"I call her my somewhat reliable old lady. Minus a few major fixes (Seeing as the car is almost 20 years old, it's to be expected) this car has been nothing but amazing. Good gas mileage for a 1990's decade car, wonderful driving, just overall a good car. Just be prepared to sink some money into routine maintenance, and wear and tear repairs. I replaced the fuel distributor at 250k miles, and radiator at 270k. As I said, this old lady just keeps chugging."
"This is a really great car! It wont stop running i swear! i recently went into a ditch because of a serious ice storm in the midwest and my car was pulled out (front end in ditch) and it just went right along without any problems. This car does have a slight tendency to lose hubcaps but i found a set that stays on nicely... Never had any major mechanical problems and this thing runs like a tank! great car for teens, although the styling is a bit outdated, what can you expect from 1994?"
"I have always said that this is a poor man's honda. This car is as reliable as a honda, but at least 2,000 cheaper than a condition equivalent honda civic. I love honda's, but man are they expensive. Here is the history on my nissan altima SE. I bought this car in february of 2003 and it was already a high mileage car at 103,000 miles. It is now June of 2009 and I have put on 110,000 miles in a little under 6 and a half years. This car is totally great. I have ridden this car very very hard. Always accelerating fast, breaking fast, taking corners going 40 mph. I have been on at least 5 7 tri-state trips where i was driving 80 mps plus. Honestly, I have not been very nice to this car, but you know how it can be when you have a very nice performing car and you get the speed demon in you. Regular wear and tear repairs that anyone would incur on a car this old have been break changes, oil, changes, air filter changes. I changed the fuel filter once myself, but have since not really bothered with that. Non maintenance repairs that I have had include replacing the ignition switch(I used cheap keys from the hardware store for years, so that may be why that went), replacing the front drive axel( I can remember at least 4 times when I went straight over curbs going 40 mph so that probably plays a huge factor), replacing the transmision pan(it does sit very low to the ground and I went over a speed bump going 60(oops!!). I just recently had to replace most of the muffler system(but I live in Minnesota and I remember bottoming out in snowboard on many occasions)( I got the whole thing replaced though for under $300. It helps to shop around and find a small shop instead of going to dealers). The factory rims that came with the car(remember this is a 97) finally had to be replaced in the fall of 2008 because they had finally started to corrode and were leaking air from the tires so I had a hard time keeping the tires inflated.(Picked up a high quality 2 pairs of rims for $300 at discount tire.(Again it pays to shop around and price compare!!) My air conditioning belt needs to be tightened as of right now, but since it is not a necessary repair I have just gone without air for the past 3 summers. The AC still works, I just don't want to run it for fear of breaking the belt(How cheap am I!!) That is pretty much it for repairs. That really is not that many once you take into account that I am driving in Minnesota and I am a very hard driver on my car. The non maintenance repairs only came like once a year too and were never more than $300 each, so the repairs were nicely spaced out and I could always come up with the money. One more thing, I really have to recommend Good Year Triple Tread Tires on this car. I don't work for good year or anything, but I am on my second set of these tires and man do they make this car sweet to drive. Cornering is awesome, braking in rain is great, winter breaking on ice, you slide straight(no fish tailing), these are warrantied to 80,000 miles(I get about 60,000 and then take them back and get the remaining credit towards new ones. Okay, back to the nissan. Totally love this car and it is still going strong. I have 211,000 on it as of this posting and I can see no problem going to at least 300,000. When this one dies, I may try and find the same car with low miles from the same year as I have heard the newer nissans aren't quite as good as these ones were. (But they are still way better than an american car. I would love to support american cars if they could become more relieable) If you are thinking of buying a honda or toyota, please consider doing some research on nissan's instead, as they are at least a few thousand dollars cheaper, and are almost as reliable as honda's or toyota's in every respect. Thanks!!"
"Bought the car new. Ran very well over the last 12 years. Had some problems with the distributor leaking oil up into the rotor area. Other than that, went through my wife, 2 teenage drivers, a college student, and grandma drivers. Very dependable and a good value for the money. Would recommend the car."
"I am 2nd owner, bought with 103K miles now has 182K. Only major expenses in almost 6 years has been new distributor @$425 installed and approximately $500 for repairing damage to fuel injectors caused by water in gas, which was not the fault of car. Everything on car still works as it is supposed to after 13 years and 182K miles of use.
Good points are fuel mileage (30hwy, 24 city), good handling and ride, peppy engine, very reliable and dependable, reasonably comfortable seating for 4 adults.
Not so good points are, tiny almost unusable glove box, crowded engine compartment which makes it very difficult to work on, poor factory radio, hard downshift to 1st gear, wind noise at highway speed, and several other very minor irritations. I am very well pleased with this car overall, and would definitely buy another Altima."