Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Altima VS 2018 Toyota Avalon Near Warner Robins, GA

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2018 Nissan Altima

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2018 Toyota Avalon

Safety Comparison

Both the Altima and the Avalon 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, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, 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 Toyota Avalon:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

216 lbs.

354 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

492/592 lbs.




4 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

113 lbs.

188 lbs.

Neck Compression

62 lbs.

108 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

537/329 lbs.

467/455 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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Altima is safer than the Toyota Avalon:





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

45 G’s

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

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Consumer Reports the Altima 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Toyota Avalon:




Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.5 MPH

97.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Altima 3.5 V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon (22 city/32 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

The Altima has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Avalon (18 vs. 17 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Altima stops shorter than the Avalon:





60 to 0 MPH

133 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Altima 2.5 SR/3.5’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Avalon (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

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 Avalon doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Altima 2.5 SL handles at .85 G’s, while the Avalon XLE pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Altima 3.5 SL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Avalon Limited (27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Altima’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Avalon’s (37.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Toyota Avalon.

The Altima is 3.4 inches shorter than the Avalon, making the Altima easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Altima V6 has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount and conventional liquid-filled engine mounts (standard liquid front mount on other versions of the Altima). A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Avalon uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The front grille of the Altima 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 Avalon doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Altima 2.5 SV is quieter than the Avalon XLE (38 vs. 39 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima has 1.5 inches more front headroom and 2.9 inches more front legroom than the Avalon.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Altima’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Avalon doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

If the front windows are left open on the Altima the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Avalon can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Avalon XLE/Touring’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

On extremely cold winter days, the Altima’s optional (except S/SR) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Avalon doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Avalon is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Avalon because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the Avalon, including $93 less for a water pump, $104 less for a starter, $21 less for fuel injection, $17 less for a fuel pump, $223 less for front struts, $1202 less for a timing belt/chain and $214 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 will be $1784 to $7731 less than for the Toyota Avalon.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Avalon, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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 Avalon isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Nissan Altima outsold the Toyota Avalon by almost 8 to one during 2017.

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