The affordable and fuel efficient all-new 2013 Nisan Altima earns another accolade.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 4, 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.
The completely redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima has just received a 5-star overall vehicle safety rating as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).
The 2013 Nissan Altima Overview
The new Altima is quiet, comfortable 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.
2013 Nissan Altima - A profile like none before it
The sleek appearance adds not only to its appeal but also its fuel economy.
Achieving the best-in-class fuel economy of 27/38 mpgUS city/highway, the Altima's new 2.5L Puredrive (meaning it meets or exceeds the industry-average US Federal CAFE standards for model-year 2016) engine weighs 11 pounds less than the engine it replaces while adding seven more HP to 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 lower 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.
Say that fast three times and win a prize. In actual driving, 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 as the driver intends, making it easier for the driver – whether in dry, wet or snowy conditions. Active Understeer Control is almost undetectable when it operates. Active Understeer Control is designed primarily for everyday operation rather than 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.
The Safety HW List and its NHTSA 5-Star Crash Test Rating
The Nissan Altima comes equipped with a variety of standard safety features, including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags, Vehicle Dynamic Control, 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 Easy Fill Tire Alert.
Regarding 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.
2013 Nissan Altima Interior – SL trim shown.
All in, the new 2013 Altima is a class leader thanks to the CVT and new 2.5L tuned for the amazingly high fuel economy while still providing the “Best-in-Class” oomph with a 0 to 60 time of just over 7-seconds. While some overly read journo’s may bitch about the CVT, 99.95% of the driving public will enjoy it more than a conventional automatic thanks to its seamless shifting (there is no shifting!) and quiet demeanor at highway speeds. Take it for a ride and I think you will discover it is a well rooted car for an affordable price that just so happens to receive highway fuel economy that it would take a hybrid or diesel to normally achieve!