With a 2.5 Liter DOHC 16 Valve 4 Cylinder engine this FWD is equipped with above average features for less than average pricing. With Pure Drive technology and luxury car features, this large midsized sedan is outshining some of its competitors in many aspects. Although the Altima is not the complete caliber of its sister brand Infiniti, it is certainly darn close.
The Altima’s sporty and dynamic exterior and interior fully compliments its powertrain while working perfectly with the vehicles design. This speaks volumes to its engineering – and uses more than words in proving its capabilities because the vehicle performs well in steering, handling, acceleration, and response. Nissan’s engineers were also very thoughtful in providing above average types and amounts of both safety and technology features.
During my time testing the Altima I drove the vehicle through a wide variety of both weather and road conditions such as; rain, snow and ice. Although the vehicle is equipped with traction control features and Stabilitrak, there was never a time (that I could tell) if these features automatically activated – if they did it was not noticeable like it is in other vehicles. What I could tell was that with responsible driving and good engineering, the Altima never strayed or swerved and always remained smooth. Some of the secret to the Altima SLs smooth ride can more than likely be attributed to the upgraded MacPherson suspension. Standard suspension includes independent strut rear suspension, multi-link independent rear suspension, and front and rear stabilizer bars. Besides offering a smooth ride over some of the bumpiest of roads, the Altima’s cabin noise is very low (regarding road and engine noise).
One aspect about the Altima that is not noise but music to ones ears is the nine speaker Bose system which provided clear sound and could have actually have been cranked louder than it was allowed to go. But unfortunately the knob would only go so loud so unfortunately my rocking out was somewhat restricted. Other high end technological aspects of the Altima SL included; Touch screen, XM, USB, back-up camera, remote start, push button ignition, sunroof, Homelink universal system, heated outside mirrors, voice recognition, Bluetooth, and navigation.
At times the navigation feature and I experienced our differences or lack of communication. Each time it was programmed the navigation system did not give route options (such as fastest, shortest, tolls etc.), and it would not accept half of the street numbers used and usually took me the long way to my destination. A few times my iPhone’s GPS feature was needed as navigational back-up. Another type of back-up which was tested in the Altima was the rear view camera which was always very reliable when the vehicle was in reverse. The camera system uses a very wide angle camera lens, and provided an average picture and amount of camera illumination when backing out in the evening. The broad view was very helpful but the picture quality was not near as great as Infiniti’s cameras which are more clear with brighter views – (some of the best camera quality in the industry).
The size and space of the Altima is comparable to the top tier 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring (which is also categorized as a full sized but is more like a large mid size). The Avalon Touring also has mode choices for regular, eco, and sport while the Altima has regular (using Nissan’s Pure Drive technology) and sport. Nissan’s Pure Drive system, “uses less fuel, is more efficient, and emits less C02,” according to a Nissan press release. The Altima also achieves 27 city/28 hwy with the system and I found this average to be correct. During a recent trip (using mainly highway) the vehicles trip feature averaged my fuel usage to be at 27.7 mpg.
The Altima SL is great for both trips and everyday driving and has an extremely large trunk which can fit (4-6 airline approved) pieces of luggage. Also while traveling (especially during the winter), it was very appreciated that the vehicle was equipped with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
The steering wheel and the console both contained buttons and gauges to control the Altima’s infotainment system and the controls were not overwhelming, but easy to find and use. A few other positive aspects about the Altima’s interior is the low cabin noise level, carbon fiber(esque) and chrome accents, powered leather seats, traditional and easy to adjust air vents (not the awkward round vents), and an all around high level of passenger room and comfort.
The interior comfortably seats five and those within noted that they felt safe and secure within the rounded inside corners of the car. With safety, Nissan spared no expense and included just as many safety features as the Infiniti. From very reliable warning lights for side and cross traffic to providing re-inforced crumple zones, pipe-style side door guard beams, and even an energy absorbing steering column, along with an above average amount of airbags. The Altima is also equipped with LATCH, Traction Control System, Vehicle Dynamic Control, and an Electronic Brake Force Distribution system.
The 2013 Nissan Altima has earned the coveted 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).
Base price is $28,000 dollars. Additional safety features such as blind spot warning, lane departure warning, and moving object detection brought the final cost to $30,105.00 dollars.