Nissan Altima vs. Ford Fusion

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 - January 31, 2019

In the middle of 2018, Ford made a drastic decision to stop making all passenger cars besides the Mustang. Unfortunately, this means the death of the handsome and athletic Ford Fusion, which has been a top option with numerous powertrains, an affordable price, and a well-equipped cabin. The choice to end the Fusion's production has opened the door to some of Ford's competitors, like Nissan with the Altima.

For the 2019 model year, the Altima has been redesigned with a new design, a new turbocharged engine, available all-wheel drive, a new interior, and more safety features. Ford may be getting out of the sedan segment, but Nissan has clearly doubled down.

With the Fusion officially going out of production in the near future, is it worth going with the older sedan or choosing Nissan's new model? That's what we'll answer below.

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

What the Fusion Gets Right

When it comes to affordability, the Fusion gets the nod. Ford's mid-size sedan starts at $23,735 for 2019, while the 2019 Altima is priced at $24,645 (both prices include destination). In addition to being more affordable, the Fusion also has more choices to explore. While the majority of the Fusion's lineup comes with a naturally-aspirated engine, Ford also offers the sedan in a hybrid and an electric version.

Performance is also in the Fusion's court. The range-topping V6 Sport is equipped with a 2.7-liter V6 that generates 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The Altima's new, high-level turbocharged 2.0-liter variable compression engine is rated to make 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Cargo capacity is also slightly more in the Fusion, as the sedan has a trunk that measures 16 cubic feet. The Altima's is slightly smaller at 15.4 cubic feet.

What the Altima Gets Right

While the Altima is the more expensive sedan, it will save you money when it comes to fuel. Ignoring the Fusion's hybrid and electric variants, the Altima is the more fuel efficient offering. The Altima gets an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon city, 39 mpg highway, and 32 combined. The Fusion only gets 23/34/27 mpg (city/highway/combined).

When it comes to base engines, the Altima's is more powerful than the Fusion's. The Altima comes with a 188-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, while the Fusion is equipped with a similar engine that produces 175 hp.

Despite having similar technology features, the Altima is the safer option. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the Altima a Top Safety Pick, as the vehicle earned a rating of Good in all of the institute's tests. The Fusion missed out on the rating because of headlights that were found to be Poor.

What Something New or Old?

It might be old, but the Fusion is still a good option. The sedan, though, is finally starting to show its age against competitors that have all but caught up. Once alone in the segment with all-wheel drive, a powerful V6 engine, and handsome styling, competitors have caught up. The Altima is newer, has a nicer interior, is more fuel efficient, and safer. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as it's much newer.

Our Verdict: Nissan Altima

With a new look, more features, a high-tech engine, and an available all-wheel-drive system, the Nissan Altima is a better sedan than ever before. Against the rapidly-aging Ford Fusion, the Altima is the more youthful choice, which makes it the better option.

Take a closer look at the Nissan Altima »

Take a closer look at the Ford Fusion »

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

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