Last week, I took one of the coolest trips since my 2009 post on “Up In The Air,” when I went to Los Angeles on behalf of Lady and the Blog. This time, my purpose was to preview and experience the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima in Nashville, Tennessee, and I was more than eager to do it. As a New York City girl, I don’t drive as much as I’d like to on the open roads. Although several years ago, I used to drive 800 miles almost every weekend driving back and forth from Buffalo to Long Island. When you’ve had to sit in your 1997 Toyota Camry for seven hours each trip, you really start to get a sense of what is desirable in an automobile. Not only did I learn a lot on this trip about what the 2013 Nissan Altima has to offer, but I also made some really great new friends, and had what might just be my new favorite LATB media event experience.
My day started at 3:30am last Thursday. Actually, 3:45am. My none-too-thrilled boyfriend who reluctantly agreed to drive me to the airport, allowed me to hit the snooze button one time. By 4:30am, I left my confused puppy, Piper, and was off to the airport to begin my travels. A connecting flight in Charlotte, NC, and an airport salad later, I had arrived in Nashville, TN and was greeted by my driver, Steven, who was kind enough to tolerate my enthusiasm and partake in a couple of pictures with me. Then we were off to the swanky and green Hutton Hotel, where I would settle in, meet a couple of my fellow media attendees, and later gather for dinner. I had the opportunity to discuss the brains and personality behind the new Altima over a family-style dinner at the City House Restaurant, arguably one of the best eateries in Nashville, depending on who you ask. One thing I’ve learned about Southern eating: it’s a long and hearty process. After more than three hours of great food and company, most of the gang decided to head into town for the local beloved live honkey-tonk music, although between adjusting to Central time (the one hour really does make a difference) and my early start to the day, I headed back to the hotel to rest up.
When Friday morning arrived, I had loaded up on a delicious breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, 1808 Grille, and got going to Nissan’s headquarters to learn all about the 2013 Altima. For a reasonably priced car with a focal range of $21,500-28,050, there are some seriously cool new features that this car offers. First and foremost, the 2013 Nissan Altima gets 38 MPG. That is crazy-good mileage. That beats out the Camry, Accord, Sonata, Passat, Malibu Eco, Fusion, and many other cars you can think of. Later that day, I drove the Altima for hours and hours and didn’t feel as though I was making a dent in the fuel tank. One of the features that impressed me most was the hands-free texting smart phone integration. We all hear horror stories about people who get into accidents due to texting and driving. The 2013 Nissan Altima invites you to text by having your messages read aloud to you, and allows you to respond, all performed safely as you concentrate on the road. Imagine how many lives that feature can save. It’s brilliant. Other great features include NASA-inspired seats, active understeer control (helping your car stay in the lane on turns), advanced drive assist, navigation, Pandora and Sirius XM connectability, Google POI search, USB, Navigation Weather and Traffic, and so much more. It’s a car packed with luxury at an economy price.
After the presentation at Nissan Headquarters, my new Nashville BFF, Haley (from Mom Spark), and I hopped into our red 2013 Nissan Altima, and hit the road. Haley took the first shift, driving along the scenic Tennessee roads for about fifty miles before we met up with the others in Bell Buckle, TN (population: 500) for a food truck snack (grits on brioche with grilled shrimp- yum!) and driver change point. After picking up a couple of Moon Pies, I took over the steering wheel and drove us to our next eating excursion at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Fun fact: Jack Daniel’s is in a dry county, so technically no one can drink there. Given that this was a driving event, we wouldn’t have anyway, but that seemed very interesting to me. I did get to watch the bottling process and assembly line (unfortunately no photography was allowed for y’all). The smell of whiskey was quite overwhelming, but the workers there are so used to it, they don’t even notice it anymore. For lunch we enjoyed local favorites- southern fried chicken, sweet tea, and homemade peach cobbler. It was a taste explosion, and as I joked with Haley over those two days, I was certainly carrying a “food baby” in my tummy. I tried to eat in reasonable portions, but it was no use- the dress I had to wear for a wedding that weekend would be mighty tight after this trip. After lunch, it was Haley’s turn to drive again. We then proved the importance of a navigation system and comfortable seats, because I had gotten us lost with my poor relay of paper directions. We were officially lost for about an hour. Fortunately we had cozy seats and good company, so all is well and we found our way. Eventually we arrived back to the Hutton Hotel to grab our bags and head to the airport.
Nissan has come a long way since they initially introduced the Altima in September of 1992. Until now, my favorite Car was Ric Ocasek (sorry, I love to be corny). I loved experiencing the new 2013 Nissan Altima and all it has to offer. This is a user-friendly automobile that will get you to where you’re going with style, comfort, reliability, leading fuel economy, and ease. I loved it, and I think you will too.
Disclaimer: Nissan provided me with travel and hotel accommodations so that I could attend this media preview.
Written By Samantha Ewers