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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
Past generations of the Altima fared well in the safety arena, earning four stars and a rating of "good," but the current generation really steps things up a notch. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2013 Altima five stars in all tests with an exception for the four-star rating in rollover resistance. That earns the Altima an overall five-star rating, and since the 2014 model sees few changes, we think it's likely that the same ratings will apply. The car also earned the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS.
While the previous Altima lacked the latest safety technology, the new one raids the high-tech cupboard for nearly every major add-on introduced in the past few years. The list will include standard or optional rearview camera, blind-spot monitors, and lane-departure warning systems. All three can be ordered together in a Technology package, bundled with a navigation system.
The new Altima has more safety gear than ever, starting with the requisite dual front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control; and tire pressure monitors. Nissan uses those monitors cleverly for Easy Fill, a system that lets you put air into the tires until the horn sounds--your signal that the tire pressure's reached the recommended level, no gauge required.
Top safety scores are a new Altima feature, along with a raft of safety technology.