July 6, 2008

My 2008 Nissan Altima...What a Car

If you've been following me for awhile, you know I've been doing a lot of car driving, shopping, and researching for a good fit for my family. Well, I finally made a decision on what to get. The Nissan Altima fit into every category I could create when doing my research. It was the cheapest family car. It got the best fuel economy. It provided the best interior room. AND, one of the biggest for me, it drives like it's a sports sedan. We bought a 2008 Nissan Altima with 7 miles on the odometer. I think they drove it off the truck and onto the lot, and then I bought it before anyone got to test drive it. We bought the 2.5S model, a.k.a. the base model. Completely void of the extras. HAHAHA!!!!! This car is still loaded. Power windows, locks, trunk, and start. You simply leave the key fob in your pocket, and when the fob is within 3 feet of the car, you can use the little black button on the door handle to unlock or re-lock the car. Once inside, with the key fob still in your pocket, you push the start button and the engine turns quietly on. This car is so great. Roominess, handling, power, economy, and price are all better than the competition. We looked too. The Honda Accord is gutless and costs over a grand more. The Toyota Camry is okay, but is still weak and ends up costing close to 2 grand more. By the numbers available to anyone via the manufacturers websites, I created a 10 year comparison spreadsheet. Here is how the costs broke down: 2008 Nissan Altima Price: $20,470-$1000 rebate = $19,470 APR: 3.9% for 60 months Fuel Economy: 23/31 Total 10 year cost with estimated fuel consumption: $51,587.64 2008 Honda Accord Price: $20,360-$0.00 rebate = $20,360 APR: 2.9% for 60 months Fuel Economy: 22/31 Total 10 year cost with estimated fuel consumption: $52,973.93 ($1,386.29 higher) 2008 Toyota Camry Price: $18,720-$0.00 rebate - $18,720 (starts cheapest) APR: 4.9% for 60 months Fuel Economy: 21/31 Total 10 year cost with estimated fuel consumption: $53,499.95 ($1,912.30 higher) So just in the 10 year numbers, the Altima takes the cake. But, that's not the only reason to choose a car. After all, if the decision was based only on price, the Ford Escape or the VW Rabbit would have won at $4,190.75 and $5,050.50, respectively, less than the Altima. Performance, and roominess for a family were also big factors. First, the latter. My wife often travels with our son and his two cousins, who are all in car seats. The Altima fits all three car seats across the back seat of the Altima. That leaves room for my wife and her sister in the front. Wow! The second and most important item to me is the performance. Not only does the Altima win in the fuel economy category, it handles and is more powerful than the other two. This is due in part to a higher torque output. Nissan is known for designing and building sports sedans. They did it with this latest version of the Altima. The final category I'll mention, leaving out the awesome stereo, comfortable seats, cool A/C, and Xtronic CVT transmission (with manual mode), is the visual appeal of the Altima. For a family sedan, the Altima is really nice looking. The Camry is the ugliest of the group to me. And the Accord, although I really like the new design and bigger car feel, still has an issue in it's back end. Something in the rump design doesn't do it for me or my wife. And did I mention is feels like a 4-cylinder? But, the Altima (redesigned in 2007) is a really sporty looking car. Jet engine inspired tail lights, duel exhaust, and a wide stance, make this sedan look ready to handle a nice windy road. And...it does. I really do love this car. I know it hasn't ever appeared on the site before, but I've been so busy convincing my wife we needed to buy this, I didn't have time to write about it. Truly this is the car to buy for a great family vehicle. And, I'm not going to tell you exactly what I paid for mine, but I did even better than the numbers above. After all, those are the MSRP figures and I'm a haggler. Ted can tell you about the work I did on my 1999 VW Golf. Good times.