"I purchased this car brand new and loved it until it started burning a quart of oil every 300 miles although the car is not leaking oil in any way. Out of the blue at 140K miles, the engine rings are shot and it would require a $4500 engine replacement to fix this problem. I was told by my dealership that this problem is unique to the 2002 Nissan Altima and that no other vehicle in the line has had this problem.
We are now looking to purchase a Honda. The result of this major problem with the Nissan engine is a huge disappointment considering that we have done ALL scheduled maintainance and these are all highway miles and this car has been garaged. Bummer!"
"I bought my '02 brand new with 15 miles on it. I had good luck the first couple of years, then things just started going wrong. The first thing that went wrong with this car is the starting issue. It could be 65 degrees outside and it won't start. I took it to the dealer since it was still under warranty, and they told me it's a common problem with this engine (2.5), and to just push the gas pedal half-way down to get it to start. This is still not a recall! I have this problem at least once every few weeks. Last year (2005) the heat wouldn't work unless the car was moving so if I was stuck in traffic, I froze. I live in Northern Kentucky and it gets COLD! It is a very comfortable ride. I loved my car the first few years, I've been looking into getting a new car, not another altima."
"I picked the 2.5S 5spd up new for 15k with a couple of scratches from Hurricane Wilma.
Comfortable ride with decent pick up for this size car and 4cyl. Tires are horrible and I didn't realize until I almost rearended somebody in the rain that the $21k (MSRP) car doesn't come with standard ABS! Paint chips easily so my Altima has lotsa scratches and bugbites. Overall great transportation decent gas mileage 22/24 when moving it quickly"
"I have a 2006 SE Altima, which this car has been extremely dependable @ 24k miles without a mechanical problem. On the other hand, the paint and interior has not. I just got my hood and doors repaired because of all the rock chips and door dings. I know that this is normal wear and tear issues but it just seem to chip and dent too easily. This car is awesome on smooth road, but horrible on bumpy roads w/ the 17in alloys and sport tuned suspension. I love the engine and transmission they work perfectly together (with premium gas). When compared to all of my other vehicles that I have owned (Dodge Stratus 04, Pontiac Grand AM 02, and Chevy Lumina 99) this one is by far the best and the engine is the most powerful, quickest, quietest and reliable. I’m only 24 yrs old so I have not had a lot of auto experience but Nissan is the best I’ve experienced so far I know that Nissan has built a strong V6 engine and it shows because it’s extremely fun to drive but this model has a few fit and finish issues that can not be looked over. I would definitely get another Nissan. I just think that it is built to last for a few years, and then you must upgrade."
"I have had two engines, a radiator and a long list of other smaller car parts that have been replaced. Nissan only helps you with all of these until 60,000 miles and then your on your own and broke!!!!!"
"I love this car!!! I bought it off the lot in 2005 with 300 miles on it. It has 39K now. I have always maintained my equity in the vehicle. Leather interior still looks new. I love the BOSE sound system. I crave nothing more than to get an on-ramp all to myself. The thing flies onto the highway.
Just two complaints, road noise and rattles. The rattles are not bad, just annoying. I went through the first set of tires in a little over a year. I've been in the second set about 9 mos and the road noise is frustrating but the tread is still good so I'll live with it. It is to be expected with low profile tires.
Speaking of, we put summer only tires on it last Nov, because we only get a few days of snow in KC right? WRONG! We had snow on the ground for a month last winter but it still handled like a dream as long as you didn't press on the gas. It stuck to the road and plowed through the snow.
Gas milage is about 26 mpg commuting and 23 commuting during construction season. Thats not indicitive of the car, just my driving style.
The first car I owned was a 4 cyl Ford. It was a good, reliable, inexpensive car for college. But the SE-R is more my style."
"I have the 3.5L 5spd. Its very fast. Just when you think you will get bored from it, push the throttle down a little more. The sound system in the basic sound package is very good. If you want to upgrade it is easier than upgrading the bose system. The bose is more complicated. I recommend getting the SE over the SL because of the bigger rims and lighter car. I have had no mechanical problems with this car. The clutch is a little sensitive but makes you a perfect driver of any other manual car. The controls on the steering wheel are so convenitent. It makes you want to use the cruse control which you can activate and set in one second or less. There is a lot of torque steer only on heavy acceleration, but once you get used to it its controlable."
"Very nice car! It has great pick up, handles great and the ride is smooth, a little road noise pending on what tires are with the vehicle. We bought our car in late 2004 but it is a 2005, the quality of this car is sound. I would recommend this car to my friends."
"This thing is a roadtrip warrior! I actually look forward to taking long trips in it. One Review claims, "the gas mileage leaves something to be desired," and that could be true if you are used to getting 40 or 50 mpg! I have driven from Phoenix to Albuquerque on one tank of gas and from California to Phoenix on one tank of gas. Granted it has a big tank, but if you are looking for better mileage than that, you had better buy a hybrid. I easily get 30 mpg average (in town and freeway avg). Not to mention for the size of this car, the 2.5L 4 banger really gets you moving! I have never been frustrated with the performance of my altima. It has over 70k miles and all I do is regular servicing. Nothing has gone wrong! Great car! Will buy another! (probably a 6 cyl though)"
"The front two seats are not comfortable no chance sleeping in them on road trips. The back seats are roomy and comfortable!! The car has extreme torque at the low range so easing into the accellerator took a little getting used to (0-40 is fasttttt). I've never used premium gas and I get about 21 city/29 highway. The styling gets major Kudos on the 3.5 w/ alloy wheels. This car depreciates fairly quickly so I bought it 2 years old for a steal. Since I don't plan on selling it I got a lot of car for the money. The quality of the interior doesn't look like it will retain it's "luster" for more than 3-5 years but I don't mind. I'm just now replacing the tires at 40k. If you keep them at 40-50 psi they last a LOT longer people!!!!"
"Highly recommend Altima! Have had 2, and will buy another without hesitation.
Right now we have a 2003 one. My wife had an accident a while back in it ---- somebody dropped a large package on the highway, she tried to steer clear but lost control, and the car hit the highway partition wall. Though the swirl before the impact lowered her speed from the 60 mph or so that she was doing, her estimate was that she hit the wall at around 40 mph. She was wear the seatbelt, the front airbags deployed and she walked away just a little bruise on her arms (from the deploying airbag).
It's spacious --- more generous cabin space than most mid-size cars. 3 grown-ups can sit very comfortably in the back. And the trunk is huge."
"I bought my 2002 3.5 Altima when it was just a baby on the new car lot. I absolutely loved it from the 1st test drive. Here I am 10 years later and I am still loving this car. No mechanical issues, handles well and still very quick. Accelerates like a sports car, but transports 4 adults in comfort.
i will be driving this car for as long as she will roll."
"Loved this car from day one and has been extremely reliable over the past 11 years. The car gets respectable mileage even with the 3.5 liter engine. If I have one complaint it is road noise. Nissan could have done a better job of soundproofing the interior. I would have gladly paid more for the car."
Pros: "fun to drive, best sports car value, decent gas mi"
Cons: "its not an 8 cyl... low to ground will drag bottom"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Sporty, fun to drive, big trunk ( i can get 4 sets of golf clubs in the trunk - no problem), good rear seat leg room, great combo of value, gas mileage, and performance.
Its not the fastest or best mileage but it a great compromise for each."
"I have owned this car for nearly three years now, purchasing it with 48,000 miles on it. Currently, it has 70,000 miles. It has been very reliable. Other than gas and oil, all I've had done to it is new rear brakes (just recently. It's a blast to drive. This car is VERY QUICK! Deceivingly quick, in fact. Excellent power and power to weight ratio. With that come a few problems. Driving on wet roads took some practice to prevent front wheels from constantly slipping out. This car does NOT do well in the snow - period. All in all, this is possibly the best car I've ever owned (I'm 54 and have owned 14 cars in my life)."
"When I first drove this particular model back in 2005, I was in love... well, as much as a person can be in love with a car. It was a smooth drive and easy to maintain and care for. Then in 2008 I traded in my 15 year old truck for the Altima and was instantly attached to it. The car is an amazing vehicle, it doesn't have ALL the bells and whistles, but it has enough to make me glad that I owned it just because of the value and the comfort."
Cons: "Haven't had any cons in the 4 years I've owned it"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car in April 2008 (it was two years old at the time)with 40,000 miles on it at the time, and I have had NO trouble out of it! I've owned 5 vehicles since I started driving and this has been the only vehicle that I've only had to do regular maint. on. It currently has almost 131,000 miles on it, and is still going just like the day I bought it. So thankful for that! Very reliable, plenty of room for just myself, or myself and my friends, or even myself and my nieces car-seats when I need to take them somewhere. Very good looking vehicle, too!"
"About 35,000 miles the engine started consuming oil.(oil was changed per the maint. schedule, etc) The dealer recommended an engine replacement and after a CONSIDERABLE amount of haggling and phone calls, Nissan finally agreed to replace the engine under warranty. Nissan is aware of this oil use problem with some of the Altimas. The new engine now has 55,000 some odd miles on it and is using oil again at the rate of 1 quart every 4 days. The heater never blew anything but warm air and the dealer could not fix this problem after several visits. I brought this car BRAND NEW and paid it off early, now I have to get another car!"
"My car is now 6 years old. I have had no trouble with it at all! I do keep up with regular maintenance....so that along with tires is about all I've had to put into the car!
I try to wax it twice a year. The car still looks great! I plan on keeping the car for my 12 year old twins to drive! Great car!!!!!!!!"
"Absolutely love my Altima!! Beautiful car and runs just like it did when it was brand new. No major issues with the car. I just stay up to date on the service appointments as far as oil changes, etc goes. I couldn't be more happy. My next vehicle will definitely be a Nissan because my mother and brother own older Nissans and their cars are going strong. My mother's Altima had over 200,000 miles on it before she finally got a new car and yes she got another Nissan."