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Nissan Altima vs. Volkswagen Jetta Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Nissan Altima or Volkswagen Jetta reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Nissan Altima and the Volkswagen Jetta truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Jetta reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Nissan Altima and the Volkswagen Jetta were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Nissan Altima and the Volkswagen Jetta have been recently.

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Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2014 Nissan Altima 29 Altimas, 7.2 months of data per Altima, average 9200 miles29
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2014 Volkswagen Jetta 33 Jettas, 6.5 months of data per Jetta, average 8600 miles45
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2013 Nissan Altima 59 Altimas, 9.8 months of data per Altima, average 17400 miles

Redesigned for this model year. Looking better recently. Earlier common problems with transmission vibrations, seat heaters, and rattles.
37
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2013 Volkswagen Jetta 45 Jettas, 9.5 months of data per Jetta, average 19400 miles20
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Nissan Altima 30 Altimas, 9.5 months of data per Altima, average 35600 miles17
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2012 Volkswagen Jetta 60 Jettas, 9.6 months of data per Jetta, average 34300 miles29
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2011 Nissan Altima 27 Altimas, 8.4 months of data per Altima, average 45500 miles21
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2011 Volkswagen Jetta 46 Jettas, 8.8 months of data per Jetta, average 50100 miles

Redesigned.
24
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2010 Nissan Altima 44 Altimas, 10.3 months of data per Altima, average 57800 miles13
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Volkswagen Jetta sedan 2.5   17 Jetta sedan 2.5s, 9.0 months of data per Jetta sedan 2.5, average 59500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2010 Volkswagen Jetta sedan diesel   24 Jetta sedan diesels, 9.6 months of data per Jetta sedan diesel, average 61400 miles

* Small sample size.
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2009 Nissan Altima 27 Altimas, 9.9 months of data per Altima, average 68000 miles36
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 32 Jetta 2.5s, 8.9 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 62200 miles

Common problem with the intake manifold on the 2.0T engine.
21
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 Volkswagen Jetta diesel 49 Jetta diesels, 9.7 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 77700 miles

Common problem with the intake manifold on the 2.0T engine.
43
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 29 Jetta 2.0Ts, 8.5 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 65400 miles

Common problem with the intake manifold on the 2.0T engine.
102
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2008 Nissan Altima 50 Altimas, 10.1 months of data per Altima, average 75200 miles29
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 35 Jetta 2.5s, 9.2 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 74900 miles49
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 32 Jetta 2.0Ts, 9.5 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 69600 miles79
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Nissan Altima 40 Altimas, 9.2 months of data per Altima, average 85100 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
39
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 32 Jetta 2.0Ts, 10.5 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 90200 miles85
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 37 Jetta 2.5s, 8.4 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 97600 miles89
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2006 Nissan Altima   14 Altimas, 9.9 months of data per Altima, average 135300 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T   13 Jetta 2.0Ts, 9.0 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 119900 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5   16 Jetta 2.5s, 8.9 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 99700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2006 Volkswagen Jetta diesel 29 Jetta diesels, 8.7 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 128300 miles

Redesigned. Includes 2005.5 Jetta.
123
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2005 Nissan Altima 28 Altimas, 8.3 months of data per Altima, average 116700 miles

Refreshed for this model year.
57
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2005 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   12 Jetta diesels, 8.5 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 148600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2005 Volkswagen Jetta   10 Jettas, 8.5 months of data per Jetta, average 122700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta   16 Jettas, 10.5 months of data per Jetta, average 100500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2003 Nissan Altima   14 Altimas, 8.3 months of data per Altima, average 115500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2003 Volkswagen Jetta 29 Jettas, 8.6 months of data per Jetta, average 132400 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
58
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 Volkswagen Jetta diesel 25 Jetta diesels, 9.3 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 211400 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
124
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2002 Volkswagen Jetta 25 Jettas, 8.2 months of data per Jetta, average 112300 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
65
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2002 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   14 Jetta diesels, 10.3 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 196900 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   11 Jetta diesels, 9.5 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 206600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 Volkswagen Jetta 26 Jettas, 8.8 months of data per Jetta, average 139100 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
100
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2000 Volkswagen Jetta   11 Jettas, 9.2 months of data per Jetta, average 126200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Nissan Altima

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2014 4dr Sedan 182-horsepower 2.5L I4
CVT FWD
For 20k miles so far mailnly used as a commuter car and well, everything else too I don't see any issues other than the regular oil changes and tire rotations. Time will tell how well the CVT holds up but from Nissan's standpoint they had it for a long time and I expect it to hold up. FYI I did not do those "mandatory" maintenance checkups, mostly do it at the 30k mark.
2010 4dr Sedan 175-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
I bought the 2010 Altima for the reliability and durability that Nissan's have been known for. Their styling is a notch better than Honda or Toyota. I have been driving the Altima for nearly 2 months now. I bought a pre-owned model for reduced depreciation. I drive my personal car for work purposes so this is why I went pre-owned (re-imbursed 0.42/mi). So far so good. I am averaging 30.2 mpg (city/highway). I am very satisfied with the economy. The 2.5L engine has performed well. The car was a lease return and was driven 9k miles/yr prior to my ownership. I hope to put 200k miles on this car before changing again. I have heard of the CVT having issues. Keeping my fingers crossed and will make sure to keep it maintained. Nissan raised the warranty on the CVT to 10/yr/120k miles.
2009 4dr Sedan 270-horsepower 3.5L V6
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
Minimal problems
2008 2dr Coupe 270-horsepower 3.5L V6
6-speed manual FWD
Car is approaching 60k and 5 years and still drives as new. Everything just continues to work.
2008 4dr Sedan 175-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
my 2008 nissan altima has had a self starting issue. sometimes when locking the car doors with the remote the car will self start. this has happened at least 5 or six times in the last 5 months. when phoning nissan service they have indicated that this cant be happening. it is
2008 4dr Sedan 175-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
Even tho I had owned Honda Accordsfor 22 years, I wrecked my last one at 135K miles and needed another vehicle soon. The Nissan Altima had the CVT transmission and the Smart Key which I really liked. The Honda Accord had neither, plus appeared to still have a wind noise problem for some strange reason. So I bought the Altima--I am basically happy with it. Only two things I don't like is that the driver's door freezes and becomes unusable in 15 degree weather. Other major problem is that despite very conservative driving habits, the CVT failed at 35K miles while on vacation and required replacement under warranty. Then the CVT failed AGAIN at 122k, just 2500 miles after the 120K extended warranty expired, requiring a $2200 repair while vacationing 1000 miles from home. It is a joy to drive, but any further transmission problems will make it my last Nissan.
2008 4dr Sedan 270-horsepower 3.5L V6
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
From researching for a new car the Altima was at or near the top of most lists.
2008 2dr Coupe 175-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed manual FWD
have owned Nissan before never any touble
2008 2dr Coupe 270-horsepower 3.5L V6
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
Ive had the vehicle for 9 months and have put 13000 miles on it. Not 1 problem, I just keep up with the standard maintaince. And excellent reliability, I drive it 23 miles a day 1 way to work. And for durability no matter how hard I drive, it keep going.
2008 2dr Coupe 270-horsepower 3.5L V6
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
My dad has had one for 6 years now with only the occasional light bulb going out as the only "repair" if you can call that a repair. I have had similar luck with my couple model also it is designed and put together in a superior fashion to the big three h
Nissan Altima Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2014 4dr Sedan 270-horsepower 3.5L V6
7-speed shiftable CVT FWD
CVT has been very unreliable. I had transmission issues after about 600 miles on this new car. It was difficult to recreate so it took a few months to get a dealer to address the issue. After the transmission was replaced it still had similar shakiness under light throttle.
2013 4dr Sedan 182-horsepower 2.5L I4
CVT FWD
To early to tell, but so far so good.
2008 4dr Sedan 175-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
the vehicle has a self starting issue.
2008 4dr Sedan 175-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
Past issues with engines concern me going forward
2008 2dr Coupe 270-horsepower 3.5L V6
6-speed shiftable CVT FWD
RUST, go to any scrap yard and you will see the proof.
2007 4dr Sedan 158-horsepower 2.5L I4 Hybrid
CVT FWD
A lot of little quirks with the car. You do tend to have to visit the dealership a bit during the beginning.
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
I drive an average of 20,000 miles per year and am currently on track to put more than 40,000 miles in two years of ownership. Not one problem whatsoever. No visits to dealership other than routine maintenance. Very solid vehicle so far.
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
We purchased the vehicle new in June 2012. Around Oct I noticed a bubble on the lower half of the steering wheel. It did not bother me until I seen a thread was starting to come undone. We showed the dealer and they said to monitor it, and if it gets worse come back in. On a weekend trip it came undone more. Once back in town we took it in, and they scheduled to replace it. They did so under warranty with not problems. Besides this One problem the vehicle as been flawless. With just over 40k miles on the vehicle we both say we would get another one. Problem is I told the wife she MUST wait tell 150k miles to get a new vehicle.
2009 4dr Sedan 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Comes with a good warranty and free oil changes. VW has a good reputation for building quality vehicles.
2009 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
After 105,000 I can say that this car has been very reliable. Timing belt and water pump at 85000 to be safe. A front bearing went bad at 40000. A turbo sensor went bad at 100000. Brakes lasted til 80000. Never has needed an alignment. No other issues. This car just runs and runs.
2008 4dr Sedan 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
With the odometer reading over 36,000 miles I have not had any unpleasant surprises or repairs.
2007 0 VW has been turning owners into mechanics for a long time. My Jetta TDI has some "quirks". There are a lot of known problems. At least they are consistent. I live 2 1/2 hours from the nearest dealership, which means I bought a repair manual and I order my parts directly from the dealer to fix my own problems when I can. It's a car, not a rocket ship, and it's really not as scary and you think it is when you roll your sleeves up and jump in. Overall, Oil changes are $50-75 a pop done every 10,000 miles. Synthetic oil is expensive. Major service like timing belt is about $1,100 - wouldn't recommend DIY if you're not particularly skilled. The stealership will charge you a labor rate of nearly $100 per hour. If I ignore the stupid little things that don't matter (radio buttons peeling off, key fob that doesn't work), do work where I can (-replace glow plugs, light bulbs, fuses, brakes, filters) and let the major repairs fall where they will. In 4 years I've spent about $4000 in maintenance INCLUDING OIL CHANGES AND TIRES, most of which was timing belt ($1,100) and dual mass flywheel failure and clutch replacement ($1750).I think you'll find that about average.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Diesel powertrains are renown for their durability. My brother has a diesel Golf with 120,000 still purring.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Diesel reliability and longevity. Gotten nearly 5 years out of the car without any of the stereotypical VW glitches.
2006 4dr Sedan 150-horsepower 2.5L I5
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
The car has held together very well in the 26,000 miles I have owned it. True Delta and Consumer Reports both show that reliability is good and improved considerably over older VWs.
2004 4dr Sedan 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
This has been a trouble-free car for four years & 40,000+ miles.
Volkswagen Jetta Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2013 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Sunroof decided to not close after two weeks, I had to give it a little help with my hand, then after three days it fixed itself. If it happens again it'll have to go back to the dealer for repair. Otherwise no problems.
2011 4dr Sedan 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
VW has traditionally had troubles with reliability. We've had the Jetta for 9 months and 8,000 miles (daughter's car) and thus far there have been four admittedly minor recalls. On positive, structure feels sturdy all controls appear of hi
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
1 year old, shop needed to work on motor at least twice.
2009 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
More than a little concerned about Volkswagen’s lingering reputation for poor reliability, high repair costs, parts availability and short livened parts.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
Nothing in the first 42K miles but, reading the newsgroups has me worried down the line....
2006 4dr Sedan 150-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
I ran into many interior cosmetic trim issues during the warranty period, however no major mechanical problems. Now at ~67k miles I have had to replace the drivers door latch and one of my radiator cooling fans is acting up.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
A few annoying problems to date. Electrical system issues. Nothing in the powertrain or major subsystems.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
TDI engine lasts forever if you take care of it, but its a VW and they are notorious for needing lots of repairs on everything else on the car.
2006 4dr Sedan 150-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
Fuel pump had to be replaced around 73k miles. Car felt sluggish after I bought it used. I had a bad feeling the pump was going to go. Luckily there was a dealer only 36 miles away in Billing, MT that JUST opened. I limped the car in. Wish I had my tools I could've done the repair in the parking lot. Lift the bottom of the back seat up and there it is.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
06 Jetta TDI has a long list of common issues, all of which I have had, Transmission valve body failure, dual mass flywheel catastrophic failure, camshafts wear out which puts steel bits inside engine, expensive EGR coolers fail. Beware!