2012 Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
Lucked out, got 6K off msrp on a fully loaded '12 3.5 SR incl. tech pkg. (nav). Was sitting on dealer's lot for 2 weeks with a "sold" sign, but deal fell through. Last '12 on their lot. Impressive initial quality, flawless fit and finish (silver) and interior quality. Kudos to the folks at the Smyrna, TN plant. Driver's seat not as good as '13 "NASA" seat, but is fine. Brakes not as good as wife's previous '10 CX-7 GT, but acceptable. V6 & CVT good match w/ good power. 26 mpg on first tank (hand calculated), not bad, better than the CX-7. Handling is great, steering is heavy on hwy. but tracks well and lightens up in low speed driving. This is a completely different car from the 2.5 models.
Very sporty, excellent value for the money. To me, competitive with higher end Infinity, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes etc. Lota bang for the buck.
Actually like like the body style and interior better than the 2013, even though it's a 5 year old end of product cycle model. Body and interior very europeanish. The 17" Bridgestone touring tires do get a bit noisy on rougher roads, but otherwise cabin is pretty quiet with minimal wind noise as well. I think the door panels and sound proofing are upgraded from the base models because the car feels very sold vs. the 2.5 base models I've driven which kind of feel like a tin can. As I said, completely different car. Made in USA is a big plus too (3/12).
The 5 year old scrolling menus. You can only view one set of info at a time. for instance, you have to scroll to get the thermometer. No blind spot monitoring system (2013's got it). No separate compass from nav. (homelink mirror on 3.5 SL no compass)
The 2013 is improved in many ways (they're calling it the "Camry killer"). The 2013 match for this 2012 is the SL w/ tech pkg. and rear spoiler (you have to order that separately now). Would have tried to make a deal on that '13 configuration if they had charcoal int. in stock, but would have paid at least 3k more. So far very happy and very impressed with initial quality and performance, we'll see what the long term quality is like.