Nissan Altima Review
The Nissan Altima debuted in 1993 as a replacement for the Nissan Stanza. While the initial model was based upon the Japanese Nissan Bluebird, the second generation Altima was a uniquely American vehicle. Designed in California and released exclusively in North America in 1998, it featured a slightly retooled engine and exterior. The third Altima was released in 2002, with increased size and engine power, and was the 2002 “North American Car of the Year.” In 2005, the sporty SE-R Altima was introduced, featuring upgraded brakes, suspension, and exhaust, in addition to cosmetic differences. But this year marks a brand new Altima model.
The BuyingAdvice Team Says:
The 2017 Nissan Altima is in every way an improvement over its predecessor. However, for a sedan designed to compete with the The Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord and the Chevrolet Impala, it has a disappointing lack of standard features. It scores well on power and has decent handling, but we at least expected standard anti-lock brakes for this price. The Altima tries to bridge the gap between a performance car and a family sedan but ends up compromising on both.
The 2017 Altima is all new, and it’s amazing what a difference five years can make. One of the longstanding complaints about the Altima was Nissan’s use of hard, low quality materials in the interior. Not so for 2017. The interior is now softer, with such features as padded armrests. Not only that, but it features an impressive 9 cup holders. On top of a more refined interior, the Altima has seen vast technological advancements, such as a push-button ignition, Bluetooth phone integration, and a continuously variable transmission. The 4-cylinder engine is a carryover from last year, but the V6 engine has been upgraded to 270 horsepower.
What’s New For 2017:
What is the Predicted Reliability:
The 2017 Altima is brand new, so no long term reliability information is available yet. The first generation Altima was fairly problematic, including issues with failing air conditioning, oil leaks, burning transmission fluid, chafing brakes, and rough idling. The second generation was a substantial improvement, with only rough idling and engine noise issues. The 2002-03 Altimas had a few more glitches. Various sensors were prone to failure, as was the air conditioning control. Additionally, it had problems with engine stalling. However, Nissan worked out the problems, and the 2006 Altima received five out of five stars from Automotive Information Systems, and three and a half out of five stars from J.D. Power, for reliability. Except average to above average reliability out of the 2017 Altima. The basic Nissan warranty lasts for three years or 36,000 miles.
Analysis Of Safety Ratings And Features:
The 2017 Altima earned five out of five stars in government frontal crash tests, and an average of four and a half stars in side impact testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has yet to test the new Altima, though 2002-2006 models received its highest rating, “Good,” in frontal impact crash tests, but the lowest rating, “Poor,” in rear impact tests of 2002-06 models wihout side airbags. All Altimas now come with front and full curtain side airbags, four-wheel disc brakes, and tire pressure monitoring. The 3.5 trims, SE and SL, come with anti-lock brakes and traction control. Electronic stability control is optional. The 2.5 trim has optional anti-lock brakes. The previous generation Altima was recalled several times. The 2002 Altima was recalled twice for problems with airbag sensors and connectors. The 2002-03 Altimas were recalled due to an exhaust pin that could gather debris, possibly causing fires. The 2006 Altima was recalled due to a possibly faulty rear subframe that could lead to loss of control.
Pros and Cons:
+ Fantastic exterior styling
+ Powerful V6
+ Gadgets galore
– Uncertain reliability
– Stingy with safety features
– Poor value for a family sedan
If you’re looking for a family sedan, there are a number of superior alternatives to the Altima, if you don’t mind spending $300-$400 more. For instance, the Toyota Camry comes standard with anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, and a CD player. The Altima’s only advantage over the Camry is its six-speed manual transmission, as opposed to the Camry’s five-speed. If you don’t like a stick, then the Pontiac G6 comes standard with an automatic, in addition to air conditioning and a CD player. It has about four less cubic feet of cargo room than the Altima, though. The real winner against the Altima is the Chrysler Sebring, which comes standard with an automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, and a CD player. Combine that with a number of generous Chrysler incentives now in effect, and you end up with a great all-around value.
What Others Are Saying:
“Nissan deserves credit for quelling the torque-steer demons, but the Altima is still a bucking-bronco kind of car. A stab on the gas makes the nose jump skyward, and alternatively, the car stands on its nose under hard braking. This sounds bad, but actually it’s fun – exciting more than bothersome. It’s too bad the manual shifter feels so clunky and awkward through the gears, because the Altima’s fun factor and vast rear seat make for an alluring sedan.”
“Building on previous generation Altima’s reputation as the design and dynamic leader in class, the all-new 2017 Nissan Altima is evolutionary in design, but revolutionary in its platform and hardware. The new Altima also addresses target customers’ desires for a more rewarding driving and ownership experience by offering new levels of quality feel, enhanced comfort and available convenience features.” – TopSpeed
Read more about the 2017 Nissan Altima at the Nissan manufacturer web site.