Childre Nissan Compares 2009 Nissan Altima VS 2009 Kia Optima Near Macon, GA

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2009 Nissan Altima

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VS

2009 Kia Optima

Safety Comparison

The Altima Sedan has standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes for quicker stops and controlled steering ability, especially under poor traction conditions. Antilock brakes cost extra on the Optima.

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

Both the Altima Sedan and the Optima 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 and available electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

In a 31 MPH side-impact test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashes a 3300 pound sled into the side of new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Altima Sedan is safer than the Optima:

Altima Sedan

Optima

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Structure

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Driver

Head Protection Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Head Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Pelvis/Leg Injury Rating

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Shoulder Movement

40 mm

43 mm

Rear Passenger

Head Protection Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Head Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Torso Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Pelvis/Leg Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Shoulder Movement

10 mm

32 mm

Warranty Comparison

The Altima Sedan’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Optima runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 73 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Altima Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Altima Sedan’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Optima 2.7 DOHC V6’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt, which eventually needs to be replaced. If the Optima’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 29th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 31st.

Engine Comparison

The Altima Sedan has more powerful engines than the Optima:

Horsepower

Torque

Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

175 HP

180 lbs.-ft.

Altima Sedan HEV 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

198 HP

199 lbs.-ft.

Altima Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

270 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Optima 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

175 HP

169 lbs.-ft.

Optima 2.7 DOHC V6

185 HP

182 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. is faster than the Kia Optima V6 (automatics tested):

Altima Sedan

Optima

Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

8.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

86 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 Optima:

Torque

Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

3900 RPM

Altima Sedan HEV 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

0 RPM

Optima 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

4250 RPM

Optima 2.7 DOHC V6

4000 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Altima Sedan HEV gets better fuel mileage than the Optima Auto (35 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Altima Sedan 2.5 Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Optima Manual 4 cyl. (23 city/32 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

The Altima Sedan has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Optima (20 vs. 16.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Altima Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Optima:

Altima Sedan

Optima

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

10.3 inches

The Altima Sedan with its standard antilock brakes stops much shorter than the Optima with antilock brakes:

Altima Sedan

Optima

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Altima Sedan has larger tires than the Optima (215/60R16 vs. 205/60R16).

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 Optima, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Altima Sedan’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the Optima (109.3 inches vs. 107.1 inches).

The Altima Sedan 3.5 SE handles at .83 G’s, while the Optima EX pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Altima Sedan 3.5 SE goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 2.6 MPH faster than the Optima EX (64.9 vs. 62.3 MPH).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima Sedan has .8 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom and 2.3 inches more front hip room than the Optima.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Altima Sedan has a larger trunk than the Optima (15.3 vs. 14.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Altima Sedan automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Optima’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 Optima’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 Optima can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Optima’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Altima Sedan’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Altima Sedan has standard lighted power door lock, power window, power mirror and cruise control switches so that they are easily found at night. The Optima doesn’t have lighted switches.

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 Optima’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Altima Sedan’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Optima doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Altima Sedan and the Optima offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Altima Sedan offers optional rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Optima doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat 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 Optima’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Wireless connectivity is optional on the Altima Sedan (except 2.5 Base), connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Kia doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the Optima.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Altima Sedan owner. The Car Book rates the Altima Sedan with a number 3 insurance rate while the Optima is rated higher at a number 5 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 Optima only retains 32.23% to 35.65%.

The Altima Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Optima because of its higher resale value and lower insurance rate. It also costs $210 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Altima Sedan than the Optima, including $81 less for a water pump, $256 less for an alternator, $30 less for a starter and $54 less for a fuel pump.

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