The Nissan Altima is a prominent car in the Nissan lineup, first hitting production in 1992.
The Altima has developed over the years with new designs to increase its long time performance and overall lifespan.
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If you are planning to own an Altima, the question on your mind is how reliable is it?
This article will provide a suitable answer to your questions.
Here is the short answer to how long the Nissan Altima lasts:
Nissan Altimas can last as long as 200,000 to 300,000 miles if you take good care of them. That means the car can deliver 13 to 20 years of reliable performance. But you will need to be diligent with maintenance to get this high mileage.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Nissan Altima?
The miles covered by any car depend on how well it is maintained and cared for. The Nissan brand is known for its reliability and longevity.
There is evidence to support that a well-cared-for Altima can keep on driving for 300,000 miles.
A member of Nissanclub.com confirmed his Altima has over 300,000 miles on the odometer and it’s still working fine with minor repairs and proper maintenance.
When assessing the longevity of an Altima, emphasis should be on the maintenance and driving habits of the driver.
We saw some good years for Nissan Altima already in the early generations. Normally, we see the first generations have some problems but that hasn’t been too bad with the early Altima models.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Nissan Altima?
Reports have shown that Nissan Altima has chronic rust issues. However, it seems the rust problems become pronounced 10 to 15 years after purchase.
The floorboards of the Nissan Altima are prone to rust. Owners of the 2005 model year Altima reported instances of the floorboard rusting for no reason.
People living in the Rust Belt often get rust on their vehicles earlier compared to others.
In 2018, Nissan was sued for Nissan Altima floorboard rust in its 2002 to 2006 models.
Other rust-prone areas on the Altima include the exhaust, wheels, manifold, bumper area, and hood.
How Long Do Nissan Altima Last Compared to Similar Cars?
Here is how the Nissan Altima compares to similar cars in terms of longevity:
Nissan Altima vs. Chevrolet Malibu
The Nissan Altima can last longer than the Chevy Malibu. While the Malibu lasts about 150k to 200k miles on average, you can get an Altima pto 300k or more miles.
RepairPal rates both Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Malibu 4 out of 5, giving both models an equal reliability rate. In terms of reliability, the Altima ranks 11 and the Chevrolet Malibu ranks 9th.
Considering maintenance cost, it costs more to maintain the Chevrolet Malibu than the Nissan Altima.
The average yearly cost of maintenance of Chevrolet Malibu is $532 while the Altima is just $483.
The Altima also has fewer recalls over the years than the Malibu.
Considering all these factors, we can argue that the Nissan Altima can last longer than the Chevrolet Malibu.
Nissan Altima vs Honda Accord
The Honda Accord lasts almost the same time as the Nissan Altima. Both can reach 250k to 300k miles before suffering catastrophic failures.
However, the Accord appears to be more reliable and cheaper to maintain than the Altima.
According to RepairPal, the Nissan Altima ranks 11th out of 24 for midsize cars. Meanwhile, it scores the Honda Accord excellent with a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 and ranks it 1st out of 24 for midsize cars.
Maintenance of the Altima costs an average of $483 per year while the Honda Accord costs $400 to maintain annually.
Therefore, the Honda Accord will be an excellent investment in the long run than the Nissan Altima considering longevity and reliability.
Nissan Altima vs Kia Optima
The Nissan Altima can provide 100,000 miles more than the Kia Optima, which can last an average of 200,000 miles.
Both vehicles share similar maintenance costs, as it costs about $471 per year to maintain and repair the Kia Optima.
How Reliable Is a Nissan Altima?
According to RepairPal, reliability is a measurement of vehicle dependability based on the cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance.
The Nissan Altima scores a 4 out of 5 on the RepairPal Reliability scale. With this rating, it shows that Altima is more reliable than half of its competitors in the same category.
Furthermore, J.D. Power rated the 2020 Altima 80 out of 100 for “Quality & Reliability.”
According to Vehicle History Reviews, Owner Reviews gave the Altima a 4.56 star out of 5 while Expert Review rated it 4.4 out of 5.
Make sure to also read our article about how long the Kia K5 lasts.
The Best and Worst Years for Nissan Altima
Records have shown that the worst of the Nissan Altima is the 2013 model year.
Nissan Altima 2013 model received the highest number of complaints.
As at the time of writing, CarComplaints.com has registered 849 Nissan Altima owners’ complaints about transmission problems, CVT shattering, and vibration.
Based on owners complaints, the average mileage at which the transmission issues occur is just over 53,100 miles. It cost around $3,100 to fix with no guarantee of resolution.
The 2009 model year was also notorious, with many owners complaining of a steering wheel lock failure that cost about $900 to repair.
The 2020 model year appears to be the best year yet. The 2004, 2011, and 2016 model years are also more or less problem free.
Please also read our article about how long the Honda Accord lasts.
What About Recalls for These Models?
Nissan Altima has been recalled 60 times. The 2002 & 2013 model years have been involved in the most recall campaigns.
- 1993: 3 recalls
- 1994: 4 recalls
- 1995: 5 recalls
- 1996: 2 recalls
- 1997: 3 recalls
- 1998: 4 recalls
- 1999: 4 recalls
- 2000: 2 recalls
- 2001: 2 recalls
- 2002: 12 recalls
- 2003: 10 recalls
- 2004: 5 recalls
- 2005: 2 recalls
- 2006: 4 recalls
- 2007: 3 recalls
- 2008: 4 recalls
- 2009: 4 recalls
- 2010: 3 recalls
- 2011: 1 recalls
- 2012: 4 recalls
- 2013: 12 recalls
- 2014: 8 recalls
- 2015: 10 recalls
- 2016: 4 recalls
- 2017: 3 recalls
- 2018: 2 recalls
- 2019: 5 recalls
- 2020: 2 recalls
Nissan Altima Model Year List
Here is a list of the model years of the Nissan Altima:
- 2020 Nissan Altima
- 2019 Nissan Altima
- 2018 Nissan Altima
- 2017 Nissan Altima
- 2016 Nissan Altima
- 2015 Nissan Altima
- 2014 Nissan Altima
- 2013 Nissan Altima
- 2012 Nissan Altima
- 2011 Nissan Altima
- 2010 Nissan Altima
- 2009 Nissan Altima
- 2008 Nissan Altima
- 2007 Nissan Altima
- 2006 Nissan Altima
- 2005 Nissan Altima
- 2004 Nissan Altima
- 2003 Nissan Altima
- 2002 Nissan Altima
- 2001 Nissan Altima
- 2000 Nissan Altima
- 1999 Nissan Altima
- 1998 Nissan Altima
- 1997 Nissan Altima
- 1996 Nissan Altima
- 1995 Nissan Altima
- 1994 Nissan Altima
- 1993 Nissan Altima
Are Nissan Altimas Expensive to Maintain?
On average, the Nissan Altima has yearly car maintenance costs total to $483, according to RepairPal
The average annual cost of car maintenance is $651, which means the Altima is substantially cheaper to maintain.
Here are the most common problems of the Nissan Altima, according to RepairPal data:
- Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement: $207 – $253
- Powertrain Control Module Replacement: $1,184 – $1,21
- Water Pump Replacement: $287 – $329
- Parking Brake System Adjust: $44 – $55
- Drive Axle Assembly Leak Inspection: $44 – $56
- Sunroof Motor Replacement: $1,002 – $1,046
- Suspension Shock or Strut Replacement: $809 – $867
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
Nissan Altima brake pads can last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, depending on your driving habits.
Your brakes will likely wear faster if you drive frequently in stop-and-go traffic.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
A well-maintained Altima tire can last you about 3 to 5 years. Based on miles covered by the tire, a fairly driven Altima tire can travel 50,000 miles.
To increase the lifespan of your Nissan Altima, regular wheel alignment and tire rotation is essential. Also, keep to the recommended tire pressure of your Nissan Altima.
How Long Does the Transmission Last?
With proper maintenance, the Altima transmission system should last for about 130,000 to 180,000 miles before replacement.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Altima uses special spark plugs that do not require replacement as frequently as others may.
The Nissan Altima uses platinum-tipped spark plugs, which can last up to 105,000 miles.
What About Insurance Costs?
The average insurance cost of Nissan Altima is $146/month and about $1,692 per year, according to The Zebra.
The insurance cost varies from company to company, and factors such as age, sex, location, credit history, and vehicle make and model can affect your rates.
Also check out our article about how long the Chevrolet Malibu lasts.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Nissan Altima
Here are a few tips to prolong the lifespan of your Nissan Altima:
- Drive responsibly, being easy on your brakes and light on your gas pedal
- Regularly wash your vehicle to prevent corrosion
- Visually check for wear, listen for odd sounds and be aware of unusual smells
- Follow the maintenance schedule
- Take your vehicle to a certified dealer
- Always replace parts with OEM or quality aftermarket options.