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2013 Nissan Altima Preview: 2012 New York Auto Show


2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Altima

Enlarge Photo

Having whet consumer appetite with a series of teaser videos, Nissan showed off the real deal today when it unveiled the all-new, fifth-generation 2013 Altima mid-size family sedan at the 2012 New York Auto Show.

Our sister publication MotorAuthority has complete details, but here we’ll point out some of the most family-friendly attributes of the all-new Altima.

2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Altima

Enlarge Photo

Modest exterior styling changes, affordable price

Nissan is no doubt counting on the fresh new styling of the 2013 Altima to not only continue the mid-size car’s top-selling sales position in this hotly-competitive segment but also, perhaps, to entice new buyers into the Nissan family.

Sporting the same wheelbase as the outgoing model, the 2013 Altima features a wider front and rear track, attractive new front-end styling, deep creases across the side and along the trunk and more chrome (including chrome door handles and chrome-accented front grille and side-windows).

Despite the changes, this all-new Altima sedan will be priced from $22,280, including $780 destination charge, when it goes on sale this June. Keeping the price low should prove an attractive draw for consumers in the market for a family hauler.

2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Altima

Enlarge Photo

Inviting interior

As MotorAuthority points out, the seat design of the new Altima is one of the car’s most unique features.  Spending long hours in the car with the family during road trips should be much less fatiguing with the new seats, since Nissan turned to research from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to come up with a design that more closely approximates the kind of “neutral” position astronauts’ bodies take in a weightless environment.

2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Altima

Enlarge Photo

Tech and safety features

The new Altima will feature NissanConnectSM for Bluetooth connectivity, streaming audio, hands-free messaging, Pandora integration, USB connection for iPods and other electronic devices, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. NissanConnectSM is similar to the types of connectivity and infotainment systems available from the competition.

One key feature that stands out is the Advanced Drive-Assist Display, which will be standard on all Altima models. Located in the center of the instrument display (between the speedometer and the tachometer), the Advanced Drive-Assist keeps the driver’s eyes firmly focused on the road, not glancing off toward a center console for vital information. The system is also easy-to-use and highly customizable.

Altima also is the first Nissan available with blind spot and lane departure warning technology. Instead of expensive side or forward radar-detection devices used in some competitor’s systems, the Nissan technology is based on rapid computer comparison of images from the Altima’s rear backup camera. Cockpit controls also permit the driver to change the rearview camera’s angle to better detect objects.

2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Altima

Enlarge Photo

Powertrain and fuel economy

No changes here, as the 2013 Altima continues with two gasoline engines: a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6. Both are paired with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Fuel economy for the four-cylinder engine is estimated at 38 mpg highway, while the V-6 is expected to get 30 mpg in highway driving. That's projected to be best-in-class, beating the Chevrolet Malibu Eco's 37 mpg and the Toyota Camry's 35 mpg in the highway cycle.

What, no hybrid? MotorAuthority observes that Nissan is likely to offer a hybrid option for Altima, but not until the 2014 model year.

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