2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL
2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL. Click image to enlarge

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Nissan Canada

Review and photos by Justin Pritchard

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2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL

Clever innovations help define all-new Altima

Family sedans are like cell phones. Almost everybody has one. Each one is better, faster and flashier than the one before it. They’re built to meet demands for low prices, high performance and lustful design.

There are a few big players: Android, Blackberry and Apple for handsets, and Japan, America, Germany and Korea for vehicles. Most of these players are represented by several brands. All of them claim to be the best, helping further confuse the bejesus out of shoppers who’ve been out of the marketplace for years. Never mind that at their core, the competing products all do exactly the same thing.

All to say that the Canadian family sedan segment can seem more noisy, confusing, pressure-filled and full of ‘deals’ than a Future Shop Cellular counter on Boxing Day.

For a manufacturer to successfully thrive in a noisy, overcrowded market, having a unique standout product is important – and innovative features and unique touches are some ways to achieve it. Visit your local cellular dealer to see how that goes with phones. Read on to see how it goes with the new-for-2013 Nissan Altima.

Altima is a sporty sedan with its work cut out for it. Occupying a piece of the market reserved for shoppers after Japanese sensibility and a reputation for sporty, athletic performance, it competes heavily with the Honda Accord Mazda6.

Nissan’s gone the route of filling the Altima with unique and innovative touches to help give it a competitive edge. The result is a range of delightful touches that drivers will appreciate daily.

2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL
2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL. Click image to enlarge

For instance, after linking up your cell phone, you can check for weather updates, gas prices and even flight information via Google, right from the dashboard. A ‘data over voice’ function powers this interface, dialing a number on your cell phone to download the required information in a few moments. This means it’ll all work whether you have an Android smartphone or a Bluetooth-equipped Nokia flip-phone from 2004.

You can even use Google maps on your PC to select destinations, and send them right to the car. It’s slick stuff – and negates the need to pick up your smartphone while driving, which could get you a pricey ticket.

The unique touches go on. Addressing my perpetual gripe with backup cameras in winter months, Altima’s system cleans its rear-mounted lens with an occasional burst of washer fluid and compressed air, so it’s always clear. That’s important, since the backup camera provides visual data that powers the lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring systems. That, by the way, is the first use of a low-complexity, rear-facing camera to power these safety systems. How’s that for innovation?

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