Childre Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Altima VS 2017 Buick LaCrosse Near Macon, GA

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2017 Nissan Altima

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2017 Buick LaCrosse

Safety Comparison

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 LaCrosse doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Altima Sedan and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Altima Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The LaCrosse is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Buick LaCrosse:


Altima Sedan


Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.7 MPH

97.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Altima Sedan 3.5 V6 gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse FWD (22 city/32 hwy vs. 21 city/31 hwy).

The Altima Sedan has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse FWD’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima Sedan has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse AWD’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 16.2 gallons).

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 LaCrosse doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Altima Sedan 2.5 SL handles at .85 G’s, while the LaCrosse Essence pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Altima Sedan 2.5/2.5 S’ turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the LaCrosse’s (36.1 feet vs. 38 feet). The Altima Sedan SV/SR/SL/3.5’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the LaCrosse’s (37.4 feet vs. 38 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Nissan Altima Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Buick LaCrosse.

The Altima Sedan is 5.6 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the Altima Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima Sedan has 1.6 inches more front headroom and 3 inches more front legroom than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Altima Sedan has a larger trunk than the LaCrosse (15.4 vs. 15 cubic feet).

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

Ergonomics Comparison

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

The Intelligent Key standard on the Altima Sedan (except 2.5 Base) allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Buick LaCrosse’s Keyless Access doesn’t unlock the trunk.

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

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Altima Sedan’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the LaCrosse’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 “1” insurance rate while the LaCrosse is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima Sedan is less expensive to operate than the LaCrosse because it costs $297 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Altima Sedan than the LaCrosse, including $146 less for a water pump, $198 less for an alternator, $124 less for front brake pads, $61 less for a starter, $56 less for fuel injection, $41 less for a fuel pump, $461 less for front struts, $649 less for a timing belt/chain and $407 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima Sedan second among midsize cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The LaCrosse isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Nissan Altima Sedan outsold the Buick LaCrosse by almost 11 to one during the 2016 model year.

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