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Over the next 15 months, Nissan will be rolling out 5 all-new models. As the brand strives to take over 10 percent of the total market share in the next few years, it has got a lot riding on these new cars, which will make up the bulk of Nissan’s sales. First up is the new 2013 Altima, which we were invited to drive in Nashville, where the company’s North American headquarters are located. For us, this opportunity to drive the new sedan is like a small glimpse into the future, so we headed down to Music City to try out this automotive crystal ball.
Of course, the first thing one will notice is the Altima’s new look. It’s about an inch wider and an inch longer, with a lower roofline than before, giving it a more planted stance. The sheetmetal is much more evocative, with strong lines and creases. To us, it looks as though it has taken some cues from big brother Maxima, and it feels like the Altima has grown up a bit. We have some reservations about the use of chrome on the exterior, particularly the one line across the rear of the car, but it doesn’t project the level of gaudiness sometimes seen on its American counterparts. We’ll let prospective customers make judgments about the car’s appearance, but we think most will find this to be a nice step forward for the Altima, with a useful infusion of some personality.
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