1996 Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima Consumer Reviews By Year:
1996 Nissan Altima

NEW FOR 1996

New wheel covers, power lock logic and fresh GXE upholstery update this hot-selling sedan.

33 Total User Reviews

Average Rating

By my96altima on June 21 @ 11:00 am
Good Car
Great car, very quiet, smooth, and pleasant on long or short trips. Handles normal driving well but feels weak when pushed to it's limits.

By Kob on December 27 @ 11:00 am
dependable car, good for students!
these cars are very dependaple and unless you take real bad care of them they will get you going. No major production problems, totally recommend if dependability is what you seek.

By mkarias on August 8 @ 11:00 am
Very good car
I bought this car used and have had it for 2 years. I did have a couple of problems at first: check engine light and air bag light. The check engine light came on twice and it was the oxygen sensor. Faulty and needed replacement. The air bag light has come on 4 times. The last being about 10 months ago. The airbag module was replaced twice. I was fortunate that the dealer covered these problems. Other than that, it runs great and have had no problems. Love it!!

By julie b on July 19 @ 11:00 am
it's ok in a pinch
I have enjoyed owning the altima overall, but there have been problems. I have owned it for 3 years, bought it used, and have spent $$ on some big repairs: among others, The brakes have never stopped squeaking despite attempts to fix, the trunk leaks, there was an idle problem- it would cut out at intersections, and the biggest drag is that the 4 cyl. engine is WAY too weak for urban traffic.

By Hot shot on March 27 @ 11:00 am
A Reliable Gem
This is a great little car. It's fun to drive and highly reliable. The gas mileage isn't bad, either. I like it so much this is my second one; the first one was hit from both front and rear but the body integrity was such that all four doors opened and shut soundly after the car was totaled!

By rjd on May 26 @ 11:00 am
1996 Nissan Altima GXE
Had problems in first year with steering wheel - would lock Driver side rear Hubcab fell off when vehicle was 5 years old. Have noticed lots of other Altimas with same problem. Power antenna no longer goes all the way up, stops about 3/4 of way- sometimes causes bad radio reception. Gas cover stuck for awhile, had to grease up with WD-40, now it's fine. In cold weather, drivers side door lock sticks and I have to try turning key several times before door will unlock. Overall, good car- reliable. Not showing any signs of rust, which is a major accomplishment considering car was purchased in Buffalo, New York!

By pounds on October 6 @ 3:00 am
nice car
I feel that altima is reliable.

By DRAGON on May 27 @ 3:00 am
nissan altima 96 review
great overall built car and very reliable.

By ljljkjjdlksfjalkf on January 7 @ 3:00 am
this car is very fun to drive, its the best car ive ever owned. great on gas good acceleration. alot of power at 110mph. very reliable

By Cookie Monster on July 24 @ 3:00 am
My expensive Altima
After 7 years of ownership, at 26,000 miles and 2 weeks out of warranty, an O2 sensor goes out ($90) , 4 weeks later, my camshaft positioner died ($500)and left me on the side of the road, then another week later, another but different O2 sensor goes out ( another $90)- all within 27,500 miles but just over 3 years old. Informed Nisson but no help. A number of little things went out for the next 4 years ( unknown $$$$) and at 73,000 the alternator quit ($335), then a month later, the car left me on the side of the road with a major electrical problem that killed the battery & alternator due to wiring shorts under the dash.

By Dennis Ragan on August 25 @ 11:00 am
96 Altima GXE
Comfortable vehicle, Good power inautomatic 2.4. Not particularly happy with the way it handled in snow and on wet roads. Shifts strangely in lower gears. Seems to be in 3rd at times when it should be in 2nd, then jerks into right gear.

By mikelrb on July 4 @ 11:00 am
Have had this for 32 months. Super reliable. No maintenance other than oil changes. Now has 85,000 miles. Just goes and goes and goes. Never had such a reliable car. Has sold me on Nissan / Infiniti. Looking to get an Infiniti or Maxima. Not real comfortable for long drives, but does the trick. Around town, just fine. Get up and go when you need it from a 4-banger. Mileage a little low for this size engine. Overall super value.

By Sonny2003 on May 29 @ 11:00 am
Trouble Free
Only oil, tires, brakes, fluids, etc in 85000 miles. Very solid second car. Not exciting, but very dependable

By Barracuda on January 31 @ 11:00 am
Trouble Free
I bought the GXE new in 1996. I have not had any problems with the car in 7 years. I've owned a Camry and Corolla and the Altima is far superior in terms of reliability and quality. The car feels and acts solid and dependable. The only things I've replaced are the tires. Otherwise, just routine maintenence.

By QMAN on April 1 @ 11:00 am
Good & Bad
I had this car since '97 and i had no problem with it for the first 3 years and then alterantor went out twice, battery died twice, radiator leak, odometer stopped working, horn stopped working, dash light does not work. Last time i am buying a Nissan.

By Ramoman on June 7 @ 11:00 am
Long Term Review
I bought this car brand-new at the end of 1995 and have managed to put on around 133,000 miles on it since then. I love the interior and high quality of materials that Nissan has used. I also love the engine. It can out-accelerate most other vehicles in its class. What I don't like is the costs for maintaining the vehicle. Twice, I've had to replace the O2 Sensor. That cost me somewhere around $350 each time. Also, I'm now having to replace the clutch because it makes really loud noises. This is going to set me back approximately $800 since the kit replaces the clutch and the AC compressors.

By jhumbug on May 28 @ 11:00 am
Best Car Ever Owned
Purchased this car used in 1999 with 55,000 miles. Now have 138,000 miles on it. Have been waiting patiently for it to fall apart so I can justify getting a new car, but the blasted thing just keeps going, and going, and going. No major repairs in the four years I've had the car. It runs just as well as the day I bought it.

By T-money on December 27 @ 3:00 am
Fun to drive, easy to park, sooper dependable! one setback not as good fuel ecomomy as might think. bought at 20,000 miles now has 101,000 never lost a day due to breakdown, never got me stranded!!!

By Rioo on August 15 @ 3:00 am
Very Dependable
I leased this car for 3 years. I tested both auto and stick. Let me tell you they are very different. The 5 speed is much quiter and pull quicker. To be honest, it was a leased car so I didn't bother to change the oil or get it tuned up on schedule. I might have 4 oil and 1 set of sparkplugs changed in those 3 years... and it just runs and runs without even a single problem!

By oldsport on December 11 @ 3:00 am
Competent and reliable
Reliable. Conservatively iconoclastic styling. Very competent handling. And did I say reliable? Ours is about to turn 100K, and all we've done is change the fluids, plugs, and timing belt at normal intervals.

By aaront on April 19 @ 11:00 am
takes a lickin and keeps on rolling
original owner from 1996 Has never needed to go bakc to dealership. Likes to eat front brakes and tires, but I drive fairly aggressiviely. Lost a few wheel covers which can add up unless you check out the junkyards. It is now my 3rd car and still runs well.

By LilKim on June 18 @ 4:06 am
Saved My Life!!
Purchased my 96 Altima as college car in 2001 used w/115K.Could not have asked for a better ride! Comfy (for a 5'2 chick), SUPER reliable,and LOTS of fun to drive.Sunroof,woodgrain,& Alpine CD made it heaven. Easy on the insurance bill and as everyone knows miles don't hurt Nissans! I was at 162K and going strong except a finicky O2 sensor, but that's nothing that midgrade gas didnt magically fix :) Unfortunately someone decided to drive in my lane going the wrong way & hit me head on (we both were going 45) thats a 90MPH collision. Amazingly -NOT buckled and blessed beyond belief- I WALKED away from the wreck w/2 airbag burns. THANKS Nissan for making such a great car,just bought a Maxima, staying loyal!

By weazer6511 on March 28 @ 7:36 pm
The little car with a surprise
At first getting this car, I had very few expectations. An inline-4 and a car I had not heard of. Nearly a year later my view of the car has totally changed. It handles beautifully around fast corners and at high speeds is quite steady. The only drawback is that it is an automatic, but other than that I really enjoy the car. It is quite realiable and no problems. The car has 45K miles and looks to last me until 200K. I've put a new muffler and air intake and it's 2.4L engine pulls amazingly. It is a quick car and fun to drive

By greg_m on April 26 @ 5:30 pm
Has been a decent car
My dad was the original owner of this car and sold it to me in 2003 w/about 135,000 miles on it. Its a pretty quick car for only being a 4 cyl., but the gas mileage isnt all that great either. When I was putting mostly highway miles on it traveling to work, I think I only averaged about 22 or 3 mpg. The engine still runs nice at 170k miles, but it has always had an oil leak. Ruined a distributor and an alternator. Got the seal fixed once, but now it leaks again.

By dude on August 19 @ 6:46 am
Your Average Car
I have a 96' gxe, and its fine to drive to close distances, but i don' trust it to go further distances after the fuel pump, distributor and A/C went out. Gas is ok not the best. I would go with the Toyota Camry though and pay a few hundred bucks more.

By Lura on March 29 @ 6:20 pm
Been there for me for over 10 years
Like an old friend, my trusty Altima has been with me through a lot of my young adulthood. When I first got her, I remember being very happy with the swift acceleration. Over the years, I have have had a few problems, but not unusual based on the number of miles these problems occurred at.

By Ole Reliable on November 3 @ 3:46 am
Happy driver
Bought this car with 140,000 mile on it. I have put over 20,000 on it in the last 3 months. It runs great and performs without any problems. Gets 35 mpg on the highway and even with the tall miles it uses no oil and has no leaks. Everything works! This has been a great second car for work. Wish I had bought one new in 96.

By Driver from OH on January 1 @ 8:40 pm
Nice commuter
Bought this car cheap with a blown engine (overheated) at 143k. Replaced with a 53k engine and barely ran until I replaced distributor, knock and O2 sensor, and alternator (I suggest replacing parts with new Nissan parts, otherwise, you'll be replacing them again soon). Now, if I don't look at the odometer (155k), I think that the car is only several years old. The engine and transmission (auto) were designed for each other and provide good power at both high and low RPM ranges. One major flaw on these cars are the timing chain guides, which start making loud ticking noises after about 40k, and the only solution is to remove them. Nissan got rid of these in their later models. Good car!

By George L. on February 16 @ 10:50 am
Good hand-me-down Car
My dad purchased this car new in March 1996 and this car has been in my family since. I got the car as a junior in high school from my dad in 2001, and now at 23 I still have the car. While I am looking to replace it, I have been pretty happy with it since I got it 6 1/2 years ago. I have had very few mechanical problems with it. It seems to run strong every day. It doesn't have too many miles for its age. It's been a nice 1st car for me, but I am ready to move on.

By Noprob96 on April 5 @ 4:50 pm
Couldn't ask for more!
Our Altima now has 241,000 KMS on it - about 145,000 miles - and it is as solid as the day we bought it. Yes we have the little oil leak problem, but hands down this is the best, toughest most reliable car we have ever owned! We recently bought a new vehicle, but we would not part with our Altima, as I think at 12 years old it still has years of life in it!

By _impeachbo on January 18 @ 12:52 pm
Not so fast Nissan
This 1996 Altima GXE was driven by an older lady on her less than frequent trips around Denver. It was bought at fair market price or so I thought. It was gone over by a mechanic prior to purchase, who confirmed the motor mounts were shot, so I took that at face value. Later, the automatic trans seized up, and it became quite apparent from my research that many of these transmissions have a flaw in the valve body design. So fine, if your has not been replaced it will eventually weaken in this crucial area. I am in the process of replacing this transmission, and will need to buy at lease one half shaft with cv joint.

By Nathan on September 16 @ 2:06 am
Great first car
I got this car in August 2013 at about 183,000 miles and is at 210,000 currently and its been great have had no problems with it yet. If you want a cheap reliable car with very little to no maintenance than pick this car up.

By mary on July 10 @ 9:59 am
This car is a TANK! GXE FWD 4 door Manual
Bought this 1996 used in 1999 w/36K Miles. 2016 has 173K. Best car ever! Always had regular maintenance. Great gas mileage for its age, $25 to fill tank at current prices. Drives great in rain/snow, interior/exterior has held up really well. Replaced the windshield once in 2012, takes road debris really well. Stick/clutch lasts a long time, on my second Clutch. Has great heat/AC. Replaced radio so it is now Bluetooth w/CD & USB. I'll miss this car's reliability. If you are looking for a reliable used car, this is a great option if the car was well maintained.

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