When I moved to California for the summer, I was in a dire need of a car since Los Angeles isnt anything like New York-- spread out and impossible to navigate from 1 point to another without a car. I met a family friend who was selling his 2002 Nissan Altima-- 2.5 S model, silver exterior and black interior. At first glance, the car looked perfect for my needs-- a young driver, not looking to spend too much on just a car that will get me from place to place. And at least it wasnt a Kia. It looked somewhat stylish, although the plastic button interface in the interior seemed a bit cheap. But thats where the positives ended--- this car has turned out to be a huge hassle and a never-ending problem from the day I got it.
The car had 96, 000+ miles on it and was used(although Carfax reported no major accidents or "lemoning" of the car), so this is only my experience. However, the problems began quickly and spread fast. 1 of the major recalls on the car was for the crank sensor, which is "a component used in an internal combustion engine to monitor the position or rotational speed of the crankshaft. This information is used by engine management systems to control ignition system timing and other engine parameters." So this piece in my car was messed up, and suddenly while I was driving like 40 miles an hour in the street, the car just died. Thank G-d I was able to make it to the shoulder/curb. I took it to the Nissan dealership, and they recognized it immediately since it is a big problem with the Altima, and they said the car would be fine and wouldn't stop anymore randomly. Boy, were they wrong.
The car, however, really depends on your needs. It is a solid car if it has low mileage. Nissans are rumored and known to break down at the 100, 000 mile mark. This car still is a solid competitor to the Toyota Corolla/Camry and the Honda Civic. It gets 23 mpg in city driving and 29 mpg on the highway, so if saving gas is of huge importance, look somewhere else. It comes standard with A/C, Power Windows and Power Door locks, seats 5, has regular CD player, and front and passenger side airbags.