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 Infiniti Q50 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
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 Q50 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Altima and the Q50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
There are over 5 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Altima’s warranty.
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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 14th.
On the EPA test cycle the Altima FWD turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Q50 2.0t RWD (25 city/34 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).
Regardless of its engine, the Altima’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Infiniti only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Q50 2.0t.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Altima uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q50 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
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 Q50 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Q50.
For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Q50’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.7 feet).
The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 550 pounds less than the Infiniti Q50.
The design of the Nissan Altima amounts to more than styling. The Altima has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the Q50 (.26 to .29) 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 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q50 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Altima SL/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q50 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Altima has 1.5 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear legroom, 2 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Q50.
The Altima has a much larger trunk than the Q50 (15.4 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).
The Altima’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Q50 Pure doesn’t offer folding rear seats.
The Nissan Altima outsold the Infiniti Q50 by over six to one during 2017.