Purchased this as my first new car out of college in July 2005. It's had a few minor issues but overall has been a solid vehicle. I only expected to keep it for 5 years, but now i'm planning to drive it until it's dead.
It had 2 issues brand new from the factory, both warranty repairs, but both left lasting impressions on me. First, one of the rear tail lights wasn't plugged in. Didn't know for a couple months until leaving a bar one night a coworker called me in a panic and said you better get off the road you have a bad tail light! Took it to the dealer and they were like wow it wasn't plugged in all the way and some pins were vent. The other issue was also terrifying. If i was making a right turn with my blinker on, as i'd exit the turn the blinker would click off, and so would my head lights. Took a bit of jiggling to get it to come back on.
Other than oil changes at ~6000 mile intervals I've only had minor repairs:
1. Crankshaft position sensor (as did everyone else with this car) at 60k
2. Serpentine belt at 90k
3. DIY Brakes and rotors at 90k (needed rotots at 50k though)
4. Front end inner tie rod at 150k
5. Front struts at 150k (needed them since 100k though)
The car has really good interior quality. Nothing feels cheap. Leather is nice. Fabrics are nice. Bose is nice. Nothing is falling apart even at 10 years old.
Good performance for a 4-cyl. Good gas mileage for a car of the era.
The biggest negative about the car is road noise, both bumps and wind. After a highway trip i feel deaf.
I've had my nissan for 8 yrs and she ran smooth when all was proper but I was one of the unfortunate owners that ran into a bad catalytic converter. Common with this car 02-06. Started with a simple overheating issue. Once the water pump, radiator fans, and thermostat were all replaced it no longer overheated codes read bad crank/cam pos sensor, fuel ratio issue 0420. replaced the sensors, soon followed by a head gasket fix and new valve cover gaskets, played nice for a few months then started misfiring bad again out of nowhere because soon to be diagnosed bad catalytic converter. engine hasn't seized so time to take it apart again and see if it's worth fixing. Total Nightmare.
I bought this car used and have had it for the last 6 years. I haven't been the best with maintenance on the car, and I think that's important to note. I regularly went 7-10k miles before an oil change. The car has over 200k miles and has had very few issues. Engine mounts have been replaced, ignition coil, rotors and wheel bearings... The only irritation I've had is with the headlights. They have been replaced more than I would have expected and they get very cloudy. Otherwise this car is Ah maze ing! Amazing... My son and I took a road trip from Cali to Arizona and back (where it turned over 200k) and the car was completely reliable. We were comfortable and had fun driving fast and without caution to the age and mileage. The head unit and rear speakers were upgraded for current technology. My son is excited to have this car as a sophomore in college when I get a new one. We also own an Xterra... Oh should note the interior space is better than most midsize suv. Our family is much more comfy in the Altima then some suv's we've rented, way more space then the Xterra.
It really is the best car I have ever owned! I basically just drive it. I bought from a friend six years ago with 50,000 miles. Now I have 276,000 miles on it and all I have done is basic maintenance, struts, and one sensor.
It never breaks down. The motor still runs smooth. It's still peppy, though I don't push it like I did when I first bought it. I expect to see well over 300K miles out of this one.
I purchased this car used in 2009.
I have the 3.5 SE trim with pretty much all available addons. This car is very fast and handles extremely well, its a slick car. Good interior too, although getting a little dated in 2014.
Unfortunately my reliability has been so-so and I've had to shell out some expensive repairs.
Timing chain, Two O2 sensors, Crankshaft positioning sensor, Catalytic converter (OUCH!). I have 86k miles too, mostly freeway driving.
When this car is up and running its a blast to drive, but reliability can be really spotty sometimes. The car does rattle sometimes too when driving, but nothing too alarming with the music on.