In its fifth generation, the 2013 Nissan Altima is the most refined, fuel-efficient and upscale Altima ever. Sharp handling, a well-made cabin, and energetic engines instill the Altima with more character than the typical family sedan.
The 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 sedan comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). In Edmunds performance testing, this engine brought the Altima from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, which makes it one of the quickest four-cylinder family sedans. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg city/38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined, which is excellent for a midsize sedan.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers competitive performance for this class. It revs willingly and generates more than enough acceleration for everyday driving in both the sedan and coupe. Still, we prefer the version in the sedan, because it comes with a revised CVT that operates in a more refined manner and provides better fuel mileage.
The 2013 Altima's cabin feels markedly more upscale. Materials are of visibly higher quality, particularly on the dashboard and console than previous years. The gauge cluster is attractive, with a large, highly readable speedometer and tachometer on either side of the crisp, 4-inch LCD screen. Another highlight is the specially engineered "zero gravity" front seats used in all Altimas. With help from NASA research, the seats were designed to relieve common pressure points and improve comfort for the long haul. It works, as the new Altima's front seats are palpably different from before and more comfortable and supportive from the moment you slip in them.
Every 2013 Nissan Altima sedan and coupe come standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In government crash testing, the Altima sedan received a perfect five stars for overall, frontal and side crash protection.