Childre Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Altima VS 2017 Kia Optima Near Gray, GA

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2017 Nissan Altima

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2017 Kia Optima

Safety Comparison

Both the Altima Sedan and the Optima 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, 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 Kia Optima:


Altima Sedan





5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

216 lbs.

218 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

114/300 lbs.




4 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

113 lbs.

192 lbs.

Neck Compression

62 lbs.

101 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, results indicate that the Nissan Altima Sedan is safer than the Kia Optima:


Altima Sedan



Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

66 G’s

Hip Force

677 lbs.

933 lbs.

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, 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 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Optima is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

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 39 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Altima Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima Sedan second among midsize cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The Optima isn’t in the top three.

Engine Comparison

The Altima Sedan has more powerful engines than the Optima:



Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

179 HP

Altima Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

270 HP

Optima LX 1.6T 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

178 HP

Optima 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

Optima SX/SX Limited 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. is faster than the Optima LX 1.6T 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.:


Altima Sedan


Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

15.8 sec

As tested in Consumer Reports the Altima Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Kia Optima 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.:


Altima Sedan


Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.2 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.5 MPH

89 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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



Altima Sedan




2.5 4 cyl./CVT

27 city/39 hwy

25 city/36 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto


2.5 4 cyl./Auto

26 city/37 hwy

24 city/34 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto


3.5 V6/Auto

22 city/32 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Altima Sedan stops shorter than the Optima:


Altima Sedan



70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Altima Sedan has larger standard tires than the Optima (215/60R16 vs. 205/65R16).

The Altima Sedan 2.5/2.5 S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Optima LX’s standard 65 series tires.

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 Optima doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Altima Sedan 2.5 SL handles at .84 G’s, while the Optima LX 1.6T pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Altima Sedan 3.5 SL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Optima LX 1.6T (27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Altima Sedan 2.5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Optima doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima Sedan has .2 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the Optima.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Altima offers cargo security. The Optima’s non-lockable remote release defeats 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 Optima doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Altima Sedan 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 Optima doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Optima’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

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

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.

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

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 Optima’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Optima because typical repairs cost less on the Altima Sedan than the Optima, including $11 less for a water pump and $22 less for front brake pads.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Altima Sedan outsold the Kia Optima by over two to one during the 2016 model year.

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