Much of the information about the new Altima made its way onto the internet yesterday thanks to a set of loose lips, or careless fingers as it were but there’s still more to tell. “NASA inspired zero-gravity seats” make their first debut in the car.
The automaker turned to NASA in an effort to develop seats that keep the driver and front passenger in the most natural position possible for ideal comfort. Of course, people come in all shapes and sizes, so anything short of a test drive is probably inadequate to render judgement.
Still, Nissan says they improve blood flow, breathability and occupant comfort. Amazing as we’re sure the space seats are, we were a little disappointed to find out that seat heating, probably the most important comfort feature to anyone in a cold climate, is an optional feature.
Also new to the upcoming model, drivers will have access to an a four-inch display mounted between the tach and speedometer that gives turn-by-turn directions and other key information while minimizing distraction.
A more efficient 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that helps the lower-end model achieve best-in-class milage with 27/38 mpg city/highway. If power is more to your taste than fuel frugality, Nissan’s 3.5-liter V6 is also available with 270 horsepower to the inline four’s 182 horsepower rating.
Both engines translate power to the front wheels via a standard continuously-variable transmission, though the V6 model comes with paddle shifters and simulated gear shifts to mimic a sportier experience.
While that might not be the most thrilling equipment Nissan could have offered, it’s better than a plain CVT in the higher-end model and heps boost fuel economy by 15 and 10 percent on the four- and six-cylinder models respectively.
It’s clear where Nissan is targeting its refreshed sedan when you look at the more aggressive, youthful styling that mixes more sloping luxury oriented style with the sharp rear lines that defined the previous generation. The young-buyer market is further emphasized by the pricing, which also leaked yesterday.
The base model starts at just $21,500 with V6 models from $25,360 and topping out at the Altima 3.5SL at $30,080.
GALLERY: 2013 Nissan Altima
Get the Flash Player to see this player.