First Drive: 2013 Nissan Altima
It was just over two months ago that were formally introduced to the redesigned & all-new 2013 Nissan Altima at the New York Auto Show, and now I have had the opportunity today to get behind the wheel of this new Altima to see what Nissan has improved upon with the new model. While meeting with Nissan product specialists before the test drive, I learned that Nissan went the innovative route when developing the 2013 Altima, which offers a lot of industry firsts.
What may be the most important feature of the 2013 Nissan Altima for most, is the fact that this vehicle achieves an estimated 38 mpg on the highway, a figure that’s more prominent for hybrids. With the 2.5 SV model(4-cylinder) I tested, Nissan offers “Pure Drive,” in which the engine is constructed of lightweight materials & experiences less friction to make for more efficient performance. The result is up 15% less fuel consumed by the engine compared to the 2012 Altima. The other improvement to the drivetrain is the use of a Continusly Variable Transmission(CVT), which allows for a smoother ride with smoother shifts between gears… Something that took me a while to get used to, as the initial acceleration reminded me of how a stick-shift car pulls off when let off the clutch. With the 3.5 SV model I tested(6-cylinder), it offered paddle shifters on top of the CVT transmission, which made for a very fun time behind the wheel with the added horsepower.
One of the biggest improvements with the 2013 Altima in my opinion came with the upgrades in the interior. For starters, this new Altima has about as much room inside as a full-size sedan, but in a mid-size package. You can comfortably seat 5 adults inside with extra leg room to spare(no exaggeration). Being behind the wheel of this vehicle was similar to me sitting in a sofa seat with a multi-control steering wheel attached, as Nissan has adapted the NASA-inspired “zero-gravity” seats which reduce fatigue & relieves pressure points most of us are accustomed to when driving for extended periods.
Along with the added performance, efficiency, & comfort, I would be selling you short if I didn’t mention the new technology features & gadgets that are offered with the 2013 Altima. As far as safety is concerned, the new Altima offers blind spot warning that alerts you when a vehicle is not visible in your rear-view mirrors, lane departure warning for when you accidentally drift outside of your lane, & moving object detection, which gives both audio & visual alerts when something is behind the car when in reverse. But the good stuff is once again in the cockpit, as the dashboard features on the 2013 Altima bring a lot of vital information at the tip of your finger. The new Advanced Drive-Assist Display shows you everything you need to know about your vehicle, such as gas mileage, GPS navigation, & warning alerts.
If you ask me, I think the 2013 Nissan Altima has finally caught up to its big sibling in the mighty Maxima as far as options are concerned… But of course, the Maxima shares similar engine performance to the 370Z. My suggestion: head over to your local Nissan dealer & check out the all-new 2013 Altima. According to the product specialists I spoke with, orders are currently being taken as we speak…