I write seeking some PRACTICAL auto advice. I currently drive a 2005 Nissan Altima 2.5L inline…


I write seeking some PRACTICAL auto advice.

I currently drive a 2005 Nissan Altima 2.5L inline 4. I got the car brand new 13 years ago with 8 miles on the odometer. Today, I have 282k miles on the vehicle and have been looking forward to hitting the 300k mile mark. Unfortunately, I don't think it'll get there without significant cost and work. The car has had a check engine light on for the last several years (catalytic converter efficiency), engine oil is getting into 2 of the 4 piston chambers, and the underbody of the car is rusting out. This despite all these issues, the car has still run fine with regular oil changes and maintenance. Over the last couple of weeks though, the car is have lots of problems starting and only getting worse and worse. In addition to a big crack in a new exhaust manifold I just put into the car a few months ago, the coolant is disappearing off into somewhere. I'm fairly confident that the head gasket is damaged and the coolant and engine oil is mixing.

Long story short, I don't think I can use this car as a dependable everyday driver anymore and it's probably only worth a few hundred dollars and not worth putting that much more money into.

I'm looking at a new or 1-3 year old (2016-2018) Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, or Nissan Altima. I'm a pretty meticulous person when doing research but due to my current car being so reliable for the last 13 years, it's been a while since I've looked into the car purchasing experience. I'm starting off at looking at the new 2018 Camrys, Accords, and Altimas as a price reference point before getting into the used car market.

The brand new Camrys have a new body style and I understand has a new engine. I don't know if the "new" engine is truly a first gen engine or just tweaked from previously reliable versions. I've been told by the Toyota guy that all the 2018 Accords have turbos. While a turbo sounds nice on paper, I don't want to deal with another part that could fail, premium gas, and I also assume that it's a first generation engine. And I've been a lifelong Nissan fan and have had a good experience with my current 2005 Altima, but I'm afraid of the CVTs and any sort of drop in quality from Nissans in the last 13 years.

Here's where I need your advice: What vehicle in this category would you pick? And if Used, what kind of ballpark price point? Or any other comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers, skylinec83