Luxurious, sporty, and well-constructed, the Nissan Altima is the perfect car for those who want an Infiniti, but are stuck with a Nissan budget.
It will never happen, but we would still like to see a V-6 engine offered in the Altima.
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, the Altima is a carryover; the only change being to the emissions equipment.
If you shop smart, the Nissan GXE is a great buy. It can be outfitted with all sorts of goodies and remain well under $20,000. Watch out for the SE and GLE, though, the price of those cars has been rising, and is getting uncomfortably close to Nissan Maxima territory.
The 1997 models are virtually identical to 1996 models, except for the addition of new emissions equipment.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Nissan Altima.
I purchased my Nissan Altima 97 with little over 8000 miles. It currently has 286,437 miles on it. The car has treated me very well even though I didn't take care care of it. It still runs just as good as it did when I bought it. i haven't had to do very much work on it thus far. Just minor repairs and regular tune ups. I have driven it literally all over the country due to being in the army.
3.63 out of 5 stars
Decent car with maintenance issues
GXE 4dr Sedan
The Altima was very reliable early on, but as it aged, needed many more costly repairs and fixes. At ten years and less than 100,000, it has cost $600-1500 per year for the last five years to keep it running (not including tires!). My mechanic says there a few fundamental design flaws that show as this car ages that are costly (because they are labor intensive) to fix.
4.75 out of 5 stars
GXE 4dr Sedan
We bought this car in 2003, as a graduate student. Best $3,750 spent! Didn't like the exterior in particular, but once I got inside, I fell in love with it. Strong engine, not so great transmission. When I bought it, one of my colleagues told me: "Altima, you will get tired of it, it will never break!". He was right. In six years we replaced the tires, front breaks and the radiator. VERY cheap to replace. No rattles! OK, it's noisy inside, the ride is not what it used to be when I bought it six years ago, but what can you expect from a 12 year old car? It is a Limited Edition, it has everything my Accord'07 has (another great car)!!! Just love it! I would buy it again in a heartbeat!
3.88 out of 5 stars
GXE 4dr Sedan
I bought my Altima used at 37,000 miles in 2001 and it's still going strong at 130,000, though it's needed some major repair. I've had to replace the alternator (at 75k), one CV axle and the other will need replacement soon, the switch for the power windows and locks, and the clutch a year ago. Those are the only $200 plus repairs done in 7 years though, which is a bargain compared to the repair work other models need in that amount of time. The interior doesn't hold up well however; the vents on the dash are popping up, a sun visor fell off while I was driving, and the speedometer sticks sometimes. The fabric is cheap and stains easy.
The Used 1997 Nissan Altima is offered in the following submodels: Altima Sedan. Available styles include XE 4dr Sedan, GXE 4dr Sedan (1997.5), SE 4dr Sedan (1997.5), SE 4dr Sedan, GLE 4dr Sedan (1997.5), XE 4dr Sedan (1997.5), GLE 4dr Sedan, and GXE 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 1997 Nissan Altima comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
What's a good price on a Used 1997 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.