Last year when Honda stepped up to the plate and delivered the all-new Honda Civic, we had to do a double take.
That's not because it was so good looking, that's because we weren't sure if it was new at all.
Though we believe Honda buyers are loyal and conservative "play it safe" types, this update was really disappointing. At a time when brands were taking BIG risks, Honda just kinda warmed over an existing product.
Now it appears that Nissan is doing the same with the 2013 Altima. While its exterior has taken shape of a mini Maxima, overall there is nothing that's dramatically different.
Meanwhile the players in the business, like the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and all-new Ford Fusion are making drastic changes to their product. Who would have ever thought that a Ford Fusion would be one of the best looking sedans on the market and feature the mouth of an Aston Martin?
Here's the problem with the all-new Altima. When I scoped it out at the 2012 New York Auto Show there wasn't any real hook to it. Way too many elements inside felt a bit chintzy and I remember 001 likening the closing of its rear door akin to a tin can.
Compared to the "cool" guys like the Sonata, Optima and Fusion we can't imagine the Altima being nothing more than an also ran in the segment. From a design, quality and cool perspective, that's how we see it at the moment.
That would be a major blow to Nissan as the Altima was the fourth most-sold car in 2011.
So, what say you? Will a the all-new Altima that looks like a mini Maxima sweep buyers of their feet OR should it win the coveted MOST disappointing redo trophy for the 2013 model year?
2012 New York Auto Show Photo Gallery