The Nissan Altima has succeeded where very few sedans have. It has become a practical five passenger vehicle, while still appealing to people with its handling and performance abilities. The Altima has been around for nearly 20 years, which includes for generations. Recently the Altima Coupe and Altima hybrid have hit the streets as well. Many people consider the family sedan to be one of the most competitive segments over the past decade, however the Altima has consistently been at the top. This is largely due to feature in the sportiest handling in the segment as well as a much nicer interior then it’s previous versions. On the used car market, the Altima holds its value very well and because of its reliability and durability, you can still see first-generation Altima’s on the road today. Here’s a quick look at all four generations and what you can expect from each of them.
The first-generation Nissan Altima was released from 1993 to 1997 and did not hit the ground running. The interior was criticized for looking cheap and the overall average feel. While it did have a fairly solid engine for its segment, the Altima wasn’t the smash hit that it was supposed to be. The second generation was released from 1998 to 2001 and found similar success as the original generation. For the most part, the Altima was noted for its solid handling and performance, however the overall design was simply too boring and cheap looking.
The third-generation is where the Nissan Altima really took off and found its way into the hearts of enthusiasts. It was released from 2002 until 2006. It is actually fairly similar to the current model. Compared to its predecessors, the third-generation had a body which was 6 inches longer as well as a much improved suspension and overall styling. When it was originally released, it was easily one of the most powerful family sedans on the market. While the interior styling still wasn’t well received, the powerful front-wheel-drive definitely compensated in the eyes of fans.
The fourth-generation Nissan Altima debuted in 2007 and added a Coupe to the line in 2008. The current generation of Altima’s has definitely proven to be one of the best in its segment. It is not only one of the most powerful and best performing cars, but it has also become one of the most stylish.
If you are in the market for a used Nissan Altima then there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the initial two generations will be significantly less expensive because of the poor styling, however the durability and reliability has never been questioned. On the other hand, the third and fourth generation has held their value remarkably well, which means that they will be one of the more expensive used family sedans on the market. Second, while the overall handling has been solid from the very beginning, the overall performance significantly improved over the last half decade. The same can definitely be said for the styling, which really didn’t hit the market until halfway through the third-generation.
Overall the Nissan Altima has not only proven to be one of the most reliable family sedans since its inception, but continues to make marked improvements on a consistent basis.