A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Nissan Altima

While it may not be quite as modern and sporty looking as some other models, the 2012 Nissan Altima is still a huge contender in the mid-size sedan category. With both four- and six-cylinder options and a CVT (continuously variable transmission), the Altima has a certain appeal to car enthusiasts that other sedans can’t quite compete with.

Key Features

Thanks to the CVT, you can drive the Altima in “sport” mode to give it the feel of a manual transmission, or you can let the step-less transmission work on its own for a smoother ride, better fuel efficiency, and lower emissions, too.

Other features include the 2.5 SL package, which lets you add the luxury of leather upholstery, heated power front seats, and other luxury details at very little extra cost.

Changes for 2012

New features and changes for the Altima in 2012 include hands-free Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, as well as automatic headlights and other comfort and safety features.

What We Like

The 2012 Nissan Altima is the perfect mix of comfort and sportiness. With power and torque to spare, it has no trouble getting out of its own way, and at the same time it has the luxury interior features that you might expect in a much tamer vehicle. The whole family can feel comfortable in this car, and it’s enjoyable to drive, too.

What Concerns Us

The Altima has a lot of competition in the mid-size sedan class, including the Toyota Camry, the Volkswagen Passat, and the Kia Optima. With so many other manufacturers vying to be the best in the class, it’s hard to tell for some buyers if the Altima is actually the right choice or not.

Available Models

You can choose from a number of different packages for the Altima, depending on how many interior features you want to add. For your engine, you’ll have two basic choices – a 3.5-liter V6 and a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine. The four-cylinder option gets better gas mileage (23/32 city/highway MPG versus 20/27), but the V6 has significantly more power and torque (e.g., 270 HP @ 6000 RPM versus 175 175 HP @ 5600 RPM).

Major Recalls

A few 2012 Nissan Altimas have been recalled due to potential problems with the torque specifications on their power steering rack bolts. Some have also been recalled because they may have an improper mixture of propellant in the passenger- and driver-side curtain airbags.

Common Issues

The most common issues in 2012 for the Altima were poor Bluetooth integration with owners’ phones and difficulty accelerating up hills. These can both be tested in any test drive you take when shopping for your next car.

nisan altima 2012 interior


Next Step

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Pre-purchase Car Inspection. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(5,189)

Rating Summary
4,847
184
37
38
83
4,847
184
37
38
83

Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Decide Which Car Is the Right Fit For You
Your Your vehicle selection is daunting. There are so many car brands, vehicle styles, and option packages available that it makes choosing one vehicle very difficult. How do you know which one is right for you? There are a handful...
How to Buy a Hybrid Hatchback
A hybrid hatchback (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/5-essential-things-to-know-about-owning-a-hatchback-car) offers some of the advantages of a crossover Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), which combines features of an SUV with features from a passenger vehicle, in a smaller and more nimble package. The hybrid hatchback's fuel efficiency...
How to Get an Open-End Lease for Your Next Car
When When it comes to getting a new vehicle, there are two options: You can either purchase your next vehicle, or you can lease it (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/what-is-the-difference-between-buying-and-leasing-a-new-car). If you opt for the latter, you are left with two more choices: a...

Related questions

Car shakes and won't accelerate.
This may be due to an issue with your ignition system. A severe misfire can cause an engine to accelerate very poorly and can also cause the vehicle to shake badly. If you have a check engine light I would...
How do I turn off a remote vehicle start?
If you want to turn off the vehicle after a remote vehicle start, follow these instructions: 1. Press the remote vehicle start button on the remote keyless entry (RKE) transmitter. Hold the button until the parking lamps turn off. 2....
I unknowingly drove my car for the last 5,000 miles without an air filter, what potential damage has been done?
I do believe that no serious damage would have occurred. The air filter is made to prevent any leaves or other debris from entering the engine. However, due to the design of many newer intake systems, the debris would likely...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com