2009 Nissan Altima Sedan 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
As long as you perform routine maintenance you should have a long lasting Altima. The items needing attention after 120,000 miles include ignition coils and now the most important and costly single item to date, the electronic steering lock. The extended dealer warrant for the ESCL ran out in 2015 for the 2009 model. Of course mine failed a year later. There is no recall for this well known issue concerning the lock so it will leave you stranded somewhere down the road, believe it. You can bang on the box for a temporary remedy, disable it with the knowledge that you are driving with a faulty item, or cough up $1000 to get it fixed at the dealer. All good choices. The honeymoon is over. I can live with the tire press low light (how easy is it to check your own pressures?), the CVT surge when accelerating, the routine maintenance, affordable brakes and parts easily replaced, but the one item I feel entrapped by Nissan's non committal to address and fix is what burns me. Again, $1000 for a box you need to get going. Before you buy that used Altima consider this and ask if the ESCL was changed. Otherwise, it's a good comfortable car for commuting or day trips.
2009 Nissan Altima Sedan 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
It is mechanically reliable and when I took the plastic cover off the engine this year to get a better look at it I was surprised at how clean it was. The rubber hoses are holding up well. Good passing acceleration Good overall craftsmanship and sturdiness in the engine compartment, interior, body Paint is durable Stiff suspension on good roads makes for excellent handling. Nice small turning radius for a mid-sized car making it easier to park and maneuver in general
Suspension too stiff in dry weather when road conditions are bumpy, better in rainy weather. Overly sensitive to small changes in tire pressure due to a defective TPMS that had a slow leak for three years since purchase until finally it was properly diagnosed when putting on new tires. Accelerates too suddenly from zero unless you gingerly apply just a little pressure to the gas pedal. Takes some getting used to. Brakes too grabby. You have to ease in on the brake pedal. Takes some getting used to. Audio System has way too much base even at minimum setting of -5. Had to replace original unit one year from purchase because of no display. Audio quality on factory replacement unit is worse on mid-range and base. Had to replace headlights after 4 years for fogging up (improper seal). Though the headlights have good spread for detecting deer the depth of field is weak on distance. Slant of windshield makes for compromised visibility for those wearing glasses because of optic interaction distortion between windshield and prescription glasses. Note - older cars with less slant to windshields have much better visibility. Poor rear view vision out rear windows requires extensive use of side mirrors. Large truck and van drivers probably won't notice but the average car driver will. MPG is less than advertised though that can be attributed to poor road conditions in Wake County NC and poorly timed traffic lights, and lately, drivers distracted by their cell phones. Original tires made for poor handling. After they wore out I bought the Michelin Defender which improved drive-ability drastically, like night verses day.