2013-2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL Review

this is the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima now this is Nissan’s latest entry into this cutthroat midsize sedan segment which of course includes the all-new Ford Fusion the recently redesigned Toyota Camry and the all-new 2013 Honda Accord as well now this sedan segment sells on value and that means we should expect to find luxury features that were available only in luxury vehicles a few short years ago jam-packed with decent pricing in this particular segment let’s hop in and see
how the Altima does I find the Nissan

Versa all the way up to this Altima very attractive but in a elegant sort of sedate kind of way I think the new Ford Fusion is far more attractive really with its aston martin good looks and I think that the Kia Optima is a very exciting design as well although I’m not sure it will age quite as well as these more simple lines on the Nissan products well several the players in this segment are towing with small turbocharged engines Nissan has stuck to their tried-and-true combination of a 2.5 liter hundred and eighty-two horsepower 4-cylinder engine or a 270 horsepower 3.5 liter v6 now both these engines are mated to a Nissan continuously variable

transmission Nissan put the 2013 Altima

on a diet so the curb weight now ranges from 3,100 to almost 3,300 pounds that also means that the four-cylinder Altima now gets 38 miles per gallon highway well this v6 model gets 31 the mass-market midsize sedan is an interesting segment because these vehicles contain features that luxury car features had an exclusive hold on just a few years ago that’s as much because customers are demanding it as much as manufacturers trying to differentiate themselves from one another now in this particular cabin we have nice soft touch – bits we have fake wood trim but it’s very believable fake wood Germans probably one of the best fake wood trims I’ve ever seen we also get these interesting paddles here on the steering column not on the wheel so some people really like that because Nissan puts them on the steering column so they don’t move around with the wheel I’m really not quite clear why they’re here in a car equipped with a CVT but you’ve got them if you want them we have a nice leather wrapped shifter we have a

heated steering wheel feature that you’d

still don’t find in many luxury vehicles we have pet auto up auto down windows and of course we have power seats as well of course because this isn’t a luxury vehicle this is just a regular mid-sized sedan this passenger seat doesn’t have the same range of motion as the driver’s seat but they are very comfortable there’s a great deal of room in this cabin it’s a great deal of legroom as well for the driver so don’t worry about your foot getting stuck on the pedals the rear cabin in the ultimate is pretty much par for this course we get very large fairly comfortable rear seats our rear legroom is actually not as good as the all-new Nissan Center because that new Nissan Center has an absolutely enormous rear seat but these rear seats are more comfortable and they are more adult sized than eccentric so they’re a little bit higher off the ground giving me a little bit more thigh support I have a decent amount of headroom in this particular model although the sunroof does impede on my Headroom a bit as you would expect in
any midsize sedan this middle seat is

usable for a real adult I’m 6 feet tall
and I can sit upright in this middle seat although my hair is brushing the ceiling the Altima score is a solid 8 out of 10 points in our exclusive trunk comfort index and that’s because the trunk is quite tall you can fit some of these roller bags upright you limited to maybe about three of them however across this trunk opening because you can’t fit them further into the trunk like you can in the Nissan Sentra that Nissan Center has a really crazy deep trunk and crazy tall as well allowing you to fit very large items upright in its trunk now we do lose some points for these trunk hinges which do impede on my Headroom as well as my leg room but overall the trunk is quite comfy let’s take a look at the infotainment options on the Altima first up this is the base model Altima 3.5 which means we do get bluetooth we have

buttons here on the steering wheel and

we get a revised set of the stereotypical Nissan and Infiniti buttons here this is the screen change button back button up down enter source and of course down here we get volume now these buttons control this multi information display in the center of the gauge cluster as well as the audio unit in the center of the dash this is essentially the same display as you’ll find in the new Nissan Pathfinder as well as the Infiniti JX it allows you to alter certain vehicle settings see your trip computer as well as monitor your tire pressure and your infotainment options our Nissan Altima tester has one USB port as you can see here now that does provide enough power to charge your high-power devices like an Apple iPad which is a very nice touch in this particular segment we also get XM Radio AM FM radio of course and we get a nice high resolution screen with integrated backup camera as you can see here as you would expect with the system with an iPod mini button iPod integration is very good in this particular system you have full access to your iPod playlists artists songs etc there are no voice commands all a

Microsoft Sync or Toyota’s Entune system

but the system is very snappy as far as dealing with your playlists and music selection so you can see you can scroll down your playlists rather rapidly and you get a little shortcut there but as you can see the system is very responsive overall now there is also an optional 7-inch touchscreen system that has navigation as well as improved voice commands for your ipod there’s also an optional 7-inch touchscreen navigation system and we’re going to insert a little blip from our Nissan Sentra video so you can get an idea of exactly what that system is like as you can see we have full access to our iPod via this system much like the previous generation of their low-cost navigation system we have the ability also to charge our iPad so this is an iPad 3 and as you can see it’s charging which is a nice feature in this system we also get XM satellite radio along with am/fm radio of in-dash single CD player this particular slot is for the navigation maps and that’s on an SD card we also have our Bluetooth interface if we had a Bluetooth phone paired with the system and we don’t we also have Pandora and right now the
Pandora app we’re told only works on the

iPhone so if you have an Android phone you’re gonna have to wait until that’s been released over here we have our map interface and we get a fairly snappy interface that’s that should be familiar to anyone that uses an aftermarket navigation system this is very Garmin like in its operation very easy to enter destinations into this system and as you can see the system is overall fairly responsive over here in menus we have access to our traffic information whether these are delivered by XM satellite service we also have Pio is powered by Google and Google sent a car peel wise by Google uses your data service on your phone to Google basically four addresses or destinations performance in this 3.5 liter v6 equipped ultimate is very good we’ve been clocking between 5.6 and 6.2 seconds in our zero-to-sixty tests now that variance is due to the traction control system well the traction control system can never be completely disabled if it’s in its off mode then we get that five point six time well the six point to time is with the electronic nannies in their
full-on position like all the other

midsize entries you do get a decent
amount of torque steer when you’re flooring it especially in this v6 model although the Altima makes us a bit more predictable thanks to that CVT in a regular transmission between shifts you know the car’s pulling sort of left or right a bit and then you shift to get it a little bit of a delay and then it starts pulling again now the Altima with the CVT because there really are no shifts the transmission is constantly varying its ratio you just get sort of a predictable pull always to one side or the other it seems that a number of people in the press don’t like CVT is I’m really not one of them I I find them a good answer to the fuel economy question as well as to a driving smoothness question I live up in over 2200 foot mountain pass and if you’re driving a car with a regular transmission especially if it has a smaller engine then I find myself slowing down then the transmission down shifting and then I speed up and then the transmission up shifts and then I slow down and then it dragged down shifts against then you speed up again and that doesn’t really happen in the CVT car the transmission just adjusts its ratios so as you’re going up the hill you apply a little bit more throttle you stay at that constant speed

but the engine’s rpms just go up and
down based on what they need to do in order to maintain that constant speed I find that pretty good as far as smoothness go so it has a more luxurious feel in some ways now the feeling is very unexpected and some people complain about it being a little bit rubber banding and I will admit that even this revised Nissan CVT even though it has solved some of that rubber band eNOS that people complain about it’s not quite as good or quite as responsive as Honda’s new CVT in the 2013 Accord but that’s not to say this transmission is bad by any stretch of the imagination it’s very smooth it responds fairly quickly and my only complaint about it really is that if you’re on the highway you’re going 50 miles an hour and you want to overtake someone the amount of time between this transmission going from its high ratio to its low ratio so you can do that overtaking is a little bit longer than most 6-speed Automatic s– because they can go directly from 6 – you know second or third something like that where is this transmission it takes a little bit for it to various ratio from that high ratio to a lower ratio the benefits are obvious of course in that zero to sixty time because we don’t really have too much torque here we have under two hundred fifty pound

feet of torque in this particular engine
but the CVT makes use of all of that torque because there’s no delay in the shifting so it can keep the engine at its optimum power band as you accelerate it also pays dividends and fuel economy because this car is rated for 31 miles per gallon on the highway but we’ve been averaging 27.6 in mixed driving and again that’s going up in over that twenty two hundred foot mountain past plenty of city driving plenty of huh mountain highway driving as well as some freeway driving as you would expect from any car in this segment the ultimate is very quiet on the highway extremely quiet I might say but then again pretty much everybody in this segment is as well I think in many ways your choice of which car to get really comes down to your personal preference and and what kind of style you like and which features really speak to you in these particular vehicles now the Nissan Altima comes with an interesting option for $1,000 you get the upgraded infotainment system which we have in a video on the Nissan Sentra and you also get the lane departure warning lane departure prevention system included with that handling in the ultimate is pretty good and that’s thanks to a fairly well sorted chassis as well as low profile rubber now the tires are a little bit more narrow than I would like and so it does let it down a little bit in the corners but that’s something you
could fix yourself with upgraded tires I

do think that the Ford Fusion all-wheel drive however with the EcoBoost 2-liter engine is probably my dynamic choice in the mid-size segment pricing in the Nissan Altima ranges from the base 4-cylinder Model S for twenty two thousand four hundred ninety dollars to the fully loaded 3.5 liter SL model for thirty two thousand three hundred eighty dollars our particular tester bring in at 31 two hundred ninety dollars because we didn’t have that thousand dollar navigation and blind spot information package after a week with the Nissan Altima gotta say this is one of the few cars that I would actually buy myself now that’s not to say that the Nissan Altima is overtly better than any of the other entries in the segment because honestly there are no bad entries in this midsize sedan segment it’s just that this particular vehicle speaks to me and fits my particular requirements so when you’re out there shopping in the midsize sedan segment I suggest you really spend a great deal of time in every entry and see which one fits you it’s sort of like finding that perfect shoe which one fits you which one is the style that you like which one is the color that you like and which one has all the straps and whatever that you like

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