Childre Nissan Compares 2005 Nissan Altima VS 2005 Pontiac Grand Near Dublin, GA

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2005 Nissan Altima

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2005 Pontiac Grand

Safety Comparison

Both the Altima and the Grand Prix have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, available front seat side-impact airbags, head airbags and four wheel antilock brakes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Altima is safer than the Grand Prix:


Grand Prix



5 Stars

3 Stars

Head Injury Index



Chest forces

40 g’s

58 g’s

Leg injuries (L/R)

59 / 301

1528 / 1354



5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index



Chest forces

41 g’s

44 g’s

Leg injuries (L/R)

 / 97

1240 / 840

More stars indicate a better overall result. Lower numbers indicate better individual test results.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 38.5 MPH side impact tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Altima is safer than the Grand Prix:


Grand Prix

Front Seat


3 Stars

3 Stars

Rear Seat


4 Stars

3 Stars

Thoracic Trauma



More stars indicate a better chance of avoiding serious injuries. Lower numbers indicate better actual numeric test results.

Warranty Comparison

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Altima 2 years and 24,000 miles longer than Pontiac covers the Grand Prix. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years and 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Grand Prix ends after only 3 years or 36,000 miles.

The Altima’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Grand Prix’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Altima have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Grand Prix.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics which show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Pontiac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 17th in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Pontiac is ranked 23rd.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima 3.5SE/3.5SL 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Grand Prix GTP 3.8 supercharged V6 (automatics tested):


Grand Prix

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

6.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.8 MPH

92.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Altima automatic with its standard engine gets better city fuel mileage than the Grand Prix with its standard engine (23 vs. 20 MPG).

The Altima has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Grand Prix (20 vs. 17 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Altima SE-R’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Grand Prix:

Altima SE-R

Grand Prix

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

10.5 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Altima w/ABS offers an available brake assist system with its available antilock brakes to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The Altima with optional antilock brakes stops much shorter than the Grand Prix with antilock brakes:


Grand Prix

70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

202 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Altima SE-R’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Grand Prix GTP’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Altima SE-R has standard 18 inch wheels. The Grand Prix’s largest wheels are only 17 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Altima 3.5SE handles at .83 G’s, while the Grand Prix GT pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Altima 2.5S goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 2.1 MPH faster than the Grand Prix GTP (63.6 vs. 61.5 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 500 pounds less than the Pontiac Grand Prix.

The Altima is 6 inches shorter than the Grand Prix, making the Altima easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima has 4.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Grand Prix (102.8 vs. 98).

The Altima has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Grand Prix.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Altima offers cargo security. The Grand Prix’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Altima has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Altima’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Grand Prix does not have an oil pressure gauge.

If the windows are left down on the Altima (except 2.5 Base) the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower all the windows from outside the car using the remote. The driver of the Grand Prix can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Altima has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To improve comfort and visibility, the Altima offers optional pull-out visor extensions that block glare better. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer any similar feature.

The Altima’s available outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Altima’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Altima has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Altima V6’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

An available built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Altima’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Grand Prix doesn’t offer a filtration system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Altima owner. The Car Book rates the Altima with a number 1 insurance rate while the Grand Prix is rated higher at a number 5 rate.

The Altima will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Altima will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the Grand Prix.


Grand Prix

Four Year



Two Year



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