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The 2013 Nissan Altima looks to take MPG crown from unreleased 2013 Ford Fusion

It's impossible to miss the fact that some of the hybrid vehicles on the roads today aren't offering a huge increase in fuel economy over the new breed of much more efficient traditional vehicles. Nissan is proving that with its new 2013 Altima which gets impressive fuel economy courtesy of a redesigned 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. 
Nissan promises 38 mpg on the highway from the 2.5-liter engine. The Altima is a midsize sedan that will start at $21,500 in 2.5 trim. For those that want a little more power at the expense of fuel economy, the 3.5-liter V6 models start at $25,360.
"In a segment as critical as this, with longtime nameplates and new challengers fighting for every sale, it's not enough to just target the competition. You have to think outside – and far above – the segment," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. "We created the new Altima to set a clearly recognized benchmark for many years to come."

The Altima is available with Advanced Drive-Assist Display and Bose premium audio. The car comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free phone calls and can be had with driver assistance technology such as Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and more. This new Altima is one of five all new models that Nissan will be introducing over the next 15 months.
The 2013 Altima also comes equipped with the oddly named “zero-gravity seats” which are designed to help reduce muscular and spinal loads and improve blood flow. The idea according to Nissan is to reduce fatigue over long periods behind the wheel.

The 2.5-liter QR25 engine in the new Altima includes variable valve timing on intake camshafts to help make the torque curve flatter. The engine also has new thermoplastic resin intake manifold allowing for more power. The engine has 182 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque.
The fuel economy numbers for the QR25 are preliminary, so we’ll have to wait a while before the official numbers come down. BMW was quick to the gun to tout 36 mpg highway on its all-new 2012 328i, but then got smacked down by the EPA. BMW now has to shows an EPA highway rating of 33 mpg.
The 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder in the 2013 Ford Fusion is rated for 37 mpg on the highway.

Sources: VW Vortex, Autoblog

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By FITCamaro on 4/3/2012 11:54:48 AM , Rating: 3
The 2.5-liter QR25 engine in the new Altima includes variable valve timing on exhaust intake cam straps to help make the torque curve flatter.

Exhaust intake cam straps? Man Nissan must be pretty desperate to cut costs if they're holding the cams in with straps.

By LSUJester on 4/3/2012 12:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just wait, the 2014 version has zip ties!

By geddarkstorm on 4/3/2012 1:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Pssh, I'm holding out for the 2015 model with innovative duct tape attachments.

By Qapa on 4/3/2012 7:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
The MacGyver version then? :)

(I hope, most can still understand this one...)

By Souka on 4/3/2012 11:02:21 PM , Rating: 2
has new thermoplastic resin intake manifold allowing for more power

So how does this "allow for more power"?

Also...this just seems like something that'll crack in about 8-10 years.... seems like anyhow.

By jRaskell on 4/4/2012 8:55:36 AM , Rating: 2
Thermoplastic intakes are nothing new. GM has been using them on their Corvette engines for nearly 2 decades now (and they have been used on racing engines long before that), and a 10 year old intake is just as good as a brand new one.

And the power increase is a result of the composite intakes having less heat soak from the engine itself, thus keeping the air a bit cooler going into the combustion chambers. Cooler intake charge = more power. We may only be talking a couple horsepower here, but in today's age, that's about all you're going to get from any single minor modification to an engine design.

By Dr of crap on 4/4/2012 9:31:17 AM , Rating: 2
My 2006 Focus has, for lack of what it really is, what appears to be plastic intake manifold.

By YashBudini on 4/4/2012 1:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
Chrysler also uses them. It's becoming quite common.

I wonder how long before intake manifolds are stamped "Made by Mattel."

By Iaiken on 4/3/2012 2:53:02 PM , Rating: 3
I have no idea what he is talking about here...

Nissan's VVEL technology is clearly affects the intake valves only so I don't know why exhaust was even mentioned. Second, the technology is made possible by a secondary eccentric cam that can modify how far the primary cam presses on the rocker arms via DC stepper motor. I'm not sure how straps would even enter into this except maybe to provide some play in the absence of the secondary cam lobes.

By Shane McGlaun on 4/3/2012 5:27:29 PM , Rating: 4
The straps are to hold the hamsters in place.

By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 9:47:45 PM , Rating: 5
So who is still pissed off at Obama for forcing the auto companies to make more efficient cars? We are getting more or equal power with the same size car with significant gas savings. Sounds like a win win to me, but keep telling us how government involvement is always bad.

By Noya on 4/3/2012 10:25:42 PM , Rating: 1
First off, if you believe presidents are anything more than a front-man/puppet...I pity you.

How about the price increases in both vehicle and fuel costs? The average sedan is increasing in base price between $500-1000 each model year. Fuel in my neck of the woods is $4.12/reg and $4.32/prem.

And it's not as if local fuel production will result in lower costs, as they'll sell it to China or whatever country is willing to pay top dollar.

When everyone in government is corrupt, how does more involvement do anything? It basically just results in more taxes that are always passed down to us little people. I highly recommend you watch "Inside Job" from 2010.

By Souka on 4/3/2012 11:00:47 PM , Rating: 5
When everyone in government is corrupt

so, how do you like:
Driving on those private roads?
Drinking private well water?
Eating foods without standards?
Reading books with light powered by your private solar farm?
Having the private internet?
etc etc

oh wait, you can' can't without "the government"

I could be more clever but I can't, too sleepy.

By Ringold on 4/4/2012 12:48:50 AM , Rating: 1
Devils advocate, since I'm bored

Driving on those private roads?

The toll roads around here are, by far, the best maintained in the state. To be fair though, they are public-private mixed ventures.

Drinking private well water?

Privatized, but regulated, water utilities have lower costs then municipally owned ones, after accounting for hidden costs (long-term benefits mostly) that municipalities hide off-balance sheet or face looser accounting standards on. Actual well water sucks, though.

Eating foods without standards?

People did somehow survive before the FDA. Food for thought: What's more dangerous, the stuff that occasionally, secretly sneaks in to, say, China's food supply, or the FDA-approved garbage people eat at fast-food chains throughout the country?

Reading books with light powered by your private solar farm?

Or powered by privately owned (or publicly listed) utilities.

Having the private internet?

People seem to like the iPhone.

I'm just trollin', but everything in moderation, including government.

By FITCamaro on 4/4/2012 8:03:00 AM , Rating: 1
Car companies would be attempting to get more fuel economy and power out of their vehicles regardless of what government does. Because it makes their vehicles more attractive to consumers.

What's bad about government FORCING more efficient cars is that it means automakers have to do things before they're ready. Or raise the cost of vehicles to be able to afford including technology that is otherwise too expensive to include on a particular model. It forces things on the market that are currently too expensive or not fully developed.

Ultimately consumers buy the vehicles that are best for them. If gas prices are higher, then people buy higher mileage vehicles. If they're lower, the people sometimes trade off some fuel economy for more power. Some people don't care either way. If a person chooses poorly, that's their fault. They have no one to blame but themselves. I typically see those who would be considered poor driving large SUVs with giant rims on them. Who chose to drive that vehicle?

Also the latest mileage standards are going to going prevent a number of cheaper cars that poorer people can afford, assuming they choose to purchase them, from being sold because the price will have to go up to meet the standards. We are still a long ways from even being close to the FLEETWIDE AVERAGE that the standards force. It will all but force manufacturers to try and sell vehicles that people don't necessarily want. Notice that GM has shut down Volt production due to a glut of inventory?

Regardless of what you think, Americans enjoy owning their own vehicles. Driving an electric car daily and having to rent a car for longer trips doesn't sit well with the majority of us. And I don't see battery technology vastly improving in the next 10-13 years that will allow for 300-400 mile ranges with 10 minute charging times. It has barely improved in the past 10 years even with all the advances in materials science that we've had. And if you don't think there was a focus, you're wrong. Battery life on devices has improved more as a result of more energy efficient components than it has higher capacity, lighter batteries.

I guess that's a good number if...
By Boingo Twang on 4/3/2012 4:45:41 PM , Rating: 2 only drive on the highway which means you live, work and eat only directly off freeway exit ramps. Combined MPG is the real meaningful number because that's how people actually drive.

RE: I guess that's a good number if...
By Spuke on 4/3/2012 4:50:48 PM , Rating: 3
My car is rated at 19/28 and I get 28.

RE: I guess that's a good number if...
By Boingo Twang on 4/3/2012 5:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
Under what conditions? If you live in a cold place and drive in the winter I find that somewhat hard to believe. I'm currently getting 35 average on my car that is rated at 37 highway but the cold weather has passed for the most part.

RE: I guess that's a good number if...
By Spuke on 4/3/2012 5:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
27.7 mpg to be exact. I HAD an app that I used to keep track of my fill ups and miles driven between tanks. It would average the mpg info for me and graph it. I had VERY little variation if I just tracked the commutes. This is year round, all weather (I live in SoCal and we don't get any extreme weather), mostly flat with some small, rolling hills, mostly "freeway". There are about 8 stops so my average speed is pretty low (in the 40 mph range) even though I top out at 65 mph on the "freeway" portions. Mileage goes down if I take the actual freeway but only by 1 mpg on average.

My best is 33 mpg which was I able to repeat 3 times on that same commute but that's with not much boost (I have a DI turbo 4 cyl engine) and no actual freeway driving on the commute. Not much fun driving like that and I only gained another day of driving.

By Spuke on 4/3/2012 5:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
The temps can get into the low 20's in the winter but will rise to the mid 50's. Never saw a difference in fuel economy though.

Nice upgrade
By Demmue on 4/3/2012 12:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
I love my 2010 Altima. It's probably the best car I've ever driven (in that modest price range). Everything mentioned in this article makes it an even better. I already get 32 MPG on highway so to get 38 on a non-hybrid isn't too shabby. Hopefully they can get their hybrid model bumped up too as it has always lagged behind other on the market.

RE: Nice upgrade
By SRHelicity on 4/3/2012 12:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
My wife and I have a 2008 Altima (3.5 SL), and we love it. She drives that daily, while I drive my old 1999 model-year car with 215k miles on it. Bah!

Even though the engine in my car is bigger (3.8L V6 from GM), her car has much more power. That said, I don't really care much about power when we're >200 hp anyway -- it's not like I'm going to WOT it when gas is nearly $4/ga. Her car is much nicer to drive, though, largely because the Altima's CVT is incredibly smooth. Assuming the failure rate isn't much different with CVTs than traditional 4-, 5-, and 6-gear automatic transmissions (I've heard some horror stories about CVT failures on the internet, but I also know quite a few people who have had to replace their 'traditional' automatic trannies too), I can't imagine not getting a CVT when my car eventually kicks the bucket. It just makes the driving experience so much smoother - love it!

As much fun as it is to drive the 3.5, I'd probably opt for a 2.5 L engine next time to save on fuel expenses. The average mostly-highway fuel economy that we get with the Altima (90% highway, 10% city) is ~27-28 mpg. I've been able to get a few tanks with 30-31 mpg, but that's still suboptimal for us. Note that this is measured fuel economy (calculated at the pump upon fill-up) -- the car's estimated fuel economy that's shown on the instrument cluster is always too high (usually by ~7-10%).

RE: Nice upgrade
By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 9:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
The failures I saw on Nissan CVT's were all from people putting the wrong transmission fluid in them.

RE: Nice upgrade
By Aikouka on 4/4/2012 11:14:28 AM , Rating: 2
I own a 2007 Altima 3.5SL, and it's certainly a nice car. The only negative aspect that I've seen about the CVT is that other cars don't have them! ;) Your smooth acceleration means nothing when the car in front of you has that slight lull from shifting! It's not uncommon for me to have to lift off the accelerator slightly when accelerating behind a car from a stop.

I do definitely understand your opinion on the gas mileage, and I don't blame you in the least bit. I usually get around 18-20 MPG, and that's with a lot of city driving. Before I moved, the majority of my driving involved no stops and was between 45-55 MPH. I would usually average between 25 and 27 MPG. Although, I think I would miss that extra power from the V6. It does come in handy around here far more often than it should.

I think what I like the most about this new model is actually the styling. It reminds me a lot of the newer Maxima, which seems a lot more aggressive. The current generation has that weird multi-layer headlight look, which is just... odd.

MPG King of the midsize car
By rich876 on 4/3/2012 2:41:05 PM , Rating: 1
Before making a brand as King of the MPG, wait for stats of the new GM 2.5 engine. It'll probably beat both the Fusion and the ALtima.

By Brandon Hill on 4/3/2012 2:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt they'd be any higher than the Malibu Eco, otherwise what's the point of the Malibu Eco?

RE: MPG King of the midsize car
By retrospooty on 4/3/2012 3:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
"Before making a brand as King of the MPG, wait for stats of the new GM 2.5 engine. It'll probably beat both the Fusion and the ALtima. "

In general, when you hold GM up against any other car maker GM doesnt look good in any area... so am not holding my breath on that... But we'll see.

RE: MPG King of the midsize car
By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 9:50:33 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, GM mostly looks good when you compare it to the old GM. But at least the current malibu isn't completely decimated by its competition anymore.

By messele on 4/3/2012 3:11:31 PM , Rating: 1
I don't get why everybody thinks this is good. My fat old Jag will return 46 to 52 MPG between 70 and 100mph.

Ok that's proper imperial gallons but even that's like 38 to 43 of your stingy American gallons.

RE: ...
By Boingo Twang on 4/3/2012 5:07:20 PM , Rating: 3
Have you replaced the original engine with a 3 horsepower lawn mower engine? :-)

RE: ...
By YashBudini on 4/4/2012 1:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
You'd be surprised what tall gearing and sitting at peak torque rpm can accomplish on the highway.

RE: ...
By messele on 4/7/2012 4:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
Joking aside no its stock apart from a slight modification I made to the EGR valve but that was only to stop inlet tract sooting.

My figures I worked out from top up to top up, no idea what the manufacturers claims are, I tend to ignore stuff like that.

100mph 3hp lawn mower would be one hell of a thing ;o)

By msheredy on 4/3/2012 11:50:32 AM , Rating: 3
All-New 2013 Nissan Altima Promises 38 MPG on the Highway


RE: -
By Mitch101 on 4/3/2012 1:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
Know what you mean. I just got a real test of my Ford Fusion on the highway and averaged 36 mpg without really trying. Kind of surprised myself it did that well considering this 4cyl has more HP and Torque than my previous 6 did.

No more manual
By BernardP on 4/3/2012 2:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
In all the hubdub about fuel economy and electronic gadgets, it should be noted that manual transmission is no longer available on the new Altima. From the VWVortex link above:

Every 2013 Altima is equipped with a standard next-gen Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission).

RE: No more manual
By XBMCFan on 4/3/2012 5:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
They had already killed the manual on the sedans a couple of years ago, but this still makes me sad.

Even though the clutch pedal feel can be a bit "nebulous" at times, I still love the 6 sp. manual on my 2007 Altima 3.5SE sedan. I considered getting a 2007 Infiniti G35S with a 6 sp. manual, but I needed the rear legroom and the fold down seats (which allow me to put my 9' surfboard INSIDE the car). I still really enjoy my Altima's blend of fun, practicality, and technology.

I will say that the new one looks nice- like a blend of the last gen. Infiniti M35/45 and the current gen. Nissan Maxima. Glad to see they finally gave it projector headlights too.

RE: No more manual
By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 9:57:55 PM , Rating: 1
Why offer a manual when basically nobody was buying them? The market for manual mid size family cars is basically zero.

remove the bloat
By undummy on 4/3/2012 11:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
Its about time that automakers quit making cars heavier from year to year. Newer models are getting lighter.

The new Altima is 50-100lbs lighter when compared to similarly equipped earlier versions.
The CVT has a wider gear range. That alone will improve MPG if they can keep the RPM down when cruising on the highway. The CVT also has reduced friction from previous years. I hope that the tech is adapted across the product range. I haven't seen a really good MPG Sentra since the early 90's.
That composite intake is variable. This should help improve the low end torque since the CVT will be lugging that 2.5 as much as possible.
The newer Altima will have less wind drag also.

So, 36mpg highway is no big deal. I get that from my '99 Altima and '04 Camry. We're finally catching up to MPG from the past, before most vehicles turned into overweight slobs.

Even though I want manual transmissions, the gearing in the past decade for 4cylinder vehicles has been absolutely HORRIBLE. Bring back the gearing from the late 80's and early 90's when the overdrive actually was an overdrive.

Mazda, Hyundai, Toyota, Subara.... and most automakers are putting their vehicles on DIETS. Its about time.

RE: remove the bloat
By macca007 on 4/4/2012 3:36:07 AM , Rating: 2
They are getting heavier because they have to comply with silly safety standards which are on the verge of becoming overkill, Who knows maybe our grandkids cars will have a collision sensor that inflates an airbag that encircles the entire car just before impact! o.O
The more saftey features they add the more sense of false security it gives to some drivers out there, Which means some will take a little more risk each time. Now if we all had flimsy cars AND trucks that would likely kills us on impact like a motorbike, Maybe we would all be too shit scared to be zooming around everywhere thus saving petrol two fold by not speeding and flimsy light weight cars!
I could be wrong, See so many temporary citizens out there hooning on bikes.
But yeah totally agree with you, Time to reduce weight on cars some more, I would say last BIG improvement was moving from cast iron engine blocks to alloy blocks which was about a 40% reduction in weight and also improved handling(less weight on front wheels). I wouldn't say moving from metal panels to plastic bumpers/panels is an improvement so I won't mention it for weight reduction even though it would also contribute. lol

By mindless1 on 4/3/12, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By Brandon Hill on 4/3/2012 1:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that BMW has been blasting 36mpg in print and TV advertising and on the window sticker and has been harping on the fact since its introduction, and then to have its highway ratings cut by nearly 10% is a big deal. City rating were also cut by 1 mpg.

This affects BMW's CAFE rating as well.

AFAICT, the fuel economy numbers that manufacturers send the EPA are mostly on the "honor system" as the government doesn't have the $$$ or the resources to test every single new model. But when they do test, you better be prepared.

Looks like BMW got the short end of the stick on this one once the EPA actually got one to verify BMW's claims.

RE: Really?
By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 9:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, this was a little disappointing. I wonder if the reported 28mpg mixed driving rating was off. It was pretty amazing to see a borderline sports car returning economy car mileage.

RE: Really?
By YashBudini on 4/4/2012 1:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like BMW got the short end of the stick on this one once the EPA actually got one to verify BMW's claims.

And the question remains just how many claims are not verified and not accurate?

But forcing them to tell the truth would produce a very anti-business environment, according to some political pundits.

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