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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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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.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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