2004 Nissan Altima

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starting MSRP

2004 Nissan Altima

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

191.5” x 57.9”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Performance with V-6
  • Handling and stability
  • Ride comfort
  • Interior space
  • Resale value

The bad:

  • Manual-gearbox operation
  • Engine noise with four-cylinder

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2004 Nissan Altima trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2023

Notable features

  • Long, 110.2-inch wheelbase
  • Long-window &amp
  • #8220
  • greenhouse&amp
  • #8221
  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Sporty demeanor

2004 Nissan Altima review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
After moving to a brand-new, larger platform in 2002, Nissan’s midlevel sedan got minor interior enhancements for 2003. New charcoal seat fabric became available later in the year.

Little has changed for the 2004 model year except for a new Smoke body color and revised emissions standards for the four-cylinder engine. The lineup includes a base 2.5, 2.5 S, 3.5 SE and 2.5 SL.

Option choices were simplified for the 2003 model year. An automatic transmission, simulated wood trim, and heated seats and mirrors are standard for the 2.5 SL sedan. Sport and Leather option packages are available for the 3.5 SE.

As a result of the 2002 redesign, the formerly compact Altima almost leap-frogged past its more costly Maxima sibling and into the full-size category. Principal rivals include the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

The Altima is ample in size, and it exhibits a cab-forward profile. The wheelbase is comparatively long at 110.2 inches, and its overall length stretches to 191.5 inches.

The cabin boasts long side windows and looks huge compared to the car’s hood and trunk. Nissan says the taillights were inspired by “super bikes.” A fully independent suspension is used. Four-cylinder models get 16-inch tires, and V-6-equipped sedans ride on 17-inchers.

Seating for five people includes separate front seats and a three-place rear bench. The front-seat hip point is relatively high to improve visibility.

Standard equipment includes power windows and locks, a tachometer, a tilt/telescoping steering column, an illuminated entry system, and a split, folding rear seat. The 2.5 S model adds cruise control, a CD player, air conditioning, remote keyless entry and power mirrors. The 2.5 SL gets heated leather-appointed seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a Vehicle Security System and an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system with an in-dash CD changer. The V-6-equipped 3.5 SE has cloth seats and a six-speaker CD audio system. A Leather group for the 3.5 SE includes a rear spoiler and high-intensity-discharge headlights.

Under the Hood
The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 175 horsepower (170 hp in California). A 245-hp, 3.5-liter V-6, which is similar to the one used in the Maxima, is standard in the 3.5 SE sedan. Either engine can mate with a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission, and regular unleaded fuel can be used with both engines. Traction control is available for Altimas equipped with the V-6 engine and automatic transmission, which uses a gated gearshift.

Antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats and roof-mounted side curtain-type airbags are included in an option group.

Driving Impressions
Altimas equipped with the automatic transmission are more refined than models featuring the manual shift, which is a bit on the clunky side. The Altima steers with a rather light touch, is stable on the road and exhibits minimal body lean. Ride comfort is satisfying as the fully independent suspension deals adeptly with pavement bumps and holes.

Strong performance from the V-6 engine matches excellent response from the automatic transmission, which downshifts promptly and eagerly. Acceleration is even more energetic in models equipped with the five-speed-manual gearbox. The Altima’s seats feel comfortable and pleasantly supportive, and the sedan comes across as tightly constructed.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior 4.1
  • Performance 4.2
  • Value 4.4
  • Exterior 4.3
  • Reliability 4.2

Most recent consumer reviews



This car is awesome so happy with purchase Runs and looks brand new for 16 years old It is a true diamond in the ruff.


Very reliable car.

This car met and exceeded all my needs. I owned this car for a little while it was a used vehicle. I was recently in an accident and this car saved my life! All the safety features are phenomenal. It rides comfortably and seats five to six people. The four-cylinder engine that was in this vehicle is definitely great on gas.


great first car

I'm very happy with my first car. This car was purchased so that I may commute from home to college and worked really well and efficiently.

See all 35 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Nissan Certified Select
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Nissan and non-Nissan vehicles less than 10 years old and less than 100,000 miles. (Nissan vehicles less than 6 years from original new car in-service date must have more than 60,000 to qualify for Certified Select.)
6 months/6,000 miles from date of sale
Dealer certification required
84-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

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