Why are nissan altimas bad?         

Which Nissan Altima Years to Avoid

If you’re in the market for a used mid-size Nissan Altima, it’s crucial to know that not all model years are created equal. The Altima, a popular offering from Japanese automaker Nissan, generally has a solid reputation for reliability. However, some model years stand out for potential issues that buyers should be wary of. In this guide, we’ll highlight the Nissan Altima years to avoid based on reported problems and discuss alternatives for a more reliable purchase.

Years with Significant Issues

2002 Nissan Altima

The 2002 Nissan Altima is flagged as a model year to avoid due to numerous complaints and over 12 recalls according to CarComplaints.com. Owners reported issues such as excessive oil consumption, catalytic converter failure, and exhaust system problems. The severity of these defects has led to the 2002 Altima receiving the “Avoid Like the Plague” seal by Car Complaints.

2005 Nissan Altima

Similar to the 2002 model, the 2005 Nissan Altima has accumulated over a thousand complaints, with notable problems in engine, body/paint, and transmission categories. One major issue reported is a rusted floor pan, with repair costs averaging around a thousand dollars. Owners also faced challenges with excessive oil consumption and climate system failures.

2009 Nissan Altima

With over 2k complaints, the 2009 version is flagged as one of the worst Nissan Altima years to avoid. A significant steering problem, particularly the steering wheel lock issue, poses a safety risk with a typical repair cost of $960. Additionally, a transmission-related whining noise can emerge around 100k miles, requiring an average repair cost of $5,700, often covered by warranty.

2013 Nissan Altima

The 2013 Nissan Altima stands out as the model year with the highest number of complaints, exceeding 3k. The primary culprit is a faulty CVT transmission system that gets stuck while driving, leading to potential safety hazards. Repairing the transmission post-warranty can cost upwards of $3,000. Another prevalent issue is the compressor rubbing against the car’s frame in the climate system, resulting in around $1,200 in repair costs.

2016 Nissan Altima

While not the most unreliable, the 2016 Altima has reported problems with its transmission system, resulting in a Consumer Reports Reliability Rating of 1 out of 5. Owners cited issues such as the vehicle stopping acceleration in traffic or transmission slipping, with a replacement cost of approximately $4,260.

Safe Alternatives to Consider

For buyers seeking a used Nissan Altima with fewer reliability issues, certain model years stand out as safer bets.

2011 Nissan Altima

The 2011 Altima is a recommended option for those looking for a sporty coupe with an understated aesthetic. With only 78 complaints reported on Car Complaints, mostly related to transmission and body/paint, this model offers a personalized approach. The average retail price for a used 2011 Altima ranges from $6,125 to $8,475.

2020 Nissan Altima

For those preferring a newer Altima, the 2020 model receives high marks with a 5 out of 5 reliability rating from Consumer Reports. Despite being less sporty than some competitors, the 2020 Altima provides excellent comfort, fuel economy, and a smooth ride. It outperforms top-rated 2020 models like the BMW 5 Series, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry.

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