Despite a few high points, the Nissan Altima is not competitive among midsized sedans. In a segment brimming with better cars, the Altima is a lackluster choice. It ranks below virtually all of its competitors with a humdrum driving experience. Among its virtues are a roomy rear seat and good fuel economy. With the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder, we measured a commendable 29 mpg overall.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2008. Side and head protection air bags available from 2000, standard from 2007. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2010.
Road Test

Despite a few high points, the Nissan Altima is not competitive among midsized sedans. In a segment brimming with better cars, the Altima is a lackluster choice. It ranks below virtually all of its competitors with a humdrum driving experience. Among its virtues are a roomy rear seat and good fuel economy.

With the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder, we measured a commendable 29 mpg overall.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (179 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (270 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 Nissan Altima owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Screen goes blank when camera is hit with bright sunlight."

Anonymous, PA (2017 Nissan Altima SL 3.5-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"Center display freezes up and then goes through updating procedure and starts operating properly. Mostly the backup camera display."

Anonymous, SC (2017 Nissan Altima SL 3.5-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"Periodically, the Display screen will freeze, go blank, and then reset itself. Sometimes it happens when I try to pair my phone or plug my phone in using the aux cord. I informed the dealership, and they were not able to fix it."

Alyson H., NV (2017 Nissan Altima SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Entire nav system and audio unit was replaced about one week after delivery"

Anonymous, MN (2017 Nissan Altima SL 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"If I was driving or in the car the bluetooth function was o.k., but could retrieve messages left when I was away from the car."

Anonymous, VT (2017 Nissan Altima SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Sometimes my phone won't function with the system, even when the system says my phone is paired. I have to delete my device from the system and then re-pair it. The dealership has not been able to fix this problem."

Alyson H., NV (2017 Nissan Altima SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"At times the machine does not understand the commands that are given to it and they have to be repeated up to four times. At times it does not understand the command and pulls up something that does not seem similar at all. This has occurred periodically since we purchased the car. We have not asked for this to be fixed. The dealership has been unable to fix the charging station plug ins so we assume that won't be able to do anything about this other issue. We can live with the inconvenience."

Anonymous, NV (2017 Nissan Altima Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Thump/Rattle noise from trunk when hitting bumps. On average noise every 5 minutes but that depends on how bumpy the road is. Not yet resolved."

Anonymous, GA (2017 Nissan Altima SR 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"This is the 2nd Nissan Altima we have purchased. Completely satisfied, it's a reliable car at a good price. Unfortunately the price also brings along a few unrefined problems. There are a few rattles in the dashboard and now a rattle behind the air conditioning vents when it is running. Fortunately my husband can tune out the noises, but if this were primary car, I would pay a mechanic to see if it could be fixed."

Anonymous, WI (2017 Nissan Altima Unsure Unsure)

"noisy"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Nissan Altima 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Air leaks through car doors and A lot of noise from outside car"

David B., VT (2017 Nissan Altima SL 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Car made a high-pitched noise when idling, sounded like a UFO. Ended up being power steering line that was vibrating."

Mark D., GA (2017 Nissan Altima SR 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"I had to bring it to the dealer after a couple of visits the problem was fixed"

Anonymous, PR (2017 Nissan Altima 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"You can hear a lot of wind noise it's not fair tight. A lot of cabin noise"

David B., VT (2017 Nissan Altima SL 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"Brake repairs seem to be the most costly and it is pretty frequent"

Anonymous, ON (2017 Nissan Altima)
Rotors

"The car started to have a bad vibration and the dealer machined the rotors under waranty"

Eric A., NJ (2017 Nissan Altima SL 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"All these problems were in fact related. Apparently there was a leak in the brake system which caused the safety systems to malfunction which made the cruise control inoperable. I absolutely despise all the safety features in this car. It’s almost as if Nissan is experimenting with driverless car technology and you are the guinea pig."

Anonymous, LA (2017 Nissan Altima 3.5-L V6)

"The front radar stopped working, making the smart cruise control fail. When we took it in we were told that Nissan had changed the system and the new version in our car failed frequently. It took weeks to get the part in but they finally replaced it and it works well now."

Gary S., OK (2017 Nissan Altima SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Randomly we would not be able to shift, the gear shift would be "stuck." I do not understand all of the things that had to be done to fix the problem, it is under warranty, but it took several days for the problem to be corrected, as parts had to be ordered."

Anonymous, NV (2017 Nissan Altima Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission was slipping and making noises. Car could barely move while running. Took it to dealer and was covered by warranty and transmission was rebuilt in February 2020. Was without the car for 4 days. This is second Nissan Altima we owned and the transmission quit working. The first was a 2011. Probsbly will not buy another one."

Anonymous, VA (2017 Nissan Altima S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"The drivers door was rubbing on the fender and rocker panel molding. when opening the door.They managed to correct the fender rubbing by loosening a nut but the portion of the rocker panel had to be pried away from the door and a screw put in the wheel wall area to hold it from going back to original place. Interestingly, it did not rub when vehicle was in a warm area but after being in the cold for awhile, the rocker panel would somehow go to a position to interfere with the door opening."

Anonymous, MB (2017 Nissan Altima SL 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"I unwittingly got ethanol into the fuel system."

Kenneth T., MI (2017 Nissan Altima SL 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"About two ywar's ago the transmisson started shurting and car would not move,called nissan and they say there is not a problem that were aware of but i know the knew about all the CVT transmisson's were doing this"

Anonymous, KY (2017 Nissan Altima SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Cruise control

"Difficult to use properly when driving. Not clear on settings, adjustments."

Anonymous, VT (2017 Nissan Altima SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"When the temperature drops below -20 C , the bottom of the door binds against the rocker panel causing the paint to chip off the edge of the door. The dealer has not been able to solve this problem and it has been this way since it was purchased.. I believe and so does the dealer think it is the rocker panel causing the problem."

Anonymous, MB (2017 Nissan Altima SL 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Heater system

"When set at 72 degrees, does not always blow warm air."

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Nissan Altima SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

"Vibration at 1800 rpm"

Anonymous, CT (2017 Nissan Altima SL 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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