Childre Nissan Compares 2014 Nissan Altima VS 2014 BMW 3 Near Gray, GA

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2014 Nissan Altima

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VS

2014 BMW 3

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Altima Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the Altima Sedan SV/SL’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Altima Sedan and the 3 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Altima Sedan is safer than the BMW 3 Series Sedan:

Altima Sedan

3 Series Sedan

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

19%

36%

Neck Stress

216 lbs.

345 lbs.

Neck Compression

59 lbs.

113 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

321/434 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Altima Sedan is safer than the 3 Series Sedan:

Altima Sedan

3 Series Sedan

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

143

238

Peak Head Forces

0

0

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

1.74/.01 kN

1.95/2.26 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

POOR

POOR

Tibia index R/L

1.28/.34

2.07/.46

Tibia forces R/L

2.9/.3 kN

4/5 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Altima Sedan is safer than the BMW 3 Series Sedan:

Altima Sedan

3 Series Sedan

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

233

326

Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

64 G’s

Hip Force

677 lbs.

688 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

17 inches

17 inches

HIC

197

291

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal, side, rear impact, and roof-crush crash tests, and an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Altima Sedan as a “Top Pick” for 2014. The 3 Series Sedan is only a standard “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Altima Sedan 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 3 Series Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 3 Series Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Altima Sedan’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Altima Sedan uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 3 Series Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Altima Sedan has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan ActiveHybrid/diesel’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 15 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima Sedan has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Altima Sedan stops shorter than the 3 Series Sedan:

Altima Sedan

3 Series Sedan

70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Altima Sedan 3.5’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Sedan (235/45R18 vs. 225/40R19).

The Altima Sedan has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima Sedan is 1.9 inches wider in the front and .3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 3 Series Sedan.

For better maneuverability, the Altima Sedan 2.5/2.5 S’ turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the 3 Series Sedan’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Nissan Altima Sedan amounts to more than styling. The Altima Sedan has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the 3 Series Sedan (.29 to .3) 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 SV is quieter than the 335i:

Altima Sedan

3 Series Sedan

At idle

38 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Altima Sedan is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the 3 Series Sedan is rated a Compact.

The Altima Sedan has 5.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 3 Series Sedan (101.9 vs. 96).

The Altima Sedan has 3 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear legroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the 3 Series Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Altima Sedan has a much larger trunk than the 3 Series Sedan (15.4 vs. 13 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Altima Sedan (except Base 2.5) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Consumer Reports rated the Altima Sedan’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the 3 Series Sedan’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Altima Sedan (except 2.5 Base) has standard extendable sun visors. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Altima Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Altima Sedan with a number “3” insurance rate while the 3 Series Sedan 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 Intellichoice estimates that the Altima Sedan will retain 45.77% to 55.2% of its original price after five years, while the 3 Series Sedan only retains 44.99% to 45.66%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima Sedan is less expensive to operate than the 3 Series Sedan because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima Sedan than the 3 Series Sedan, including $331 less for a water pump, $17 less for an alternator, $92 less for front brake pads, $214 less for a starter, $290 less for front struts, $157 less for a timing belt/chain and $517 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Altima Sedan will be $10272 to $15509 less than for the BMW 3 Series Sedan.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Altima Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Altima Sedan

3 Series Sedan

Consumer Reports® Recommends

FALSE

Top Pick

Kiplinger’s Awards

2

1

The Nissan Altima outsold the BMW 3 Series by almost three to one during the 2013 model year.

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