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.
New wheel covers, power lock logic and fresh GXE upholstery update this hot-selling sedan.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Nissan Altima.
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!
4 out of 5 stars
Driver from OH,07/26/2007
GXE 4dr Sedan
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!
4 out of 5 stars
Been there for me for over 10 years
GLE 4dr Sedan
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.
3.88 out of 5 stars
takes a lickin and keeps on rolling
GXE 4dr Sedan
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.
The Used 1996 Nissan Altima is offered in the following submodels: Altima Sedan. Available styles include XE 4dr Sedan, SE 4dr Sedan, GXE 4dr Sedan, and GLE 4dr Sedan.
Pre-owned Nissan Altima models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 150 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 1996 Nissan Altima comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
What's a good price on a Used 1996 Nissan Altima?
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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.