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Nissan Altima

Alright, so here?s the deal. My wife and I own a 98 Buick Park Avenue and a 2002 Jeep Liberty. We have started to car pool and are now saving about 200/month on gas. We are thinking of down grading as it is just the 2 of us. We are looking at a smaller sedan and a motorcycle going forward. I have never owned a foreign car before and am not too sure about it. I am not too sure how to proceed. I just replaced the lower intake gasket on the Buick (yes it is a 3.8) and it has about 130,000. I want to sell before something else happens as it is only worth about 4K right now. Is a 2000 Nissan Altima with 98,000 on it, a clean engine (4 banger) and a basic body damage (some very surface rust spots not bad at all) listed at 5500 a good idea? I am thinking i can get it for 4500-5000. Any advice?

Keep your Buick. The mileage will likely be the same if not better than the Altima. Nissan’s are average to slightly above in reliability. Buick reliability is the same. The comfort of a Buick trumps an Altima.

You just fixed the major problem with the 3.8 so why worry about it. The Altima in that vintage is a very below average car compared to its peers and overpriced in this situation.

I agree that keeping the Buick makes more sense at this point, but you may want to dump the Jeep…or just get something else and just keep the Jeep for the dump runs.

Pick up a Consumer Reports Used Car Buyers’ Guide at the local bookstore. That’ll help guide you to vehicles that are reliable and less costly to operate.

I have never owned a foreign car before

Maybe you have. Many US name cars are made outside the US and many of those that are assembled in the US are assembled of parts made elsewhere. I would not let that issue worry me.

However I would not buy a car for the reasons you note. It likely will cost you more than keeping what you have. Now if you are planning or buying a new car anyway, then it is time to place a great deal of weight on the mileage when choosing what to buy.