I bought it new in April of 2002. It had it's share of recalls but no more any other car. I did experience the hard starting and the dealer did fix the problem with chip re-programming. The paint on the front of the car will chip very easily and I noticed other Altimas with the same problem. The balancer shaft in the engine went bad at 61250 miles and wiped out the engine. That's right, 1250 miles out of warranty. Nissan told me, "Out of warranty, tough". The car sat at the dealer for over 2 months and the dealer finally agreed to pay for half of the repair costs. It has run flawlessly since then. I love the car, I am taller than most people and this car fits me.
The leg room and the driving experience is the best features. The four cylinder engine has plenty of power and the ride is good. My wife loves the back seat, she falls asleep every time she rides in back. This car accommodates 4 adults nicely.
The interior is plain jane. I don't know what Nissan was thinking when they Ok'd that design. The front end will not hold paint. At first, I thought the design was such and it had so much paint exposed but other models have the same or more with no problems.