Are you planning to purchase a Nissan Altima and you are asking yourself how long do Nissan Altimas last? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because, in this article, there will be quite a lot to cover on the Nissan Altima where we are going to elaborate on everything you need to know.
- What Is The Nissan Altima?
- Altima Generations
- Altima Specs
- Altima Problems
- How Long Do They Last?
Purchasing a car is not an easy decision. Why we are saying this? Well, because it is true. Getting a car nowadays will cost you an arm and a leg. It is not like in the good old days when you could even purchase a car for a few hundred bucks.
Nowadays cars are crazy expensive and cost a whole fortune. That’s why you need to get yourself informed and educated on a certain model of a vehicle and determine if this is the right car for you.
The thing you want from a car is the car to last for a really long time. This means that the car should have very few problems and the ownership should be a smooth sailing and not a struggle in a storm. Nobody wants problems and this is why we are here to help you out understand more about this certain model.
First, we are going to learn what is the Altima and see about the generations of this model. Then, we are going to cover the latest generation of the Nissan Altima and see more about the specs of this model is offered in.
After that, we will discuss the problems that the Altima suffers from, as well as the years to avoid and the best model years. Lastly, we will learn how long do Nissan Altimas last.
Now before we dive into more complex topics like the question of how long do Nissan Altimas last. Let’s first discuss the Altima in general, if you’re curious to learn what this model is all about. So, we need to further elaborate on this car and see what is the core concept behind the Altima.
The Nissan Altima is a mid-size sedan that is sold in the US since 1992. This was Nissan’s take on the mid-size segment. Since this segment, even though less popular now, back in the 90s, it was practically booming.
Back in the day SUVs were off-road vehicles and not grocery-getters as they are now. So, back in the good old days, we predominantly used sedans for most purposes.
So, there was the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, the Hyundai Sonata (to learn more, check out our explainer on the Hyundai Sonata life expectancy), and also the Nissan Altima. And the Altima was easily one of the go-to cars since Nissan’s reliability in the 90s was something on a different level.
And this is not only the case with Nissan but also with a lot of other carmakers as well. Quality dropped as well as sales. People back in the day were not learning of how long do Nissan Altimas last.
They just go to the Nissan dealership and get it right off the bat. It was that simple since Nissan was one of the top-tier carmakers here in the US. Long before they started using these unreliable CVT transmissions that many people struggle with.
But you shouldn’t worry. The Altima of today is not a bad car as it was a few years ago. So, buying one is not the worst idea. But more on that, we will cover in a bit.
Nissan Altima Generations
Now let’s discuss the different generations of the Nissan Altima before we learn more about how long do Nissan Altimas last.
What is worth noting about the Altima is that there is a total of six generations. The first generation of the Altima was an export version of the Nissan Bluebird. This model was introduced in 1992 and was produced until 1997 when it was discontinued.
The model was replaced with the second generation of the Altima in 1998. And this model, unlike the previous generation was designed from the ground up as an Altima for the American audience. Even though it still shares the same platform with the Nissan Bluebird. The production of this model lasted until 2001.
Then in 2002, the third generation was introduced to the market. This generation was a big improvement in all aspects. Especially when it comes to safety. Since the car became bulkier and overall more structurally rigid. This model was produced until 2006.
In 2007, the fourth generation of the Altima was introduced. This fourth generation was even better in all aspects. Especially with new technologies. The model even got a hybrid version for people who want to save more money on gas. The production of this model lasted until 2013.
In 2013, the fifth generation of the Altima was introduced and the model was produced until 2018 when it was replaced with the current sixth generation. But how long do Nissan Altimas last? More on that, we are going to discuss in a bit.
Nissan Altima Specs
Now let’s learn a little bit more about the specs of the Altima before we learn how long do Nissan Altimas last. Knowing the specs would be really useful for people who are looking to purchase a new vehicle.
As we noted previously this is a mid-size car. This means that the Altima falls in the same class as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. These are the biggest competitors to this model and if you don’t find yourself convinced that the Altima is a good option. You might want to check them out as well.
Nevertheless, this model was introduced in 2018 and is still in production. The car is assembled in two factories in the US. One assembly is at the Smyrna Assembly Plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. While the other is in Canton, Mississippi.
This vehicle is a 4-door sedan that comes either in front-wheel drive or rear-wheel-drive. The car is based on the Nissan D platform. But what about the numbers and how long do Nissan Altimas last? We will answer that question shortly.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last, Specs #1: Nissan Altima Dimensions & Size
Now let’s discuss the dimensions and size of the Nissan Altima before we cover how long do Nissan Altimas last. Knowing the dimensions is always a good idea because this will basically help you out when it comes to determining if this vehicle’s size is right for you.
The Altima has a wheelbase of 111.2 inches and an overall length of 193 inches. It is a long car, even though it is considered a mid-size vehicle. This extra length guarantees that your passengers will not struggle inside during long-distance journeys because the legroom is plenty.
The car is 72.8 inches wide and 57 inches tall. The curb weight of the car varies between 3,164 lbs and 3,472 lbs. The weight difference is mainly because there is an AWD model, as well as different engines to choose from. And some of these engines and components are heavier than others.
But overall, the Altima is a pretty lightweight vehicle. What about how long do Nissan Altimas last? More on this, we are going to cover in a bit.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last, Specs #2: Nissan Altima Engines & Transmissions
In terms of engines, it is worth noting that there are two options, which is frankly better than one. The base engine is a 2.5L inline-4 engine that is creating about 182hp and 178lb-ft of torque.
The second more powerful engine is a 2.0L inline-4 engine. This engine creates 236hp and 267lb-ft of torque. How does it have so much more, even as a 2.0L? Well, because of turbocharging. This engine implements a turbocharger. So, if you want this engine you will have to pay a bit extra.
In terms of transmissions, you only get a single-speed Nissan CVT automatic transmission. This type of transmission is the only available option. Which is a bit disappointing, to be honest. And more about that we are going to see why is this the case next before we cover how long do Nissan Altimas last.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last, Specs #3: Nissan Altima Fuel Economy
The fuel economy of the 2.5L engine is pretty much excellent. The model gets 27 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. With a combined fuel economy of 32 mpg.
On the other hand, the 2.0L turbo is not performing good as well as the 2.5L. This is the case because the engine makes more power. More power requires more gas. So, the numbers for the 2.0L engine are 25 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined.
Just take note that these are the EPA numbers from tests performed in a lab. Real-world numbers might differ by some degree. But how long do Nissan Altimas last? More on this, we are going to cover it in a bit.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last, Specs #4: Nissan Altima Safety
Now let’s discuss safety before we dive into how long do Nissan Altimas last. And this is an important topic since you don’t want to get an unsafe vehicle.
The 2022 model specifically didn’t get the best scores possible. Especially on the side impact test where the model was pretty much obliterated and was evaluated as “Poor” on the tests performed by the IIHS. More about the test, you can check in the video above.
But this is only the side impact test. On the other tests, the car got “Good” scores. And as we all know. On the IIHS tests, a Good score is basically the highest score.
Overall, you don’t want to get T-boned in an Altima, that’s for sure. Except for that, the frontal safety is pretty much ok. But how much do Nissan Altimas last? More on this, we are going to cover it in a bit.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last, Specs #5: Nissan Altima Price
In terms of pricing, the Nissan Altima starts at low as $26,385. Which in our opinion is a steal of a deal. For this amount of money, you get a really large car with a capable 2.5L engine. But remember that this is the base MSRP price. With some taxes, the price can raise a little bit.
The model that probably everybody wants is the 2.0L turbo. This is the SR trim and this Altima will set you back about $36,085. So, if you want to have the best that Nissan Altima can offer, this is the way to go. But how long do Nissan Altimas last? More about that, we are going to answer next.
Problems With Nissan Altima
Now let’s move on to the problems of the Nissan Altima before we learn how long do Nissan Altimas last. Why do we think that this is necessary?
Well, when you are buying a car, knowing the problems is one of the top priorities for you. Mainly because you will be prepared in advance for possible problems that could arise in the car. As you probably know, some cars are more susceptible to problems than others.
This is why in the following chapters, we are going to elaborate on the problems in detail for the last two generations. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last, Problems #1: Nissan Altima Engine Problems
Now before we dive into how long do Nissan Altimas last, let’s take a look at the engine problems that these last two generations struggled with.
When it comes to the engines of the first generation, there are issues with the QR25DE 2.5L engine. More specifically, this engine has a pre-catalyst that can fail and cause some of the material to enter the combustion and ruin the engine. If this component makes problems it is recommended to be replaced.
Also, the engine has problems with the alternator failing since it is located next to the exhaust manifold. Also, this engine has a problem with drinking oil. And it is a smart idea to install an oil catch can. But except for that, it is a good engine.
The 3.5L V6 on the other hand has problems with increased oil consumption as the engine wears down. There are also timing chain tensioner failures that can cause the chain to rattle and jump. Also, this engine can leak oil from the valve cover gasket.
For more context, you can check out our guide on the valve cover gasket replacement cost. On top of that, we’ve also previously discussed what a car oil leak entails, in addition to the oil leak repair cost, and the symptoms of an oil pan gasket leak.
But except for these minor issues. Both engines are fairly reliable and durable in the process. For the newer engines on the current generation of the Altima, there are no major complaints. But how long do Nissan Altimas last? More about that, we are going to cover it in a bit.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last, Problems #2: Nissan Altima Transmission Problems
Now let’s discuss more about the transmission problems of the Nissan Altima. And when it comes to these issues, there is plenty to cover. Especially for the fifth generation where these problems reached the peak in terms of overall reports.
Especially the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 models are probably one of the worst. For the 2013, there is a total of 177 complaints for the transmission shuddering, hesitating, and running rough. And 71 complaints when the transmission stopped working altogether.
The 2014 model year isn’t much better with 71 failures reported and more than 50 other complaints. And the following two model years follow the same trend.
Overall, the CVT transmissions used by Nissan are not the best. So, this is one of the downsides of owning a Nissan with a CVT. Especially models built up to 2016. Since they have the most reports on them from any other cars concerning the transmission.
If you want to purchase one, make sure that the transmission shifts well. But how long do Nissan Altimas last? More about that, we will cover it in a bit.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last, Problems #3: Other Miscellaneous Problems With The Altima
Before we learn how long do Nissan Altimas last, let’s learn about the other problems. Other problems with the Nissan Altima from 2013 include problems with the accessories. Infotainment issues and backup camera problems, broken door handles, and problems with the appliances inside of the car.
There were also reports of cracked windshields, AC malfunctions, and the smell of mold from the AC. AC blowing hot air. There were also problems with the steering on the 2015 model and many reports reported that the wheel likes to wander around at highway speeds.
Overall, after 2016 the reports drop quite significantly and there are fewer reports on problems compared to some of the earlier model years. Which is a good thing.
Nissan Altima Reliability
Now let’s discuss the overall Nissan Altima reliability before we learn about how long do Nissan Altimas last. And we can say that the reliability of this model is pretty average.
This was mainly due to the fact that between 2013 and 2016, there were quite a lot of issues with this car. Especially transmission and electrical problems. So, these factors affect the overall reliability rating. We can give this model a 3/5 in this aspect.
Not great, not terrible either. In comparison, the Camry and the Accord are far more reliable than the Altima.
Nissan Altima Years To Avoid
When it comes to the Nissan Altima years to avoid. We would definitely advise that you avoid the following model years. And these are 2013, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Starting from 2017, there are fewer reports on problems with the Altima. This is a really good thing because newer cars got better and the problems were patched.
If you want to learn more about model year-specific issues, we’ve plenty of other resources on the Altima. That includes our guides on the problems with the 2008 Nissan Altima, the Nissan Altima 2013 common problems, as well as the Nissan Altima 2014 common problems.
Best Nissan Altima Years
When it comes to the best Nissan Altima years, we would advise that you go for the 2017 model year or newer.
By doing this, you will probably avoid dealing with annoying transmission problems that plague the earlier model year of the fifth generation. Also, the new sixth generation of the Altima is really good in this aspect with not many reports of problems.
So, be sure you’re diligent about the Nissan Altima model years to avoid while you’re busy analyzing whether are Nissan Altimas good cars. But how long do Nissan Altimas last? More about that, we are going to cover it in a bit.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last
So, how long do Nissan Altimas last? Well, the answer to this question really depends. The engines used on these cars are really bulletproof and refined by Nissan to perfection over the years. So, they can easily last for 200,000+ miles in most cases.
The only drawback is the CVT automatic. Especially between 2012 and 2016. There are many reports on transmission problems during this period and if you have an Altima from this era, you will highly likely need to rebuild or replace the transmission at least once in your ownership, let’s say if you own the car for more than 10 years.
This is the case because Nissan CVT transmissions were quite bad, at least until recently. So, you need to be prepared to tackle these problems.
How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last: In Conclusion…
In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the Nissan Altima. First, we learned about the model and the specs that the newest Altima generation packs under the hood.
Then we discussed the problems with the last two generations and learned a little bit about the issues. As well as the best, and worst years, and the reliability. Lastly, we learned how long do Nissan Altimas last.
FAQs On How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
Where Is Nissan Altima Made
The current model of the Nissan Altima is produced in two factories in the US. One in Smyrna, Tennessee. And the other factory is in Canton, Mississippi. This model is also assembled in China.
Are Nissans Expensive To Maintain
Overall, Nissan is not made to be expensive to maintain. The expensive Nissan models are Infiniti, which is their luxury brand. But what makes Nissan models expensive is the unreliable CVT transmission that often requires complete replacement. So, try to avoid it and you will be good in most cases.
What Is High Mileage For A Nissan Altima
A high-mileage Nissan Altima is anywhere above 200,000 miles. Altima engines last for a really long time. And even if you get one with 100,000 miles, you can use this car for the next ten years with no problems. The main concern when it comes to Nissan is the CVT automatic.
What Year Nissan Altima To Avoid
The years to avoid are the following, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. These model years have the most reports on issues concerning the transmission on carcomplaints.com.
Does Nissan Altima Have Transmission Problems
Yes, the ones that have a CVT automatic have problems with it. Especially models built between 2012 and 2016. There are many reports of these transmissions causing problems or completely failing. So, before buying one, make sure that the transmission is good.
How Long Does A CVT Transmission Last
The average life expectancy for a CVT transmission is somewhere in the range of 100,000 to 120,000 miles. But not all of them last for that long. Nissan CVT transmissions can even break down at 30,000 miles. Especially on the earlier models. In recent years, it seems like they sorted out the problems.