Last post on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM
You are in the Nissan Altima
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Altima, Sedan
#2206 of 4962 C&D ... so?
Nov 08, 2001 (1:09 am)
So what that C&D ranked the Accord first and the Altima third? Drive the cars yourself.
I used to take C&D's reviews like it was the bible, but back in 1996, one drive of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Maxima made me realize that the Maxima was the best car out of the three. My bro was shopping at the time and he bought the Max. C&D in 1995 gave the Nissan Maxima import car of the year honors then ranked it second in a comparo to the Camry SE back then...like that made much sense.
Just like in 1996, one drive of the 2002 Altima, Accord and Camry as well as the 2001 Maxima and I knew that the Altima was the best car to spend my $24000. The 2001 Maxima was a very very close second. The newer stuff (difference that you already know) made me go with the Altima.
Should I go trade my car in for the 2002 Accord that I could have bought for $23000 w/ a rear spoiler because of C&D's review? Of course not, I already know that the Altima is better.
Most importantly, at least for me...it doesn't really matter which car is better at this point. It only mattered when I was shopping for a new car and it'll only matter when I shop again probably 3-4 years down the road.
Who know what'll be out at that point, until then I'll be crusing in my silver 2002 Altima 3.5 SE.
Nov 08, 2001 (3:53 am)
Isc is right: drive the cars yourself. A comparison test by an enthusiast's magazine is entertaining if you are in the bathroom for a few minutes and have nothing better to read. These tests provide virtually no solid information.
Much depends on variables such as different options, how well each car is tuned and how well the tires on each car suit it in this setting. And the scoring always comes down to subjectively chosen factors that then include subjective judgments about styling and other things. You don't have to be a cynic to recognize that these tests are no true measure of a car's worthiness.
What counts is how well a car suits you.
#2208 of 4962 Thanks for the auto times
Nov 08, 2001 (6:07 am)
I'm cross-shopping cars in this class and live in a City where a slush box is just more practical. With a 7.0+ accelaration time, it seems like the altima's primary advantage of its more powerful engine gets much smaller if you are comparing autos.
Nov 08, 2001 (6:59 am)
Drive the 3.5. If the acceleration times are as slow as they say in the auto it sure doesn't drive like it. Maybe it's in the tuning of the auto but it FELT much faster than that especially on the highway. 65 to 100mph is just a tap of the foot away. Plus if you get a good fresh patch of tar you can make some noise from a dead stop. (GRIN) Of course no one ever treats a car like that during a test drive.
#2211 of 4962 C/D review
Nov 08, 2001 (7:09 am)
Before all the Altima-haters come out of the woodwork, notice that the top three places in that comparison were separated by a grand total of 2 points. Accord 96, Camry 95, Altima 94. It's not like the Altima got blown away by these cars. With scores that close, it really is subjective as to which car is best for you. As I understand it, C/D faulted the car for its firm ride which it said was too stiff for a family sedan. Road and Track in their comparison test last month (Hot Cars under $25k) said it was a little soft compared to the cars they tested. So perhaps if you're looking from a good compromise between sporty and practical, the Altima's the way to go.
Besides, can you get Camry and Accord V6 with a manual? That kills it for me personally right there.
Nov 08, 2001 (8:10 am)
Sounds like the fuel gauge is very conservative. My Miata is the same way. It reads empty with several gallons of fuel remaining.
I believe the way the trunk is supposed to operate, it should only pop open a tad. This is what the manuals that I have read have claimed. You can adjust them either way, however you prefer it.
Eddie: thank you for being to first to actually bother to look beyond the finishing order in the C&D review. Per their results, if you are shopping for a sporting sedan, the most athletic of the bunch, you should buy an Altima.
Altima pretty much swept all the performance related categories. If anything, to me, it provided a strong argument for me to pick the Altima over Accord or Camry, because it better suits my tastes.
Another point - in that group, the Altima is the only one to offer a manual tranny with the V6!
The fit and finish score was one lousy point behind the best-in-class, and mid-pack in that group. Whoop-de-doo.
Would I give that up for the quickest 0-60, 1/4 mile, top speed, braking, and best lateral grip? Absolutely!
#2213 of 4962 Say what you will about....
Nov 08, 2001 (9:42 am)
the Camry and Accord, but if you like driving, Nissan is the only manufacturer(of the big 3 Japanese)that makes sedans with the enthusiast in mind. I have owned both Honda and Toyotas, and while they are great cars they are boring as heck to drive.
Nov 08, 2001 (10:12 am)
But most people (especially family sedan buyers) are NOT enthusiasts. They couldn't give a hoot about 0 to 60 times. They just view extra horsepower as a good feature when the car is overloaded with kids, dog, luggage, and they want to pass a truck on a two lane road. Interior quality and reliability are the most important considerations, not "performance." They view a car as a means of getting from point A to point B, and nothing more. If Nissan was attempting to appeal to this segment with the new Altima, I think they've missed. Toyota/Honda have nothing to worry about.
#2215 of 4962 C&D comparo/ lsc
Nov 08, 2001 (10:21 am)
lsc- Car and Driver has never awarded any car an Import Car of the Year award. Thats Motor Trend. If you are referring to the May 95 issue, you will see the valid reasons they cited for choosing the Camry SE over the Max. A similar situation occured in Feb 96 when they ranked the Protege ahead of the Ten Best Winning Civic. It's a matter of the vehicle range.... whereas, comparison tests are specific examples. Just because the Alti and Camry placed 2nd and 3rd, this doesnt mean that C&D will necessarily leave the whole range of 4clyinder and 6clyinder models off the Ten Best List.