2013 Nissan Altima Consumer Review: Bought it for the MPG, very di

2013 Nissan Altima - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

250 Total Reviews

All Models

2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Bought it for the MPG, very disappointed
By erichards on


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


I traded in a very nice, fully equipped 2007 Altima 3.5 SE for the 2013 2.5 SV because the poor fuel mileage of the 3.5 - I was averaging 21-22 in my daily commute (125 miles round trip) - and thought the new 2.5 and its 27/38 rating would save enough on gas to justify the new car payment. I was wrong; so far I have only been able to average 26-27 mpg in driving that is about 50/50 highway/city. Otherwise in its first 3k miles the car has been otherwise just ok; the seats are more comfortable than the old one, but the whole "zero-gravity" thing is a bit of over-hype. The ride is softer, which is nice for commuting, but it gives up some of the sportyness that the SE offered to get that ride.

Update @ 3 years/90k miles: while the average mpg is still not too impressive (averaging 27-ish in mixed driving), the purely highway mpg has been quite good at times. On one trip that was 95% highway I was able to squeeze 625 miles out of one tank of gas, for an average of around 36 mpg (calculated, not from the on board computer). The car definitely likes highway cruising. Aside from that, it maintains a perfect reliability record, with only scheduled maintenance and wear items (oil & filter, tires, brakes, etc.) replaced so far (knock wood). I did have the CVT fluid changed at 89k miles, but that was my choice as there is nothing concrete in the owner's manual about change intervals for the CVT. Otherwise the car is about what you would expect from a Nissan sedan; a great commuting car, but nothing to get excited about. I will add I haven't grown any more fond of the CVT than I was at the start; it gets the job done, but adds nothing to the driving experience (assuming you're into that). I'm pretty sure my next car will have either a manual or traditional automatic transmission - sorry Nissan.

Update @ 4 years/110k miles. Car has continued to be totally reliable, otherwise nothing different from my last update. I have had it in for 2 recall items (spare tire & ECU re-program), and have another I need to go in for (passenger seat belt sensor - mine seems to work fine though), but all are/were minor things. I still expect to be changing brands when this one is paid for though - I have a friend who owns a newer Accord with the V6 and real automatic; it gets better all-around gas mileage and is much more fun to drive. All in all though, if you don't care about spirited driving, and just want a nice, reliable, comfortable sedan at a reasonable price, this car is a good choice.

Best Features

  • Front seats
  • Outward visibility
  • Headlights
  • Entertainment
  • Repair frequency
  • Engine
  • Electronics
  • Maintenance cost

Worst Features

  • Shifting
  • Noise and vibration
  • Resale value

Recommend (2) (1)

Are you the author of this review?

Update Your Review
Report it
Comments (3) Post a Comment
By mred72
on 04/16/13 07:42 AM (PDT)

I agree 100%. I am finding that ALL manufacturers are WAY off from reality with their so-called estimated MPG. Unless you are a slow driver doing or driving under the speed limit, these ratings are false. The government should be going after these manufacturers for false advertisement.

Report it
By zxpatric
on 04/20/13 12:01 PM (PDT)

It might be the vibrant of CVT transmission undercuts the mileage Nissan claims. File a complain at https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml

Report it
By erichards
on 02/12/14 07:48 AM (PST)

zx not sure what you're referring to re vibration; the transmission in my car works just fine, no vibration. FWIW, my car was built in Jan '13, so they may have worked out some of the issues by then. I'm up to almost 29k miles now (just over 11 months), and other than the originally mentioned issues (mileage & p/s whistling) the only other problem I've had is the brake warning light has come on maybe half a dozen times for no apparent reason. The first couple of times I got out and checked the reservoir, and looked for leaks around the calipers, found nothing & the reservoir was full. Every time this has happened the light has gone off after turning off and re-starting the car, so I can only assume it's an issue with the sending unit. That makes it tough to take back to the dealer though, since the problem disappears when you turn off the car. One other issue I am just starting to see/feel - and this was a problem with my '07 also - is under moderate to heavy braking I can feel just a slight pulsing in the brakes. It seems the rotors/pads Nissan uses tend to 'haze' (as the Nissan tech put it) after 25k-35k miles, and this will make it feel like the rotors are warped. I took care of this on my '07 by replacing the oem rotors/pads with better quality ones, I suspect I will have to do that with this car when it's time for new pads. Otherwise, in almost a year and 30k miles of driving, I've changed the oil and rotated the tires.

Report it
Post a Comment

You must be signed in to post a comment.


Select a different vehicle  
Recently Viewed
There are no recently viewed vehicles to display

Write Consumer Reviews

Write Consumer Reviews

Write a review and rate your own car.