Monday, November 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Altima is dressed up and thrifty

By
From page C1 | February 15, 2013 |

Looking for America’s roomiest, non-hybrid, mid-size sedan with the best gas mileage?

It isn’t a Honda or Toyota. It’s Nissan’s considerably redesigned 2013 Altima.

This fifth-generation Altima, with a federal government’s rating of 27 miles per gallon in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway, is slightly larger and has more power than its predecessor and is restyled inside and out for a more upscale appearance.

In fact, even the base 2013 Altima has chrome-look outer door handles and chrome-look trim around its windows for a pleasing jeweled effect.

The new, five-passenger Altima also has improved seats and new premium features — some of them standard equipment, such as keyless push-button start and Bluetooth hands-free phone system.

Best of all, Consumer Reports says predicted reliability of the new Altima is expected to be above average.

The 2013 Altima also garnered five-out-of-five-star rating for frontal and side crash passenger protection in U.S. government testing.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $22,550 for a base Altima S with 182-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that a driver operates like an automatic transmission.

This is just $80 more than the starting retail price for a 2013 Honda Accord with 185-horsepower four cylinder and manual tranny. A 2013 Accord with a CVT starts at $23,270.

The starting Altima retail price also is $480 less than the starting MSRP, including destination charge, for a base 2013 Toyota Camry with 156-horsepower four cylinder and automatic transmission.

Still, prices for the 2013 Altima can rise to more than $30,000 for a four-cylinder model in top-of-the-line SL trim with optional technology package that adds new safety equipment like blind spot warning and land departure warning.

Nissan also continues to offer the Altima with last year’s 270-horsepower V-6. The V-6 model has a starting retail price of $26,550 and, like the four-cylinder Altima, comes with a CVT only.

The Altima is Nissan’s best seller and topped 302,000 sales in the United States last calendar year. This was up 13 percent from calendar 2011 and made the Altima the nation’s fourth most popular car.

During the test drive, the 2013 Altima did not garner any looks from passersby.

Even inside the new Altima, passengers remarked about how much room there was — particularly legroom in front and back seats — but they didn’t seem to notice new premium plastics and materials on the interior.

And, the Altima doesn’t have a rearview camera on every model, as is standard for the 2013 Accord.

Altima buyers must move up to the 2.5 SV trim level, which starts at $25,250, to get a rearview monitor.

The major impression of the new Altima is its size. On the outside, it looked substantial even though the car is only 1.3 inches wider and 0.8 inch longer overall than its predecessor.

Front-seat legroom of 45 inches is huge, while back-seat legroom seemed like more than the 36.1 inches that Nissan reports.

Headroom back there is a decent 37.1 inches, which is increased a tad from last year, and three average-size adults can sit in back without resting atop each other.

The Altima’s 15.4-cubic-foot trunk is on a par with the Accord’s but smaller than the 16.4 cubic feet in the Hyundai Sonata.

The Altima’s 2.5-liter, double overhead cam four cylinder powered the test car well, bringing the peak torque of 180 foot-pounds up by 4,000 rpm. This is the same torque that last year’s Altima had, but last year, peak torque came on by 3,900 rpm.

This kind of careful engine tuning, plus judicious weight reduction and addition of the CVT help account for the improved mileage.

The Altima’s CVT, while not quite quick to deliver acceleration, was smooth in its operation. The main distraction was a droning sound now and then from the transmission, which is common from CVTs.

Otherwise, the test Altima’s interior was quiet.

Zero to 60 miles per hour is estimated at a mainstream 7.4 to 7.7 seconds with the four cylinder.

The test car averaged just 26 mpg, which is nowhere near the government fuel economy average of 31 mpg.

Indeed, the mileage was about on par with last year’s four-cylinder Altima, which was rated at 23/32 mpg by the government.

With the Altima’s downsized, 18-gallon gas tank, the range can easily top 450 miles.

The Altima has some special touches. Because of the standard Easy Fill Alert tire pressure system, the Altima tells a driver when a tire needs air and then honks the horn when a low tire is inflated to its correct pressure.

The Altima’s new, standard active understeer control works automatically to brake the front wheels and keep the car under control.

There has been one safety recall involving some 14,000 2012 and 2013 Altimas. Last October, Nissan notified federal regulators that bolts for the power steering might come loose and fall off, which could cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle.

2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL

BASE PRICE: $21,760 for 2.5 model; $22,860 for 2.5 S; $24,460 for 2.5 SV; $25,760 for 3.5 S; $27,660 for 2.5 SL.

PRICE AS TESTED: $30,525.

TYPE: Front engine, front-wheel-drive, five-passenger, mid-size sedan.

ENGINE: 2.5-liter, double overhead cam, direct-injection, inline four cylinder with CVTC.

MILEAGE: 27 mpg (city), 38 mpg (highway).

TOP SPEED: NA.

LENGTH: 191.5 inches.

WHEELBASE: 109.3 inches.

CURB WEIGHT: 3,121 pounds.

BUILT AT: Canton, Miss.

OPTIONS: Technology package (includes blind spot monitoring, navigation system lane departure warning) $1,090; moonroof $800; carpeted floor and trunk mats $185.

DESTINATION CHARGE: $790.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Fairfield-Suisun sits between bay, valley

    By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 11 Comments | Gallery

     
    Salvation Army gets ready for Thanksgiving

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Teens at Boys & Girls Clubs get their own place

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    New mobile office adds reach to The Salvation Army

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1

    Time to start a local hall of fame

    By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

     
    Conservancy plans Quail Ridge Walk in December

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Film festival brings people together for good causes

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Advance preparation mitigates frost damage

    By Kathy Low | From Page: C4

     
    Sudden Infant Death awareness and prevention

    By Susan Whalen | From Page: C4

    Weather for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

     
     
    Two injured in Fairfield shooting

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A12, 11 Comments

    .

    US / World

    Storms raise hope in California drought

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Gambling nuke commander linked to fake poker chips

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

    Winners and losers under Obama’s immigration plan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

     
    Kohler introduces odor-eating toilet seat

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

    Civic group: No Ferguson grand jury decision yet

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    WWII mementos found in suitcase at thrift store

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Hawaii airline tells pilots to return $4,000 bonus

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    Dogfighting thrives in years since Vick case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Man sets house on fire, kills responding deputy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Report: Washington toddler shot playing with gun

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Police: Pregnant woman, 3 others fatally shot

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Official: SD man kills 4, including self, wounds 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Pope meets with autistic children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Biden announces new aid for Syrian refugees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

     
    AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Somalia’s al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

     
    Kerry says gaps remain in talks about Iran’s nukes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Iraqi forces, Islamic State group battle in Ramadi

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Japan earthquake collapses homes, causes injuries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    .

    Opinion

     
    State Capitol braces for budget battle

    By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

     
    Act of kindness at Raiders game

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 6 Comments

    .

    Living

    Today in History: Nov. 23, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Give the gift of gratitude this holiday season

    By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3

     
    Buddhist community builds shrine in Pineville yard

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

    Caught up in the spirt of the music

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

     
    Horoscopes for Nov. 23, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

    Hackers can get into everything, including your camera lens

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

     
    Library project puts 50 years of yearbooks online

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6, 1 Comment

    Metrosexuals be gone: Europe is agog for beards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    Graphic novel teaching history at Mississippi schools

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

    .

    Entertainment

    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    Lamott offers healing words in ‘Small Victories’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

    Eddie Izzard has book deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    Whoopi Goldberg writing book about marriage

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

    Bryan Cranston reads profane hit nursery rhyme

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    .

    Sports

    Cousins lifts sluggish Kings over Wolves, 113-101

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Stanford routs rival Cal 38-17 in 117th Big Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Sacramento State downs UC Davis 41-30

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    49ers host Redskins looking for third straight win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Vermette nets winner for Coyotes vs. Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Green says he’s ready to return to lineup for Broncos

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Bills practice in Detroit prepping for Jets game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    No. 4 Duke tops Stanford to win Coaches vs Cancer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Vacaville Christian’s Kenyon voted Sierra Delta League MVP

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

     
    Suzy Whaley becomes 1st female officer at PGA

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Giants World Series exhibit goes on display Monday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Rivalry 150 goes to Lafayette, 27-7 over Lehigh

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Harvard beats Yale 31-24 in The Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Oklahoma’s Perine runs for record 427 yards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Bowling results for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

    Bocce results for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

     
    Bicycle racing for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

    Granada clings to 1-shot lead at LPGA finale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Swiss lead France 2-1 in Davis Cup final

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    This date in sports history for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Business

    Businesses cash in as women chase bigger butts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Tips on getting deals during Black Friday blitz

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Most US unemployed don’t get benefits: Here’s why

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    At a Glance: Pros, cons of mobile-payment systems

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    Review: No cash, cards, just mobile pay for a week

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    Recalls this week: strollers, candles, chargers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Norah Dean

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Florentina R. Dulay Florendo

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Albert M. Ranzani

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics