Looks like Nissan had a pretty good reason to discontinue the Altima Hybrid last year. The Japanese automaker released EPA figures for its gas-only 2013 Altima and from the fuel economy figures, it's hard to tell the difference.

The fifth-generation, four-cylinder Altima gets an EPA-rated 27 miles per gallon city, 38 miles per gallon highway and 31 miles per gallon combined. The Altima Hybrid got 33s across the board. Nissan has just started shipping the new Altimas to dealers.

Nissan says that the car's gas tank is big enough to provide 684 miles of highway-cruising range. The company started producing the fifth-generation Altima at its Smyrna, TN factory last month and has since started production at a second plant in Mississippi. Nissan is hoping the Altima, which was the second-best selling car in the U.S. last year, can overtake the Toyota Camry. Last year, the Camry sold about 15 percent more units than the Altima.
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All-New, 38 MPG 2013 Nissan Altima Heads to Showrooms
- U.S. EPA Officially Certifies Altima Fuel Economy as Highest in the Mid-Size Sedan Segment; Altima Production Began Yesterday in Mississippi

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - The all-new 2013 Nissan Altima, the first of five all-new models Nissan will introduce in the next 15 months, is on the way to dealers as of yesterday, the same day Nissan began production at its second U.S. assembly plant in Canton, Miss. By the end of this year, both plants will operate three shifts each to maximize production of the country's second best-selling car.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also just certified the 2013 Nissan Altima as the most fuel-efficient gasoline mid-size car in America, with ratings of 27 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined. The 4-cylinder Altima, with a standard 18-gallon fuel tank, is capable of going up to 684 miles on a single tank of fuel - one of the best of any gasoline-only automobiles in America.

"This is a huge day for the Nissan brand as we ramp up production and begin shipping the new, fuel-efficient Altimas to our dealers," said Bill Krueger, vice chairman, Nissan Americas. "The new Altima is a game-changer for the mid-size market and our dealers can't wait to share it with our customers."

The release of the new Altima comes in advance of the vehicle's official on-sale date of late June, allowing Nissan dealers the opportunity to conduct test drives with potential customers. Nissan has experienced unprecedented interest in the new model with 1.5 million individuals visiting a pre-order website created to deliver information about the new car and gauge interest in early orders. More than 30,000 customers have expressed an interest in the car through the pre-order website, which also offers those placing an order a complimentary three-year scheduled maintenance program valued at $700 (see details on nissanusa.com).

The offer remains available on the site, www.nissanusa.com/all-new-altima through June. Prices for the 2013 Nissan Altima start at $21,500 USD.

When the all-new Altima sedans equipped with a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine and new Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission leave the assembly plants, they will carry a window sticker declaring the best-in-segment EPA fuel economy rating of 38 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway. The EPA fuel economy certification is as follows:

2.5-liter I-4 Altima EPA Fuel Economy:
City - 27 mpg; Overall - 31 mpg; Highway - 38 mpg

In addition to its unprecedented fuel economy performance, Altima offers numerous segment exclusive attributes and Nissan signature innovations, including:
  • Ride comfort, control and fun-to-drive demeanor, including better 0 - 60 mph acceleration than other top-selling mid-size sedans as demonstrated in independent third party testing
  • Available Next-generation Safety Shield Technologies, including Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Moving Object Detection (MOD) systems using an innovative single rear camera
  • Easy-Fill Tire Alert, which sounds the car horn to notify a person filling a tire with air when the tire reaches recommended tire pressure - no gauge needed
  • Headlights that automatically switch on when the windshield wipers are in use
  • Windshield wipers that park themselves off the windshield when the vehicle is turned off with the wipers on and in mid-cycle
  • Premium exterior styling with a powerful presence and improved aerodynamics
  • Upscale interior rivaling premium luxury sedans, including NASA-inspired "zero-gravity" seats, an Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display and BOSE® Premium Audio System
  • Standard Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone system and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®
  • Available NissanConnectSM and NissanConnectSM Navigation with a suite of Bluetooth® phone connectivity features, including hands-free text message integration, Pandora® playback, real-time Google® POI search and more
  • Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display with 4-inch color screen standard on every model, which is customizable, easy-to-use and integrates key information right in front of the driver
  • World-first multi-link rear suspension with connect bushings and Sachs damper to deliver outstanding handling
  • Active Understeer Control, which uses advanced electronic stability control algorithms to improve cornering and provide a more confident driving experience
  • About Nissan North America
  • In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com.