When the time has come to upgrade to a sleek, sensible sedan, consider taking a trip to Thomas Nissan of Joliet to check out our impressive inventory of Nissan Altimas. Even if your budget doesn’t permit the latest model year, you can find the perfect sedan for your life here at your local used Nissan Altima dealer. The Nissan Altima is one of the few vehicles in production that check off many drivers’ lists of needs: it’s safe, it’s sophisticated, and it’s a dependable vehicle for the whole vehicle. Likewise, there are certain advantages to shopping at Thomas Nissan.
For example, our sales team is focused on your satisfaction. We aren’t here to make high-pressure sales. Instead, we want to match drivers with vehicles that make sense for their budget and lifestyle. We also pride ourselves on a full range of vehicles. From new to pre-owned, we stock our inventory with a variety of vehicles that can meet the needs of many different drivers. We consider ourselves experts in all things Nissan, and we’d like the opportunity to help you get behind the wheel of just the right Altima for your needs.
The Nissan brand name dates back to 1914, as part of the Datsun brand in Japan. Production of Nissan vehicles began in 1935, but the story of the Nissan Altima started in 1980. The 1980s were bright days for well-designed, economic sedans, and the demand for Nissan vehicles was high enough to build a manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. Eventually, this plant would become known as the home of the Altima, which is still manufactured in Smyrna today.
When the Nissan Stanza was discontinued in 1993, the Altima rose to take its place. In fact, it may seem that the Altima has been in the works for some time, as the name “Altima” had previously been one of the Nissan Laurel’s trim options. If you haven’t heard of the Laurel, don’t worry–this vehicle was only available in Central America and the Caribbean and didn’t see global distribution.
At the time, Nissan was producing three sedans: the Sentra, the Stanza, and the Maxima, each with increasing levels of size and commodities. With the discontinuation of the Stanza, the Altima slid into the “middle sibling” position. However, there was some concern about the public reception of the Altima. Nissan originally branded it as the “Stanza Altima” to ease the transition and published pronunciation guides so that the American public would catch on.
Nissan’s worries were unfounded. The Altima caught on quickly with sedan drivers across North America. In fact, the Nissan Altima was named 2002’s “North American Car of the Year” by an independent panel of US and Canadian auto reviewers. MotorWeek also named the 2002 model “Best of the Year.” The Altima had truly gained its position in the sedan segment.
Over the years, the Nissan Altima has been a beacon of technology and design. With innovation at the forefront, Altima has introduced drivers to features such as the head-up display, Bluetooth connectivity, and keyless entry before the competitors. In fact, the 2022 Altima is one of the first sedans to offer Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, offering drivers the option of greater contact and control in bad weather or slippery conditions.
The Nissan Altima has been designed with drivers in mind right from the start. The first generation of Altima began production for the 1993 model year and continued through 1997. Right away, it was clear that this was a different kind of sedan.
The first Nissan Altima was sporty and responsive, thanks to its straight-4 DOHC engine, which provided 150 horsepower and was paired with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Drivers could select the base XE trim - though few did - or step up to the GXE, which included power windows and a power-retractable antenna. The SE included a stiffer, sportier suspension, and upgraded disc brakes, while the GLE included a head-up display, which was truly innovative in 1993. Throughout this generation, the Altima experienced a few tweaks and updates that made it even more enjoyable for drivers across North America. To round out the generation, the 1997 model was enhanced with a stronger body and safety features to meet side-impact crash protection standards, kicking off Nissan’s enduring investment in the safety of its drivers.
The second-generation Altima was produced from 1998 to 2001. For this generation, Nissan elected to provide the Altima with a more powerful engine and sportier suspension, giving drivers even more fun on their daily commute. Additional features to debut in the second generation included a folding rear seat to accommodate more cargo, improved front and side-impact airbags, and power-operated seats.
While the first two generations of Nissan Altima were clearly successful, it was the third generation that caught the attention of automotive experts in the US and Canada. Starting in 2002, the Altima was produced on a brand new platform. This brought with it other engineering updates, such as 18-inch wheels and a choice between a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine or a zippier 3.5L V6. The new platform allowed for so much more than the third-generation Altima and was actually larger than its “big” sibling, the Maxima, forcing Nissan to move the 2004 Maxima into the upscale, full-size sedan class.
The fourth-generation Nissan Altima also used a newly-developed platform that allowed for improved suspension in both the front and rear. Still offering a standard manual transmission, drivers who preferred an automatic transmission were treated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) starting with the 2007 model. This is also the generation that led us to the technology we know and expect in today’s automobiles, such as Bluetooth capability, a reverse-view camera, anti-lock brakes, and push-button start. While some sedans today lack many of these features, they all made their Altima debut in the fourth generation.
2013 brought the fifth generation of Nissan Altima, and with it came many aesthetic updates. The exterior was modeled after European sedans, becoming sleeker and curvier than previous models. Aluminum components throughout the body added to its overall weight and maneuverability, so despite no changes in engine options, many drivers felt this was a far more performance-oriented Altima.
The sixth-generation arrived in time for the 2019 model year, and with the future of the midsize sedan threatened by the burgeoning SUV boom, Nissan knew that this Altima had to be something special. Therefore, a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder offering 248 horsepower became available to drivers, along with a bold, almost muscular exterior appearance. The innovations, of course, kept coming, with all-wheel drive, Active Ride Control, and Intelligent Trace Control on board to keep the corners tight and the ride comfortable regardless of the road conditions.
At Thomas Nissan, customer satisfaction is a real priority. That’s why each and every employee you meet is looking out for you and your needs. From our sales and finance staff to our highly trained service technicians, we’re all dedicated to keeping you on the road safely and in style.
We understand that each driver has to stick to a budget, which is why we offer new, Certified Pre-Owned, and used Nissans at a variety of price points. Additionally, we feel that haggling is stressful, so we avoid it altogether. Instead, we’re honest and up-front with our pricing. Our finance specialists will work hard to get you a great financing deal on your next Nissan Altima.
Just like you, we’re members of the Joliet community, and we exist to help our friends and neighbors drive and thrive. Having the keys to your own vehicle is a big deal, and that’s why we work so hard to make sure you feel informed and confident about your decision to drive away in a Nissan. When the time comes to shop for a new or new-to-you Nissan, we welcome you to stop by Thomas Nissan of Joliet, IL.