Used 1996 Nissan Altima

1996 Nissan Altima

Used 1996 Nissan Altima for Sale

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Talk about a runaway success. The Altima is quite a popular car, with hundreds of thousands of the jelly-bean-shaped sedans sold since its 1993 introduction. Its predecessor, the Nissan Stanza, was a practically invisible car to consumers, and we can't help but wonder whether the name change or Nissan's expensive advertising campaign touting the Altima as an affordable luxury car dictated the tides of change.

What we do know is that the Altima has the right mix of good looks, sedan capability, spunky personality and affordable price that Honda and Toyota used to make the Accord and Camry best-sellers. The Altima is a fun car, and plays the roles of pedestrian family hauler and pseudo-sport sedan with equal aplomb. Heavily subsidized national lease deals on the GXE trim level haven't hurt sales either, and virtually guarantee an excellent used Altima market in the near future.

This year, Nissan pops new wheelcovers on lower trim levels, puts new upholstery into the GXE, and gives cars with power door locks new lock logic. Four trim levels are available: entry-level XE; midpriced GXE; sporty SE; and luxury-oriented GLE. The GXE is the best seller, and when equipped with air conditioning, cassette stereo, automatic transmission, cruise and anti-lock brakes, stickers for about $20,000.

Guess what. That's loaded Ford Contour SE territory, and is just a couple thou' shy of a similarly equipped Maxima GXE. The Ford performs better than the Altima, has a slightly higher equipment content, and offers a refined V-6 powerplant. Still, Altima lease deals are hard to beat, and it's a good car. The competition is getting better though, even from within Nissan itself.

1996 Highlights

New wheel covers, power lock logic and fresh GXE upholstery update this hot-selling sedan.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Nissan Altima.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Saved My Life!!
Purchased my 96 Altima as college car in 2001 used w/115K.Could not have asked for a better ride! Comfy (for a 5'2 chick), SUPER reliable,and LOTS of fun to drive.Sunroof,woodgrain,& Alpine CD made it heaven. Easy on the insurance bill and as everyone knows miles don't hurt Nissans! I was at 162K and going strong except a finicky O2 sensor, but that's nothing that midgrade gas didnt magically fix :) Unfortunately someone decided to drive in my lane going the wrong way & hit me head on (we both were going 45) thats a 90MPH collision. Amazingly -NOT buckled and blessed beyond belief- I WALKED away from the wreck w/2 airbag burns. THANKS Nissan for making such a great car,just bought a Maxima, staying loyal!
Nice commuter
Driver from OH,07/26/2007
Bought this car cheap with a blown engine (overheated) at 143k. Replaced with a 53k engine and barely ran until I replaced distributor, knock and O2 sensor, and alternator (I suggest replacing parts with new Nissan parts, otherwise, you'll be replacing them again soon). Now, if I don't look at the odometer (155k), I think that the car is only several years old. The engine and transmission (auto) were designed for each other and provide good power at both high and low RPM ranges. One major flaw on these cars are the timing chain guides, which start making loud ticking noises after about 40k, and the only solution is to remove them. Nissan got rid of these in their later models. Good car!
Been there for me for over 10 years
Like an old friend, my trusty Altima has been with me through a lot of my young adulthood. When I first got her, I remember being very happy with the swift acceleration. Over the years, I have have had a few problems, but not unusual based on the number of miles these problems occurred at.
takes a lickin and keeps on rolling
original owner from 1996 Has never needed to go bakc to dealership. Likes to eat front brakes and tires, but I drive fairly aggressiviely. Lost a few wheel covers which can add up unless you check out the junkyards. It is now my 3rd car and still runs well.
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Features & Specs

21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1996 Nissan Altima features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Nissan Altima
Used 1996 Nissan Altima Overview

The Used 1996 Nissan Altima is offered in the following submodels: Altima Sedan. Available styles include XE 4dr Sedan, GLE 4dr Sedan, GXE 4dr Sedan, and SE 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Nissan Altima?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Nissan Altimas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Nissan Altima for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Nissan Altima.

Can't find a used 1996 Nissan Altimas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Altima for sale - 3 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $25,310.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 1 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $21,482.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Altima for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $22,003.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $16,989.

Compare prices on the Used Nissan Altima for sale in Ashburn, VA to other major cities

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Nissan Altima?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Nissan lease specials
Check out Nissan Altima lease specials