• The 2013 Altima will start from $21,500 with destination
  • The redesigned sedan includes freshened styling and a host of new features
  • The Altima Coupe remains unchanged for the 2013 model year

Nissan's recently redesigned 2013 Altima has officially entered production, leading the automaker to announce the midsize sedan's finalized pricing and an approximate release date. According to Nissan, the fifth-generation Altima - which was unveiled last month at the New York International Auto Show - will debut early this summer with only a slight price increase over the current model.

The automaker recently announced that the base-level Altima - dubbed simply "2.5" - will include a starting price of $21,500 including destination when it begins arriving in dealerships. That represents only a nominal price increase over the 2012 Altima, which starts at $21,330 with shipping. Other four-cylinder Altima models include the 2.5 S, which starts at $22,500; the 2.5 SV, at $24,100; and the 2.5SL, which will be offered from $28,050 with shipping. Base pricing for the V6-powered 3.5 S will be $25,360, while the mid-level 3.5 SV will start at $27,780 and the upscale 3.5 SL will be available from $30,080 with destination.

Despite only a minor price increase over its predecessor, the all-new 2013 Altima comes with freshened styling and a wide range of new equipment. Newly standard items include Bluetooth and a new Advanced Drive-Assist Display that integrates key vehicle information onto the instrument cluster, while the sedan's revised options list is headlined by a NissanConnect infotainment system that includes hands-free text message integration and Pandora Internet Radio compatibility. The Altima also offers a host of advanced safety technology including blind spot alert, a lane departure warning system and Easy Fill Tire Alert, which honks the sedan's horn and flashes its lights when the tires have been adequately filled with air.

Under the hood, the 2013 Altima offers a standard 180-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or an available 3.5-liter V6 that produces around 270 horses. Both engines are paired with Nissan's Xtronic continuously-variable automatic transmission, which the automaker says will aid four-cylinder models in achieving up to 38 miles per gallon in highway driving.

Unfortunately for buyers interested in a redesigned Altima Coupe, Nissan has yet to announce plans to replace the current model. Instead, today's version - which debuted for 2008 - will continue into the 2013 model year largely unchanged.

What it means to you: Nissan has high hopes for its all-new Altima - and aggressive pricing will help the sedan reach the automaker's optimistic sales goals.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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