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Nissan Altima



  • i got the black -all options except the xenor lights. it's tough to keep clean but it does look great when it is.
  • Hey all- I'm new to this board and thought I'd pose a question. My girlfriend's younger sister is looking for a new car to replace her battered 1994 Grand Prix. I'm a stedfast fan of Japanese cars (I own a Mitsubishi Mirage LS Coupe, my mom has a Galant ES V6 at my urging, and if I can help it, the GF will be driving Mitsu soon enough). However, I've found a 1996 Nissan Altima GXE with 77K on it, Auto, tilt- all the standard stuff, for around six grand. Any input on whether we should go with this seemingly well maintained Nissan, or if I should have her buy a 95 Galant ES for a grand less with the same miles. Ideas, moans/groans? Thanks in advance all!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Some guys at work had the previous generation Galants and all said the car was awful. They couldn't wait till the leases ended to dump those puppies. On the other hand, down here in south florida, I see a lot of that generation of Altima's on the streets. We also have a 2001 Altima and it's been quite good, considering I'm a diehard Toyotaist.
    Just one mans opinion!

    The Sandman :-)
  • brooksterbrookster Posts: 1
    While I don't know much about the Mitsubishis, I have a '94 Altima that I bought used in '97 with 21,000 miles on it. Now I have 187,000 miles on it and never had a problem with it - just the usual maintenance, oil change every 3000 miles, exhaust, tires, etc. I'm from near Buffalo, NY and it's driven through lots of snow and bad weather with no problem. Just beginning to show rust. Get one at a good price and it will pay for itself. Now looking for a new 2002 Altima to keep the tradition going.
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Just in case an of you are curious, the 2003 Accord 4-cyl has 160hp, and the V-6 model has 240hp to match the 2002 Altima. A full article and pics can be seen here, at a small site I started:

    Looks like Nissan got word and upped the Altima's V-6 horses!

  • kossmankossman Posts: 8
    The Honda still cant match the Nissan where it counts (Torque) 212 vs 246. Besides the Honda is still bland and ugly. Nice try Honda maybe another 4-5 years you will get it right.
  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    There is more to a car than horsepower and torque. You may be right in the Accord not matching the Altimas torque, but that doesn't mean that they don't have it right. They have been at or near the top in sales for the last 10 years. You don't get that way by doing it wrong. The exterior styling on the Altima may be more attractive, but I know the interior has left many cold. The exterior of the Accord may not turn as many heads, but I'm willing to bet the interior will be very good. Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge on numbers alone, but wait until the Accord is in the dealers so we can actually get out and kick some tires.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Yeah, I still think it's a B-O-R-I-N-G tin can of a car, but it has a quite faithful following. That, and the interior is supposed to be top-notch, with a lot of concentration and design going into it. But, as ususal, it's just like any other Honda that comes out. People always think "it has to be the best", rush to the dealers, get put on waiting lists, pay outrageous prices, and the stuck-up dealer suck it all in.

    If I were in the market for a sedan right now, I'd really look into an Altima, before ever going to Honda. It's my opinion, but I'd rather go blasting by some old gramp in his Accord in a plain fast new SE-V6, cheap interior and all!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I sat in a 2002 Altima today for the second time. The plastics on the dash (it was a 2.5S) didn't seem as cheesy as the first 2002 Altima SE's I sat in. Pretty cool ride actually. I was going to test drive one for the heck of it, but they only had stick shifts, and I can't drive one. :(
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    I'm in the same boat! I've never driven a stick and am not 100% how to correctly. I do have the basic idea and have asked about it many times, but never got around to trying it out. But, of course, I don't think I'd want to "try" on a nice new car!
  • keyrowkeyrow Posts: 214
    "They [Honda] have been at or near the top in sales for the last 10 years. You don't get that way by doing it wrong." Sure you can; it's very easy. Just ask any politician . . . NEVER underestimate the publics' ignorance. How do you think Clinton got elected, TWICE??? Mass appeal has NO relationship to quality. Mercedes reduced their QA to save a few bucks (errr . . . Marks . . . errrr . . . Euros) yet people still line up to buy an inferior (compared to previous years) product. I would still take the Altima over an Accord any day, even if the interior does need better quality materials.
  • "Mass appeal has no relationship to quality". But why are Accords bestsellers anyway? Leading to their mass appeal. How did they get there? Certainly it is not the formula that Nissan used up to now.

    Accords may have lagged in the HP, Torque race but there is no car in its category that runs smoother, more efficiently, and runs forever than an accord.

    they may be bland but I bet 5 years from now, a 1997 accord will look sleeker than a 2002 Altima.

    Maybe its just me but I like to see a car which is done just right in every aspect. Size, Power, Interior quality and ergonomics, efficiency, reliability and refinement. Can an Altima have all those? Hmmm, I am not sure....But I am sure the Accord especially the 2003 can.
  • jfigueroa1jfigueroa1 Posts: 209
    Well,they are all kind of cars out there
    choose the one you like.
    I am thinking about the new altima 4 cyl a/t
    How is the power? does the car get up and go
    at a decent rate? the car look big, when you drive the car does if feel that big ei,parking at the mall things like that.
    greetings from sunny Miami.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "Accords may have lagged in the HP, Torque race but there is no car in its category that runs smoother, more efficiently, and runs forever than an accord."

    We have been averaging near 30MPG in a mix of city/highway in our 02 Camry, which provides responsive acceleration, and I think it was CR that said the Camry 4 was the smoothest 4 they've tested. I was also impressed by the Altima's 2.5 engine when I test drove it... pretty refined for such a large and powerful engine, though I dont know about fuel milage. I can't comment on durability (with only 10K on our car), but maintained well, most any engine can edure. (Except of course, given my luck, the POS 1.5L in my 94 Civic). In anycase- I dont think your assertion is correct (and if anything, it barely makes sense gramatically). The Altima 4 and especially the Camry 4 rival if not better the Accord 4.

  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I rented one this weekend for a trip to Tampa and all I can say is, WOW! This car is incredible in every aspect of driving. It held 5 of us with luggage in comfort and cruised like a champ on the interstate. Milage was very impressive also. Compared to our '01 Altima, there is no comparison! Hate to give it back tomorrow, really.
    I hope the new Accord is something special, it needs to be! The spy picture I saw does look very cool though.

    The Sandman :-)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The Altima 4 should have plenty of power. I have never driven one, but the press says the Altima 4 is the quickest 4 out there. They do say, however, it's not the most refined. Like I said though, I have not driven one so don't have any opinions.

    I have heard the Camry's crash performance was a bit low, and that would shy me away from the car.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    You should have a car to an empty parking lot and try driving a stick shift, from what I am told. I tried driving on the street once in a pickup truck, but stalled 23 times! :) I counted, it was 23. I was letting the clutch out quickly though, and was told recently by my manager at work that you are supposed to ease it out. Maybe I will try again with a clutch.

    I would like to have a stick shift, but no one else in the house can drive a stick shift. If I learn, it will be cool, but if I have an emergency, then no one else will be able to drive my car.
  • jopopsyjopopsy Posts: 65
    Hello. Figured I'd start a thread to discuss in detail the impressions/reviews of folks who have driven the 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder variety of the Altima. For the enthusiast, I'd imagine the 6 cylinder w/ the manual tranny is the pick of choice, however for the every day commuter how does the 4 cylinder w/ the auto tranny compare?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I would love to have the 3.5SE, but I can't afford that much for a car. :) I would be satisfied with the 4 I think, especially since I commute ~100 miles a day for work.
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    I own the 3.5 manual transmission and test-drove the 4-cylinder auto while I was shopping. For everyday driving, the 4-cylinder is sufficient. It's not pin-you-in-your-seat fast, but it has enough to get you onto the highway without worries, even with several passengers in the car. I have read that the 4-cylinder handles a bit better than the V6 because of the lighter weight, but I didn't get that impression from my short 15-minute test drive.

    I chose the manual V6 combo because the car is much more fun with that powertrain. It's also my only car, so I don't have the luxury of having a second "fun" car to drive on the weekends. My best advice would be for you to test drive both and see what you think you can live with.
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    You are right, the Altima is a big car. The turning circle is pretty large, so parking lot maneuverability can be a problem. However, my previous car was a small sport coupe, so my viewpoint might be a little skewed.

    On the road handling is good. There is very little body roll and the suspension does a good job of keeping everything in check. The car feels pretty light despite its large size.
  • schweikbschweikb Posts: 111
    I don't know if anyone else has the same problem (or cares) - the front doors on my 2.5S have to be pushed way out unitl they're fully opened or they just swing shut. Other cars I've owned have two detents in the door hinge mechanism so you can keep the doors open half-way or all they way (depending on the amount of space next to you in the supermarket lot).
    With the new Altima, the door is either loose as a goose or way the heck out there. I do like the way the door stop hardware looks, kind of aircraft/hi-tech.
    Another strange thing is the gas filler - I find I have to keep the nozzle at just the right angle or inserted to just the right depth or it keeps clicking off. Very fussy!
    Overall I like the car - been averaging 27 mpg mixed driving with the 4 cyl and auto.
  • You asked "But why are Accords bestsellers anyway? " and the answer is because people believe that they are reliable and will last forever. However, this is not true, Hondas do break. My 2k Accord EX was no where near the dream many hondaphiles report them as being. Glad to own an Altima SE.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Maybe, it wasn't just the car ..............
  • definitely it wasn't just the car.
  • Hondaphiles just can't stand to hear from an ex-honda owner who moved onto another manufacturer. I can support my statements through almost three years of ownership experience. The Accord started out great, but after 30k miles things quickly started to deteriate, the Honda Accord is just a so, so boring car that does break and not what you dreamers post it to be. Once again, check the many unhappy consumers in the Accord Maint & Rep forum.
  • ahossaahossa Posts: 152
    I had the same problem with a Toyota Camry. Everyone raved about its durability but I had Tons of Problems:tranny,timing belt,engine block, rack & pinion etc, etc.However, I still think Toyota makes reliable cars as well as Honda and to some extent Nissan.
  • There is no such thing. If there was, it would wipe everything else off the market. I have had Hondas, Nissans, & Toyotas and ,with rare exceptions, have been satisfied with all. I now own a 2.5SL (3 weeks) and a Honda CR-V (2 weeks). Since this is an Altima thread, I will only report on the 2.5SL. This car ,for size,room ,comfort,power,features is IMO,the "Best in Class". Yes, it has shortcomings--cheap interior parts, wide turning radius only serious ones-- but as I stated,nothing is perfect. I would have waited til "03's were out,but my lease was up and I didn't want to extend. Besides, my wife loves her Altima and she gets lots of compliments,even from some of our ritzy friends with Lexuses ,BMW's and Audis. We took it on a nice trip to Baltimore Harbor and it performed very well.The suspension needs to be fine tuned somewhat to absorb bumps better,but that's it. Keep you posted.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I live about 10 blocks from the Baltimore Harbor. With these bad roads around here, no kind of suspension tuning will help! :)
  • Honda is not the only car and that is my exact point. In 1990 I bought a new Stanza and my niece is driving it today, it has never had any problems (timing belt still stock) and it runs great. I believe Nissan is probably the most underated of all car manufacturers. I couyld go on about the great (?) resale value of my 2k accord ex when I traded it in, what a joke.
This discussion has been closed.