Used 2013 Nissan Altima Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Nissan Altima Review

2013 Nissan Altima

Reviews from owners of the 2013 Nissan Altima

Average Consumer Rating (See all 222 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Amazing value in a mid-level sedan

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I purchased a used 2013 from a Nissan dealer with 14K miles on it in October 2014 and now have 28k miles on it. I rarely buy new cars and research extensively before buying a used one. To explain my reasons for purchase, here's a little background. I'm 59 and retired with a spouse, no kids and no mortgage. I've been accused of being a tightwad, which is not altogether true, I am generous when I give my money away, but not when I spend it. I own a 10 year old Toyota Tundra (probably the best vehicle I've ever owned). I also had a 1988 Alfa Romero Quadrifoglio for around town driving that I spent more time under than in it. When the Tundra turned 100k miles, I decided I had to let the Alfa go and get something more reliable for road trips and save some miles on the truck (and gas $). I set my limit at $20k for a late model used car with low miles and started looking. And since this was going to be my road-trip car, I wanted great MPG. I quickly found out the premium models (Lexus, Acura, etc.) didn't meet my criteria. I test drove Sonatas, Accords & Civics (2 & 4 door), an Optima, Mazda 3 & 6, Ford Fusion, Volkswagen CC, and several Altimas. After our last buying experience at my local Honda dealer, I swore I would never buy another Honda or go back in there. But after driving a 2014 Accord coupe at another dealer, I was kicking myself- it was definitely my favorite but a little out of my set price range ($4k). The money really wasn't the issue, it's just that it's not worth the extra money I would end up spending, which would end up being a difference of $7k. The same was true of the Altima coupes but not as great a difference in price, but still more than the sedan- and the selection wasn't as good. The Optima was nice, but after a weekend test drive, the MPG was not what I expected. As luck would have it, I sold my Alfa the day I listed it and found a great deal on an internet ad in Charleston for a 2013 Altima the same day. I drove up the next day, test drove it, paid for it, and they delivered it (125 miles) the next day. The review: I was apprehensive before my purchase. Consumer Reports had the 2013 Altima on their used car 'Do Not Purchase' list and a lot of reviews had me leery of the CVT. While reviews are helpful, negative feedback tends to surface faster and more frequently, and I understand why- there is not a manufacturer that hasn't produced lemons. I look for constructive consumer reviewers that are not pi$$ed when they write them. The professional reviews are not much better, they tend to favor instant gratification like performance and excitement over longevity or real-life, day-to-day ownership, that's their job. But I doubt they ever had to stick out their thumb and bum a ride when that Jaguar broke down on the test track! I hate to inform them, but the ho-hum cars they knock around define the bell curve of all purchases. But even Edmund's rates this car a C, what was I thinking? Fast forward about 18 months and I can't say enough good things about this car. I have the SL package and it has more options than cars costing $5k more. The MPG is excellent, although the computer variation can be up to 2 mpg off my calculations when I fill up. Regardless, I average 33-35 mpg around town (where I average about 25-35 mph). I have exceeded 40 mpg on the highway but over 70 mph it's around 38 mpg. The car is quiet, the ride very smooth, and I don't have a problem with the CVT or the way it doesn't shift! It may bog down and whine for others, but apparently this baby built for my snail-like reflexes and acceleration. Which may explain my mpg this last 14k miles. The entertainment system works flawlessly, normally the first thing I do is yank out the factory radio and replace it along with the speakers. It lacks a bit on the bass but sounds good enough where I didn't feel the need to replace it. And it sounds even better using a thumb-drive plugged into the USB port. The Bluetooth links quickly, works great on calls and streaming, and I love the text access via voice command. I only have one complaint here, it would be nice if you could send a voice-to-text message instead of just the pre-programmed text messages. The info screen between the gauges is handy but can distracting. At least Nissan got it right by putting the actual psi for each tire on the display, and it's accurate. I wish Honda would take note of this. The headlights are spectacular, much brighter than the Silverstar Ultras in my truck. The interior is comfortable, plenty of back-seat space. The driver's seat is comfortable enough around town but fatigues you on long drives. My only real gripe is the piano-gloss finish on dash/console. It scratches easily and shows smudges. The trunk is huge but I needed to add a LED panel in place of the bulb. And the plastic bag hangers that flip out are useless, too low. I could go on but apparently space is limited here. Overall, I'm highly satisfied and haven't had one problem.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

You know the story, bad transmission!!!

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I bought my car in June 2013 and went on trip immediately after. It did really good and I was impressed, I also owned a 1999 Altima (manual trans) and it went 370K miles on the original engine and transmission. This 2013 had to have the transmission replaced at 34K miles and the new transmission at 45K behaves pretty much the same as the previous transmission. Whether the problem is the alternator or the transmission, Nissan should stand behind their product and correct the issues at n o expense to the customer. A Nissan mechanic told me that since Renault bought Nissan the quality has been diminishing on their products and it shows not sign of getting better. I am in the process of getting rid of my Altima and getting an Accord with manual transmission. I will never buy Nissan again, not because of the transmission, but for their lack of care in solving a known issue to them.

Love this car

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

So far I love owning this car. I plan on having leather installed on the seats.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Worst car ever

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

Broken down 3 times within 65,000 miles. 2 transmissions. Air conditioning , leaking shocks, door handle broke, two recalls. Very nice service managers but worst car I have ever had in 52 years of driving

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Complete transmission and sensor nightmare!!

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

2013 Altima 3.5 SV. 58000 miles and 3 replaced transmissions later...Nissan corporate puts you on ignore. Dont get suckered into this looks pretty, goes fast, but major design flaw that Nissan has no interest in addressing...your drivetrain warrranty WILL expire and you'll be stuck with the tab of $4-$5 grand per trip. Have spent over a month in a rental car since buying this new. The last trip to dealer "we need to fix your 02 sensors for $1200 before we can even address your transmission...out of your pocket !" UNNNNNNNREAL! Nissan regional warranty manager will not call you back for days and days, and when she/he does, they dont call you back during a time of day that you can actually pick up the phone (even after you've told them when you are availible). Then you call them back, and you have to wait another 3 days. My service writer at Nissan admits they are having a ton of problems with the CVT transmission, and that these O2 sensors should last at least 100,000 miles, but im still stuck paying for them. NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE. Dealer service writer can not get a hold of or get a call back from regional warranty rep either. Nissan is costing me alot of time, stress, and $$. Sad, because we have been loyal Nissan customers 7 vehicles in a row...NO MORE !!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Top-flight '13 altima

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Vehicle: 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

This car gets the best gas mileage of cars in it's class with as powerful an engine as we can get in this car's class. It's quite a pretty good car.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Nissan Altima

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • Now in its fifth generation, the 2013 Nissan Altima is the most refined, fuel-efficient and upscale Altima ever. Sharp handling, a well-made cabin and energetic engines instill the Altima with more character than the typical family sedan.

  • Pros

    Strong acceleration and fuel economy for both engines; rewarding handling; smooth and quiet ride; comfortable front seats; user-friendly electronics; solid interior quality.

  • Cons

    Tight rear headroom; CVT can be overeager during moderate acceleration, resulting in excess noise from four-cylinder engine; Altima coupe has lower mpg ratings.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Nissan Altima sedan has been fully redesigned. The exterior and interior are completely new, with a focus on a more upscale look and feel throughout. Important engineering revisions markedly improve fuel economy, particularly for four-cylinder models, while updated suspension and steering designs maintain the Altima's reputation as one of the market's best-handling family sedans. The coupe remains mechanically unchanged, but loses its optional V6 and is reduced to only a single 2.5 S trim level.

    2013 Nissan Altima Video Review

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Nissan Altima

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Nissan Altima sedan has been fully redesigned. The exterior and interior are completely new, with a focus on a more upscale look and feel throughout. Important engineering revisions markedly improve fuel economy, particularly for four-cylinder models, while updated suspension and steering designs maintain the Altima's reputation as one of the market's best-handling family sedans. The coupe remains mechanically unchanged, but loses its optional V6 and is reduced to only a single 2.5 S trim level.


Nissan has been careful with the 2013 redesign of the Altima sedan. The general look is hardly a dramatic departure, but the thorough restyling inside and out speaks to the more upscale direction for the best-selling model in Nissan's lineup. Most of the Altima's major mechanical components are carried over, but fuel economy ratings have improved significantly: The four-cylinder 2013 Nissan Altima sedan is now among the most fuel-efficient midsize cars in this price range.

We liked the previous-generation Altima for its responsive handling, composed ride and user-friendly electronic features. These attributes carry over to the redesigned sedan, but are now complemented by a higher-quality cabin that remains quiet at highway speeds. The 2013 Nissan Altima sedan's interior features a more visually interesting design, soft-touch materials and more comfortable front seats. In addition, we've noted excellent fit and finish in the 2013 Altima test cars we've driven. The only real negative in this cabin is the tight rear headroom.

As in past years, the Altima sedan comes with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6. Although the V6 makes for quick and satisfying acceleration, most people will find the four-cylinder's performance more than adequate. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) that Nissan offers instead of a conventional automatic transmission can take some getting used to (simply because it doesn't have fixed shift points), but its responsiveness in passing situations is impressive and it's the main reason the Altima earns such high EPA fuel economy ratings. With the four-cylinder engine and the CVT, the 2013 Altima has a 31 mpg combined rating, which is tops among non-hybrid, gasoline-powered midsize sedans.

Keep in mind that the Altima coupe is mechanically unchanged for 2013. It uses an older version of the CVT that isn't as efficient and has lower mpg ratings as a result. In addition, the V6 engine is not available on the coupe.

In many ways, the outgoing Altima sedan was more appealing than its fellow best-selling sedans, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. It could also stand toe to toe with the well-equipped Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Passat. When you consider the numerous refinements Nissan made to this new 2013 Altima sedan, its position as one of the most desirable family sedans has only been strengthened. Though the redesigned Accord is a worthy challenger, the 2013 Nissan Altima is a must-drive if you're shopping for a midsize sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Altima comes in sedan and coupe body styles. The sedan comes in seven trim levels -- four trims for buyers selecting an Altima with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three trim levels for an Altima equipped with the 3.5-liter V6. The coupe comes in a single 2.5 S trim that is discussed following the sedan section below.

The base 2.5 Altima sedan comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 4-inch display screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player.

Moving from the base Altima 2.5 to the 2.5 S gets you cruise control, automatic headlights, a six-way power driver seat, more advanced functionality for the gauge-cluster LCD screen and a six-speaker sound system. The V6-engined 3.5S includes all that, plus 18-inch alloy wheels and a sport mode with paddle shifters for the CVT.

Advancing upward to the SV trim level brings 17-inch alloy wheels (2.5), dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote ignition, a 5-inch color LCD screen, a rearview camera and an upgraded sound system that includes an iPod/USB audio interface, satellite radio, Pandora radio and hands-free reading of incoming text messages. A Convenience package (optional on 2.5 SV, standard on the 3.5 SV) adds a sunroof and a few other minor extras.

The top-shelf Altima SL adds xenon headlights, LED taillights, the sunroof (four-cylinder), leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a nine-speaker premium Bose sound system with an auxiliary audio jack.

Option packages for the 2013 Altima are simple but none are available for either the Altima 2.5 or 2.5 S. The Navigation package for Altima 2.5 SV and 3.5 SV models includes a 7-inch in-dash monitor and steering wheel controls for the navigation system. The Technology package (available only for the Altima 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL) incorporates the navigation system and includes electronic safety features such as blind-spot warning, cross-traffic and lane-departure warning systems.

The Altima Coupe 2.5 S comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Convenience package includes automatic headlights, an eight-way power driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The Premium package (requires Convenience package) adds a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with a 4.3-inch color display, an iPod/USB audio interface and satellite radio. The Leather package (requires Convenience and Premium packages) includes xenon headlights, heated front seats, leather upholstery, ambient lighting and an auto-dimming mirror. The Technology package (requires all preceding packages) adds a navigation system, a touchscreen interface, voice controls, real-time traffic and weather, an auxiliary audio/visual jack and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 sedan comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). In Edmunds performance testing, this engine brought the Altima from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, which makes it one of the quickest four-cylinder family sedans. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg city/38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined, which is excellent for a midsize sedan.

Altima 3.5 models have a 3.5-liter V6 good for 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. The CVT is again standard. In Edmunds testing, an Altima 3.5 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which also makes it one of the segment's top sprinters. Fuel economy is strong for a V6, with 22/31/25.

The Altima Coupe also gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but it produces 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. It, too, gets a CVT. Its fuel economy estimates are much lower than the sedan's at 23/32/26.


Every 2013 Nissan Altima sedan and coupe come standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera comes standard on all sedans but the base and S trim levels, and is optional on the coupe. Blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and a lane-departure warning system are also optional on the sedan.

In Edmunds testing, an Altima 2.5 SV sedan stopped from 60 mph in 130 feet, which is below average for midsize sedans. A 3.5 SL, however, stopped in a superb 114 feet, which is about 10 feet shorter than average.

In government crash testing, the Altima sedan received a perfect five stars for overall, frontal and side crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The outgoing Altima sedan (and current Altima coupe) had a nice, though somewhat plain-looking, interior. In contrast, the 2013 Altima's cabin feels markedly more upscale. Materials are of visibly higher quality, particularly on the dashboard and console. The door armrests could still use more padding, but we've been impressed by the fit and finish in all the 2013 Altima sedans we've tested.

The gauge cluster is attractive, with a large, highly readable speedometer and tachometer on either side of the crisp, 4-inch LCD screen. Another highlight is the specially engineered "zero gravity" front seats used in all Altimas. With help from NASA research, the seats were designed to relieve common pressure points and improve comfort for the long haul. It works, as the new Altima's front seats are palpably different from before and more comfortable and supportive from the moment you slip in them.

In terms of space, overall interior room is almost exactly the same as before. That means headroom for the rear seat is at a premium and rear legroom is only average. Trunk space is similarly average at 15.4 cubic feet. The story is much the same in the coupe, though as is expected in a two-door, there's even less room to go around and getting in and out of the back is more of a pain. The coupe's trunk can only hold 8.2 cubic feet of luggage.

Driving Impressions

The Nissan Altima has a reputation for being one of the more rewarding family sedans to drive, and the redesigned 2013 Altima continues this legacy. The new Altima has a revised steering system this year, and feel and feedback remain accurate and consistent, reassuring the driver during tricky and delicate maneuvers. The steering combines with a retuned rear suspension that tightly controls body motions and also helps the Altima corner with more assurance. The ride quality remains very good nevertheless, while wind and road noise are pleasantly subdued.

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers competitive performance for this class. It revs willingly and generates more than enough acceleration for everyday driving in both the sedan and coupe. Still, we prefer the version in the sedan, because it comes with a revised CVT that operates in a more refined manner and provides better fuel mileage. We suspect many drivers won't even realize this CVT isn't a conventional automatic transmission. At times, though, the Altima's CVT is almost too responsive to acceleration demands, resulting in higher engine rpm and a bit more noise than we'd like.

Meanwhile, the available 3.5-liter V6 in the 2013 Nissan Altima sedan provides some of the quickest acceleration in this class. It's a great choice if you really like to drive, but it's considerably less fuel-efficient.


Talk About The 2013 Altima

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Nissan Altima in VA is:

$59.83 per month*

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Gas Mileage


  • 27
  • cty
  • 38
  • highway
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