Inherent quality
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The 2013 Nissan Altima

Inherent quality
One of the key elements to the new Altima’s excellence is its inherent quality. Cars in the mid-size coterie are often an assemblage of compromises to keep costs manageable. Thus, doors sound hollow when you close them; interior panels are stamped out of hard, cheap plastic and an overflow of the world’s noises (wind, road, compensatory Harley-Davidsons) seep into the cabin. None of these problems plague the Altima.  (Nissan)
Standard features
The Altima 2.5 SV tested came standard with niceties such as a backup camera, a color digital display in the instrument panel, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry. (Nissan)
Interior design
The sedan’s interior one of the quietest and best-made in its class.  (Nissan)
Clean dashboard layout
Any button, switch or surface that occupants touch belies the car’s economy, while the dashboard layout is clean and intuitive.  (Nissan)
Interior headroom
Unfortunately the headrests are oddly positioned and very hard. Interior room is average for this class, though rear headroom is tad tight.  (Nissan)
Sleek exterior
Nissan did everyone a favor and covered all this in a new, silky, wind-swept exterior. Previous Altimas were never ugly, but they lacked the sleek, polished look this 2013 model has. (Nissan)
NASA-inspired seats
The new Altimas come with NASA-inspired seats designed to reduce driver fatigue. (Nissan)
Variable transmission
Unfortunately the Altima does make a concession to fuel efficiency with its gearbox. Like its predecessor, the 2013 Altima comes with a continuously variable transmission. The SV version tested is rated at 27 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway.  (Nissan)
Two engine choices
The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine makes 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Other than its occasional noisiness, this engine is a good one and will move the car from zero to 60 in 7.4 seconds, according to Motor Trend. A larger, 3.5-liter V-6 will run you between $2,000 and $3,600 more, depending on the model. It’s good for 270 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.  (Nissan)
Heading to dealerships
2013 Altimas are starting to trickle in to dealerships and they should have no trouble selling as well as the previous version. This bodes well for Nissan, as it gives the company a strong head start on the all-new and highly-anticipated versions of the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion due this fall. (Nissan)