After 25 years in production, the Nissan Altima now ranks among the best vehicles on the resale market. The number of new units sold from 2005-2010 in the U.S. was approximately 1.5 million. Now there are endless deals available for someone looking to buy a used Nissan Altima at affordable prices.
However, you must be careful when buying any used cars, including Altimas, because the specs changed a bit between years and some models are better than others. You can compare the top used Nissan Altima models below by year:
1. 2006 Nissan Altima
The 2006 Nissan Altima SE-R is great choice if you are looking for a car with an aggressive look. It is the last year before Nissan made the switch to a constantly variable transmission (CVT). Unfortunately, in newer versions of the Nissan Altima, the CVT can give out at as early as 36,000 miles. However, this is not a concern with the ’06 Altima, as it does not contain a CVT transmission.
2. 2007 Nissan Altima
While some issues with the CVT can exist, many newer cars use this transmission style because it improves performance and lowers fuel economy. This feature makes the 2007 and newer models operate without a feeling of “shift shock” when speeding up or slowing down. For a more sporty drive, the ’07 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE is a true beast and offers a 3.5L V6, 270 HP engine.
3. 2011 Nissan Altima
The 2011 Nissan Altima is the least problematic model in the past 15 years. The number of complaints is not even one-fifth of the worst year (2009). This model ranks as the seventh most-affordable mid-sized sedan of its year. This year saw mostly cosmetic changes from the 2010 model, adding Brilliant Silver, Metallic Slate and Saharan Stone as color options.
4. 2012 Nissan Altima
This used Nissan Altima will cost more than the 2011 model, but there are no major performance changes with it. The biggest addition for 2012 was the “Value Package,” which is now a very affordable option when buying a used Altima. The Metallic Slate paint color did see a minor change, switching to Dark Slate. Also, the 4/6 cyl. models became the key focus this year, which is the reason there is no hybrid used Altimas from this year.
5. 2004 Nissan Altima
While the ’11 and ’12 models come with fewer consumer complaints, the 2004 Nissan Altima ranks third-best in this category. It is definitely the best option for anyone hoping to get a used Nissan Altima without paying a hefty entry price. The used cars from 2004 are very affordable, and this particular model is highly dependent. You can get a 2014 Altima with a 4 cyl (5 Spd, S and SL trim) or a V6 engine (SE trim).
Shop for a Nissan Altima
Buying used is never easy, but ClassifiedAds.com contains used cars of all makes, models and years. There are hundreds of used vehicle listings that come up every day, both from private sellers and dealers.
Compare the prices for each of the years listed here before you decide on the best Nissan Altima to buy. When doing so, check KBB.com for the appropriate book values instead of just looking at used listing prices.