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These are the best used Nissan Altima models you can buy

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Each used car purchase requires a certain amount of fear on the part of the buyer. In any market, there is no such thing as a sure buy, but if you do your homework and work with a reliable dealer, you can get a good price. The Nissan Altima is one of those lines that continues to be popular among those looking for a solid, inexpensive sedan that will last a long time if properly cared for and maintained.

The Altima is a mid-sized car that has been in production since 1993. It has a long history of reliability and frequent innovative designs to make it last longer, but not all year-round models are the same. So if you are looking for a used Nissan Altima, you are definitely wondering which model year is the best option to buy.

Related: Here’s Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Used Nissan Altima

Is the Nissan Altima a reliable car?

Normally, a model that has been around for a long time and has sold more than 2.5 million units would show that it is at least a reasonably priced, generally reliable vehicle. They perform admirably and are often inexpensive. The Nissan Altima is available in six generations. From 1993 to 1997, Nissan produced the first generation of Altima vehicles, equipped with a 150 hp engine. The 5-speed manual transmission or the 4-speed automatic transmission were available to interested buyers of these cars. Several cosmetic and performance improvements have been made to keep up with the times and government restrictions during this time.


Second generation Nissan Altima vehicles were available exclusively in North America from 1998 to 2001. This line-up was more focused on meeting the needs of the US market, which differ significantly from the demands of the rest of the world, thanks to a redesigned interior and a few performance changes. From 2002 to 2006, Nissan produced the third generation Altima. This range debuted with a new chassis for 2002 models, making it a larger car than the previous two gens.

The Altima models were made as compact cars for the first two generations, but the third generation expanded to get closer to a medium-sized version. While still compact, the size and design upgrades made this iteration appear to be a more mature version than its predecessors. By the time the fourth generation of Nissan Altima cars were released in 2007, a number of design tweaks and improvements had gone through to change this particular lineup. The Nissan Altima was no longer only available as a four-door sedan in the fourth generation.


From 2008, drivers could choose between two different Nissan Altima models: the two-door coupe or the four-door sedan. Nissan also introduced its first hybrid car in 2007, along with the debut of the fourth-generation Altimas. In 2012, the hybrid Altima was phased out along with the rest of the fourth-generation lineup.

The 2013 to 2017 model years were the fifth generation period when the Nissan Altima was re-introduced as a four-door sedan, as it was clear that car consumers were less interested in hybrids and two-door coupes than in sedans. The fifth generation of the Nissan Altimas also saw a range of cars with only an automatic transmission. There were no manual transmission options available at the time. The sixth generation hit the market in 2018 and has continued ever since. The Nissan Altima, like all previous versions, has undergone many design tweaks and improvements to meet, if not exceed, the demands of the driving customer.


Related: 10 of the Best Nissan Car Models on the Market

Which model year do we choose for the best used Nissan Altima?

The term “best” is subjective because what is important to one customer may not be important to another. Our favorite and best year is the 2011 Nissan Altima. It was a tough decision, but while the 2012 model is also a great option, we went for the 2011 model because of the cost. The 2012 will be more expensive than the 2011, with no significant performance differences between the two. The 2011 model was the least problematic of all years, with cosmetic tweaks from the previous year’s model. Not only does it have the new look from 2010, but it is also available in a number of colors: Brilliant Silver, Metallic Slate and Sahara Stone.


Why the fourth generation models are our best used Nissan Altima

The fourth-generation 2011 and 2012 model years have proved outstanding, according to Olive’s analysis. These fourth-generation cars were the least challenging, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $8,500 depending on the condition of the vehicle. Despite certain model years being older, repair costs are on average lower than other cars in the same category. The engine was also updated in the fourth generation vehicles and for the first time new technologies such as the standard Smart Key, Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phone communication and a parking camera were included. In 2010, the Nissan Altima received a facelift and the 2011 and 2012 models also benefit from this.

However, if you need a higher budget car, we prefer newer model years such as 2018 or 2019. These newer versions are less than five years old and are almost certainly still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. The latest models include features such as automatic braking, pedestrian detection and intelligent lane intervention to keep you safe on the road. Nissan Intelligent Around View Monitor and Nissan Intelligent Mobility, with Pro-Pilot Assist, are also included.