Last post on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM
You are in the Nissan Altima
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Altima, Sedan
#2080 of 4962 Nissan Altima owners, shoppers, and consumers in general, I need your comments on this before I send it to a Nissan exec.
Oct 31, 2001 (7:40 pm)
Hey you guys, it's long, but tell me what you think before I send it, anything I shoukd add, delete, etc. Thanks in advance.
My parents, who are diehard Honda lovers, are now in the market for a new Automobile for me sometime this year or next year. Last week, I had a chance to check out a few 2002 Nissan Altimas that were on the local dealerships' lots. I have driven my aunt's 1995 Nissan Altima GXE quite a few times, and I can tell you from experience with many Hondas and a few Toyotas, that this car is just as reliable as the Hondas and Toyotas, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good used vehicle. Simply they last a long time, and the car has not given my aunt any major problems to date, therefore, I compare the new Altimas to her 1995 GXE.
First off, let me just say that the design of the car is very nice, MUCH MUCH better than the previous generation, and better actually than the 2000-2002 Nissan Maxima. The styling is very european, and has an overall balance to it, something that cannot be said about the previous or current Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. I simply LOVE the way this car looks, and my parents actually liked it as well. There were no quality/workmanship defects that I could find, NONE exterior wise.
My aunt's car was the same way when she brought it.
Now, as I walk around and looked at the sticker price, I will admit, it surpised me quite a bit, simply because myself, as the consumer was use to the heavily discounted 1998-2001 Nissan Altima, but from the details on the outside, the price seemed at least somewhat fair. Although, many of my friends, and myself wonder why Nissan just didn't give the car a new name. Besides, the car is now a ture midsize and is much larger than my aunt's Altima. Some think it should have been called the Ultima. LOL
Now, the interior. Nissan,What happened! I was honestly shocked by the way the materials looked, felt, and the quality of them. I felt like I was in a Chevy Impala or something, I would expect this from the American Car companies, but from a company like Nissan, I would most definately expect more, cetainly when the price of this vehicle can reach almost $30K for a fully loaded model. I am not the only one who believes this, check out some internet websites. (edmunds.com freshalloy.com altimas.net vwvortex.com) Many feel the same way, we believe that Nissan as a company could have done a better job and spent just a little more on interior material. That's what matters the most to a family shopping for a midsize sedan, quality and this is what lead my parent to not by the new Altima that afternoon, and it wasn't the dealerships fault, they do their very best to make sure that all their new and used cars or prepped and ready for sale in the best conditions possible. I can honestly say that the leftover 2001 Altima GXE Limited Edition on the lot had a better interior than the 27K Altima 3.5SE we tested. My aunt's Altima wins this hands down, I am truly shocked!
For what it's worth I am sure that the new Altima handles, rides and is more hushed than the previous models, but I refuse to believe that the new one has better interior material than the previous one, which wasn't quite on par with the Accord or Camry or my aunt's Altima for that matter. The Maxima GLE I looked inside of had much better interior material than the new Altima, yet the prices of both the cars were comparable, the Maxima's material were better than the Accord or new Camry, and that's what reassured my faith in Nissan as a company. Indeed you guys really do have a VERY nice vehicle on your hands, don't get it mistaken, I really want this new Altima, but the interior really seems to be holding the car back, if you could just improve the material and work on the workmanship and quality of the ineterior, the new Altima would be more of a success, they are already selling pretty well around here, but they would sell even better with a better interior, making it the real TOTAL KNOCKOUT!!
I have a few questions below that many of my friends, and I have.
1. Why isn't ABS standard on the new Altima, and since it's optional, why is it so hard to find one with it? I have looked at 9 Altimas, from the S to the SE, done had ABS!
2. Why are the materials so cheap, the U.S. consumers expect better quality for their hard earned money. Will the interior be updated for 2003?
3. Why does the car, in certain places, not have an overall "quality" feel to it. When you slam the doors, you can sometimes hear a tinny sound, the same problem my aunt has with her 1995 Nissan Altima.
4. What's new for 2003, I know it's very early to be asking such a question, but if you can help us, it would be appreciated.
5. Why doesn't the luxurious Altima 2.5SL have automatic climate control, and why isn't there a luxurious V6 model? The SE seems too sporty for some consumers' tastes.
6. What does Nissan plan to do to get ready for the release of the new 2003 Accord and the very nice looking 2003 Mazda 6, the 6 certainly has the best interior of the two.
7. Why aren't Xenon headlamps available for all models? Isn't it a safety feature.
8. Why did Nissan claim the Passat and Audi models as the benchmarks for their interior designs/themes, and then give the public something that was nowhere near the quality of the recent VWs, or Audis for that matter. Not even close to my aunt's Altima.
9. Why is the price of the Altima so high, the Maxima is about the same price but with more of a quality feel and a interior that would look good in a Lexus.
10. What's the deal with the optional packages, you have to get the Sunroof to get the Bose, or you have to have leather to get the Bose.
11. Why is the BOSE system so expensive, it's not even 200 watts, and it doesn't have a cassette player.
Thanks in advance,
Reginald La'Derrick Gist
A new-commer to car shopping and a first time new car shopper.
Oct 31, 2001 (7:59 pm)
Excellent letter - some may take issue with your grammar but I tend to look beyond the cosmetics and into the substance, in which case is plentiful in your letter. You made some great and important points (although I disagree with the Altima looking European - it looks like a total Toyota knockoff, with a bit of Monte Carlo and Town Car thrown into the tail end).
Please post Nissan's response when you get it - will be interesting to hear it.
Thanks for sharing Maxamill.
#2082 of 4962 Thanks man, I don't know what's up with my english I made an "A" on my last English report card LOL!!!
Oct 31, 2001 (8:27 pm)
hey, what do you expect, I am only 16. By the way, which Toyota does the Altima favor to you. Come to think of it, doesn't it look like the GS300 some? It looks very similar to the VW Passat also IMO.
Also, Speedracer, Blueguy, Ruski, Oac3,anybody what do you guys think!! I don't want to run the risk of getting sued or anything. LOL
I'm going to add this as well.
11. Why isn't frost available in Leather?
12. Why is the fuel door release found on the floor and not together with the trunk release on the side of the driver's door? Also, why is the carpet cutout so obvious and cheap looking?
Oct 31, 2001 (8:48 pm)
I am not sending it until tomorrow, so that will give me just a little more time to think up any other questions I have.
#2085 of 4962 Interior Issues
Oct 31, 2001 (10:04 pm)
Max: Great letter I'm one of the ones fatherthanu would say has a problem with the grammar, but overall, it's a great letter, and definitely worth sending.
Our local dealer was having a drawing for a new loaded 3.5SE automatic, so I entered (dunno when they'll announce a winner), but we got to inspect the car inside and out for as long as we wanted, without any salespeople around to bother us. (There weren't any Altimas on the showroom floor for some odd reason.)
After reading about a few new issues, I just went all out and checked *everywhere* in the interior and here's what I found:
Great seating room in front and rear for someone of my height (6'1"), even with the sunroof.
Nice leather all around.
Tons of legroom, thanks to the great tilt wheel (this is my pet peeve with the Maxima - at its highest level, the Max's wheel is less than an inch above my legs, which is *not* confortable.)
Easy to use controls, great stereo, and plenty of trunk space.
This was my initial complaint - the center pod where the stereo is located is kinda cheap looking and feeling. Recent models I've seen seem to have improved it a bit, becuase while it still looks kinda cheap, it doesn't feel as bad as the very first one I checked out.
The gas tank opener switch - I couldn't believe that people thought it was so bad, but when I actually saw that the carpet was cut *around* it, that's totally unacceptable. I'd expect that from an American car company, not a Japanese one. If I buy an Altima, I expect to be able to put something over it to hide how awful that looks.
The roof - This one just amazed me. I was able to push into the roof with my finger. It felt like some kind of *very* cheap materials went into making that. My Saturn L300 has a nicer roof than the Altima. If I didn't know about it, maybe I wouldn't care so much, but now I do know, so it bothers me.
The plastic cup holder between the front seats. The cup holders themselves are ok, but that *cheap cheap* plastic piece that you pull up and over to the side....*bleh*. If that were the *only* thing wrong, I could live with it, but added to the other stuff...
That's only 4 things, but they're significant things (actually the roof is my biggest complaint now - nobody should have a cheapo roof lining like that. It feels like there's a hollow space above it.) I'm still considering the Altima for the V6 5 speed, but if I get it, I expect close to invoice price on it. There's no way on Earth that I'm paying close to MSRP for an interior like that.
#2086 of 4962 maxamillion
Oct 31, 2001 (10:27 pm)
are you really 16 ? are you legally allowed to own and drive a vehicle ? interesting !!! You stated that your aunt's '95 Alty GXE (the lowest model) has better interior materials than the '02 Alty ? Who would have thunked that ? I swear my '96 Alty had better interior too. Now does that make you feel better ?
so you finally admitted to the obvious - that the premium price of the 3.5SE ain't worth it ? Nice to hear that ! Took you a while, but you finally came around.... Good, you are learning everyday, max...
I did read your entire letter and think you made many excellent points. Unlike fasterthanu tho', I would ask that you correct and polish the grammar to a level that may demand attention, otherwise it goes where others like it go to... you know... the trash can !
Overall good idea, max, just that it is a waste of time and wouldn't get anything accomplished. Nissan will not change the '03 because of your letter. Rather, if the letter were to be co-signed by many "concerned and potential Nissan owners", maybe that'd get their attention and lead to a response. Just a thought !
Good luck which ever way you take it...
#2088 of 4962 How could I get people to sign it?
Oct 31, 2001 (11:48 pm)
Any ideas? Nissan had better fix the interior for 2003 unless they plan to loose their camiseta to the new Mazda 6 which will probably handle better than the Altima, or the Honda Accord. We all know that Honda is going to go out of the way just to prove that the Accord is made with quality material, and is one of the most refined cars in it's class. It willprobably whip the Camry when it comes out.
Nov 01, 2001 (7:36 am)
Fast: the new Altima is not livable? It may not be what some consider desirable, but it certainly is livable.
Christian: 2 of of your 3 choices for a car meant for "driving" do not even offer manual trannies. A true driver's car has to at least offer one.
Max: Nissan will just tell you why not buy a Maxima, then? Or wait for the next one.