For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Altima have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Acura ILX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Altima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The ILX doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Altima SV/SL/Platinum has standard Rear Automatic Braking that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The ILX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Altima offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ILX doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The Altima Platinum has a standard Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ILX only offers a rear monitor.
The Altima’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The ILX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Altima and the ILX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
There are over 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Altima’s warranty.
The ILX’s redline is at 7200 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Altima has a 6000 to 6200 RPM redline.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 8 places higher in reliability than Acura.
The Altima’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 47 more horsepower (248 vs. 201) and 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Altima S/SV/SL FWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the ILX Auto (28 city/39 hwy vs. 24 city/34 hwy).
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Altima’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The ILX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Altima uses regular unleaded gasoline. The ILX requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Altima has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the ILX (16.2 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better traction, the Altima SR/Platinum’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ILX (235/40R19 vs. 225/40R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Altima SR/Platinum has standard 19-inch wheels. The ILX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
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 ILX doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Altima has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ILX; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Altima’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the ILX (111.2 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the ILX.
The Altima’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59% to 41%) than the ILX’s (63% to 37%). This gives the Altima more stable handling and braking.
For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the ILX’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.8 feet).
The front grille of the Altima uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The ILX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Altima a Mid-size car, while the ILX is rated a Compact.
The Altima has 11.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ILX (100.8 vs. 89.3).
The Altima has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front legroom, 4.4 inches more front hip room, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more rear hip room and 3.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the ILX.
The Altima has a much larger trunk than the ILX (15.4 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).
The Altima’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The ILX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
The Altima Platinum’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The ILX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Altima SV/SL/Platinum detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ILX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
On extremely cold winter days, the Altima SV/SL/Platinum’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The ILX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Both the Altima and the ILX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Altima SV/SL/Platinum has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The ILX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The Nissan Altima outsold the Acura ILX by almost 22 to one during 2017.