I acquired this car, a 1999 Nissan Altima GXE 4-cyl, over Spring Break of 2004, as a first car for me. At the time, I was presented with a choice between a used Mazda Protege, new Kia Rio, or the '99 Altima, all for about the same price. I chose the Nissan because of their exemplary reliability.
I wasn't mistaken. Since the time I purchased the Altima, it has been driven cross-country (from Florida to Arkansas) twice, and has gone through the rigors of day-to-day transit to get me to and from school and work.
The car is great for commuting - the 4-cyl provides plenty of low-end torque for passing slower cars both on the highway and city streets, which is a must in my book. The 150-hp 4-banger still manages to average around 30-32 mpg while driving on the highway, and 25 in the city - not exemplary by any means, but enough for me.
The car has given me no trouble - despite being over five years old as of this date, it still performs as if new. Road noise is acceptable, and it is comfortable for both front- and back-seat passengers. The wheel takes a bit too much strength to turn while the car is standing still, despite the power steering.
My nitpicks about this car are few and far-between. The gas gauge is finicky, and sometimes misreads the amount of gas in the tank - at one point, I filled the tank, only to see the gauge hovering at 1/4-tank the day afterwords. However, this is only minor, since it adjusts itself once the engine has been running for some time.
The Altima GXE is a great, fairly sporty car for lower-income families and for teenagers on a shoestring budget. It is hardy and reliable, while still having some semblance of power.
Amount Paid (US$):
1999Model and Options:
GXE 4-cyl Auto