Well, it was finally time to retire my 15 year old Dodge Breeze. An exceptional car!
My wife and I after sitting in numerous cars and considering various factors, we choose to purchase a 2008 Nissan Altima 2.5S. Don’t get me wrong, when I first set out looking, I wanted to purchase a North American vehicle. We hit all the local dealers, and it was by fluke that my father found this vehicle in Hawkesbury.
Here are my thoughts on the car after a couple of months of driving.
- Nice, easy to read dashboard
- Adjustable steering column
- Huge amount of space; both in the car and in the trunk
- Smooth and comfortable ride
- Lots of power under the hood, if and when you need it
- Trunk hinges go into the trunk space, and crush anything in their path! I am surprised that the design is so poor. My 15 year old Breeze, didn’t even present this flaw. You’d think in 15 years Nissan could have learnt a thing or two from their own design and their competitors design.
- Gas consumption - I thought purchasing a much newer car, I would see some savings on gas. I was wrong. Very disappointing to see that automotive manufacturer have sat on their butts for the past decade, or two, instead of innovating their products. Also, what they have done to give you the impression of good consumption is to give a very big gas tank, so the onboard computer tells you you have a big range, but wait until you have to fill it up. My last fill-up cost me 103$!
- Brake and Gas pedals are too close. If you are like me, a decent size man, then you will have an issue in the winter wearing snow boots and using the pedals, as your boot will touch both pedals at the same time since there isn’t enough clearance between the two.
- Heat – we find that, in the winter, the car doesn’t heat up very quickly.
- Maintenance perspective – I was disappointed to discover that I cannot put this car up on my ramps to do my own oil changes, etc. because the nose is low and long. So you are forced to deal with a mechanic for even the most basic oil change.
- Remote control - battery life is very short (couple of months)
- Remote control – because the buttons are not recessed, get triggered when in your pockets, just by sitting down.
- Remote control – the setup baffles me. For instance, if the car is running, but in park, you cannot use the remote to open the trunk!?
- After being used to the Dodge radio, I do not like the one in the Altima as much. The sound is fine, but I do not like having to cycle through preset A-B-C instead of being able to set multiple channels to the same button. This is a very minor issue though and a personal one at that. I should also mention the radio console is well positioned and very intuitive to use.
- Dinky horn. No truly I’d expect this on a small smart car or a clown car at the circus, but not on a nice, big car like a Nissan Altima. One doesn’t use a horn often, but when you need it, you want it to get everyone’s attention. I don’t think one does the job.
I know I have compiled quite a list of Cons, but don’t get me wrong, it is a nice car. I’m just a little surprise that certain items were never addressed in car well developed car. This is not a new model, the Altima has been around for quite some time.
One very nice thing, is the dealership! I dealt with Rendez-Vous Nissan in Hawkesbury. They where all so very nice! And they provide you with a courtesy car, free of charge, and will even come and pickup your car and leave you with a courtesy car, free of charge, when you need maintenance done! Let me tell you my experience with Chrysler was nowhere near anything like this!!! Forget a free courtesy car, heck forget a courtesy car altogether. If you wanted one, go across the street and rent one!
So the Altima may have problems, the company makes up for them. It is this attention to their clients that most distinguishes them and continues to put them ahead of the North American cars (dealerships), IMHO. Until North American automotive manufacturer put customer service/customer satisfaction at the top of their list, they will continue to see foreign automotive manufacturer a part of the market from them. My experience with Chrysler dealerships will forever make me avoid them altogether, even though the vehicle I had from them was excellent! You have to feel like more than a cash cow, and Nissan make you feel wanted, liked, and not just a wallet. The personnel were kind, offered coffee, newspaper,… Just nice people. Don’t get me wrong, they want business just like any other business, I just didn’t feel like it was being crammed down my throat as it felt like at numerous other deals we went to when searching for our car.
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