slefain
slefain Dork
7/24/09 4:38 p.m.

I hate car shopping, which is funny since I work at AutoTrader.

My Passat hates me and the feeling is mutual. I am finally going to spend money on a DD this time, maybe even finance part of it.

The car I'm looking at now is a 2003 Altima 3.5L. The 2003 models don't require premium like the 2002 models did. The pluses I can see are: timing chain, 245hp/246tq, decent mpg, 4 doors, nice interior on a premium model, and somewhat decent price ($8k or so).

I've never driven a V6 model, but the 4-cyl model I drove wasn't bad. Loose converter made it snappy off the line, and on a long trip it rode fine.

Most of the Altima forums are concerned with what size rims will fit, or how to retro fit headlights. Anyone have real info on these cars? So far I haven't seen anything online that would recommend avoiding the car.

The Brown Stig
The Brown Stig SuperDork
7/24/09 4:47 p.m.

I was always depressed about how "large and upscale" they got... until I got fat. I like them.

cwh
cwh Dork
7/24/09 8:45 p.m.

Being a Nissan fanboi, I've always been curious about the newer Altimas with the V6. How well do they perform and drive? Seems like they should have plenty of accelleration, can they corner, too? Love the look of the new coupe.

porksboy
porksboy Dork
7/24/09 10:27 p.m.

My wife drives a 2000 4 cylinder auto. While it is not a rocket ship it is more than up to the task as grocery getter. Stock wheels, suspension and crappy tires mean there is room to improve the handling. It has been trouble free for almost 100k miles. It has no personality and I call it the appliance car. It is utterly reliable, always there, does what it is supposed to and only that.

slefain
slefain Dork
7/25/09 3:55 p.m.
porksboy wrote: My wife drives a 2000 4 cylinder auto. While it is not a rocket ship it is more than up to the task as grocery getter. Stock wheels, suspension and crappy tires mean there is room to improve the handling. It has been trouble free for almost 100k miles. It has no personality and I call it the appliance car. It is utterly reliable, always there, does what it is supposed to and only that.

That's pretty much what I'm looking for at this point. It needs to just work. If I find one with the up level interior trim, that would be better.

Today on the Passat I: -Rebuilt the PCV valve using heater hose and JBWeld -Fixed the door handle AGAIN -Permanently raised the LH rear window using zip ties after the ever famous VW window regulator self destructed

After this much fun, an appliance car sounds just up my alley. I have an appliance car already, a '95 Sunfire that won't die. A/C blows cold and it gets 27mpg. It looks like it's abandoned, but sure as hell it won't die.

Lesley
Lesley SuperDork
7/25/09 5:50 p.m.

I like them - the coupe is really pretty and the trannies are one of the few CVTs that aren't obnoxious. Interior is kinda plain, but who cares. Driving the hybrid is interesting. At first, I had to double-check to assure myself it was actually running, it's that quiet. It makes some weird thrumming, grunting noises when the electric motor kicks in, but it just adds character.

slefain
slefain Dork
7/27/09 8:49 a.m.

Well I put in my request with the Credit Union car finder program:

Black V6 Altima with auto trans for under $8.5k.

It will probably take a while for them to find a car that matches that description, but I got time.

The Brown Stig
The Brown Stig SuperDork
7/27/09 8:52 a.m.

If you decide to give the piece-of-ssat away I have a purpose for it ;) It involves killing the vehicle if that helps!

Xceler8x
Xceler8x Dork
7/27/09 12:22 p.m.

That 3.5 Liter is the VQ motor punched out a half liter right? If so that's a great engine. I had a 95 Maxima with the 3.0 and it was torquey and sporty with a 5 spd.

EDIT: Saw your looking for an auto. You'll have more than enough power to haul around an automatic gear chooser.

scardeal
scardeal New Reader
7/27/09 1:37 p.m.

Get a plenum spacer... In the Z community, it helps with getting air to the far cylinders... it's supposedly worth a few HP.

slefain
slefain Dork
7/27/09 1:53 p.m.

I saw the plenum spacers online, as well as "grounding kits". Not sure if I'm sold on the colored welding wire, but plenum spacers can help build TQ by adding runner length. Headers seem to be available and cheap.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury Dork
7/27/09 2:00 p.m.

I kinda think the new coupes look like baby 370s

not sure if that helps in any way shape or form

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