Used 1999 Nissan Altima Sedan

1999 Nissan Altima
List price range
1999 Nissan Altima

Pros

  • The Altima is a solid and reliable compact that comes loaded with standard equipment items such as alloy wheels, CD player and air conditioning. It's also an entertaining drive.

Cons

  • The Altima lost its looks when it was redesigned. The quality of the construction of the materials also seems to be down from its previously high level.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

When Nissan introduced the Infiniti J30-like Altima in 1993, it was an instant hit. The term affordable luxury became synonymous with Altima, and those who wouldn't have been caught dead in the Altima's predecessor, the unloved Stanza, rushed out in droves to buy this car. Five years passed before the Altima was redesigned, and although it had been a huge seller, it was beginning to show its age.

When Nissan embarked on the redesign, their primary task was to improve on the Altima's original design and to not screw anything up. It looks like they got the formula about half right. Although the second-generation Altima is better in many ways, it doesn't have the attractive looks and luxurious feel that the original car possessed.

First, the good news. The Altima's size has been increased in nearly every dimension. This means that those riding in the back seat are no longer eating their knees, and that there is enough room in the trunk for a family getaway to the mountains. Wood trim accents make the cars look more upscale, and CD players adorn the dash of all but the lowliest models. The interior layout of the Altima is quite functional with easy-to-use buttons and dials for most of the car's secondary functions.

The bad news is that the car no longer looks like a miniature J30. The arse-end of the Altima is now wedge-shaped and rather dumpy, making the car look fat from rear three-quarter angles. Build quality seems to be down a bit as well, the models we have driven don't feel as substantial as the previous model.

The Altima SE trim level has been renamed SE-L, and comes with an equipment package that includes new color schemes, titanium tinted accessories and extra comfort and convenience features.

The Altima is still fun to drive and offers more entertainment for enthusiasts than its less-than-exciting flanks may suggest. Its crisp steering, fully independent suspension with Super Toe Control, and peppy overhead-cam four-cylinder engine provide drivers with the tools to go fast and have a good time.

While the Nissan may exhibit good value, it doesn't necessarily provide even a hint of luxury. Luxury, to Edmund's staff, implies a sort of elegance and craftsmanship that the examples we've sampled didn't have. Nevertheless, the Altima is a good buy that will probably run forever. No one is going to call it a Jr. Infiniti anymore, though.

1999 Highlights

All 1999 models get two new exterior colors, improved speakers and a new head unit for the three-in-one stereo combo. The GLE trim level gets alloy wheels added to its standard equipment list, and all alloy wheels now have a bright finish instead of a painted finish. All SE trim levels are now called SE Limited (SE-L) models and come with additional equipment.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Nissan Altima.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Excellent car
adeelb06,08/17/2012
I actually drive an SE with a Auto trans. I got the car at 202000 Km. I used it for 4 years and now it has 310000 km on it. Until 280000 this car was running great. Only got regular repairs like brakes and etc. I didn't change the battery or did an alignment or a tune up and this baby runs awesome. 5/5 for both Engine and transmission. The body tends to rust out but who can complain past 250,000 km. All in all, this is the car if you're a new buyer and need something a bit comfy and still reliable. Comfort level is extraordinary for cars in its class and age.
Best car I have ever owned
josh83,05/04/2013
I bought my Altima new in 1999, and it now has 240,000 miles. Cranks first time every time, engine still strong, transmission still shifts smoothly. I still love my Altima!
Reliable Car
scaito,02/26/2007
This has been a very reliable car. I have had this car for almost three years and only had to change the oil every three thousand miles. I've never had any problems with it.
223K Miles and Still Going
altimatelover,03/27/2012
I have 223K miles and still going. I love this car. I bought it at 12K miles in 2001. It's had very few problems. The only time I had a serious problem was the alternator went at around 170K. The interior plastic is rather cheap though and my visor attachments had problems. Pretty minor stuff. My husband believes in maintenance so we've changed out parts such as tie rods, spark plugs, radiator (was leaking), CV boot and brakes. Very little maintenance in 11 years. 4 hours in mechanic shop is longest time (alternator). Paint fading, 1 leather seat cracked. At this point the shocks could use replacement, but, even the shocks are better than most cars. 26-29 MPG. Love the Altima!
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1999 Nissan Altima Sedan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • 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
    0

More about the 1999 Nissan Altima
Used 1999 Nissan Altima Sedan Overview

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Find a used Nissan Altima for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $16,263.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 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