Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Altima VS 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Near Gray, GA

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2018 Nissan Altima

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VS

2018 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Altima 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.

Both the Altima and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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 is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

 

Altima

Malibu

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

19%

23%

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 is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

 

Altima

Malibu

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

197

235

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 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 60 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Altima’s reliability 19 points higher than the Malibu.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima third among midsize cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Malibu isn’t in the top three.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 2 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine Comparison

The Altima 2.5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 19 more horsepower (179 vs. 160) than the Malibu’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Altima 3.5’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (270 vs. 250) than the Malibu Premier’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.:

 

Altima

Malibu

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

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

The Altima has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu (18 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Altima stops shorter than the Malibu:

 

Altima

Malibu

 

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

The Altima 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 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.

Chassis Comparison

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

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima 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 easier. The Altima’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Malibu’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The Altima’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’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 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 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’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.

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’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Malibu’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Altima, 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.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Altima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Altima with a number “1” insurance rate while the Malibu is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Malibu because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the Malibu, including $356 less for a water pump, $71 less for an alternator, $133 less for front brake pads, $130 less for fuel injection, $80 less for a fuel pump and $78 less for front struts.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Altima, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Malibu isn't recommended.

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

The Nissan Altima outsold the Chevrolet Malibu by 33% during the 2017 model year.

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