best & worst Nissan Altima years

Best & Worst Nissan Altima Years | Expert Guide About Nissan Altima Year to Avoid

When purchasing a Nissan Altima, the most popular midsize sedan on the market, choosing the right model year can make all the difference in performance, reliability, and overall satisfaction.

With a wide range of options available throughout its history, it is essential to identify both the Best & Worst Nissan Altima Years before making a decision.

Whether you are interested in purchasing a new or used vehicle, we will provide insights into which model years offer exceptional value for money and which may be better avoided.  So buckle up and prepare to explore the best & worst Nissan Altima years that have graced our roads.

What Are the Best Years for the Nissan Altima?

Regarding the Nissan Altima, enthusiasts and experts have constantly debated which years stand out as the best. After careful analysis, this popular sedan’s 1993, 1996, and 2019 onwards models truly shine.

The 1993 Altima marked the introduction of this vehicle to the American market and showcased its exceptional reliability and fuel efficiency.

Its sleek design and powerful engine options set a high standard for future iterations. Now we are going to discuss some of the best & worst Nissan Altima years. 

1996 Nissan Altima-Best Year for Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima had its best years starting in 1993, when it entered the US car market. Equipped with a powerful twin-cam four-cylinder engine, it boasted a remarkable 150 horsepower, setting itself apart from its competitors.

The Altima was introduced as a replacement for the Nissan Stanza, which had gained popularity in the American market during the 1970s to late 1980s. 

Not only did the Altima catch the attention of car enthusiasts with its performance, but it also proved to be highly reliable, with very few recorded complaints.

best & worst Nissan Altima years

2019 to 2022 Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima had its heyday in the 1990s, when it achieved great success. However, the 2010 models faced significant engine problems that marred their reputation. Fast forward to 2019, and things have turned around for the better.

The release of the sixth-generation Nissan Altima brought improvements, offering a solid standard horsepower of 188. But wait, there’s more! The newer models now provide an outstanding horsepower of 248.

Not only does the Altima boast impressive power, but it also showcases technological advancements like automatic emergency braking, enhancing safety on the road. 

This sedan is revered for its spacious interior, providing ample room for drivers and passengers alike. With its recent success and notable features, it’s safe to say that the Nissan Altima has reclaimed its position as a reliable choice for consumers in recent years.

The best & worst Nissan Altima years are:

The best Nissan Altima yearsThe worst years for the Nissan Altima
2019 onwards2009

Worst Years For The Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima, a popular sedan known for its reliability and performance, has had its fair share of ups and downs. A few are particularly troublesome for this vehicle among the different model years available.
Here we will discuss some shortly:

best & worst Nissan Altima years

2002 Nissan Altima-Worst Nissan Altima Year

The 2002 Nissan Altima has often been regarded as one of the worst years for this popular midsize sedan. One major issue plaguing this model was its excessive oil consumption.

Many owners reported that their engines used an alarming amount of oil, resulting in frequent mechanic trips and costly repairs. This problem became particularly evident after reaching around 97,000 miles, leaving many Altima drivers frustrated and disappointed.

Despite these issues, it’s important to note that not all Nissan Altimas from 2002 experienced these problems. Some owners reported a smooth driving experience with no major engine issues or excessive oil consumption.

Suppose you are in the market for a used Nissan Altima and want to avoid potential headaches. In that case, you should thoroughly research specific models and check their maintenance history before purchasing.

2005 Nissan Altima:

2005 marked a significant milestone for the Nissan Altima, but unfortunately, not for all the right reasons.

While many car enthusiasts consider the Altima one of the most reliable and well-performing sedans on the market, this year’s model brought forth many troubling issues that tarnished its reputation.

From rusting floor pans to motor mounts breaking unexpectedly, owners faced various frustrating problems. To add insult to injury, some unlucky drivers even experienced their cars abruptly shutting down mid-drive, posing serious safety concerns.

Despite being regarded as one of the best years for the Nissan Altima due to its sleek design and powerful performance, this accolade was overshadowed by these recurring issues plaguing unsuspecting owners.

2009 Nissan Altima

The 2009 Nissan Altima proved to be a significant improvement over its predecessors. While previous models had faced numerous issues, the 2009 version addressed many of these concerns.

best & worst Nissan Altima years

This year, they also presented a new challenge for Nissan Altima owners. The most notable problem was the car’s frequent inability to start. This issue led to frustration and inconvenience for many individuals who owned this model.

Despite this setback, the 2009 Nissan Altima was still considered one of the best years for this vehicle. It offered a sleek design, a comfortable interior, and impressive fuel efficiency. The sedan also boasts advanced safety features, making it an appealing choice for families and daily commuters.

Nissan worked diligently to resolve the starting problem in subsequent models, ensuring that future iterations of the Altima were more reliable. Despite this flaw, the 2009 Altima was a favorite among its owners due to its overall performance and value.

2013 Nissan Altima

The 2013 Nissan Altima is not the best year for this model, as it has been awarded the notorious “Avoid Like the Plague” badge by Car Complaints. This particular Altima represents the fifth generation of Nissan Altima models.

It has some significant problems, primarily revolving around its transmission. Numerous owners have reported severe transmission issues that require replacement at a surprisingly low mileage of just 55,000 miles.

Seeing such a critical component fail so prematurely is concerning, and forcing many Altima drivers to undergo costly repairs is concerning.

These widespread complaints about the 2013 Nissan Altima’s transmission raise serious concerns about its reliability and durability.

Potential buyers should be aware of this recurring issue and consider whether they will take on the associated risk. In addition to these transmission troubles, other common complaints include excessive oil consumption and engine vibrations.

It is essential for consumers to thoroughly research and explore all available information before deciding on purchasing a 2013 Nissan Altima.

Considering the considerable number of reports regarding transmission failures in relatively low-mileage vehicles, it might be wise to consider other years or even different car models altogether.

Investing in a vehicle requires careful consideration to ensure the best choice without major headaches.

While there may be positive aspects to the 2013 Nissan Altima, potential buyers must weigh them against these recurring transmission problems that plague this particular model.

best & worst Nissan Altima years

What Years Have the Most Complaints?

Regarding complaints, some years have stood out for the Nissan Altima. Among the recent models, CarComplaints reports only nine registered complaints about the 2020 Nissan Altima.

It has fared relatively well in terms of customer satisfaction. The 2019 Nissan Altima received 23 complaints, a moderate number compared to previous years.

Some earlier models experienced significantly higher complaint numbers. For instance, the 2013 Nissan Altima recorded a staggering 928 complaints, making it one of the worst years for this vehicle model. The 2009 Nissan Altima had its fair share, with 652 complaints reported.

Going further, the 2002 Nissan Altima amassed 623 complaints over time. These numbers highlight the stark difference in customer experiences between those troubled years and recent years.

It is worth noting that although these complaint figures indicate potential issues specific to each year, they do not encompass every aspect or problem faced by Nissan Altima owners.

Other factors, such as mileage, usage conditions, and maintenance, can also contribute to customers’ satisfaction with or dissatisfaction with their vehicles.

Keeping track of such data can help buyers make more informed decisions when purchasing a used or new Nissan Altima model from different production years.

It is also important to note that manufacturers often continuously improve their vehicles based on customer feedback and experience gained from previous models.

It is essential for consumers to thoroughly research and explore all available information before deciding on purchasing a 2013 Nissan Altima.

A vehicle requires careful consideration to ensure the best choice without major headaches. While there may be positive aspects to the 2013 Nissan Altima, potential buyers must weigh them against these recurring transmission problems that plague it.

What Problems Do Nissan Altimas Have?

Like any other car model, the Nissan Altima has had its fair share of problems over the years. The most reported issues are the engine, transmission, and steering wheel.

Engine problems:

Regarding engine problems, some Nissan Altima owners have encountered issues such as excessive oil consumption. It can lead to engine overheating or failure if not addressed promptly. There have been recalls for faulty fuel pump systems, which could result in stalling or loss of power while driving.

Transmission problems:

Transmission problems have also plagued certain years of the Nissan Altima. Some owners have complained about transmission jerking or slipping during gear changes, leading to a bumpy ride and potential safety concerns. This issue tends to be more prevalent in older models.

Steering Wheel problems:

Another area where some Altima owners have experienced problems is with the steering wheel. Reports include issues with loose or vibrating steering wheels, which can affect the overall control and handling of the vehicle. Steering system failures have been attributed to faulty components, requiring repairs and replacements.

Comparison of these issues:

It’s worth mentioning that while these problems exist within some Nissan Altimas, repair costs, and occurrences may vary among different model years.

For instance, according to consumer reports and owner testimonials, certain years, such as 2002–2006, are often regarded as having more frequent and severe issues than others.

Some Nissan Altima model years have proven significantly more reliable. The 2013 Altima has been frequently praised for its improved fuel efficiency and redesigned exterior.

The 2019 Altima introduced several advanced safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Although the Nissan Altima is generally considered a dependable vehicle in its class, it has common problems that prospective buyers should be aware of before making a purchase decision.

Honda Accord:

The Honda Accord is a top contender in the market, with prices ranging from approximately $30,000 to $45,000. Now in its eleventh generation, this car has consistently ranked high among midsized cars.

Both customers and reviewers highly praise its impressive fuel economy, spacious cabin, and user-friendly features.

With an impressive mileage of up to 38 mpg, the Honda brand offers the Honda Accord a well-rounded package that appeals to many drivers.

Mazda 6:

The Mazda 6 is another excellent option for those seeking an alternative to the Nissan Altima, especially if you desire a fun and enjoyable family sedan.

With a price range of approximately $24,000 to $35,900, it offers affordability without compromising style or performance.

The Mazda 6 boasts sleek and attractive looks while also delivering impressive power. It provides good fuel economy, making it an ideal choice for practicality. 

With its fun driving experience, affordability, powerful performance, sleek design, and good fuel efficiency, there is nothing to love about the Mazda 6.

Toyota Camry:

The Toyota Camry is a popular alternative to the Nissan Altima, with a price range of around $25,000 to $35,800. It offers excellent fuel efficiency, reaching up to 28 mpg for city driving and an impressive 39 mpg for highway driving. 

With these numbers, the Camry is economical for those who value fuel efficiency without compromising performance.

Hyundai Sonata:

The Hyundai Sonata is a highly sought-after option for those considering an alternative to the Nissan Altima. Priced between approximately 28,500 and $38,000, this vehicle provides excellent value for money.

With its impressive fuel efficiency, the Sonata can achieve between 23 and 28 miles per gallon in city driving conditions, making it an economical choice for urban commuters. 

It offers even better mileage on the highway, ranging from 32 to 38 miles per gallon. The Hyundai Sonata is a reliable and efficient option in its price range.

Kia K5:

The Kia K5 is an impressive mid-sized sedan with a sporty driving experience. Equipped with a powerful engine, it provides fast acceleration and exceptional torque levels. With a price range of around $24,000 to $31,000, the Kia K5 offers great value for its performance. 

It boasts excellent fuel efficiency, achieving 24-29 mpg for city driving and an impressive 32-38 mpg for highway driving.

Subaru Legacy:

The Subaru Legacy stands out from its competitors in its class due to its standard all-wheel-drive feature.

This unique attribute sets it apart, offering enhanced traction and stability in various road conditions. Not only does the Legacy excel in performance, but it also boasts sleek and stylish aesthetics that catch the eye. 

One may be pleasantly surprised by the interior’s spaciousness, providing ample room for passengers and cargo. All these remarkable features come at a relatively affordable price range, starting from 26000 up to 38,000$.

Chevrolet Malibu:

The Chevrolet Malibu is a reliable option in the midsize sedan market, although it falls slightly behind the Nissan Altima in ranking. With a price range from $26,500 to $38,500, this vehicle offers consumers an affordable choice without compromising quality.

Boasting impressive fuel efficiency, the Malibu can reach up to 29 mpg for city driving and an impressive 36 mpg for highway journeys. The Chevrolet Malibu proves to be a worthy contender within its class.

Volkswagen Passat:

Despite its higher starting retail price, Approx. $32000, the Volkswagen Passat should be noticed as it presents a compelling alternative to the Nissan Altima.

The Passat boasts impressive performance capabilities, a spacious interior, and cutting-edge technology. These features make it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a premium driving experience. 

Whether it’s the smooth handling or the advanced technology integrated into its design, the Passat offers an excellent option for those willing to invest in quality and innovation.

Nissan Altima: Is It A Good Car?

The Nissan Altima has long been recognized as a reliable and affordable midsize sedan. When determining the best and worst years for the Altima, there are a few key factors to consider.

Many car enthusiasts and experts point to the 2019 model as the best Nissan Altima year. It offers a spacious interior with comfortable seats, advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and an impressively smooth ride.

The 2019 Altima boasts excellent fuel efficiency and a powerful turbocharged engine. The worst Nissan Altima year is often regarded as the 2013 model.

Known for its frequent CVT (continuously variable transmission) issues that led to costly repairs and replacements, it received numerous complaints from owners this year. Some drivers have reported problems with acceleration hesitation and faulty electrical systems in the 2013 Altima.

It’s important to note that while these are commonly cited opinions regarding the best and worst years for the Nissan Altima, individual experiences may vary. Proper maintenance and regular servicing are crucial in ensuring longevity and performance.

If you’re considering purchasing a used Nissan Altima or looking for a reliable midsize sedan today, it’s worth researching specific model years to determine which would suit your needs.

best & worst Nissan Altima years

In Closing-Best & Worst Nissan Altima Year

The Nissan Altima has had its fair share of highs and lows. As we read comprehensively in the above blog about the Best & Worst Nissan Altima Year, some models have proven reliable and efficient; mechanical issues and lackluster performance have plagued others.

The best year for the Altima is 2016, with its improved fuel economy, comfortable interior, and advanced safety features. The worst year is 2013, with numerous reports of transmission problems and costly repairs.

As with any car purchase, it is important to thoroughly research and test drive different model years to determine which one suits your needs and preferences best.
Remember to consider reliability ratings, customer reviews, and overall value for money.


Are any specific models within a certain year better than others?

Higher trims or special editions have more advanced features and better overall performance than base models within a particular year.

How does the fuel efficiency vary across different years of the Nissan Altima?

Fuel efficiency in the Nissan Altima has improved over the years. The newer models generally offer better gas mileage due to advancements in engine technology and aerodynamics.

Is purchasing a used Nissan Altima from a specific year range recommended?

Consider purchasing a used Nissan Altima from 2013 onwards, as they tend to be more reliable with fewer reported problems than older versions.