A decade ago, Nissan dropped the equivalent of a nuclear warhead into the midsize sedan class when it redesigned the Altima for 2002. Though imperfect, compared to the competition that third-generation Altima was a revelation. Stylish, almost sexy, the revolutionary 2002 Altima was also roomy, comfortable, and fun to drive. It was the best car in its class.
Today, many of the models jousting in the midsize family sedan arena are tough combatants, and more than half of the cars in the segment were redesigned for 2011, for 2012, or for this year. It is into this kerfuffle of combatants that Nissan sends its best-selling model – the redesigned 2013 Altima.
The new 2013 Altima Sedan reminds me of that 2002 model in many ways. It is stylish, roomy, comfortable, and fun to drive. Equipped with its new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, its also quite fuel-efficient. And based on crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the new Altima Sedan is safe.
The difference now is that the Altima’s rivals are equally so. As good as the redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima is, it blends into the scenery in a way that Nissan certainly mustn’t have intended.