Childre Nissan Compares 2016 Nissan Altima VS 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Near Warner Robins, GA

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2016 Nissan Altima

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2016 Chevrolet Malibu

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 Chevrolet Malibu doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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

Both the Altima Sedan and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

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 Chevrolet Malibu:

Altima Sedan




5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

216 lbs.

937 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

186/153 lbs.

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

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 Chevrolet Malibu:

Altima Sedan


Rear Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Altima Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2016, a rating granted to only 73 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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

Engine Comparison

The Altima Sedan 2.5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 19 more horsepower (182 vs. 163) than the Malibu’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Altima Sedan 3.5’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (270 vs. 250) than the Malibu’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima Sedan 2.5 is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu 1.5 Turbo:

Altima Sedan


Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.2 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Altima Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu:

Altima Sedan


2.5 4 cyl./Auto

27 city/39 hwy

27 city/37 hwy

1.5 Turbo/Auto

3.5 V6/Auto

22 city/32 hwy

22 city/21 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Altima Sedan uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Malibu with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Altima Sedan has 6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu 1.5 Turbo’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 13 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima Sedan has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu 2.0 Turbo’s optional fuel tank (19 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Altima Sedan stops shorter than the Malibu:

Altima Sedan


60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

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 Malibu doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 Malibu doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better maneuverability, the Altima Sedan 2.5/2.5 S’ turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Malibu’s (36.1 feet vs. 37 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV is quieter than the Malibu LT (38 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima Sedan has .9 inches more front headroom and 3 inches more front legroom than the Malibu.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Altima Sedan easier. The Altima Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Malibu’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The Altima Sedan’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Malibu’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The Altima Sedan’s optional front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Malibu LT/Premier’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the front windows are left down on the Altima Sedan 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 Malibu 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 Malibu 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 Malibu’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Altima Sedan, 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. Chevrolet only offers wireless connectivity on the Malibu LS/LT/Premier.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Altima Sedan won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

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