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2013 Nissan Altima

Marty Padgett, thecarconnection.com Modified: October 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm •  Published: October 6, 2012
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The Altima sedan's still a five-seater, riding on the same 109.3-inch wheelbase it did in the 2012 model year, 191.5 inches long in all. There's not much more room in any direction, and that's fine--the Altima was large enough for almost any family. Nissan's spent quality time on the seats, and it's paid off in very comfortable chairs that hold up for hours on end, at least for the front-seat passengers. On base models, the front seats are adjustable six ways for the driver, four for the passenger. A power driver seat and heated front seats are an option. The rear seats are split 60/40 and fold down to expand access to the trunk. Leather seats are still an option

With safety as strong a selling point as fuel economy in the Altima's class, Nissan's updated the sedan's technology to include all the advanced features on the shelves of suppliers. The list will include standard or optional rearview camera, blind-spot monitors, and lane-departure warning systems. The IIHS hasn't said yet if the new Altima earns its best ratings, but the NHTSA gives it five stars overall for crash-test performance.

Finally, on the infotainment front, the Altima catches up to the competition with new bundles of features connected to audio and Bluetooth, which now comes standard on the sedan, as does audio streaming and incoming text-to-voice translation, along with a CD player and an auxiliary jack. The Altima's infotainment system also permits streaming from Pandora, and accepts mapping information from Google Maps, too. A central display in the instrument cluster brings together all this information for the driver to monitor while on the road.

Other available features will include automatic headlights; LED taillights; heated rearview side mirrors; a USB port; Bose audio; satellite radio; a navigation with a 7-inch screen, a big step up from the Altima's current small navi display; dual-zone climate control; pushbutton start; a wide-view rearview camera; and a glass sunroof.

The Altima sedan is priced from $21,500. Seven models will range in price up to $30,000. Now in the thick of the family-sedan sales race, the Altima's come a long way since its scrappy also-ran days. Maturity has its upside--but we'll sure miss the frisky old feel.

Meanwhile, the Altima Coupe carries over in a single powertrain configuration for the 2013 model year. As of yet, Nissan hasn't said if a new version is in the works.