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Altima's redesign a hit - originally

Surprisingly, the biggest disappointment in the past year has been the Nissan Altima . Its appealing redesign for 2002 was a hit, making it the fourth-bestselling intermediate in Canada within two years.

  • 2002-Nissan-Altima

    Terceira Geração do Nissan Altima (2002 a 2006).

Surprisingly, the biggest disappointment in the past year has been the Nissan Altima. Its appealing redesign for 2002 was a hit, making it the fourth-bestselling intermediate in Canada within two years.

But it lost some of its lustre as the kilometres racked up. Owners complained about faulty radiators, head gaskets and oxygen sensors, prematurely worn struts and starting problems – a condition traced back to bad crank position sensors, a recall item.

Those weaknesses pale in comparison to another concern as owners approached the 120,000-km mark: complete engine failure.

The pre-catalytic converter built into the exhaust manifold can reportedly disintegrate, with ceramic material getting sucked back into the motor, causing increased oil and coolant consumption and, eventually, engine self-destruction. It’s a big problem among 2002 and 2003 2.5 L four-cylinder Altimas, a model best avoided. Nissan builds some great products, but it could do a better job of standing behind this one.

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