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Vehicle Comparisons:
2013 Nissan Altima vs. 2012 Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima Boston drivers can be excused for taking sides. A serious amount of change has been ushered in with the 2013 model of the car versus the previous year’s car built by Nissan. The 2013 model represents a revision point that happens every couple of years. So the current Altima is, in many ways, a different car than the previous years and a universe away from where the Altima was in 2002 when it first debuted.

The Sedan Carries the Changes

When it comes to comparisons between years, a review needs to match apples to apples. The 2013 Altima Coupe has not changed; it is a continuation of the 2012 model and from years before. It is the 2013 Altima Sedan that represents the big shift in improvements of design.


2013 Nissan Altima BostonNissan touted the 2013 model as a new zenith in sedan fuel efficiency for a mid-size vehicle. It turns out the marketing involved a slight bit of embellishment, but the car does produce a seriously noticeable level of fuel efficiency. The Altima 2.5 Sedan puts out 31 mpg in combined highway-city performance from a 4-cylinder engine and 182 horsepower. The power is controlled by a continuously variable transmission, which automatically finds the best fuel position for the gears. The 2012 Altima used a similar sized engine in the 2.5 Sedan but had a slightly lower output of 175 horsepower. The transmission design was the same, but the output was lower, at 27 mpg combined. In conclusion, the 2013 model has the advantage.

In the 3.5 Sedan model, the 2013 Altima marks its performance with a 3.5 liter, six-cylinder engine that delivers 270 horsepower. The CVT transmission is present, and the performance rating sits at 25 mpg combined for city and highway. The previous year’s 3.5 Sedan put out the same horsepower but more torque. The resulting fuel performance measured 23 mpg combined, only slightly less than 2013.


One wouldn’t think reliability was an issue one or two years out from the factory, but the 2012 Altima <https://www.nissan24auto.com/type/used-inventory/year_2012/make_Nissan/model_Altima> did have reported braking issues. This was fixed with an extended warranty and updates on service bulletins. The 2013 model didn’t change anything, but the warranty policy has been bolstered slightly.

In Closing

The best way to see the 2013 Altima, however, is to take a test drive at a Nissan Altima Boston dealer.Then a driver can see what really changed.