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2013 Nissan Altima: Mostly meh, but new tech shows promise (photos)

The next Nissan Altima receives minor changes to its exterior and power train, but a new NissanConnect infotainment system shows promise.

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Antuan Goodwin

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1 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

We were hoping for something revolutionary from the 2013 Nissan Altima, but it seems that all we got was an evolutionary update to the current generation.
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2 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

The Altima's new sheet metal features a bold and bulbous aesthetic.
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3 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

Boomerang-shaped headlamps and tail lights remind us of the Altima's larger sibling, the Maxima, while the curvaceous body echoes that of the all-new Versa.
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4 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

The C pillar features a more gentle slope than on the current model, stretching farther back toward the rear end. Overall, however, the proportions and silhouette aren't dramatically different from the old Altima.
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2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

Sitting in the bowl-shaped engine bay is one of two engine choices. The first choice is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which gets a seven-horsepower bump to a total of 182 ponies and an mpg bump to 38 highway mpg.
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6 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

The optional 3.5-liter V-6 is no more powerful than it is in the current model (270 horsepower). We're assuming that it's just as fuel efficient as well, since Nissan isn't bragging about economy improvements.
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2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

The only transmission available for the 2013 Nissan Altima is the automaker's Xtronic CVT. Usually, we frown at continuously variable transmissions, but Nissan seems to have a handle on the technology.
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2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

In the cabin, the Altima undergone a serious class upgrade with NASA-inspired seats, optional leather trim, and a light and airy feel. Nissan will also debut its new NissanConnect infotainment and navigation system, which uses a Bluetooth-paired smartphone to provide Pandora Internet radio playback, Google POI search, and hands-free text messaging.
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9 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

2013 Nissan Altima (photos)

The Altima will also be available with a selection of optional safety features including blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, and moving object detection when it launches in July at a starting MSRP of $21,500.

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