Many of the press conferences at this year's New York auto show were packed with multiple debuts, as if the automakers knew this was their last opportunity to make a splash before the summer lull between international showcases. The jam-packed schedule brought a number of significant debuts, and Cars.com's editors Mike Hanley, Kelsey Mays, Joe Wiesenfelder and Joe Bruzek trekked the show floor in search of the show's winners and losers.
2013 Nissan Altima
Mike Hanley: Winner
The redesigned Altima's all-new sheet metal keeps the sedan's appearance current in the quickly evolving family-car segment, but its efficient four-cylinder engine — with a projected gas mileage of 38 mpg on the highway — will strongly resonate with buyers focused on gas prices. The competition isn't letting up, but the new Altima looks like it has what it takes to maintain its impressive sales momentum.
Kelsey Mays: Winner
Nissan is the latest to expose the absurdity of automakers building an optimized fuel-economy version that's hard to find on dealer lots but marketed ad nauseam. The Altima should get a game-changing 27/38 mpg city/highway with no optional equipment, leading some other four-cylinder family cars by double-digit percentages. Interesting styling and comfortable seats help its case, too. Cabin materials don't leapfrog the class, but they're competitive with the Camry, Accord and Fusion.