|Compact car; Built in USA|
|Good condition price range: $2,000 – $4,400*|
1998 Nissan Altima GLE
2000 Nissan Altima GXE
1999 Nissan Altima GLE interior
2000 Nissan Altima SE
2000 Nissan Altima GXE interior
Acceptably solid and well-finished, Altima remains a must-see for value-minded buyers, due largely to its low noise levels and soft ride. Trunklids have felt tinny, however. Though unexceptional, Altima ranks as a nice family compact–less bland after the 2000 revamp.
Nissan’s compact sedan got a major restyling for 1998, adopting a harder-edge appearance, in contrast to the rounded look of its predecessor. Slightly larger in size, though on the same wheelbase as before, Altima also got a mildly revised powertrain and suspension. Overall length grew by 2.6 inches, width and track by about 2 inches. Head and leg room also grew a bit. Four models were available: base XE, volume-selling GXE, sporty SE, and luxury GLE. A firmer suspension went into the SE, which also got standard alloy wheels, wider tires, rear disc brakes (instead of the usual drums), and a body-colored rear spoiler. The GLE included leather upholstery and a power driver’s seat. All models used the same 2.4-liter dual-overhead-cam 4-cylinder engine, producing 150 horsepower and mated to a standard 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic transmission. Internal engine changes aimed to improve low-speed power delivery, and the automatic transmission was reprogrammed for smoother operation. Antilock brakes were an option. Nissan claimed a 20 percent increase in structural stiffness. Altima had been the company’s best-selling U.S. model, fighting in the tight compact family sedan market. Rivals to the restyled edition included the Ford Contour, Mazda 626, and Mitsubishi Galant.
Few changes were evident on Nissan’s compact sedan. The SE and GXE gained variable-intermittent wipers, and the GLE got standard alloy wheels. A power antenna now was included in the GXE’s optional Security and Convenience package.
Just two years after a major redesign, Altima earned a thorough makeover. That included availability of front side airbags, standard in the GLE and optional for SE and GXE. The 2.4-liter engine gained 5 horsepower. SE and GLE sedans gained standard 16-inch tires, replacing the prior 15-inch rubber. They also added a cross-car brace in the engine bay. All Altimas got revisions to steering and suspension, as well as fresh front and rear fascias, a new center console (with automatic transmission), and new rear cupholders. Antilock braking remained optional, except on the base model. A new Appearance & Convenience Package includes the GLE’s suspension and 6-speaker audio system. Leather upholstery remained standard for the GLE, optional for SE.
No significant changes were made for 2001.