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Nissan Altima



  • Not plagiarism! I did read your posts early on and the emotional reactions to them by Altima proponents. I am concurring on your point that the Altima in the 2.5 guise does not stack up to the $21-$25K competition, but its build and materials qualities make it more appropriate for the $16K (stripped) to $20K (nicely optioned :) class of 4 CYL family sedans, like the Stratus and Malibus and Sonatas. The 3.5 cars have great performance, without question, but the build quality and materials are the same as if you bought the stripper 2.5, so how much more is that engine and suspension worth? Granted you'd pay for leather, auto climate, cd-changer and power seats, and moon roof too but at that price point that Nissan dealers are demanding, the Maxima (and other cars as well) has it beat all over the place.

    OAC, I don't own a Max but my next door neighbor does (loaded) and it's a GREAT car for the money he paid last year, which ironically is less than what a loaded Altima costs now.

    And I wouldn't worry about debating people on these forums - it certainly makes for interesting discourse, wouldn't you say? If they gang up on you let me know and I'll help ya out!
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Boy are you guys hard on a car because of a perceived lack of quality on interior materials. After sitting in one I don't think there is anything wrong with the way the interior is built. I'll admit it's not as good as the Maxima but I don't think the Maxima is going to stay in the same price range of the Altima for long. Does anyone have SPECIFIC things that would bring the Altima down into the range of a Sonata? I mean things like flimsy plastic in the arm rest or something like that? Because other than a slightly lesser feel than that of the maxima I have found no problems with it. The Accord and Camry are good but not perfect.

    And I personally have seen an Altima 2.5s, on the lot no less, for under $20k (barely) It was "stripped" (power windows locks AC telescoping/tilt steering CD Auto etc). The Altima will be the same as every other "spotlight" car (WRX, P5, IS300 etc) The price will soon become negotiable and less than MSRP will become the norm.
  • Um...those highly cheesey plastic pods that the chincy gauges sit it. The dashboard that feels like a bunch of legos...hard, mass produced and not the least bit inviting. The silly trap door under the climate control is flimsy hard plastic too. The center console feels like it should be on a ride at disneyland, not in a car that according to Nissan's PR used the Passat as a benchmark. If Nissan hadn't stupidly claimed to be chasing the Passat, then I probably wouldn't think the interior was a complete, unabashed dud, but when they invoke the Passat, they must realize the new Altima isn't even in the same class as far as interior components.
  • Added to BlueGuy's list, with which I agree wholeheartedly:

    the center console shakes about too much. The pop-up armrest feels easily breakable and blocks the cupholder when up. The plastic around the HVAC and radio controls scratch easily. The 'wood-like' trim that peels off like a plastic Pokemon sticker. Their orange/banana color looks ugly too IMO.

    Did Nissan really claim the Passat as their benchmark? I didnt know that.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    So your not really gauging it on it's own merits your tellimg us that because a PR department guy said that they were chasing the Passat it's junk?

    Ok I understand, personally I was trying to judge the interior on materials and quality not necesarily design flair. I felt that the materials were just fine. I will agree that those gauge "pods" aren't the most attractive and the gauges aren't nearly as pretty as the maxima but I personaly wouldn't call it an "unabashed dud". The 97 Saturn SC2 (my car I hate to admit, I'm sorry it was a great deal and I needed to replace my car fast) now THAT's an "unabashed DUD"! The Altima is merely a bit disapointing to me. I still feel that the Altima is a very worthy competitor to the Accord and Camry
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Ok I never said anything about the "wood" that stuff is just AWFUL. Personally I can't stand wood in a car anyway but that's me.
  • I agree with Blue and others that mentioned that Nissan goofed by claiming that their interiors would rival those found in VW and Audi. I really think they intended to use better plastics and they went with a "cost cutting" option at the last minute. Unfortunately for Nissan the stone had been cast and the buying public is not stupid. To add insult to injury Nissan went as far to say the Altima had "atmospheres" just like Audis. I really do like the Altima but to me there are two atmostpheres on the Altima:

    1) Dark cheap plastic
    2) Light cheap plastic.

    BTW...I am a BIG Nissan fan, but I call it like it is.

  • Gerapau - Thanks! I was worried posting that because I honestly DID think the Altima was a 5 speed, but was unsure. The Max is the only one with a 6 speed.

    Cup & Blueguy - Why don't you guys come over and bring your WRX's so I can race you? What's that? Oh, you don't OWN a WRX! That's right! Go ahead and bring the VW's. That should be an easy accomplishment. I'll even give you a head start! :)

    Don't go stating things if you don't have back up!

    2002 Nissan Maxima SE
    Sterling Mist/Frost
    3600 miles
  • It wasn't just a Nissan PR guy who claimed the Passat as a benchmark. Back at the introduction of the Altima Nissan's CEO stated that the Passat was the benchmark for the car inside and out. My reaction upon sitting in an Altima was, "Did the designers ever get into a Passat?!"

    I go to Nissan News all the time. Read everything I can get my hands on about the company and I still like my 91 Stanza more than my 2001 Jetta 1.8T. I'm still considering buying a Nissan and trading in my Jetta. But I'll probably go for a Max or G35.
  • <<Don't go stating things if you don't have back up!>>

    Take your own advice, chief. You remind me of the people on VWvortex who gleefully recount dubious tales of 1.8Ts besting S2000s. Please, you've got a story that's just really tough to swallow and you wander around chest puffed up as though people are gonna believe a Max can take a WRX, assuming both drivers know what they're doing. I love Maxes, but they're just not equal to the WRX in either straightline or handling performance.

    Live in your dreamworld.
  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    my brother had an RX-7.... he was caught off guard by a Maxima and he had to go way above the speed limit to pass the guy.....
  • ronoboyronoboy Posts: 32
    We've had ours for several weeks and so far no squeeks, rattles, nothing has fallen off :) - no quality issues at all come to mind. Only complaint is early returns on city gas mileage (on tanks with city-only driving) has so far been just under 21, which I hope will get better over time. Highway mileage is high 20's with the automatic 4 cylinder. Are there any other 2002 Altima owners on this board who are having the problems being predicted by posters on this board, regretting their choice, etc.?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 actual ownership experiences, as distinct from predictions and debatable assumptions. Let's hear more from people who actually have bought the car...
  • mckaguemckague Posts: 24
    I stick to my original recommendation of an altima over an suv. Here's why:

    1) I stick to my statement that, on average, suvs cost more to buy and to own. As for crapgame's $40 k suv costing almost as much to insure as his toyota camry, that has nothing to do with his insurance company deeming the suv safer than the camry. The suv just costs them less than the camry on average. Why? Because for several years the camry has been either number one or number two on the list of most stolen vehicles in the US. Besides, one data point doesn't make a trend. Even if the insurance costs come out about the same, the point of the extra expense of buying, maintaining, and fueling still stands and easily swamps any difference in insurance, which still may go in favor of the car.

    2) As for size issues:

    a) Not being able to put an adult in back seat with car seat in middle for any more than a short trip:
    i) This is a question of vehicle width. The altima is every bit as wide as your average mid and small sized suv. In order to get anything wider, you need to either be willing to buy one of the very few mid or small sized suv's that are wide enough to be comfortable in the above situation (this is a fine hair to split here, and is also a matter of taste), or you better be willing to pay for a full sized suv
    ii) Ask yourself how often you will need to take an adult in the back seat along side your child in the baby seat for more than just a short trip. Compute how many miles this would add up to relative to how many you drive total. Pretty small fraction, I bet. Not nearly enough to offset the down sides of the suv, I bet.

    b) Not having enough room to fit baby, car seat, presents, stroller, baby bags, toys, 2 suitcases, etc..., without having the wife sit with the friut cake on the floor. Again, how often does that happen? Christmas and on my kid's birthday? I believe in buying a vehicle that meets my needs the majority of the time, not buying the one that is best only on occasion and represents numerous compromises for the majority of my driving. I know that for me, the altima will be plenty big enough 95% of the time, no exaggeration. Besides, so your wife has to put the fruit cake on the floor, so what?

    3) Safety should also factor in handling and braking ability, and the vehicle's propensity to tip over. This is a complicated issue. It's not just a matter of saying my vehicle is biggest, so I win, or bringing up some anecdotal evidence and running to the ends of the earth with it. There are many factors to consider. Some weigh in favor of size and weight, some against. All weigh in favor of good design and excellent road manners. A car with good crash test scores (admittedly yet to be proven for the redesigned altma), good safety features and a safe design, good size, and excellent maneuverability, stoppability, and stability should go along way towards providing safety for you and your family.

    4) Whether or not you want to share this with your spouse is entirely up to you, but the fact that a person is considering purchasing an altima means that he or she wants to have some fun while driving. An altima will be more fun, IMHO, than an suv, particularily an suv in its price range.

    If this is off topic, fine I'll take it to the appropriate list, but I don't think it is as it directly pertains to a post from a person considering purchasing an altima.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Isn't the wood interior optional? So, don't get it. No big deal, right?

    Some of you guys are just being brutal. I drove one with cloth and no wood and it looked fine to me. So, Nissan spent the cash on the 240hp powerplant. True.

    You think that is a bad thing?

  • During the wait for the dealer to locate my new Altima I did some additional shopping and saved an additional $100 plus picked up mudguards in the deal.

    Net result was $18,799.50 ($18,450 "invoice" plus $349.50 "documentary fee" - or "minimum markup" in my book), plus NC tax and tag. Total cash price $19,408 out the door - no trade-in or financing - vs. sticker of $19,626. This is for a 2.5S auto without convenience package (too much money for alloy wheels, power seat, and electronic toys in my book), with mats, microfilter, and mudguards.

    Dealer is Harrelson Nissan in Rock Hill, SC (suburban Charlotte, NC). They operate Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, and Ford stores in the area and their prices are typically hard to beat.

    Car is beautiful - silver with charcoal trim - and turns a lot of heads. Driving experience has been wonderful - no problems, although only 500 miles so far. It accommodates my 6'8" frame with plenty of room to spare, on a level with Passat for a WHOLE lot less $$$.
  • Not a bad thing IF a buyer is like you and cares ONLY about the driveability and not liveability of a vehicle. If all one cares about is that, get a better driver like the WRX or a BMW 323. Sheesh - can't believe you think critiquing a car's shabby 'wood' trim is brutal. I think the car can take a little criticism.
  • You know those beautiful, multi-page, fold-out Altima ads that are inside millions of magazines right now? Next time you see one, check out the photo of the interior. Look carefully at the center console, where the automatic shift gate is. The plastic/rubber trim surround that seals the gate to the console is coming off at the corner! I can't believe that no one at Nissan or their multi-gabillion dollar ad agency noticed that! I hope this isn't indicative of Altima quality. I'm sure it's just a fluke, but it's pretty funny!
  • Hey! Take it easy! Remember, I just LOOK goofy! Doesn't mean I am! :)~

    Also, I know what happened that night, so please if you would, let me live in my dreamworld. Oh, that's right, it was a REALITY that night.

    That said, I actually WOULD like to race a WRX Sedan and see what happens. I don't care if I lose. I would like to see how close it is. It is NOT going to be huge margin, I'll tell you that! Remember, I drove a WRX sedan and it was fast, but it did not feel much faster than my 02 Max. It is all just fun and games...hey, where is that "My car is better than your car!" topic? :)

    Also, I need to drive one of these new Altima's to see if I am missing anything.
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    Well, if the WRX doesn't get a good launch, I think it's possible for a Maxima to outrun it. From what I've read, the WRX is pretty gutless below 3000 rpm, and you have to drop the clutch at at 5000 rpm to get a good launch. How many WRX owners are willing to do that to their car just to win a stoplight race?
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Were are you located? I haven't been to Harleson Nissan yet, but I live about 40 miles from Rock Hill, I am thinking about going there this weekend to check some of them out, we don't have anymore SE models in Spartanburg. How good was the selection, any SL or SE models, we only have one SL and 3 S models around here now. Thanks in advance. Congrats on your purchase, you will really enjpy your new car.
  • Check Autoweek website ... WRX edges 5-speed Altima to 60; Altima edges WRx in the quarter-mile....

    My only complaint about Altima -- and really it's Nissan -- is making anti-lock brakes an option...
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    #1. Chrysler 300M ( I own one so I am biased)
    #2. Nissan Maxima ( If it was selling that low and was out in July I would probably own one)
    #3. Mazda Millenia ( can get an S for under 26k)

    ( these are carsdirect prices not msrp)
    The altima is over priced loaded up. Why buy a loaded altima when you could own one of these three cars. I would and am considering getting an 2.5S model. It is between that a 1.8t Passat or Maxima SE no options besides mats. I like the max as I can get as much power as my 300 gets in a lighter car. It would be nice to have two 250hp+ autos in the garage. The Accord is the hands down "quality" value leader. But it being a total bore to drive and own leaves it behind the competition.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    A diamante is also a nice alternative to the 3.5 Altima and can be had loaded for around 26 as well......2001's for under 25k.

    Maybe not as good around as a 300m, but still maybe a better overall package than the Altima at that price.
  • corkfishcorkfish Posts: 537
    Where are people getting these $29,000 figures? Get it without a sunroof, no leather, a 5 speed, and they're 25K. For a car that will do 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds and does the quarter mile faster than a WRX, that's a pretty good deal. I haven't driven the Maxima yet, but the Altima and the WRX are perhaps the most fun to drive sedans out there for 25K. The first test for my next car is that it better be quicker than the 7.4 second 0 to 60 time my beat up old Sentra delivers!
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    I think WV sabotaged the Altima's development by not letting Nissan designers sit in Passats :)
  • I checked the magazine ads and saw the Altima layout, with the peeling plastic. Outrageous! They should've airbrushed it before taking it to print.

    Agree on the alternatives - Millenia S, 300M and Max are all superior to the 3.5 Altima. Not espcially crazy about the Diamante, but it IS a better car overall than the Altima.
  • Hey you guys, it's long, but tell me what you think before I send it, anything I shoukd add, delete, etc. Thanks in advance.


    My parents, who are diehard Honda lovers, are now in the market for a new Automobile for me sometime this year or next year. Last week, I had a chance to check out a few 2002 Nissan Altimas that were on the local dealerships' lots. I have driven my aunt's 1995 Nissan Altima GXE quite a few times, and I can tell you from experience with many Hondas and a few Toyotas, that this car is just as reliable as the Hondas and Toyotas, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good used vehicle. Simply they last a long time, and the car has not given my aunt any major problems to date, therefore, I compare the new Altimas to her 1995 GXE.

    First off, let me just say that the design of the car is very nice, MUCH MUCH better than the previous generation, and better actually than the 2000-2002 Nissan Maxima. The styling is very european, and has an overall balance to it, something that cannot be said about the previous or current Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. I simply LOVE the way this car looks, and my parents actually liked it as well. There were no quality/workmanship defects that I could find, NONE exterior wise.
    My aunt's car was the same way when she brought it.

    Now, as I walk around and looked at the sticker price, I will admit, it surpised me quite a bit, simply because myself, as the consumer was use to the heavily discounted 1998-2001 Nissan Altima, but from the details on the outside, the price seemed at least somewhat fair. Although, many of my friends, and myself wonder why Nissan just didn't give the car a new name. Besides, the car is now a ture midsize and is much larger than my aunt's Altima. Some think it should have been called the Ultima. LOL

    Now, the interior. Nissan,What happened! I was honestly shocked by the way the materials looked, felt, and the quality of them. I felt like I was in a Chevy Impala or something, I would expect this from the American Car companies, but from a company like Nissan, I would most definately expect more, cetainly when the price of this vehicle can reach almost $30K for a fully loaded model. I am not the only one who believes this, check out some internet websites. ( Many feel the same way, we believe that Nissan as a company could have done a better job and spent just a little more on interior material. That's what matters the most to a family shopping for a midsize sedan, quality and this is what lead my parent to not by the new Altima that afternoon, and it wasn't the dealerships fault, they do their very best to make sure that all their new and used cars or prepped and ready for sale in the best conditions possible. I can honestly say that the leftover 2001 Altima GXE Limited Edition on the lot had a better interior than the 27K Altima 3.5SE we tested. My aunt's Altima wins this hands down, I am truly shocked!

    For what it's worth I am sure that the new Altima handles, rides and is more hushed than the previous models, but I refuse to believe that the new one has better interior material than the previous one, which wasn't quite on par with the Accord or Camry or my aunt's Altima for that matter. The Maxima GLE I looked inside of had much better interior material than the new Altima, yet the prices of both the cars were comparable, the Maxima's material were better than the Accord or new Camry, and that's what reassured my faith in Nissan as a company. Indeed you guys really do have a VERY nice vehicle on your hands, don't get it mistaken, I really want this new Altima, but the interior really seems to be holding the car back, if you could just improve the material and work on the workmanship and quality of the ineterior, the new Altima would be more of a success, they are already selling pretty well around here, but they would sell even better with a better interior, making it the real TOTAL KNOCKOUT!!

    I have a few questions below that many of my friends, and I have.

    1. Why isn't ABS standard on the new Altima, and since it's optional, why is it so hard to find one with it? I have looked at 9 Altimas, from the S to the SE, done had ABS!

    2. Why are the materials so cheap, the U.S. consumers expect better quality for their hard earned money. Will the interior be updated for 2003?

    3. Why does the car, in certain places, not have an overall "quality" feel to it. When you slam the doors, you can sometimes hear a tinny sound, the same problem my aunt has with her 1995 Nissan Altima.

    4. What's new for 2003, I know it's very early to be asking such a question, but if you can help us, it would be appreciated.

    5. Why doesn't the luxurious Altima 2.5SL have automatic climate control, and why isn't there a luxurious V6 model? The SE seems too sporty for some consumers' tastes.

    6. What does Nissan plan to do to get ready for the release of the new 2003 Accord and the very nice looking 2003 Mazda 6, the 6 certainly has the best interior of the two.

    7. Why aren't Xenon headlamps available for all models? Isn't it a safety feature.

    8. Why did Nissan claim the Passat and Audi models as the benchmarks for their interior designs/themes, and then give the public something that was nowhere near the quality of the recent VWs, or Audis for that matter. Not even close to my aunt's Altima.

    9. Why is the price of the Altima so high, the Maxima is about the same price but with more of a quality feel and a interior that would look good in a Lexus.

    10. What's the deal with the optional packages, you have to get the Sunroof to get the Bose, or you have to have leather to get the Bose.

    11. Why is the BOSE system so expensive, it's not even 200 watts, and it doesn't have a cassette player.

    Thanks in advance,
    Reginald La'Derrick Gist
    A new-commer to car shopping and a first time new car shopper.
  • Excellent letter - some may take issue with your grammar but I tend to look beyond the cosmetics and into the substance, in which case is plentiful in your letter. You made some great and important points (although I disagree with the Altima looking European - it looks like a total Toyota knockoff, with a bit of Monte Carlo and Town Car thrown into the tail end).

    Please post Nissan's response when you get it - will be interesting to hear it.

    Thanks for sharing Maxamill.
  • hey, what do you expect, I am only 16. :) By the way, which Toyota does the Altima favor to you. Come to think of it, doesn't it look like the GS300 some? It looks very similar to the VW Passat also IMO.

    Also, Speedracer, Blueguy, Ruski, Oac3,anybody what do you guys think!! I don't want to run the risk of getting sued or anything. LOL

    I'm going to add this as well.

    11. Why isn't frost available in Leather?

    12. Why is the fuel door release found on the floor and not together with the trunk release on the side of the driver's door? Also, why is the carpet cutout so obvious and cheap looking?
This discussion has been closed.