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2019 Nissan Altima vs Maxima

2019 Nissan Altima vs Maxima - Comparison.

2019 Altima vs Maxima - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

When shopping for a new sedan, some people will be deciding between the 2019 Nissan Altima and the 2019 Nissan Maxima. While the Altima has always been a practical choice, the Maxima is designed to offer a more luxurious driving experience. In this head-to-head comparison, we’ll take a closer examination of what these cars have to offer.

Size and Styling

The 2019 Nissan Maxima is classified as a large sedan. However, it’s not noticeably roomier than the midsize 2019 Nissan Altima. There’s 45 inches of legroom in the front of the Maxima. Tall drivers will certainly enjoy being behind the wheel of the Maxima. Expect the Altima’s driver’s seat to be nearly just as accommodating.

In terms of rear-seat legroom, the Nissan Altima comes out ahead. This fact may catch the attention of families. Its backseat provides 35.1 inches of legroom. By comparison, there’s around 34.2 inches of legroom in the Maxima’s rear seat. Most large sedans provide significantly more space for folks riding in the back. Headroom is virtually the same in these sedans.

These cars provide a good view of the road ahead. However, thick roof pillars somewhat limit the Maxima's rearward visibility. The Altima also offers acceptable rear visibility.

With a total of 14.3 cubic feet of cargo space, the Nissan Maxima has one of the smallest trunks in the segment. Families will find the Nissan Altima’s trunk to be more suitable, which provides 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

When comparing these cars, you’ll notice their similar length. They are also roughly the same height. However, the Nissan Altima does sit lower to the ground.

These sedans feature some of the same signature styling cues. While they both have a powerful V-Motion grille, the Altima’s grille is larger. Most people will describe the Maxima as being the sportier model. This is especially true for the Maxima SR, which features quad exhaust outlets. A more muscular-looking hood also helps set apart the Maxima. Every new Maxima comes standard with LED headlights. To get LED headlights, Altima buyers must step up to at least the SR trim.


Drivers should have no issues with the drivability of these sedans. They both inspire a great deal of confidence. A tighter turning radius does give the Altima a slight advantage in congested areas. Like the 2019 Nissan Altima, the 2019 Nissan Maxima comes equipped with Nissan’s Xtronic automatic CVT. While this transmission doesn’t have any gears, it performs smoothly in virtually every driving situation.

Both cars handle well for their size. SR trims come equipped with a sports-tuned suspension for enhanced agility around corners. However, the Maxima SR comes equipped with a few more performance upgrades. While Intelligent Engine Brake helps ensure smoother stops, Intelligent Trace Control helps ensure a better performance on twisty roads. Remember, Nissan bills the Maxima as a “four-door sports sedan” as opposed to a luxury sedan.

Drivers who need a winter vehicle will prefer the Altima. Unlike the Maxima, it can be equipped with an intelligent AWD system. This feature ensures better traction on snow-packed roadways. Front-wheel drive comes standard on both sedans.

In regards to ride comfort, these sedans are a close match. To experience the smoothest ride, stick with the standard suspension setup. Expect models equipped with a sports-tuned suspension to be a bit rougher. However, Nissan does equip the Maxima SR with an innovative Active Ride Control system. By adjusting engine torque and applying the brakes when encountering bumps, it’s able to smooth out the Maxima SR’s ride.

When testing driving these sedans, expect to experience a similar braking performance. Like the Maxima, the Altima stops quickly enough during emergencies. Drivers will feel confident when approaching unexpected obstacles.

Under the hood of the Maxima sits a 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 engine. While this award-winning engine has been around for quite some time, it still continues to impress. Nissan tunes the latest version to develop 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. This is enough power to ensure a brisk 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds.

The new Altima comes standard with a more efficient four-cylinder engine. It pushes out 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, which translates to a decent performance. Folks who desire more oomph on their daily commute will want the new VC-Turbo four-cylinder engine. This highly advanced engine cranks out 248 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Altima trims equipped with the VC-Turbo engine can hit 60 mph in around 6.1 seconds. In terms of straight-line acceleration, the Maxima and the Altima VC-Turbo are virtually dead even.

As expected, the Nissan Altima will save the most fuel. According to the EPA, it can return a combined 32 mpg. Stepping up to the more potent VC-Turbo engine lowers efficiency to a combined 29 mpg. Both engines are designed for regular gasoline. Maxima drivers can look forward to getting a combined 24 mpg on premium gasoline.

Comfort, Options and Performance

The 2019 Nissan Maxima will likely be more appealing to luxury car shoppers. Passengers riding in the Maxima will notice its hushed cabin. Sound-reducing glass and active noise cancellation technology help keep things quiet. Even the Maxima’s powerful V6 engine doesn’t make a big fuss. While the 2019 Nissan Altima isn’t loud on the inside, expect to hear just a bit more wind noise.

Families will have no complaints about the quality of the Altima’s interior. Nevertheless, the Maxima definitely feels plushier. It offers more trims with leather upholstery. Diamond-quilted leather inserts and a charcoal headliner give the Maxima Platinum Reserve an especially luxurious character.

Whether you choose the Maxima or the Altima, you’ll enjoy Nissan’s superb Zero Gravity front seats. These seats are engineered to keep the occupant’s spine in a relaxed position, which promotes greater everyday comfort. While both cars offer heated front seats, a few more niceties are available for the Maxima. Only the Maxima offers ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. Maxima buyers also have access to a sport driver’s seat with manual thigh extension.

Both of these cars come loaded with modern technologies. Like the Maxima, the Altima features a standard Nissan Connect infotainment system. This easy-to-use interface includes an 8.0-inch touch display with Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone support. A few more goodies come standard on the Maxima. Highlights include navigation, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote engine start. Drivers can also take advantage of the Maxima’s eight-speaker stereo system, which is a step above the Altima’s six-speaker unit.

There are some nice options available for both cars. Music fans will be interested in the Bose premium sound system. An engine sound enhancer comes equipped on the Maxima SR. By amplifying the sound on the Maxima’s engine, it creates a more entertaining driving experience.

The Maxima’s more luxurious design is reflected in its price tag. Nissan lists the Maxima with a starting MSRP of $34,050. Meanwhile, expect to pay around $24,000 for a base Altima. Budget-minded car shoppers won’t be able to ignore this difference in cost. They stand to keep an extra $10,000.

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The 2019 Nissan Maxima provides optimum safety. It netted a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. Families will also appreciate the Maxima’s solid IIHS crash scores. Expect the Altima to be just as secure.

Both cars benefit from standard forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. This is one of the most helpful safety features on the market. Luckily, it performs very well during real-world conditions with minimal false alerts. A tire pressure monitor also comes standard throughout the lineup. Ten airbags surround the cabin.

Buyers can get these sedans with Nissan’s advanced Safety Shield 360 package. It brings a host of accident-avoidance technologies. Drivers will enjoy reverse automated emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and high-beam assist. Nissan also offers these sedans with an Around View Monitor. This system features a total of four cameras, which gives drivers a 360-degree view in parking areas. When using the Around View Monitor, spotting obstacles will be especially easy.

Of these sedans, only the Altima offers Nissan’s cutting-edge ProPILOT Assist system. It’s engineered to promote a less stressful drive on the highway. Not only does ProPILOT Assist is lane centering technology, but it also combines intelligent speed control. Simply keep your hands on the wheel and the system will essentially drive the Altima.

Remember, only the Nissan Altima offers the security of an all-wheel-drive system. When encountering slippery pavement, the Altima’s optional AWD system will seek to improve grip. Folks who regularly travel in the snow will appreciate the enhanced traction.

Which Model to Choose?

Let’s look at the most important categories for car shoppers. The 2019 Nissan Altima is recommended for drivers who don’t have much money to spend on a new family sedan. It’s far more affordable than the Nissan Maxima. However, luxury car buyers will also find the 2019 Nissan Maxima to be a strong value. Nissan loads the Maxima with a greater number of standard features.

Aside from boasting a lower MSRP, the Nissan Altima is also better on gas. Even the Altima’s optional VC-Turbo engine is quite economical. Although the Maxima may sacrifice some fuel efficiency, it’s still frugal for a large sedan.

Both cars deliver an enjoyable driving experience. However, the turbocharged Nissan Altima matches the V6-powered Altima’s performance while returning better gas mileage. On the other hand, a few more upgrades for enhanced handling come equipped on the sporty Maxima SR. You can only acquire all-wheel drive on the Altima. Ride comfort is virtually a tie.

Like the Altima, the Maxima can accommodate four adults. However, its backseat is a bit cramped for tall passengers. Expect the Altima to provide a bit more room in its rear seat. Both cars are great for tall drivers. Folks seeking pure luxury will be happier with the Maxima. It has a quieter cabin and provides enhanced seat comfort.

For the 2019 model year, Nissan decided to update the Maxima’s exterior styling with a refreshed front and rear fascia. It now looks a bit more aggressive than before. While not quite as sporty as the Maxima, the 2019 Nissan Altima is also a good-looking family sedan. Models equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels have an especially commanding stance.

These cars offer today’s hottest safety technologies. Families can also enjoy very good impact protection. However, only the Altima offers ProPILOT Assist. It’s a great upgrade for drivers who do a great deal of highway traveling.

You should consider both of these sedans as your next vehicle. While the 2019 Nissan Altima is a better value, don’t overlook what the 2019 Nissan Maxima brings to the table. It proves to be a solid entry-level luxury sedan. The Maxima SR is even more entertaining to drive on twisty roads. Car shoppers must decide whether they prefer everyday practicality or more luxury.

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