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Car Review: 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

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We’ve heard so much about the new 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV from press reports and even from some of our staff who already had the chance to drive this sleek offering from Nissan. So naturally, the rest of us wanted to see what all the hype was about, because you normally don’t get to drive that many cars that get 38mpg and rave reviews on looks both inside and out. When it comes to the innovations and advanced technology behind the ground-up, totally new 2013 Nissan Altima design, some things might be considered evolutionary.

EXTERIOR

The design of the 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV is both clean and compelling, which from some angles can rival luxury sedans and stand tall. Proving that premium doesn’t have to be pricey, the new Altima body takes a big step forward in creating a quiet, comfortable foundation for a new benchmark mid-size sedan. While keeping the same basic dimensions as the previous generation with new attention to aerodynamic design, Nissan helps give the totally restyled body a more premium appearance. The front fascia is outright brilliant, conveying confidence and style that will grab the attention of customers.

INTERIOR

When it comes to the new 2013 Altima, revolution also lives in the details. The interior’s premium look and feel comes from a combination of fresh design and quality appointments. Nissan has taken comfort to the next level with seating technology that we could only just imagine a few years back. While the new Altima likes to keep its wheels and tires firmly planted on the road, the standard front bucket seats have a less earthly design. In the desire to help reduce the fatigue experienced during long commutes or extended road trips, Nissan turned to seating and posture research from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

According to NASA, the least fatiguing seats are those that come closest to a “neutral posture,” a relaxed position that the human body takes in a weightless environment. Utilizing a new articulated seat shape with continuous support from the pelvis to the chest and distribution of localized deformation characteristics, the “zero-gravity” Altima seats help reduce muscular and spinal loads and improve blood flow, thereby helping reduce fatigue over long periods behind the wheel. Seat surface perforations provide increased ventilation, breathability and comfort. Our test model came with cloth seats that felt very comfortable and could save shoppers big bucks while still looking and feeling good.

With so many external distractions in everyday driving, you don’t need more inside the vehicle. Altima’s new Advanced Drive-Assist Display (ADAD) puts key information right in front of the driver in an intuitive 3D-effect depth and tilt display that is designed to improve cognition and help reduce the time the driver’s eyes are away from the road. Located between the tachometer and speedometer, the ADAD’s 4.0-inch color display is closer and easier to read than traditional center-stack information monitors. The system is customizable and adjustable using the steering wheel controls, so drivers can view information including: audio system display, instant MPG, trip computer, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure readouts, and turn-by-turn navigation (if equipped) with the ability to match the on-screen vehicle image with the actual car color.

NissanConnectSM is the Altima driver’s gateway to all music, navigation, text messaging and much more. A 5-inch color audio display is included with SV and SL models, or a 7-inch color display when equipped with navigation. The Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant allows drivers to manage incoming text messages via voice control. Drivers are alerted to an incoming text on the Advanced Driver-Assist Display and, after initiating the system, they can hear the text read out loud and respond via voice recognition, or via the steering wheel switches using pre-set answers such as “driving, can’t text,” “on my way,” “running late,” “okay” or a custom message. The system can be turned off if desired. The NissanConnectSM with Navigation system also integrates with the ADAD and includes an easy-to-use with its 7-inch touch-screen, 3D-effect map views, Voice Recognition, destination search via Google POI. It also offers the ability to send Google directions to the navi system straight from a smartphone.

This interior is both smart and comfortable, although a sturdier armrest would accommodate larger drivers.

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PERFORMANCE

Altima’s new Electronic Hydraulic Power-Assisted Steering (EHPS) system provides the best of two worlds – the natural, smooth feel of a sophisticated hydraulic power steering system, while simultaneously improving fuel economy by using electric power (rather than drawing power from the engine). The hydraulic assist allows a greater reduction ratio than with gears, while the small electric motor, which runs directly off the 12-volt power supply (no converter), does not need to be mounted directly on the steering rack since a large reduction ratio is obtained. The result is smoother confidence inspiring steering at higher speeds and easy assist when parking. When a midsize sedan is clocking in at 27mpg in the city and 38mpg in highway driving, you can’t expect the best performance in the world, and that’s pretty much how we left the 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV. Our test model sported a 2.5 liter DOHC 16 valve 4-cylinder engine Xtronic CVT that is smooth but left us wanting more power for a car this size.

OVERVIEW

Nissan certainly knows what they’re doing when it comes to building great cars that are also a joy to drive, and they should be proud of the 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV with all of her advances. The Altima is hands down one of the best looking midsize sedans on the road today. Pricing is also very reasonable, as our media test car checked in with a sticker price of $27,005. For that price, we would have liked to see leather seating, though they did a nice job with the cloth surface. Performance and handling were sufficient but not stand out material like the exterior design.

  

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