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.
After having relatively good luck with
my Nissan, a 17 year old in a Saturn
put a hault to it's life. She pulled
directly into my path and I broadsided
her going 40mph...her Saturn was
obliterated but my Altima held up quite
well. The airbag deployed, and there
was a signifigant amount of damage, but
nothing that injured me...I truely
believe that this car saved my life.
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.
The integrity of the motor and many of the other parts are top notch. If you are looking for a base vehicle to fix to street race, this would be a great one. With that said, I was in an accident with this vehicle. The car was totaled and I had a head injury, which has left me with some brain damage. There isn't ABS on this vehicle and the air bag didn't deploy. There were fairly new Bridgestones on the car, so I can't blame it on the tires. Luckily the seat belt locked or else I wouldn't be writing this review!
Bought this car at 60k. Repaired this car every year since then for average more than $1k a year. Replaced a lot of parts. Made a big mistake trying to keep this car. At only 131k milage, engine died. Terrible car. Avoid Nissan at any cost.