I would probably go with the Altima. I think 35K miles is too high for a 2014...just my opinion. Plus, you're getting a midsize car and all the comforts that will come with that. I am a fan of the body style of Altima that year and think it will age pretty well. I would also look at other factors such as were any of them a rental car previously to help me determine.
There is a decent size difference between those cars. I'm large enough that I would only choose the Altima of those three. Meanwhile, my g/f would only want the smaller ones.
From the little I've worked on it, I'd say the Corolla is easier to do some work on (filters are easier to get to), but good luck dealing with a ridiculous fuse box location. Also, our Nissan forum is a lot better than anything I could find for Toyota.
- reliable Check.
- dependable Check.
- long term Check.
- boring Check.
If you're looking for a $12K ride to go 12 years with minimal fuss, of those 3 cars, that's my pick.
Personally I need a little more zing in my ride...so personally..I'd look first for a good Civic/Accord (depending on size needed). There's a reason they command a premium used....and it's not just some strange troublesome 'market force' thingy.
I personally chose from the choices that were mentioned in the first post. When I purchased my 2012 Sentra, I chose it over the 2012 2.5 Altima... my reasons were I wasn't going to mod it... and to save on gas... Looks alone helped as well, which I thought it looked better in the sense of how aggressive it looked (resembling the SE-R). Since then, I have modded the B16's suspension/rear sway/trunk tower brace/3-point engine bay brace and CAI/Pulley... but with the unexplored regions of the MR20 and lack of support sort of halted any further modding inspirations which has opened my eyes to other brands other than Nissan, unfortunately.
Anything 2015 or earlier would be a nice car, via Nissan (minus CVT)... the B16's CVT is garbage... nothing like the Altima's/Juke's/Maxima's... for obvious reasons of lack of power and not needing the Xtronic abilities of their 180bhp+ bigger brothers.
I've considered the 2010+ Civic Si route.. a lot of options... in-fact toooooooooo many options meaning harder to choose things of quality unless you know or have insight, plus, the civic community that I've come to know is rather hostile like the Sentra community and maxima community thinking they're high and mighty than the rest...
So, my lineup consisted in the 2013+ Accord Sport or V6, 2012+ Altima V6, 2012+ VW CC 2.0T, 2012+ VW GTI, 2013 Mazda6, Cadillac ATS 2.0T and 2012+ STI
Now, most of these don't even rival each other and it's a broad spectrum...but it's quite simple... have quality + sufficient power and expandability to exploit more power when need be.
Both Accord and Altima V6's already come with 270BHP+ from factory.. more than enough for fun which leave for more power in handling and so on.. if I want more power I'm sure it will be attainable without an issue but it's not needed.
VW CC and GTI, these two came to mind because of my wife's 2013 CC w/APR Tuning... just a chip mod and the car hauls... puts down both the Altima and Accord stock... not to mention the support... it's not massive like Honda but it's just enough for fun. Same motor different platforms so from there you decide what you want.
Mazda6 is mainly just a sexy car.. limited to an I-4 @ 180BHP I believe... the weakest choice of the bunch... I haven't looked an the aftermarket support but whatever... it's sexy and very under-rated. I know market value is shit but who cares? lol...
Cadillac ATS 2.0T... this small classy car has a lot of promise and many shared parts with it's bigger brothers in caddy and chevy... power and small size should account for a fun car.
...and the high and mighty STI... the most expensive.. and would need minimal for user preference to mod really... the car is solid, fun.. etc etc... already comes with tons of power... just the price...
What I wanted in the Sentra initially was a daily... but eventually grew to the modding bug... think wisely on what youwant from the start... and what the car will become for your taste my friend... sorry for the hi-jack rambling... just wanted to give you some insights on a similar situation and what I've thought about for myself
Imo, i wouldnt buy anything nissan, especially since i worked at a nissan dealer. I would recommend a toyota or honda product. The reliability is there. Just goes to show you that the french really dont know how to make a car or have some decent quality control and it shows in all its nissan products