Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Nissan Altima



  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Everything I've read indicates it will have horrific fuel economy. Nissan has equipped the new 2002 Altima with 20 gallon fuel tanks to compensate.
    The only estimates so far indicate fuel economy in the 18-20MPG range, and I don't mean in the city.
    These cars are for people who just want the most power in the class, no matter how much gas it uses.
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    The Pathfinder at 4100 pounds (probably what - 700 pounds heavier?) and a brick aerodynamically with the 3.5 is rated at 19mpg highway. I expect the Altima to get atleast 7 more mpg than that.
  • wjm1wjm1 Posts: 33
    Wow! If true - that really sucks. Seems that EPA even for the 4 cyl is 20mpg ?!? With gas prices going up - doesn't seem like a way to go ...
    I hope it's better. Anyway - when it comes I'll consider it...and probably the maxima - it will be heavy discounted (I hope) and still it's a nice and proven car (and from what I know even averages more then those 18-20MPG). We'll see
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    My intrigue with the 3.5L DOHC motor and 3.29 gear gets 29 mpg at 80 mph with the A/C on. I would think the altima with its lighter weight and much less frontal area over the pathfinder, should pull down at least 25 mpg highway.

    My intrigue can pull down 21 mpg city if i baby it. The altima should be in line with this too.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    "Should be" is right, but it doesn't look like it will.
    It is almost unbelievable that it is so poor, but it is in black and white on Nissan's web site and the fuel economy of the 2002 Altima has been pointed out as being unusually low by the Yahoo! article.
    Nissan has also greatly increased the fuel tank capacity to the point where it is now even larger than that of a Ford Taurus.
    With the huge tank, the Altima can still eke out up to 400 miles per fill-up.
    The new Beetle also gets bad gas mileage for a car of it's size, weight and power unless you get a diesel, so it would not be a first.
    Some may justify the poor fuel economy because the 2002 Altima has more horsepower than the cars it competes against.
    If the milaage is only 20 mpg highway on a 4 cyl Altima, imagine how bad the city meileage is.
  • mdmetzmdmetz Posts: 27
    Range isn't calculated on the tank's full capacity - there's always a reserve of a couple of gallons taken out.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Do you think that nissan will be running a lot of gear to help with acceleration? This will almost assuredly result in poor highway numbers.

    Most of the GM products that i have owned actually exceed the EPA highway rating. My intrigue is rated at 27 highway, but like i said in my earlier post i have seen 29 mpg. at high speeds.

    Probably the best way to tell is by what the maxima's gas mileage is. If they put a more powerful engine with more torque in a lighter car.
    Then it should get about the same, provided they don't put a stump puller gear in it.
  • AamirQAamirQ Posts: 7
    After reading about the 2002 Altima and looking at some photos at, my initial opinion is that the 2002 Altima will be the first Nissan sedan to have a substantial impact in its market segment since the 1989 Maxima. I can't believe what I'm reading... 180 hp base engine? 240 hp 3.5L V6? 16" and 17" wheels? Xenon HID headlamps? Drive-by-wire throttle (V6 only)? I'm surprised this car isn't going to be an Infiniti. As mentioned above, the styling is a bit derivative in the details, but as a whole, it is a refreshingly progressive sedan in an arena where there's mostly conservative, bland styling (Accord, Camry, 626, etc.)

    As far as fuel economy is concerned, I wouldn't be surprised if the V6 is in the same league as the Accord and Camry V6 sedans (the Maxima already is), but if it gets 1-2 MPG lower, it wouldn't surprise me. Same goes for the 4-cyl version.

    I'd keep my fingers crossed as far as the interior is concerned. It looks interesting to say the least, but material quality needs to be as good as the rest of the car looks on paper. The plastics need to be top notch and the fabrics should be tasteful. The leather should not resemble vinyl. Many recent Nissans, including the current Maxima and Altima, are mildly lacking in high quality materials, so I'd like to see the new Altima approach the VW Passat in this regard.

    Anyhow, the 2002 Altima is looking great so far!

  • kostamojen2kostamojen2 Posts: 284
    A car that goes that fast, the people who buy it dont care about the mileage :P Thats what the 4cyl is for! :)
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    kostamojen2: Irregardless of what car i buy, gas mileage is always a consideration for me.
    One of the reasons i chose the intrigue was the fact that it did not require premium fuel, and its low end torque in relation to the accord, maxima, and camry that i test drove.
    If i have a choice between cars that are fairly close in performance and features, and one is rated at 24 mpg highway and the other is 28 mpg.
    I would go with the one that gets 28 mpg. Especially if premium fuel is not required.
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    20mpg, sheesh a Corvette with the 350hp LS1 motor gets a lot better mileage than that on the highway.

    Oh yeah, where did the subject field go?
  • jochijochi Posts: 18
    ok, the comments regarding the poor fuel economy of the 02 Alty are INNANE. Obviously a typo, if not, a VERY conservative estimate.

    But it's an EPA estimate! you say........

    COMMON SENSE......
    The Pathfinder, which uses essentially the same engine with 19 more ft/lbs of torque weighs in at over 4200 lbs. And has a coefficient of drag of .40. It gets 19mpg on the highway.
    The 02 Altima. In the press release it states the Alty will be 70lbs heavier than the existing model on average. That makes it around 3150lbs (lighter than V6 accord, camry, maxima). The press conference mentioned it will retain good aerodyamics despite the increased size. Since the current Altima has a .32 cd, lets assume th 02 will also be .32cd.

    That makes the 02 Altima over 1000lbs lighter than the Pathfinder, and a hella lot cleaner in aerodynamics. THERE IS NO WAY THE 02 ALTIMA WILL GET 18mpg ON THE HIGHWAY! Nissan may have had the worst management of any car company in the 90's, but even it's not so dumb to produce a family sedan with these numbers!

    I'm quite sure the numbers are off, if not (ie. if hell freezes over), I'll be the first to kiss whosever [non-permissible content removed] that begs to differ.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Its not just the fact that it has a lower .cd but it has much less frontal area.
    If it is epa rated at less than 24 mpg i would be very surprised. I would expect 26-27 mpg.
  • remus26remus26 Posts: 34
    I would suspect the EPA city/highway ratings for the Altima V6 would be about 19-20 city and about 26-27 highway.

    And the 4-cylinder will probably have a higher city rating, probably around 22MPG in the city but only about a 28 rating on the highway.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    The fuel economy figures were obviously incorrect. Nissan's new 340 hp Infiniti Q45 is rated at 25 on the highway - there is no way that the V6 Altima will only get 18 on the highway. However, even if the figures (18 for the V6, 20 for the 4 cyl.) are correct, that still is about 10 to 20 percent lower than they should be. The current Maxima is rated at 20 in the city, the 3.5L Altima should also be 19 or 20. The 4 cyl. with an automatic should be 22 to 24.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Message Subject Here-----------------------

    Anyway ...

    If the fuel economy issues are solved and it does well in crash tests, I will seriously consider a new Altima.
    If I were going to get a 2002 Altima, I think I'd get an SL automatic with leather/wood interior environment, Bose stereo, side curtain airbags and moonroof.
    If I could get a V6 model without the SE's grey plastic metal interior trim, I'd probably get a V6.
    Maybe the SE interior will look more refined in real life than it does in the photo's I've seen though.
    Nissan made comments about improving the interior quality, but materials quality improvement isn't being reflected in any of the photo's I've seen online. Hopefully the Altma's genuine leather will not look more like vinyl than the "leatherette" in a BMW or Mercedes.
    Cheap leather looks worse than cloth or good quality vinyl.

    However, price is important. If price is similar to the new 2002 Camry LE or XLE, I would probably go with a Camry for peace of mind.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The search party is still out for the missing post title box - hang on, it'll turn up sooner or later.

    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • remus26remus26 Posts: 34
    Okay, there is no way on earth the Altima with 3.5L V6 will have a EPA rating of 18MPG on the highway! Most SUVs don't have that bad gas-mileage.

    And power increases have always been coming along and it recent years many auto makers have found ways to up cubic inches & horsepower while maintaining or improving fuel economy.
  • kostamojen2kostamojen2 Posts: 284
    That interior looks better than most cars in its class and price range... But its more on the Sporty side than the "luxo-prissy" side :P (which is a good thing)

    I mean, if you want the plush, buy VW or Audi for that price range... Duh

    (Sorry, im having a bad weekend, A's and Kings are on a loosing streak)
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    The new Altima looks like a winner. I just saw it at the NY auto show. I was looking to buy a Max but I think I will put it on hold now. I hope the gas mileage is an error, but will not be surprised if it's not good. I had a Nissan 98 Frontier 4x4 with manual transmission that only got 17 mpg. I traded it for a 99 Chevy Blazer that gets 18mpg. The Blazer has a V-6 that is nearly TWICE the size of the Frontier engine plus weighs 1000 pounds more and gets BETTER gas mileage than the Nissan.

    The moral of the story is that engine design can have a big influence on gas mileage. I hope Nissan understands this because I will not buy a Nissan that gets bad gas mileage again. It seems the Americans may have surpassed the Japanese in some areas. GM engines get very good gas mileage for the power and weight of the car or truck. My father normally gets 26 mpg highway and 19 mpg local from a 275 hp V-8 Cadillac. I would hope Nissan could do better than that because the Altima is a very nice car.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    The advantage of a large displacement engine is more torque. It allows the manufacturer to put a taller gear in it, thus helping highway mileage.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    I just wish that they would thrown in a another gear for the automatic. 4 speed autos are old news already.
  • danny25danny25 Posts: 119
    I know someone already said engines are all different even if they're the same size, but I can't see only 20 mpg highway with the 2.5L 4. I have a Ranger with a 2.5L, I know it doesn't have near 180hp, but it gets 22 mpg in the city and the gear ratio is pretty high since it's a truck. I can't remember exactly what it is but I believe it's either 3.55 or 3.73.
  • jbrotherjbrother Posts: 31
    Re: gas mileage...

    The current altima with the 2.4 4-cyl gets EPA 29 with auto and 31 with manual on the highway. The 2.4 (ka24de) motor is an old design. While it is quite efficient considering its impressive torque capabilities, it is also heavy and outdated. Nissans new 2.5 4 cyl is supposedly in the same family as the 3.0 maxima engine, meaning it will probably be all-alloy, very light and very clean and efficient. I would expect fuel economy with the 4 cyl at least equal to the current 4 cyl and with the V6- at least equal to the maximas economy.
  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460

    Well the MPG listed on my 99 alty is 24MPG City and I've NEVER gotten it.. most folks over at don't get anywhere near the EPA so I'd wager the mileage will be low..

    But as Nissan said, this car is aimed at households with SUVs and want a smaller car..

    Here's their new slogan..

    SUV gas mileage you are used to, with sporty performance you've always wanted!!!
  • remus26remus26 Posts: 34
    Saw the 2002 Altima at the NY Auto Show. Looks very nice! Except for the rear end. The lights look pretty bad and the trunk lid needs some more decoration in between the tailights. Nissan did a bad job of trying to adapt Altezza type lights to the Altima.

    Otherwise the car is very nice! I like the front end alot and the side profile is nice. The ALtima's C-pillar, derived from the Passat, looks good on the car.

    Although I didn't get to see the interior really well, it does look nicely styled but with kinda cheap materials. But I'll have to hold off judgement until I see a Altima up close.

    Overall, I think it will cause heads to roll at Toyota & Honda.

    And again, HWY mileage on either the 4cylinder or V6 is NOT going to be anywhere near 20MPG! Think high 20s for both.
  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    well I'm not sure in the long run it will make that much of a difference.. might steal some folks away that's for sure but the 02 Maximas will be getting a 260HP engine so that will affect the 01 Max's more..
  • While I'll wait until more information is released about the miles-per-gallon on the 2002 Altima, if it is as low as currently published, it is pathetic (and anger-inducing), and will, sadly, eliminate this car from my list. Subs and their low miles-per-gallon makes me sick; it's been twenty plus years since the "oil crisis" and this is where we still are? Why would I buy a car with SUB type mileage? A big reason why I've passed on the Maxima is that it takes premium fuel and the lower miles-per-gallon.

    It's a shame, I was really looking forward to this car; holding off any purchase until it was presented. Nissan, give us the numbers!
This discussion has been closed.