Look out Camry, Accord, Malibu, Fusion and all the rest of you guys….the newly-re-designed Nissan Altima can hold it’s own with all of you.

Let’s start with how it looks…a little bit like a down-sized Infiniti M 37, actually. You’ll see the resemblance in the roofline and the rear quarter windows.

And then there’s an almost Lexus-like pinch in the grille.

While you still won’t get front-row parking at the club, nobody is going to have to park their new Altima back in the back somewhere.   This is one stylish sedan.

Plenty of room for 5 in comfort…and plenty of MPG’s.

In what has become an unusual move in the mid-sized segment, the Altima still offers both 4 and 6-cylinder power.   The competition has almost exclusively gone with 4’s and Turbo 4’s.

Base price for the Altima starts at $22,490 including destination charges….and can climb into the low $30’s depending upon how you option it out.

Our test Altima was an almost-top-of-the-line 3.5 liter, 270 HP 6-cylinder “SV”….pretty much lacking only leather.   It carried a $29,335 sticker…and included a Continuously Variable Transmission with paddle shifters, 18” alloys, Moonroof, 6-way power drivers’ seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, traction control, dual-zone air, a 5” screen and more.

Go all the way with a V-6 SL version and your $31,280 will get you Leather seating, Xenon headlights and a Bose audio system….and a total package that’ll rival Nissan’s Maxima.

Choosing the “Sport” setting on the transmission will keep your revs up…and your mileage down….but it turns the Altima V-6 into a real screamer.   In fact, you’ll burn a bit of rubber with anything above an “enthusiastic” launch.  It’s great around town…but not really needed, as the 6 is already a smooth and stout performer in it’s “normal” setting.

We ran up to Athens in our V-6 and got almost 31 MPG on the trip.

It’s just further proof as to how improved new cars really are these days.   A few years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to squeeze 30 MPG out of a smaller, noisier, 4-cylinder car.

And speaking of noise, you won’t hear much of it in the Altima….it’s a very quiet road car.

Point of interest: the Altima claims to have NASA-inspired seats.   It’s something about the seats having no irritating pressure points.   They seem to work….as the Altima is a very comfortable ride….while still being a responsive and good handling machine.

The six is rated at 22mpg city and 31 highway.   We got an average of 28,5  with a fair amount of highway driving.   The four cylinder is rated at 27 and 38.

If you enjoy the performance and extra margin of safety that you get with a six cylinder car, the Altima delivers…and still gets excellent mileage for a six.2013 nissan altima side 2013 Nissan Altima2013 altima front interior 2013 Nissan Altima2013 altima rear exterior rear 2013 Nissan Altima


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