1997 Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima Consumer Reviews By Year:
1997 Nissan Altima

NEW FOR 1997

The 1997 models are virtually identical to 1996 models, except for the addition of new emissions equipment.


Luxurious, sporty, and well-constructed, the Nissan Altima is the perfect car for those who want an Infiniti, but are stuck with a Nissan budget.


It will never happen, but we would still like to see a V-6 engine offered in the Altima.

61 Total User Reviews

Average Rating

By doop on January 12 @ 3:00 am
pedal to the metal biatch!
fast, comfortable, reliable

By Mike78543 on June 17 @ 3:00 am
great car

By vman on July 30 @ 11:00 am
Great car
This car is very stylish, reliable and fun to drive.

By compwiz on April 7 @ 11:00 am
Reliable Family Car
This car is very reliable, I have over 104,000 mile on her and she's still running STRONG!!! Only complaint is that when you open the glovebox everything falls out!

By tdkzoom on August 31 @ 11:00 am
97 Nissan Altima
Nice car, reliable, hard to find after market parts, needs the jaws of life to get the damn front door open.

By Mark Edgbert on February 1 @ 11:00 am
This has been a very reliable car
I have had only minor problems through 100,000 miles. I have driven it, obviously many miles in the 4.5 years I've owned it, and have had great success. It did have a few issues that were covered by the extended service contract I bought - something I highly recommend.

By Rams on March 5 @ 11:00 am
Its an OK Car
I have this car for 6 years 98 K miles, no major problem but always some minor problems. Alternator died at 72 K, front brakes at 75, muffler at 84, rear break at 92. Car is very reliable so far. What i dont like about this car is its noisy, gear shif is not smooth, pick up is not smooth, power steering is not firm and there is a lot of vibration at high speeds (these are not just my car, i have some friends who have the same complaints). I would rather pay an extra 2000 and buy an accord.

By E Vining on May 29 @ 11:00 am
Bad Transmission
I agree that the mileage is poor with this vehicle. But really bothers me is that I need to put in a new transmission at only 56,0000 miles. There are two recalls on this vehicle 1) transmission part 2) seatbelt Will not buy another one, will go back to Honda Accord.

By RUBEN on September 10 @ 11:00 am

By GP on March 27 @ 11:00 am
Great Car to buy used
Really good car to buy used. Engine is peppiest among this group. Real fun to drive. Buy extended warranty.

By Jessbabe on June 27 @ 3:00 am
Outstanding Car
I have owned this car since 1998. Never had to do more than routine maintance on it. I have had two major wrecks in this vechile and it still runs like a gem and I never got hurt. I will never buy anything outside of a Nissan. Coming from someone that changed cars every year till this one says alot. You will never regret buying a Nissan altima.

By Ricky153 on November 30 @ 3:00 am
Super reliable..so far
I bought my Altima in 01/98 with 20,000 miles for 12,500. I have 68400 today and the only thing that I have had to replace(outside of battery,tires,oil changes & brakes)was the oil sending unit, total bill was $22.00. It's been extremly reliable and feels sporty to drive.I like the quick pick up. Average 23 mpg. Still runs like a champ.

By Marylander975 on September 10 @ 3:00 am
No major complaints
I don't have any major complaints with this Altima, though I can't say I love the car. It has been dependable, but doesn't have enough cargo room for me. I would have preferred a car with rear seats that go down to extend cargo room. One thing - the paint job is the worst. It didn't take long for the paint to start peeling and chipping and for it to become oxidized. I have had to replace the alternator, windshielf wiper motor and have had a problem with the rear brakes.

By sfbayarea on July 19 @ 3:00 am
Best sedan I ever owned
A lot better than I've expected in a mid class sedan. The 150bhp performs better than my 1990 Honda Prelude of 140bhp. Very reliable considering this was a previous rental. I only had the intention of keeping it a couple years but ended up still driving it. It now has 76K miles. Recently spent $620 on a gasket repair but I still think its a good car. I will buy another Nissan.

By Sugar02 on September 18 @ 3:00 am
I just bought my 1997 Nissan as my first car, and she is so beautiful. My Altima runs great, and you can bearly even tell when she is running, she's so quiet. The brakes work great, and I love the hub caps, even if they are only plastic. I would totally recommend buying a nissan, they are totally reliable cars and great for a college student like myself.

By Rad on January 16 @ 3:00 am
average car
It seems to be an average car. Good and reliable for commuting but definitely lacks any personality. Have not had any problems for last 30K that I drove it but it is not a car that I would look forward to get into and drive everyday. Yet, I am sure that it is better then any other American alternative in this price range.

By prabh on March 25 @ 3:00 am
Fun Car
Fun and comfortable. No complains, low maintainence

By Jay Tharpe on March 15 @ 3:00 am
Great Car
My car has over 100,000 miles on it and I haven't had to replace anything except for a driveshaft that just recently messed up! Great car starts-up everyday and drive.

By calshamus on October 17 @ 11:00 am
Very good car
This is a very reliable car. I have 150K miles and I have only had to replace the alternator ($40). There are no rattles or squeks. A very good purchase.

By JJ LEE on January 3 @ 11:00 am
Nice engine condition(2.4 syl) and good acceleration, still comfortable to drive. Good fuel economy. Cornering is not that good. Shock absorber is not that good. Just got an 4 wheel alignment and ballance.

By dclavey on June 8 @ 11:00 am
Great car
This car makes a great commuter. The gas mileage is great and it has enough power to merge into traffic. I've never had any problems for the four years I've owned it. It now has 89K miles, and just regular maintenance, such as brakes and battery.

By DMS on March 12 @ 11:00 am
Love my Altima
I have been satisfied with this car (1997 Altima) since I purchased it used in 2000. I have not experienced any large problems with the vehical (engine, transmission, etc.) and overall it has been a very reliable car with plenty of power and control for Colorado driving.

By nickia reid on September 2 @ 11:00 am
i love my car
i brought the altima in 2000.. i love it very very much and i will always stick with the altimas.. i love the way the the inside is built.. i love the way it drives.. The car is very sexy and it fits me completey..in 3 years im planning to buy me another altima

By Enoch on February 13 @ 11:00 am
Pretty satisfied with my first car
Good used car for a student. As reliable as Honda and Toyota but costs you much less. It had 108K when I bought it 3 1/2 months ago. Engine and transmission are running great so far.

By Alexban on June 13 @ 11:00 am
Very good perfomance and reliability
Superb reliability. I did not have any mechanical/electrical problem yet. Some disadvantages: small cabin for the sedan class and slow acceleration. Plus: very good riding (somehow better than high altitude contemprorary cars) and quality of interior materials.

By Nmims on March 7 @ 11:00 am
I love my car made for me
I asked to have the car made for me so it is a limited special edition. I get wonderful mileage, have an oil change every 3 months and have recently driven it back and forth to NC twice a month. I average 3/4 tank of gas for 200 miles. Other than new tires, I have had no major problems. This is my 3rd Nissan and I will hate to part with it.

By AnarKaotik on January 13 @ 11:00 am
Passes Crash Test with flying colors
I had heard bad things about Altimas in crash tests. Yesterday I hit an SUV, a telephone poll, and landed on my roof. I climbed out myself and aside from being a little banged up, I'm fine. Thats what I call passing a crash test. I always enjoyed the car, it was very quick for its class, smooth ride, good handling, very roomy and comfortable. Great buy. I will say I did have to get a few repairs, axels and what not, but probablems didn't start until about 70000 miles.

By tomwgilljr on February 7 @ 11:00 am
Love it!
Have had nothing to compalin about since I purchased my Altima, used, in April. Get 24mpg city/33mpg highway. Nothing but normal mantainance to dat

By John Buller on March 11 @ 11:00 am
Bought Champagne GLE on a whim after Honda dealer jerked me around buying my 3rd Honda. Never drove a Nissan before, and Altima seemed like a big step up from Civic EX. Mfg was paying Mass excise tax for life of lease, that was swaying factor. Car itself, while comfy, wasn't much fun to drive, and economy was dreadful. Too small an engine dragging around a porker. Dealer brochure showed a 97 with auto climate control and CD, ended up with a decontented 97.5 with manual A/C and no CD.

By Cabanna on April 5 @ 11:00 am
Solid Car
I bought my Altima used in 2001 with 51,000 miles and I haven't had any major problems with it since besides normal upkeep and wear and tear. I'm satisfied with this car for the most part. My complaint is that the Altima does shift a little hard. I took it to the mechanic and he told me that the transmission was okay though and that this version of the Altima tends to do that. The other thing I noticed is the brakes squeel when the car hasn't ran for a while, but as soon as the car warms up the squeeling stops. I did have this problem looked at as well and I was told this was okay for now.

By hollyhobbie79 on October 2 @ 3:00 am
1997 GXE
I have put many miles on this car I am now at over 100,000 miles and it still runs good. I have a few small things with it just like any car would have but I never see them on the side of the road and I will buy an altima again.

By mas2003 on August 29 @ 3:00 am
97 Altima
I bought this Altima after I put my 3rd set of brakes on a Potiac I owned and have been somewhat happy with this car. There seems to be a small problem every year which runs me $100 to $200. The emergency brake cables, the back light socket, and the transmission gasket have all been replaced. Battery is understandable. In general is reliable and is better than the American cars I have had. Very disappointed with the transmission, especially shifting into 1st gear. I now have some water building up in the trunk, no clue how it is getting there, need to investiagte

By HappyAltimaDriver on September 22 @ 3:00 am
Great car all around
I have 95000 miles on it now, and it has never left me stranded. I average 25 mpg. Engine has great power. Handles really well, which makes it fun to drive. I love everything about it.

By assyrianlove17 on June 27 @ 3:00 am
best car in the world (cause I have one)
I have a 97 Altima GXE and I would never sell it. I absolutly love it. I am about to put a Nissan SR20DET in it to make it even faster.

By Christen on January 29 @ 3:00 am
I bought my Altima in June, and was in love with it. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it. The 2.4L Engine, 150 HP sounded great to me, and I did some performance mods which were great. Dropping just a few hundered dollars in the right places really made her fly. Aparently too much, because I took a turn wayy too fast, and wrecked. I crashed going about 70 MPH, and my airbags deployed but I never felt a thing. I walked away without a scratch, but unfortunatly my pride and joy..was totaled. Right now I'm in the process of trying to find another 97 Altima in my area because I was so pleased with this car.

By Grove City Johnnie on January 11 @ 3:00 am
'97 Altima is Reliable Wheels
Bought this 1997 Altima GXE in May, 2000. It is my work vehicle. I was tired of American vehicles that were unreliable - and spending too much time with them in the garage. This car is not fancy, not fast, but it IS very reliable. I'm very satisfied with it and would buy a second one in a heartbeat. 92,000 miles and still going strong!

By ReporterOKC on February 12 @ 3:00 am
Life Saver
After having relatively good luck with my Nissan, a 17 year old in a Saturn put a hault to it's life. She pulled directly into my path and I broadsided her going 40mph...her Saturn was obliterated but my Altima held up quite well. The airbag deployed, and there was a signifigant amount of damage, but nothing that injured me...I truely believe that this car saved my life.

By Fateisj on January 5 @ 3:00 am
Unique Performace
If you treat your car right, you will get 30 miles per gallon, and it will last you atleast 250,000 miles easily. It has good torque for its year and class. Its a very comfortable ride, and it is the absolute best to drive. it has the best road feel.

By RRom on September 22 @ 11:00 am
great car
I bought my Nissan when I was moving to a big city and it has been a great and reliable vehicle. I would recommend it to my family and friends. It kept me safe in an accident!

By varmstead on July 30 @ 11:00 am
Nice Family sedan Civic eater
I got my car a year ago. I have not had one problem out of it. It performs well and can easily take a civic highway or off the line. So performance wise you got to give it it`s props. As far as build quality I had a 95 and the building of this 97 I would have to say is greatly inproved all though you can not see it by eye. It gets good gas mileage if you can lay off the accelerator about 30 MPG Highway (5 Spd) I would recommend Altima to anyone. Reviews on this car says it needs a V6 truth be told the 2.4 L 5 spd. altima will take a Auto Maxima Anyday of the week. (No Lie Experiance) Its a nice car to modify if your into Turbos and engine upgrades... 2.4L 16V Altima A all around bomb car.

By Hurricane on May 20 @ 12:36 am
Great Car but beware of certain Dealers
After buying the car in Apr. 1998 for $13k I am happy i have put 140K miles on the car to a total of 174K miles. As with some reviews my car has dash gremlins which can be obnoxious. In the past month I have had the shock joints changed and the battery cables replaced. Carriage Nissan's service has been very unsatisfactory. The car has had electrical problems since the replacement of the battery cables. Leaving me stranded twice. I hop after the fourth set of battery cables that it is fixed. Other than that every thing seems to working great.

By Z on October 1 @ 6:03 pm
Reliable Car
I would recommend buying a Nissan. It was reliable while I traveled back and forth from college. I found out the hard way that my Nissan is picky about what types/brand of parts that I use. The engine light has been on for the past year. Other than that, I haven't had any problems.

By Patricia on July 17 @ 9:03 am
Reliable--just keeps on going
I have had few problems. The air bag light had to be repaired;luckily, it was still under warranty. Also, there was a gasket something-or-other which was repaired also under warranty. Otherwise, it has been super--extremely reliable. The manual is great, too. The yummy grey velvet upholstery is still in excellent condition as are the dashboard and all the compartments. Still running great at 65,000 miles!

By Marcus on June 25 @ 4:26 pm
Recommends 1997 Nissan Altima
This car has been a joy to own and drive. The interior design provides clear vision to the driver. It drives smoothly and has never left me sitting on the side of the road. In fact, the only problem I've had is when the alternator went out at 75,000 miles. This car is large enough to feel safe, and gets good gas mileage for a 3000 pound car.

By Altima is so-so on July 25 @ 10:46 pm
you might think twice
I bought the '97 altima in April of '02. After the 1st 6 months of ownership, it was one thing after another. While it only broke down twice, I never really enjoyed the car w/o some lingering minor problem. The car brakes and ride were noisy from day one. The antenna quit working properly after about a year and a half. I was so happy to be rid of that car this year. My comfort and leg room was not great but I'm 6'3" so I accept certain things in life. Overall, if I had to do it all over again, I don't think I would buy it again. There are worse cars to buy for sure, but there are better. Spent over $2000 in repairs in a 2 year span.

By Rob on July 28 @ 5:06 pm
Bought this vehicle used with 50,000. Have not had any problems with this car. Only noticeable problem is the clear coat is peeling. Very reliable car. Would purchase a Nissan again.

By GB on February 7 @ 6:53 am
It's been a great car
I just handed my 1997.5 Altima down to the kids with 158000 miles on it and expect many more good miles from it. The car has been very comfortable and reliable over the years. I did all the scheduled maintenance and the car has been great. I upgraded to the 2007 Altima and the kids are happy to have my old faithful. It should get another 100k miles easy.

By Snowie on September 16 @ 11:16 am
Best bang for buck that runs forever!
I got this car as a graduate student in 2000 already with 100000 miles on. 7 years later and now at 253000 miles, it still runs like the first day I got it! I've only started to use premium maintenance parts on it 6 months ago (synthetic oil, good filters, good spark plugs which I doubt played any part in the reliability). It is still giving me up to 36 mpg hwy!! It has no rust - tiny spots on the front due to stone chips easily fixed with a tiny scraper and a touchup paint pen. Engine uses timing chain, superb reliability. Major maintenance in the 7 years was a starter, a clutch, a muffler, CV joint (shaft). Usual parts: batteries, brakes, fluids and oil, filters and struts.

By beisenmann on June 21 @ 12:40 pm
Ultimate Altima
This was my first car and it looks like it'll hold up long enough for me to cart my children around in! It has held up well, even though I haven't always treated it as well as I should have.

By Good Car on November 12 @ 10:46 am
Good Car
I have had this car for 9 years. I have had transmission problems. It's on its 2nd one. The alternator and brakes have been replaced. Overall it has been a really good reliable car. It needs to go in the shop about once a year. It's been on a few road trips. It's a great car for city driving.

By nncincinnati on October 22 @ 9:03 pm
Decent car with maintenance issues
The Altima was very reliable early on, but as it aged, needed many more costly repairs and fixes. At ten years and less than 100,000, it has cost $600-1500 per year for the last five years to keep it running (not including tires!). My mechanic says there a few fundamental design flaws that show as this car ages that are costly (because they are labor intensive) to fix.

By Andrea on April 3 @ 6:13 pm
Great Car!
I bought my 97 almost 4 years ago for $2800 with 162,000 miles on it. It's up to 215,000 now and is running great. I did have some major repairs the first year but since I switched mechanics I haven't had any problems. Definitely worth the money.

By PeekoSanchez on November 21 @ 7:03 pm
Great Buy
I bought my Altima used at 37,000 miles in 2001 and it's still going strong at 130,000, though it's needed some major repair. I've had to replace the alternator (at 75k), one CV axle and the other will need replacement soon, the switch for the power windows and locks, and the clutch a year ago. Those are the only $200 plus repairs done in 7 years though, which is a bargain compared to the repair work other models need in that amount of time. The interior doesn't hold up well however; the vents on the dash are popping up, a sun visor fell off while I was driving, and the speedometer sticks sometimes. The fabric is cheap and stains easy.

By lenchmoore on October 19 @ 4:20 pm
The best nissan Altima (Ever made)
Well I purchased my Nissan altima gxe in New Jersey on September 1st 2004, on my way home this car ran so smooth as if it was brand new. As I drove it through the years it got better all the time I go around that steering wheel, personally I rate this Nissan altima gxe series over all the other altima's.

By ionut on May 3 @ 7:23 pm
great car!
We bought this car in 2003, as a graduate student. Best $3,750 spent! Didn't like the exterior in particular, but once I got inside, I fell in love with it. Strong engine, not so great transmission. When I bought it, one of my colleagues told me: "Altima, you will get tired of it, it will never break!". He was right. In six years we replaced the tires, front breaks and the radiator. VERY cheap to replace. No rattles! OK, it's noisy inside, the ride is not what it used to be when I bought it six years ago, but what can you expect from a 12 year old car? It is a Limited Edition, it has everything my Accord'07 has (another great car)!!! Just love it! I would buy it again in a heartbeat!

By College Kid on September 29 @ 11:26 am
Best First Car Ever!
I bought this car at 16 years of age and it has proven it's value in the near 5 years I've owned it. I bought the car at 119,452 miles and it now has 302,679 miles and still runs like brand new. I drive all over the place as you may be able to tell by the number of miles I've put on it. I occasionally race newer sports cars at the lights and I've beaten many smaller turbo charged and V6 cars, with the occasion of some bigger V8 powered cars. The only repairs I've ever had to make on this car was a section of the rear subframe rotted out and needed a new section put in ($240), and new rear drums ($100). If this isn't good enough yet, then let me tell you I get 37 miles per gallon combined.

By Very satisfied owner on May 28 @ 4:36 pm
Very Satisfied owner
I purchased my Nissan Altima 97 with little over 8000 miles. It currently has 286,437 miles on it. The car has treated me very well even though I didn't take care care of it. It still runs just as good as it did when I bought it. i haven't had to do very much work on it thus far. Just minor repairs and regular tune ups. I have driven it literally all over the country due to being in the army.

By webter on July 25 @ 1:50 pm
Reliable & Fun But Unsafe!
The integrity of the motor and many of the other parts are top notch. If you are looking for a base vehicle to fix to street race, this would be a great one. With that said, I was in an accident with this vehicle. The car was totaled and I had a head injury, which has left me with some brain damage. There isn't ABS on this vehicle and the air bag didn't deploy. There were fairly new Bridgestones on the car, so I can't blame it on the tires. Luckily the seat belt locked or else I wouldn't be writing this review!

By xie004 on December 6 @ 7:09 pm
Terrible car
Bought this car at 60k. Repaired this car every year since then for average more than $1k a year. Replaced a lot of parts. Made a big mistake trying to keep this car. At only 131k milage, engine died. Terrible car. Avoid Nissan at any cost.

By Nathan Oss on April 4 @ 11:11 pm
Wish i had anonter one!!!!
My 1997 just turned 260K miles with same tranny and engine. Best car I ever owned. Bought in 2003 and here we are in 2016.

By Phil on June 1 @ 6:10 pm
A jewel
I'm very impressed with this one. It has proved loyal and dependable. I get offered to sell monthly. I'm happy and will continue to hold on to it.

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