Childre Nissan Compares 2009 Nissan Altima VS 2009 Chevrolet Impala Near Macon, GA

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2009 Nissan Altima

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VS

2009 Chevrolet Impala

Safety Comparison

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The Altima Sedan has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Impala doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Altima Sedan (except 2.5 Base) offers an optional backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The Impala doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Both the Altima Sedan and the Impala have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes and available electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH front offset crash tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Altima Sedan is safer than the Impala:

Altima Sedan

Impala

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Structure

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

205

530

Peak Head G-forces

27 G’s

87 G’s

Chest Compression

29 mm

30 mm

Femur Force

1.3 kN/1 kN

.9 kN/3.6 kN

Tibia index

.28/.4

.79/.98

(This test is not comparable to the NHTSA NCAP 35 MPH front crash test.)

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

Altima Sedan

Impala

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Head Injury Criteria

196

293

Thoracic Trauma

43

55

Pelvis Deceleration

48 G’s

99 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Criteria

390

639

Thoracic Trauma

56

64

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

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

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

The Altima Sedan’s reliability is better than the Impala’s. In Consumer Reports, the Altima Sedan’s reliability is 60% better.

Engine Comparison

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As tested in Consumer Reports the Altima Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Chevrolet Impala V6 (automatics tested):

Altima Sedan

Impala

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3.9 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

92 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Altima Sedan’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Impala:

Torque

Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

3900 RPM

Altima Sedan HEV 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

0 RPM

Impala 3.5 V6

4000 RPM

Impala 3.9 V6

4000 RPM

Impala SS 5.3 V8

4400 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Altima Sedan HEV gets better fuel mileage than the Impala (35 city/33 hwy vs. 18 city/29 hwy).

The Altima Sedan has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Impala (20 vs. 17.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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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 Sedan offers an optional brake assist system 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 Impala doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The Altima Sedan stops much shorter than the Impala:

Altima Sedan

Impala

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The Altima Sedan V6 offers an optional full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Impala, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Altima Sedan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Impala doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Altima Sedan 3.5 SE handles at .83 G’s, while the Impala SS pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Altima Sedan 3.5 SE goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 4.4 MPH faster than the Impala SS (64.9 vs. 60.5 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the Altima Sedan’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Impala w/16" or 17" wheels’ (36.1 feet vs. 38 feet). The Altima Sedan 3.5 SE’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Impala w/18" wheels’ (37.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The Nissan Altima Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 400 pounds less than the Chevrolet Impala.

The Altima Sedan is 10.6 inches shorter than the Impala, making the Altima Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Altima Sedan has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Impala uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Nissan Altima Sedan amounts to more than styling. The Altima Sedan has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd (optional .3 Cd with Rear Spoiler). That is lower than the Impala (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Altima Sedan get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Altima Sedan 2.5 S is quieter than the Impala SS:

Altima Sedan

Impala

At idle

38 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Altima Sedan has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more front hip room than the Impala.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Altima Sedan’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Impala LS doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

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

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Altima Sedan. The Impala doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Altima Sedan 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 Impala doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Altima Sedan’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the switch, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Impala’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The Altima Sedan’s optional front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and its driver’s window also automatically closes.

If the front windows are left down on the Altima Sedan (except 2.5 S) the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Impala can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Altima Sedan 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 Impala doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Altima Sedan’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Impala’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Altima Sedan (except 2.5 Base)’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Impala doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Altima Sedan offers optional rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Impala doesn’t offer rear vents.

The Altima Sedan’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Impala’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Altima Sedan owner. The Car Book rates the Altima Sedan with a number 3 insurance rate while the Impala is rated higher at a number 8 rate.

The Altima Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that the Altima Sedan will retain 46.85% to 57.22% of its original price after five years, while the Impala only retains 32.31% to 40.03%.

The Altima Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Impala because of its higher resale value and lower insurance rate. It also costs $380 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Altima Sedan than the Impala, including $122 less for a water pump, $277 less for an alternator, $21 less for front brake pads, $119 less for a starter, $390 less for a fuel pump and $18 less for front struts.

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