Sedans & Coupes

The 2017 Nissan Altima: Reliable Yet Hated

Car buyers all look for different things in their next vehicle, but everyone has one attribute near the top of their list – reliability. That’s why it’s so surprising the 2017 Nissan Altima isn’t more beloved, despite earning an excellent reliability rating.

The Altima isn’t super exciting, but it doesn’t need to be. This midsize sedan stands out due to its affordability, comfort, and dependability.

The 2017 Nissan Altima earned a 5/5 reliability score in Consumer Reports’ review of the car. However, its owner satisfaction score ended up on the other side of the spectrum at 1/5. How can a vehicle so trustworthy be so despised? It’ll take a deeper dive to determine why this midsize sedan isn’t winning over its owners.

The 2017 Nissan Altima is bland, through and through

The 2017 Nissan Altima parked for display in front of a blue and black background
The 2017 Nissan Altima on display | Photo via Nissan

One would argue that shoppers know what they’re getting in a car like the 2017 Nissan Altima. No one should expect to step on the accelerator and be pinned back to their seat. However, the lackadaisical nature of the car still left many drivers disappointed.

In Kelley Blue Book’s customer review section, one Nissan Altima owner called it “The most boring car I have owned.”

Other comments found faults that may annoy drivers during their daily drive.

Another owner left a KBB review criticizing the layout of the Altima’s cabin, saying, “The steering wheel is too low. The cupholders are in the way between the shift stick, and the ones on the doors are tilted, making the liquids spill, dirtying the car’s floor. The 2008 Altima was roomier. The dashboard takes up too much space.”

The 2017 Nissan Altima features some modern luxuries drivers will enjoy, such as push-button start and Bluetooth connectivity. However, it lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as Nissan didn’t introduce these smartphone mirroring systems until the 2018 model year.

Still, the interior can be quite comfortable while keeping you connected. Car buyers can enhance their driving experience by adding available features such as intelligent climate control, hands-free text messaging, a nine-speaker sound system, a moonroof, and more.

Long-term savings and peace of mind

Those in the used car market may find a used 2017 Nissan Altima to be an attractive buy. Consumer Reports lists its average retail price as $14,075-$17,275. This affordability, coupled with its reliability score, makes it an excellent choice for young drivers or those on a budget.

By 2017, Nissan remedied the expensive problems of the 2013 Altima. Consumer Reports noted in-car electronics as the only significant ‘trouble spot’ for the vehicle. Although, its body integrity – comprised of squeaks, cracks, leaks, and noises – earned a mediocre rating.

Compared to some of the severe problems other used cars might have, these minor annoyances don’t seem too frustrating.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Nissan Altima helps drivers save at the pump. Its standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers an EPA-estimated 27 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway. Upgraded models with the 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 return an EPA-estimated 26 MPG city/highway combined.

Is the 2017 Nissan Altima right for you?

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Few people would argue the 2017 Nissan Altima is a downright lousy car. However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. 

If you’re searching for a fuel-efficient commuter car or a budget-buy, then this midsize sedan should be near the top of your list. It also makes a great starter car for teens. However, those who are annoyed by minor inconveniences or seek sporty handling should probably pass on it.

Overall, the 2017 Altima’s low ownership satisfaction score is likely due to its lack of a ‘wow factor.’ It doesn’t shine in any particular area. But it does its job well, and it is built to last.