2013 Nissan Altima Consumer Review: Please Read Before Buying

2013 Nissan Altima Sedan - Consumer Review

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42 of 105 people found this review helpful
Please Read Before Buying
By paul_ss454 on


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


I purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima based on my experience with a 2005 Nissan Altima that I drove for the past 7 years. It was a 2.5 liter with a 5 speed manual transmission. It was extremely fun to drive, good on gas and proved to be very reliable.
Unfortunately, it was totaled in an accident and I quickly needed to replace. It came as a surprise that Altima’s were now only offered with a CVT transmission. Against my better judgment, I went ahead and bought the car with the CVT because I really liked every other aspect of the vehicle.
I now have deep regret about the purchase because of the driving characteristics of the CVT.
It is a shame because the rest of the car is outstanding.

Best Features

Nissan has done a wonderful job with the interior and exterior styling of the new Altima. The quality of the interior is impressive and very comfortable. The 2.5 liter engine performs very well. My career happens to involve the development of technology and I think Nissan did a great job integrating the electronics with the re-designed Altma.

Worst Features

The CVT transmission is the downfall of this car. Beware, It does appear to function acceptably under moderate acceleration. My test drive took place in light traffic. After two months of driving this car in more typical traffic, the odd characteristics of the CVT have become extremely frustrating. I truly enjoy driving and cringe at the thought of enduring the quirks of the CVT every day for years to come. I’m dismayed that Nissan would abandon a loyal following with this limitation. I’m actively researching the many other vehicles in this class that offer a choice of transmissions to suit the driver. I plan to cut my losses on the depreciation and negotiate to buy a different car.
Recommend (42) (63)

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Comments (4) Post a Comment
By oxman3
on 01/08/14 09:43 AM (PST)

I just purchased a new 2013 3.5SV with the CVT & it works flawlessly. I love it. No quirks, just a smooth transition. I have accelerated both hard & normally & it is really smooth. I can't even tell when it shifts. We live in the mountains & we are averaging 27 mpg so far. Love this auto.

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By bradhenson
on 01/25/14 05:24 AM (PST)

Mine has quirks too. We had a Juke and the cvt was perfect. Smooth and unnoticeable. By "quirks", I mean it jerks around at low speeds, whines, and sounds like a bicycle with a playing card in the spokes. I was assured this was normal. I despise this car and Nissan for selling it. They have turned what should be a great driving experience into an exercise in blood pressure management. By far the worst car I've ever owned, and I wanted to love it.

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By mikepowers
on 07/27/13 18:42 PM (PDT)

Could you describe in more detail what the "odd" characteristics and "quirks" of the CVT are? Please try, if possible, to compare it to other CVT vehicles you may have driven.

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By lrinnc
on 03/18/14 08:00 AM (PDT)

I thank you for your balanced and thoughtful review. The majority of "thumbs down" comments here must be from new owners who are still happy and have yet to experience future problems that are sure to come. Good luck with your trade-in experience.

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