2008 Nissan Altima Sedan

Looking to purchase a 2008 Nissan Altima Sedan. Currently driving a 1993, 6 cylinder Pontiac Bonneville (best car I’ve ever owned). Do I want the 4 or 6 cylinder? Had a bad experience with a 4 cylinder in the past (dark years of General Motors) which is coloring my decision-making process. Would like to hear opinions from current Altima owners.

The Altima 4 cyl engine is just fine, as are most Nissan engines. GM and Ford had some very rough 4s, but the rest of the world pretty well runs on 4 cylinder engines. A bad 4 would out a Japanese compmny out of business. Go for it!

Don’t worry about 4s they are fine. 6s will tend to be smoother running and may have a little more power, but less mileage.

Drive both and see what you prefer. In midsizes and in the real world there typically is not a major MPG advantage in 4 cylinder vs 6 cyl. Typically though there is a noticeable jump in power. Typically 4 cylinder have less emphasis on MPG/design as long as its better than the V6 slightly.

I looked at www.fueleconomy.gov. Overall it appears to be a 4MPG(22MPG vs 26MPG overall) difference overall between the two.

I think the V-6 requires premium fuel, if that makes a difference.


I would go with the 4-cylinder. You’re not buying a GM product. The 4 will save you some money by getting better gas mileage than the V6, and it will have more than enough power.

I only buy 4-cylinder cars. I have no need for a V6. My 4-cylinder cars (Honda and Subaru now, Toyotas in the past) will keep up with traffic on any interstate highway, and deliver between 27 and 35 mpg, depending on conditions and speed.

The V6 will cost more to buy, drive, and maintain. If you can, try to test-drive both. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the power and refinement of the 4 cylinder.

I don’t have direct experience with the Altima, but I know the V6 versions of the Camry and Accord are pretty pointless “upgrades” over the 4 cylinder.

They tend to load down V6 models with a bunch of extra options, so try not to be swayed by these when you’re making your comparison. For example, if the tires are upgraded on the V6, the car will feel different, so try to take that into account.

A coworker picked up a 2006 Altima after his 93 Taurus was t-boned by a red light runner. It has a 4 cyl automatic and he is very happy with it, no complaints about performance or mpg. I believe the 4 cyl has 170 or 175 hp.

Ed B.

FWIW, the latest issue of Consumer Reports lists the predicted reliability of the 4cyl version as “Very Good”, slightly better than the “Good” it gives the V6. BTW, the Camry gets “Good” for the 4, and “Fair” for the 6. Similarly, the Ford Fusion gets an “Excellent” for the 4cyl and “Very Good” for the 6. If there’s a reason to buy a V-6 midsize sedan over the 4 cyl version, reliability is not it.


You should be fine with the 4-cylinder engine. They all have adequate power. Have you driven it yet? What about other mid-size cars? The Accord and Malibu get great ratings from the car magazines. That is no reason to take your Altima off the list, just a reason to look a little further. Enjoy some test drives if you haven’t already.

The four should be excellent in this car. I have no reservations.

One thing I’ll add is that other parts in the car, like brakes, tires, struts (to a lesser extent), and so on, probably go a little longer than they do on 6. Not much, but 100 extra pounds over 100k miles will exact a small toll.

Have you thought of getting the Altima Hybrid?

Try driving all 3 variants (4, hybrid, 6) and see what you think.

In addition to having plenty of zip, the 4-banger will be less expensive to maintain. The rear banks on V6 engines transversely mounted can be a bear to service.