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After moving further from work (for the kids) & after filling up at Costco this morning while the price was going up before my eyes (each pump had different prices), I'm parking the Armada for my commuting & looking for another sedan 11-14k.

I thought I'd post here with the Nissan fans before I research an Altima forum to death. They seem like a cool car, but so far I see many a familiar TSB's for the 02 since it is the 1st year model - hmm sound familiar?

Other option is Honda or Acura, of course.

Thanks in advance!
Jay
 

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No problems w/my Altima

I commute in a 02 3.5 se Altima. I have had no problems from it. The gas mileage is decent (avg 24 mpg) for the extra performance of the 3.5 engine. The mileage is in the 30's when you can put it on cruise and leave it alone. I'm 6'5" so I cant commute in tiny civic's or such which is the main reason I bought the Altima, the interior room, much more than a Camry or Accord. I have 120,000 on it now, whenever I need to replace, it'll be with another Altima. :D
 

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I'm in the same boat. I've been thinking of an Accord, Altima, and maybe a used BMW 330i or something.

My wife wants the Altima, but I'm curious about how they hold up, and I've heard they're noisy.
 

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Thanks for the quick responses! I feel muuuch better now. I'm looking tonight at two 2002 2.5's from craigslist. Not the 3.5L though & unfortunately both warranties just expired.

#1: $12200
2002 Nissan Altima 2.5L - Mileage: 37,900.

#2: $13800 +custom wheels/tint
2002 Nissan Altima 2.5L S - Mileage: 33,644

Pics below. Of course I'm leaning to #2, but more surprisingly the wife too - I guess getting older you like a little style. #1 looks like suburbia camo. Also looks like the backseats are roomy too - like the Armada :)
 

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I love my G35. Similar size to the Altima and same 3.5 motor. Great ride. Major difference is suspension and I have RWD instead of FWD which is a bonus. I'd give an Altima a thumbs up though. Take them for a test ride. I'd also try to get the 3.5. It is just a killer motor and just about the same efficiency, as long as you don't hit the gas hard. ;)
Try www.carmax.com Good stuff. Plenty to pick from and good quailty. I got a Jetta 1.8T 2002 from them with 13K on it last year for $15k in perfect condition. :clever:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
adjmcloon said:
I'm in the same boat. I've been thinking of an Accord, Altima, and maybe a used BMW 330i or something.

My wife wants the Altima, but I'm curious about how they hold up, and I've heard they're noisy.
If you get the 330 just keep some cash handy for the dealer servicing. We had a new 00 323 (same as 328/330) & a used 01 X5 v8. We loved both. I can't say enough about the power, handling & finish. But the servicing alone was way too expensive for us. Also make sure you get an extended warranty. We finally let them go - the X5 was quirky being 1st yr model and the 323 was too small for a family of 4 w/mother-in-law in tow.
 

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NorCalJay said:
If you get the 330 just keep some cash handy for the dealer servicing. We had a new 00 323 (same as 328/330) & a used 01 X5 v8. We loved both. I can't say enough about the power, handling & finish. But the servicing alone was way too expensive for us. Also make sure you get an extended warranty. We finally let them go - the X5 was quirky being 1st yr model and the 323 was too small for a family of 4 w/mother-in-law in tow.
My buddy got a 325 in '04 two weeks after I got my G35. I told him to try mine first but he didn't. A week later we parked next to each other. We noticed:
G35 had superior handling, power, size, comfort, road feel, and was a couple grand less. He couldn't find a single reason to get his over mine and for over a month whined the made the wrong decision and should have asked me first. Finally I had to B-slap him and say wake up, you still have a Bimmer.

Moral of the story, try the 3.5. It is worth the drive, especially if you liked the lowly power you had in the Bimmers. ;)
 

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My commuter car is big, black and bad a$$, has 305 horsepower (335 with Super, so I hear) and sucks gas like a 747! Oh wait, that's the whole point! If you don't mind funky styling a used WRX would be a kick!
 

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12k+ for a commuter car, plus gas for the commuter car. All this to park your truck to save gas money?????? How long will it take to recoup your investment in gas savings? Screw that. Fill it, roll it and have fun. None of us (I hope) are on the financial ragged edge if we're driving these things. Not giving ours up anytime soon. We're getting another one. You can steal these beasts right now with the fear factor thats been instilled. Of course there's a break even point but 3 bucks a gallon isn't it.
 

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adjmcloon said:
I'm in the same boat. I've been thinking of an Accord, Altima, and maybe a used BMW 330i or something.

My wife wants the Altima, but I'm curious about how they hold up, and I've heard they're noisy.
Not much difference. The BMW will be quieter, but they aren't "loud". Try one. The only thing I don't like about the Altima is they are FWD and not RWD. That is a deal braker for me.
:2cool:
 

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I drove an Altima before we got the Armada, and it was ok. I noticed lots of torque steer with the 3.5, which sucked. Overall it was nice though. I like RWD too.

We've got an '03 Focus that I've been using as my commuter, but my stepdaughter just turned 15 and the Focus will be paid off in a couple of months so we're going to give it to her as her first ride. It's an ok commuter, but I've kind of been wanting a truck. Actually I've been hem-hawing around between a car and a truck recently.

The wife and I went to the Honda dealership yesterday, and I have to say those Ridgelines are really nice! The quality of Honda's interior materials is just so much better than anything out there (with I guess Toyota being 2nd) and I really love the locking trunk in the bed. Since I'm going to milk the year that I have between now and having to buy another vehicle, I think by then I might pick up a used Ridgeline. Sure, the mileage won't be as good as an Accord or Altima, but I need something with a bed. We looked at the Tacomas, but the Ridgeline is nicer and roomier. I really like how the bed and cab are one piece, and the motor and suspension are on their own sections as well. The reviews are saying the truck drives very smooth (like a car). It will tow 5000 lbs., which is good enough for small jobs.

We're going to keep the Armada for the big hauling jobs and for carting 4-5 kids around. Best of both worlds I think. Anyone driven a Ridgeline yet?
 

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Yeah, torque steer sucks. When cars start braking 200HP, FWD really starts becoming a liability. I experienced this with our old Eclypse GST Spider and now with the Jetta 1.8T. RWD really is superior in all cases except snow. And even then, the right tires can more than make up for it.

As for Ridgelines, I usually pass them, look at the owners, and shake my head. I'd rather go Tacoma. I think it looks ugly. Kinda like a pug version of the Avalanche. I also think they will sell as well as the pontiac Aztek or failed Del Sol, which was also another honda failed attempt that turned out ugly. Honda wanted a convertable, made the del sol, then said whoops, make an S2000 and lets redeem ourselves. This is the whoops for their truck introduction. I don't doubt they will make a good one some day, but not now. The Titan guys look at it like a major joke. One guy with an Accord or something loves to drive up in his Titan when he needs parts and park next to the Ridgeline. Drives the salesmen nuts, more than when we park next to Sequoias or Expeditions. When the ridgeline first came out, they tried to market it as a half ton pickup competing with F150, Ram 1500, Titan, etc. When this failed, they said lets compare it to smaller trucks so we will look awesome. BTW, you know you can buy a new faster bigger Titan for $10k less than the Ridgeline? That's a lot of gas.

Edmunds says:
Pros: Sporty driving dynamics, versatile and comfortable interior, innovative cargo features, dent-resistant composite bed.

Translation: It drives like a car, has good seats, and the bed isn't steel, its plastic.

Cons: Chunky exterior styling, slablike rear seat, limited engine options (no V8 is available), automatic AWD system doesn't have low range, limited off-road ability.

Translation: Ugly Pug/Avalanche looking thing, back seat feels like a 2x6, NO BALLS, pulls like my grandma :ugogirl: , has problems on gravel roads.

From their long term test:
Executive Editor Rich Homan found fault with the Ridgeline's poor rear visibility, huge turning radius, and automatic door locks that don't easily unlock. Road Test Editor Dan Kahn agrees, claiming the truck's rear three-quarter blind spot nearly caused an accident on the freeway.

"There are certain ideas Honda incorporated into the Ridgeline I really like," Kahn says. "Full-time all-wheel drive, lots of storage space and the water-tight trunk in the bed are all excellent. However, I don't care for the way the truck looks; it reminds me of a big silver brick rolling down the road. The C-pillar sail panels are a huge blind spot on the road, and I nearly broadsided a guy on the freeway because of them. Also, the auto-locking doors made my passengers uncomfortable, as they don't unlock when you put the truck in park. I consulted the manual for a fix, but nothing seemed to work. I'd also like a bigger bed and a bit more power, which is why I prefer the Toyota Tacoma when Friday rolls around and I'm heading to the lake."

One incident that has called into question our affinity for the Ridgeline is its ability to withstand off-road use. Senior Consumer Advice Editor Phil Reed took the truck on a family campout in Death Valley, California, figuring the Ridgeline was the perfect vehicle to get him, his wife and two sons to a remote campsite. The road was a long, but relatively flat stretch that seemed well within the Ridgeline's capabilities. Its surface was rough washboard but certainly nothing that couldn't be handled at modest speeds by a modern truck. "I adjusted my speed to minimize vibration and eventually settled between 10 and 15 mph. I held my speed down and steered around the worst of the holes and ruts."

His tame driving wasn't enough apparently, as he returned to L.A. noting that the Ridgeline seemed to be handling a bit strange. A check by the dealer revealed that all four struts were blown out and needed to be replaced. The dealer initially signaled that it might not replace them under warranty, but in a subsequent phone call agreed to replace them as a "one time good faith" gesture.

At this point, we contacted Honda to explain the situation. The company agreed to look into it and in the meantime, the dealer went ahead and replaced all four struts. A subsequent e-mail from a Honda spokesperson said that after examination of the struts its engineers concluded that they "showed evidence of what appeared to be very severe usage, suggesting the truck was driven at high speeds for a long period of time over fairly rough terrain. Our engineers insist that we have one of the industry's most severe test standards for damper performance and that they would expect our dampers to perform on par or better than competitive vehicles. We would welcome the opportunity to have you test the Ridgeline against other competitor(s) on the same course that you drove."

With that mind we headed out to the same road with our long-term Toyota Tacoma crew cab. It's equipped with the TRD Sport package designed to give it improved performance on road without degrading its off-road capability. We drove the exact same route at varying speeds and experienced no damage of any kind.
Editor Dan Kahn wasn't so lucky a few weeks later. He was driving the Ridgeline on a narrow street when he swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle breaking the Ridgeline's passenger-side mirror. He brought the truck to Honda of Santa Monica, where the mirror was fixed for $59.50. At the same time we also had the oil changed for $36.68 and a noisy windshield seal was also repaired under warranty.

All four struts rendered inoperable on dirt road, front passenger seatbelt trim broke off, loose security light on driver door and poor windshield seal caused hissing noise at speed. All repaired at no cost under warranty. Passenger-side rearview mirror broke during minor collision on a narrow city street, replaced by dealer.



Sounds like a $30k winner to me.

And here's 14 pages of complaints about the couple month old Ridgeline.
http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef7f396/0

BTW, I have nothing against Honda. Ex. I told my dad to buy an Accord, which he loves. He's on his second one now. Right car for the job, driving a pair of seniors to market safely and trouble free.

If you want high quality interior materials, look at Infiniti, Audi, BMW, Merc, Lexus, etc. All will make the Honda look like a joke. And then drive a ridgeline, then drive a Tacoma, Frontier, Colorado, or other competitor, and put down the pipe man. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I test drove an Altima 2.5. It sucked. I don't think the 3.5 would make any difference. Not so much a power issue it just had a cheap ride quality feel.

So I ended up getting an 02 Acura RSX - Type S...200hp at 30+mpg. Much better. (Tripleblack, tell me does that gets your stamp of approval? - haha!)

I now commute 70 miles roundtrip, so adding weekends that was $500+ last month in gas which makes it worth it to buy. I can drive the RSX for a while -no worries- & sell it in a few years.

The Armada will be a weekend vehicle, I won't be tired of driving it & it'll have less miles in the end since it's the keeper. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
NorCalJay said:
Well I test drove an Altima 2.5. It sucked. I don't think the 3.5 would make any difference. Not so much a power issue it just had a cheap ride quality feel.
Btw - No offense to Altima owners - it just may have been the one I rode in or just a shocker after driving up in the cushy Armada. One thing for sure - they do look good.
 

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I drove a friend's Acura RL and it was killer! Honda definitely has better build quality than Nissan. At least what I've seen in my experience anyways...

And triple, as for the pages of complaints, there are like 178 of them on the Armada, so let's be fair. :) You can't possibly convince me that Nissan is the product that Honda is. Close, but not quite. I can't tell you how many people I know that still have Hondas and Acuras while my friends with big 3 autos would kill for that kind of return. There's tons of emperical evidence out there for both, but Honda has unbelievable resale, and the Accord has been '10 best' for ever and a day. I'm sure we could barrage each other with articles and links to websites, but let's not. Nissan makes a nice product too, don't get me wrong, but Honda isn't "junk" by any standard. :coolsun:

As for the Ridgeline, I don't really need a "truck" in the sense that it's going to be a commuter vehicle, albeit a nice one. It would be nice to have a bed- I like it better than the Tacoma which was my other "truck" choice, but I hear the gas mileage isn't good in the new models. The Ridgeline forum guys are getting 18 in mixed and 20-21 on the highway. Not bad for a 1/2 ton pickup. I like the neat features like the trunk in the bed, the unibody construction, and the 4x4 ability. For anything heavy (like towing my cargo trailer) I'll just use the Armada. :cool:
 
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