2004 Nissan Altima

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2004 Nissan Altima. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    23-26 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    175-hp, 2.5-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

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

Notable Features of the 2004 Nissan Altima

  • 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 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
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.


Exterior
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.


Interior
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 win...
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.


Exterior
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.


Interior
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.

Safety
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.


Latest 2004 Altima Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

What Drivers Are Saying

(3.0)

Great experience

by Ames resident from Ames, iA on September 13, 2018

Great car when you find one that is well taken care of. Very reliable choice for a long lasting vehicle. Nissan is a great choice Read full review

(5.0)

A promising car!

by Grandonship from Midlothian, va on August 25, 2018

This will be one of the best cars I?ve ever owned. I cannot wait to see where it takes me! What a fantastic, dependable car! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2004 Nissan Altima currently has 5 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Nissan Altima has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Altima received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker