Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Altima VS 2018 Toyota Corolla Near Macon, GA

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2018 Nissan Altima

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2018 Toyota Corolla

Safety Comparison

The Altima SV/SL’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Corolla doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Altima SV/SL’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Corolla doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Altima 3.5 SL has standard NissanConnect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Corolla doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Altima and the Corolla 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 and rear parking sensors.

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 Corolla:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

216 lbs.

362 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

314/513 lbs.




4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

113 lbs.

120 lbs.

Neck Compression

62 lbs.

78 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 Toyota Corolla:





Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

70 G’s

Hip Force

677 lbs.

765 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Hip Force

711 lbs.

868 lbs.

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

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Altima has a standard 550-amp battery. The Corolla’s 356-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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

The Altima 2.5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 47 more horsepower (179 vs. 132) and 49 lbs.-ft. more torque (177 vs. 128) than the Corolla’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The Altima 2.5’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 39 more horsepower (179 vs. 140) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (177 vs. 126) than the Corolla LE Eco’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The Altima 3.5’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 130 more horsepower (270 vs. 140) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (251 vs. 126) than the Corolla LE Eco’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Altima is faster than the Toyota Corolla (automatics tested):


Altima 2.5

Altima 3.5


Corolla LE Eco

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

5.9 sec

9.5 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

14.2 sec

17.3 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.2 MPH

101.7 MPH

82.6 MPH

82.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Altima 2.5 gets better fuel mileage than the Corolla CVT with its standard engine (27 city/38 hwy vs. 28 city/36 hwy).

The Altima has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Corolla (18 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Altima’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Corolla:




Front Rotors

11.7 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors

10.2 inches

The Nissan Altima has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Corolla. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Altima stops shorter than the Corolla:





70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

133 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

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 Corolla (215/60R16 vs. 195/65R15). The Altima 2.5 SR/3.5’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Corolla (235/45R18 vs. 215/45R17).

The Altima 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 Corolla L/LE Eco’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Altima 2.5 S has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Corolla L/LE Eco. The Altima 2.5 SR/3.5’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Corolla SE/XSE.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Altima has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota Corolla has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Altima’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Corolla (109.3 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Corolla.

The Altima 2.5 SL handles at .85 G’s, while the Corolla SE pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Altima 3.5 SL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Corolla LE Eco (27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Nissan Altima amounts to more than styling. The Altima offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .265 to .288 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the Corolla (.28 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Altima get better fuel mileage.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Altima 2.5 SV is quieter than the Corolla SE:




At idle

38 dB

39 dB


75 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima has 4.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Corolla (101.9 vs. 97.5).

The Altima has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 8.2 inches more rear hip room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Corolla.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Altima has a much larger trunk than the Corolla (15.4 vs. 13 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Altima offers cargo security. The Corolla’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The Altima 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 Corolla doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Altima’s optional front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Corolla’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 Corolla 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 Corolla L’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Corolla LE/LE Eco/S/Special Edition’s manually variable intermittent wipers don’t change delay with speed.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Altima (except 2.5 Base) has standard extendable sun visors. The Corolla doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Altima’s power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The Corolla’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Altima’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Corolla doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Altima SV/SL’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Corolla doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Altima and the Corolla offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Altima offers optional rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Corolla doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 Corolla 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 Corolla because typical repairs cost less on the Altima than the Corolla, including $4 less for front brake pads, $95 less for a starter and $22 less for front struts.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Corolla, 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 Corolla isn’t in the top three in its category.

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