increase yaw-moment using the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)/Traction Control System (TCS) as its base. When a driver turns a front-wheel drive car in situations such as merging onto a freeway from a cloverleaf, the tendency is for the car to understeer. With Active Understeer Control, the Altima turns even quicker making it easier for the driver – whether in dry, wet or snowy conditions. Active Understeer Control is almost undetectable when it operates and is designed for everyday operation rather than just emergency evasive maneuvers. I have yet to take the Altima to those limits so any reference to this capability is more PR than substance at this point. The all-new Altima uses a unique hybrid Electronic Hydraulic Power-Assisted Steering (EHPS) system. The hydraulic assist allows a greater reduction ratio than with gears mated to a small motor while the small electric motor, which runs directly off the 12-volt power supply (no converter) does not need to be mounted directly on the steering rack since a large reduction ratio is obtained. The result is very smooth steering at higher speeds and 100% assist at parking lot speeds. 2013 Nissan Altima - A profile like none before it The sleek appearance adds not only to its appeal but also its fuel economy. 2013 Nissan Altima Safety Last night the 2013 Nissan Altima received another safety accolade with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) "Top Safety Pick Plus" designation, which recognizes passenger vehicles for excellent performance in not just the previous four but not five passenger safety tests. Starting with 2013 models, the IIHS introduced more stringent criteria and requirements to include the "Top Safety Pick" front, side, rollover and rear crash tests, as well as the newly added small overlap frontal crash test. The Altima scored almost perfect in of the tests, adding the "Top Safety Pick Plus" award to the five-star safety rating it received in September from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program. 2013 Nissan Altima – IIHS Top Safety Pick+ 2013 Nissan Altima – NHTSA 5-star Crash Test Rating The Nissan Altima arrives with a variety of standard active and passive safety features. On the active front, the All-new Altima is equipped with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control (TCS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Override Technology. Passively the Altima provides a new Advanced Front Air Bag System, side and side curtains, 3-point ALR/ELR seat belt system, LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren), zone body construction with front and rear crumple zones and Tire Pressure Monitoring System with an optional Easy Fill Tire Alert. Additional safety options include a Blind Spot Warning system, Lane Departure Warning and Moving Object Detection systems using an innovative single rear camera. Pricing While the base is $21,500, to receive CC, you have to purchase the S which also includes a 6-way power driver’s seat, auto headlights and a proximity key for an extra $1,000 USD. If you opt for the 2.5L SV for $24,100, you can add a Power sliding glass moonroof with one-touch open/close and tilt feature, folding outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, mood lamp in roof console, fog lights, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, sliding rod extension, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with digital compass and 7” touch screen NAVI with weather and traffic for an additional $1,940. The receive the next-generation Safety Shield technologies, including Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Moving Object Detection systems using a single rear camera, you have to purchase the SL with the Technology Package and at $29,920, there are a lot of more fuel efficient midsize offerings with what I deem to be better value to consider. The Altima floor and trunk mats add an additional $205 to the price tag as well. Fortunately there are currently great discounts to be had on the 2013 Nissan Altima as shown below. This means a brand new 2013 Nissan SV for $20,391 + Tax Title, License and Doc. This dealership forces $418 waste for etch and door edge guard so it is really $20,809 USD. What do you get for that price? A beautiful modern midsize sedan with 102 cu. ft. of passenger volume, 15 cu. ft. of cargo volume (trunk), 17 in alloys, auto headlights, chrome exhaust tip, an Advanced Drive-Assist Display, Bluetooth Hands-free phone system and streaming audio with steering wheel controls, Nissan Intelligent “proximity” key, dual zone auto climate, AM/FM/CD audio system with 5" color display and Rearview camera, Nissan Connect, Leather wrapped wheel and shifter and Tpms with Easy Fill Tire Alert. This is a heck of a great price for a midsize sedan so well equipped. 2013 Nissan Altima Interior – SL trim shown. Conclusions The all-new 2013 Altima just got better with its superior crash test ratings, being the most affordable mid-size sedan with an AT in the segment, advanced sound deadening while still keeping the weight down, an excellent CVT that is light years beyond the CVTs we have become to know and sometimes despise, and wipers that take care of themselves. The new 182 HP 2.5L is tuned for the amazingly high fuel economy while still providing the “Best-in-Class” oomph with a 60 mph dash time of just over 7-seconds. And I even liked the CVT that provides both a quiet demeanor at highway speeds and excellent fuel economy. The 2013 Nissan Altima Preview in Smyrna, TN. A short 114.3 mile RT drive over the rolling hills of Tennessee’s I-40 from downtown Nashville and back. That is a scary high number regardless if we do not yet know its actual mpg with a calibrated result. The all-new Altima does not receive as much press as it should but that does not detract from the fact it is one of the best mid-sizes out there currently.