I got this car new in December of 1999 with the help of my parents and just now finally letting go. Day in and day out this car has been there for me, even after 2 accidents (Rear ended in 2001, front driver side wheel well smashed in 2009). I cannot recommend this car enough. I'm trading it in with 206k miles on it.
Outside of my gushing love and nostalgia, I do have several minor gripes that I just got accustomed to over the years: - The acceleration is fantastic in 1st and 2nd, but not so much in 3rd and 4th - Interior overhead cloth came loose where the roof and rear windshield meet around 130k. Has never came completely undone or had more than 2 inches loose. - A/C compressor died somewhere around 150k miles. Never bothered to fix it. - Sun damage got the best of the leather interior, specifically the driver seat, which now has a miniature rendition of the Grand Canyon in it. - Rack and pinion started leaking at 180k at miles. - On days that were about 50 degrees or lower, transmission would struggle shifting from 3rd to 4th, but would eventually get corrected after about 5 minutes on the road. - Weird spurts of feedback occasionally (like 4 times a week) coming through the speakers at 190k.
The only time the Altima ever died on me, outside of batteries or the alternator, was when I was young and dumb. Never checked the fluid levels and let the coolant drop super low, blowing a head gasket. That was somewhere around 80k.
I have 112,000 miles on this car I bought new. Front brakes made it safely to 75,000 backs to 100,000 OE clutch made it to 110,000 as well as the battery and alternator. That I blame on my 1000 watt aftermarket stereo. I did have to replace the power window unit at 96000. I'm scared to trade it because of how reliable it has been. It can even do light off roading when needed. It's not a truck so it does require some caution but it handles it well. Wish the new ones were closer to the same! We have an 06 too. It's really nice but not quite the same.
Two tone black and white gauges, huge trunk, power that the little 2.4 puts out high ground clearance for a small-mid size car. Easy to operate moonroof.
The car has taken a heavy beating, yet remains very reliable. Well-maintained, 31 mpg on the highway is possible, and given its performance (don't read this like it's a sports car), this is excellent. For my money, I can't find any significant drawback to the driving experience.
After alot of research for my next car I decided on the Altima. I have no regrets at all. I purchased the car with 79,000 miles and now have 90,000 miles on it and have only 3 things gone wrong on the car other than brakes and oil changes. The first thing that went were my CV boots and second my throttle linkage snapped which controls the acceleration of the car. Basically, when it snapped my gas pedal did nothing and left me stranded. My mechanic told me in his 25 years of working he had never seen that happen on a car. Lastly, the alternator had to replaced but other than that the car has been perfect and I highly reccommend this car. I added a K&N filter and it makes such a difference.
Power of engine, radio & A/C controls, exterior styling, visibility, RELIABILITY
ABS should have been standard (I don't have it), MPG can be erratic sometimes (sometimes extremely frugal and other times it burns quickly), maybe a height adjustor for the driver seat but that is just nitpicking
I bought my 1999 Nissan Altima SE brand new in 1998. It is now over 6 years later and I have never had any problems with this car. It is incredibly well engineered and very well built. It zips around quite nimbly around the city and drives very solid on the highway. In the 6 years I have owned it I've replaced the brake pads and tires once each. Oh and a turn signal burned out at one point. When I got married we had to choose 1 car since we live in the city and only own 1 parking space - we sold her Audi A4 and kept the Altima since we knew we would have much fewer problems with Altima. Great job Nissan. This car is so good we're now buying another Nissan.
The spoiler on the back makes the car look very sporty. The white-on-white analog dials for speed & tach look very classic. The alloy wheels make the wheels look bigger, giving it a solid, racy look. Fuel economy is good for as fast as I drive. The fog lights look great.