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2013 Nissan Altima Review

Automotive critics are impressed with the 2013 Nissan Altima, saying it will appeal to midsize car shoppers who need a practical family sedan but want sporty, fun performance.

The most notable changes to the 2013 Nissan Altima are found in the interior, though the continuously variable transmission (CVT) received an overhaul, and fuel economy estimates now beat many of its competitors. Reviewers praise the 2013 Altima for being a practical sedan that offers some excitement behind the wheel. The CVT is a strong point, receiving lots of positive comments from reviewers for its immediate power delivery and smooth operation.

Most test drivers are happy with the changes Nissan made in the interior. They like the quality materials, comfortable seats and roomy cabin and trunk. Test drivers are divided on the Nissan Altima’s design, which some say is too conservative. Reviewers are impressed with the Altima’s optional safety features, like lane departure warning, moving object detection and blind spot monitoring, which are often found only on more expensive cars.

A few reviewers point out that the four-cylinder model has a loud engine, but many think that if you can get past that, there’s not much to dislike with the new Altima. Class-leading fuel economy, strong performance and family-sedan practicality make the 2013 Altima a solid choice among affordable midsize cars.

  • "With the 2013 Altima's redesign, Nissan stays true to the car's sporty identity and adds to its appeal with impressive EPA-estimated gas mileage and available high-tech features." -- Cars.com
  • "The new Altima remains one of the most engaging family sedans, and now its fuel economy approaches 40 mpg on the highway. At that level, Nissan should have no problem attracting the most frugal family-sedan buyers. If you can get hybrid fuel economy without the cost of the battery packs and electric motors, why pay for them?" -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The Joneses will probably be impressed by the Altima either way, so why pay Vegas lounge rates when the Elvis impersonator at the bowling-alley bar gets the job done?" -- Car and Driver
  • "Unlike Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, officials we spoke with are downplaying going after the sales crown, but with class-leading fuel economy, performance and massively improved accommodations, this Tennessee-built sedan clearly packs the ammunition to give Team Akio a serious run for its money. Who knows, the 2013 Altima might even snag more than its fair share of the family-minded enthusiast's dollar... CVT and all." -- Autoblog

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Other Cars to Consider

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is another good choice among midsize cars. Like the Altima, the Malibu received a complete overhaul for 2013, and reviewers like its revamped cabin and new engines. The Malibu gained a mild hybrid Eco model for 2013 that combines a four-cylinder engine and lithium-ion battery to conserve fuel, but reviewers are disappointed with its fuel economy figures. They say shoppers who want true fuel savings should consider a full-fledged hybrid. The 2013 Nissan Altima’s fuel economy is actually better than the Malibu Eco’s, so if fuel economy is your top priority, the Altima should also be on your list.

Some reviewers don’t think the restyled 2013 Nissan Altima makes enough of an impact, saying it is somewhat bland and conservative. If you value stand-out styling, consider the 2013 Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata’s cabin receives lots of praise for its modern design and numerous standard features. It doesn’t offer a V6 engine, but test drivers are impressed with the power that the Sonata’s base four-cylinder and optional turbocharged four-cylinder engines provide. Still, critics agree that the Altima is the better choice if you want sporty handling.

Compare the Altima, Malibu and Sonata »

Details: 2013 Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima sedan has been completely redesigned for 2013. A total of seven trim levels are available, which come with either a four- or six-cylinder engine.

See full 2013 Nissan Altima specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/21/14

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