Last updated on October 4th, 2023 at 11:17 am
The Nissan Altima has been around since as early as 1992 and has become one of the best-selling midsize sedans in the market.
After almost three decades, Nissan has succeeded in selling over 2.5 million units of the Altima.
Over the years, The Altima is reliable and an excellent choice for families, new drivers, commutes, etc. It is far from being expensive, but how far can you expect an Altima to go?
Here are some basic questions answered, which you might have if you are planning to get an Altima.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last?
The Nissan Altima is expected to last somewhere between 250,000 to 300,000 miles or 15 to 20 years with proper care.
Depending on car maintenance and driving styles, it can go well beyond 300,000 miles.
Altima is known for being long-lasting and for its durability.
It is a preference for Uber drivers and taxi fleets around the globe who needs a car that can withhold the test of time.
You can find Altimas in the used car market with high mileage such as 200,000 miles or even more but still in good condition and without any significant problems.
Driving habits and maintenance play a huge part in any vehicle’s longevity.
As for the Altima, with only simple regular maintenance, you can expect the car to give you service for a long time.
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Longevity of Nissan Altima Compared to Other Similar Cars
Here is how the Nissan Altima performs compared to other similar cars.
Nissan Altima vs. Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry lasts over 200,000 miles and up to 250,000 miles on average. In contrast, the Altima can last up to 300,000 miles and even more. So, Altima lasts longer than Camry.
Altima requires a maintenance cost of $483 annually and the Camry requires about $388.
Repairpal rates the Toyota Camry 4.0 out of 5.0, placing it at 3rd position out of 24 for midsized cars.
Nissan Altima got a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 according to Repairpal and ranked 11th out of 24 for midsize cars.
J.D. Power scores both the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry 82 out of 100.
Even though the Altima has a higher maintenance budget than the Camry, Altimas can last longer than Camrys.
Nissan Altima vs. Chevrolet Malibu
Talking about mileage, the Chevrolet Malibu can only go up to 150,000 to 200,000 miles on average, much fewer than the Altima can go up to.
The Malibu is more expensive in terms of maintenance cost than the Altima. Annually, a Chevrolet Malibu‘s maintenance cost can go up to $532, while the Nissan only needs $483.
Repairpal rates both the car 4.0 out of 5.0. The Altima secures 11th position, and Chevrolet is 9th out of 24 for midsize cars.
As for reliability, both models get an equal reliability rate.
J.D. Power scores Malibu an 80 out of 100, and Altima gets 82 out of 100.
Considering all the factors, it is safe to say that the Nissan Altima would be a better choice than Chevrolet Malibu.
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Nissan Altima vs. Honda Accord
Before suffering serious failures, both cars can do well up to 250,000 to 300,000 miles.
The total yearly cost for repairs and maintenance for the Accord is $400, which is $83 less than that needed for the Altima.
On Repairpal, the ratings for Camry are 4.5 out of 5.0 and rank 1st out of 24 for midsize cars, which is excellent.
Meanwhile, Altima gets 4.0 out of 5.0 and ranks 11th out of 24 for midsize cars in Repairpal.
J.D. Power scores the Accord 83 out of 100, and Altima gets 82 out of 100.
Judging by the qualities, the Honda accord would be an excellent investment in the long run than the Altima.
Nissan Altima vs. Kia Optima
The Kia Optima is expected to last 200,000 miles or a bit more before developing severe issues. The Altima can go well beyond 300,000 miles with good care compared to that.
The Optima costs about $471 per year for maintenance, which is almost similar to that needed for Altima.
Repairpal gives Optima and Nissan 4.0 out of 5.0, which places Optima at 8th and Altima 11th out of 24 for midsize cars.
The Optima and Altima both score 82 out of 100 in J.D. Power.
If you have to choose between the Altima and Optima, it is safe to say that the Altima wins, judging by their mileage.
|Car Model||Nissan Altima||Toyota Camry||Chevrolet Malibu||Honda Accord||Kia Optima|
|Mileage||250,000 – 300,000 miles||200,000 – 250,000 miles||150,000 – 200,000 miles||250,000 – 300,000 miles||200,000 miles and a bit more|
|Annual Maintenance Cost||$483||$388||$532||$400||$471|
|Repairpal Ratings||4.0 out of 5.0||4.0 out of 5.0||4.0 out of 5.0||4.5 out of 5.0||4.0 out of 5.0|
|J.D. Power Scores||82 out of 100||82 out of 100||80 out of 100||83 out of 100||82 out of 100|
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Best and Worst Years of the Nissan Altima
Based on overall reliability ratings and consumer reviews, the best year for the Nissan Altima was 2004. That year the Altima stood out as it was more powerful and had more space than its competitors.
The 2011 and 2012 years are also the best years for the Altima.
New upgrades such as a Smart Key, parking camera and Bluetooth availability for mobile connectivity were added to the third generation.
2020 year model got 5 out of 5 ratings.
Judging by the number of complaints, the 2013 models of Altima are wining. There were 3000+ complaints about that year’s model only.
Another year to avoid is 2016. The 2016 Altima has problems with the transmission system.
2009 models had a major safety risk, which is steering wheel lock. You can also hear a noise that gets louder as the car accelerates in those models.
Is Nissan Altimas Expensive to Maintain?
According to Repairpal, the Nissan Altima has an annual maintenance cost of $483, not a high budget.
How long do the tires last?
Altima tires last for about 3-5 years if they are well maintained. This means almost 60,000 miles on an annual basis.
The longevity of tires is dependent on other factors such as road conditions, frequency of driving, and extreme temperatures.
Aggressive driving and heavy braking cause tears to form more rapidly on the tires.
To prolong the life of your tires, regular wheel alignment and tire rotation are important. It is also essential to maintain the pressure of your tires.
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How long do the brakes last?
Driving habits play a massive role in how long your brakes will last. If you go through a lot of stop-and-go traffic, your brakes are more likely to wear out sooner.
The average Nissan Altima brake pads last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. With proper care, the brake pads can go well over 80,000 miles.
To increase the lifespan of your brakes, a smooth driving style is required.
How long does the transmission last?
CVT transmissions in the Nissan Altima are expected to last between 130,000 and 180,000 miles or 6.5 years. Older CVTs may not have the capability to last long.
With scheduled maintenance, the transmission system is expected to run for a long time without needing any major repair.
How fast should you expect rust to form a Nissan Altima?
According to reports, the Nissan Altima has issues related to rust.
The floorboards are more prone to rust. People who own the 2005 model reported that they found their floorboards rusting for no reason.
Hundreds of the Nissan Altima owners have complained that the floorboards on their older Altimas are rusting through.
Some models of the Altima have a concave floorboard without a proper drainage system which allows excess moisture to collect and eventually leads to corrosion.
The cost to repair this issue is higher than the vehicle’s worth.
Factors such as living in the Rust Belt in coastal or snowy areas also speed up the time for rust to form.
The exhaust, wheels, bumper area, hood and manifold are other rust-prone areas on a Nissan Altima.
However, rusting and corrosion are absent in the Altima’s 4th, 5th and generations.
For the newest generation of Nissan Altima, simple rust prevention measures such as anti-rust sprays, ceramic coating, regular cleaning and keeping the interior dry are enough to help prevent rust.
It is essential to wash the undercarriage of your vehicle during regular washing.
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Is the Nissan Altima reliable?
Counting on factors based on unscheduled maintenance cost, frequency and severity, a vehicle is judged if reliable.
Reliability is one of the crucial factors to consider if you plan to purchase a car for everyday use.
The Nissan Altima has been rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Repairpal and ranked within the top 10 on the Repairpal reliability scale.
J.D. Power scores the Altima an 82 out of 100 in terms of reliability and quality.
Consumer Reports rates the Altima as above average for reliability.
According to Vehicle History Reviews, Expert Review gave the Altima 4.4 out of 5.0
The new models coming out, which offer hybrid options, proves that.
Nissan can repeatedly make the same reliable car and upgrade the design and technology.
Nissan Altima model year list
Starting with the latest,
L34 Sixth Generation:
- 2021 Nissan Altima
- 2020 Nissan Altima
- 2019 Nissan Altima
L33 Fifth Generation:
- 2018 Nissan Altima
- 2017 Nissan Altima
- 2016 Nissan Altima
- 2015 Nissan Altima
- 2014 Nissan Altima
- 2013 Nissan Altima
L32A/D32 Fourth generation:
- 2012 Nissan Altima
- 2011 Nissan Altima
- 2010 Nissan Altima
- 2009 Nissan Altima
- 2008 Nissan Altima
- 2007 Nissan Altima
L31 Third Generation:
- 2006 Nissan Altima
- 2005 Nissan Altima
- 2004 Nissan Altima
- 2003 Nissan Altima
- 2002 Nissan Altima
L30 Second Generation:
- 2001 Nissan Altima
- 2000 Nissan Altima
- 1999 Nissan Altima
- 1998 Nissan Altima
U13 First Generation
- 1997 Nissan Altima
- 1996 Nissan Altima
- 1995 Nissan Altima
- 1994 Nissan Altima
- 1993 Nissan Altima
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Tips to extend the life of your Nissan Altima
Here are some tips to keep your Nissan Altima running for as long as possible.
- Keeping up with regular maintenance.
- Regularly wash your vehicle to avoid corrosion. If you have recently taken your car to the beach or live near coastal areas, wash your car.
- Avoid aggressive driving, go easy on the brakes and the gas pedals.
- Fill up fluids whenever necessary and keep the engine oil in check.
- Be cautious of any unusual smells or odd noises. Check the vehicle for signs of wear and tears.
- Do not overload your car, keep the vehicle as light as possible.
- It is better not to skimp on high-quality car parts. Always replace the parts with OEM or quality options.
- Rustproofing is another excellent way to help prolong the life of your vehicle. It is a product applied to parts of the vehicle to prevent rust from forming or expanding.
- Take the car to a certified dealer.
- Lastly, keep the pressure of your tires in check.
Compared to the price point, the Nissan Altima has proven to be a dependable car. It is a vehicle that is very comfortable to use daily.
The longevity of any vehicle relies primarily on how it is being used and maintained.
Remember that it is not uncommon for your Altima to bring take it in for repair.
Hopefully, you got any questions you had about the reliability of the Nissan Altima answered.
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