Honda Accord vs. Nissan Altima

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - August 16, 2018

For numerous years, mid-size sedans like the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima reigned supreme as the go-to vehicles for consumers. It didn't matter if you were a family of five or single, the Accord and Altima were on everyone's list to explore. Both vehicles appealed to consumers because of their reliability, versatility, and ease of use.

More recently, both Nissan and Honda have come out with heavily-updated models of their respective sedans. The idea with the new models is to stop losing sales to crossovers and SUVs and to attract new buyers with striking designs. Despite the shrinking segment, the Accord and Altima continue to be two of the more popular options in the mid-size sedan market. Can the new Altima finally dethrone the Accord as the front runner?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Accord & Altima »

What the Accord Gets Right

There's a reason why the Accord has been the king and why it continues to be at the top of the hill. The Accord is the obvious choice for entry-level performance, as its base engine has more power. The Accord's 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is rated to make 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The Altima's base 2.5-liter four-cylinder produces 179 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.

Despite having the more powerful base engine, the Accord is the sedan that gets better fuel economy. When properly equipped, Honda's sedan can get up to 30 miles per gallon city, 38 mpg highway, and 33 combined, according to the EPA. The Altima lags behind with ratings of 27/38/31 mpg (city/highway/combined).

What the Altima Gets Right

If you're willing to pay extra for performance, the Altima is the better option. Nissan sells the sedan with an optional 3.5-liter V6 engine that's rated to generate 270 hp. The Accord's optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 252 hp. The Altima's V6 engine may not be as fuel efficient as the Accord's optional four-cylinder, but the motor makes up for it with its performance.

While the Accord pulls away from the Altima in nearly every aspect, Nissan's sedan manages to match Honda's when it comes to safety. Both vehicles were named Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, making both sedans great options for those looking to get into a safe vehicle. The Altima, though, is slightly more affordable than the Accord. Nissan's sedan is priced at $24,145, while the Accord starts at $24,465 (both include destination).

Which One is the Complete Package?

The Altima is closer than ever to dethroning the Accord, but Honda has managed to make an all-star with the Accord. The vehicle is available in various trims, including a hybrid model for those looking to save money at the pumps. Beyond that, the Accord offers passengers with a generous amount of interior space, a large cargo area, and good driving dynamics.

Our Verdict: Honda Accord

The two mid-size sedans are evenly matched, but the Honda Accord shines as the winner because it's the vehicle that can fit into any lifestyle. It checks off nearly ever box you might have.

Take a closer look at the Honda Accord »

Take a closer look at the Nissan Altima »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website