What is the best-selling model for Nissan?  If you said the Altima you would be absolutely correct.  Now, having said that, is there any advantage to redesigning that which leads you in sales?  Well, one only has to look at the story of the Toyota Matrix to answer that question.  Once the darling of the hatchback crowd, the Matrix slipped by the wayside by not redesigning, and allowing the competition (namely the Honda Fit) pass it by.

Nissan was taking no chances, and so the 2013 Nissan Altima comes redesigned and that is a good thing for sure.  Resting on one’s laurels is not a good thing in the car business; there is just too much competition out there, and it takes all of about two years to go from top of the heap to also ran.

The Altima looks much the same from earlier models on the outside, but inside it has been completely refurbished and it looks much, much better.  Competition comes from the Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, VW Passat, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion, all worthy family sedans, but the Nissan Altima is still the top of the group because of the interior changes.  Of course, it has always performed admirably and given a smooth, quiet ride with great handling.

There are seven trim levels available, and we are not about to list all seven, but we can tell you that you have two engine choices.  One is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gives182 horsepower and an EPA rating of 27/38 mpg, which is excellent for a midsize family sedan.  It can also go from 0-60 in 7.8 seconds, a quick time for this class.

The other engine option is the 3.5-liter V6 which gives 270 horsepower and is rated at 22/31, going from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds, also quite quick for that engine.

Standard features include 16-inch wheels on some trims and 17-inch on others.  Full power accessories are there, as are cruise control, a six-speaker stereo system, and automatic headlights.  Heck, the list is a long one for standard features. 

All models come with a CVT, or continuously variable transmission, which takes a little getting used to as a driver, but which also ensures great gas mileage.  Safety features of course include antilock brakes and stability and traction control.  The 3.5-liter trims stopped from 60-0 in 114 feet, which is excellent for this class of car.

The Altima has been around a long time, so rest assured that you will be able to find replacement parts easily, especially since many of the engine and body parts are unchanged with this new model.