2013 Nissan Altima vs. Its Competition

2013 Nissan Altima 3.5SL
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

All the top-selling family sedans are new or recently revamped, and the 2013 Nissan Altima arrives soon after a pair of strong-selling Koreans and just as a trio of American-built four-doors are ramping up production.

The Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima have carved a huge piece of business out of the family-sedan segment with tremendous value and strong design language, as well as great gas mileage; we're split on which one will hold its visual appeal longer.

The Toyota Camry was new for the 2012 model year, and while its looks didn't necessarily advance its backstory, its gas mileage did, and it does feel a bit more substantial and refined than before.

The Chevy Malibu emerges new for the 2013 model year, first as an Eco mild hybrid, with good but not excellent fuel economy; its rear seat is significantly smaller than before.

Coming up later this year is the new Ford Fusion, which promises not only class-leading fuel economy, but a plug-in hybrid version that could be, in all but name, Ford's answer to the Chevy Volt.

2013 Nissan Altima 3.5SL2013 Nissan AltimaBrowse Used Listings2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco2013 Chevrolet MalibuBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford Fusion2013 Ford FusionBrowse Used Listings2013 Hyundai Sonata 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited Angular Front Exterior View2013 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings2013 Kia Optima Hybrid 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2013 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota Camry2013 Toyota CamryBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.2
Briskly updated in the right ways, the 2013 Nissan Altima sedan promises good looks and great gas mileage for those who don't mind a CVT.
7.8
Thinking small makes the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu a more sporty sedan, but doesn't help its rear-seat space at all.
9.0
The 2013 Ford Fusion's more than a rock-star body: it handles better than any other family sedan we've driven, and doesn't cheat on interior room to deliver it.
8.6
With a standout design; perky performance; great gas mileage; and exceptional value for the money, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is one of the best buys among mid-size sedans.
8.4
The 2013 Kia Optima adds generous dashes of style and sophistication to what's otherwise a sensible, frugal, and spacious mid-size sedan.
7.6
The 2013 Toyota Camry is no standout for design, but it's more than ever the sensible pick for those who value comfort, value, and frugality above all else.
MSRP From     
$21,760$21,995$21,900$20,895$21,350$22,235
Gas Mileage     
22 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
MidsizeMidsize CarsMid-Size SedanLarge CarsMidsize CarsMidsize
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan I4 2.54-Door Sedan LS w/1LS4-Door Sedan S FWD4-Door Sedan 2.4L Automatic GLS *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan LX4-Door Sedan I4 Automatic L (GS)
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/A4N/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
SedanSedanSedanSedanSedanSedan
Transmission     
Continuously Variable RatioAutomaticAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomatic w/Manual Shift