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2024 Nissan Altima Pros vs Cons, & Rivals' Comparison

2024 Nissan Altima Pros, Cons, and Competitor Comparison
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By Norman Ruckpaul
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch
Published: Feb 5, 2024

Fuel-efficient family road trips on a budget? Buckle up for the 2024 Nissan Altima. We dissect its smooth ride, family-friendly space, and top safety tech like Nissan's Safety Shield 360. Does it stack up against rivals like the Accord and Sonata? We compare MPG, performance, and more to unlock the secrets and help you decide if the Altima is your dream ride. Read on for the unbiased scoop!

Key Takeaways

  • The Altima delivers impressive fuel efficiency from its turbo engine and available AWD, a major advantage over competitors.

  • Abundant standard safety tech like automatic emergency braking reflects the Altima's focus on driver assistance and protection.

  • The cabin is comfortable and convenient for daily use, but not as premium feeling as some rival interiors.

  • With decent but not sporty performance, the Altima leans practical over fun compared to livelier rivals like the Accord or Sonata.

What We Like - Top Ten Pros of the Altima

The Altima has several strong suits, such as its appealing design, comfortable interior, impressive fuel economy, advanced safety equipment, and long warranty, making it a worthy competitor to the cars like the Toyota Camry.

These aspects, including all wheel drive, make the 2024 Nissan Altima an attractive option for many car shoppers.

1. Sporty and Stylish Look

With its slick profile, V-motion grille, and sharp headlights, the 2024 Altima has a design that appeals to a lot of people.

The sporty SR trim comes with:

  • Sport-tuned suspension

  • Paddle shifters

  • 19-inch wheels

  • Premium audio system

Extras like the heated steering wheel and turbocharged engine make it even more fun to drive.

The Altima SV trim also offers its own set of cool features.

Inside, the Altima has a clean, simple dashboard design. It has supportive seats and a comfy driving position. The big rear spoiler adds to the sporty vibe and improves handling.

2. Spacious and Comfortable Interior

The inside of the 2024 Altima is comfortable and pleasant, with:

  • Easy to use switches and controls

  • Nice quality interior materials

  • Lots of storage up front, with big door pockets and a handy tray in the center console

  • Generous legroom in the back seats, great for families and commuters

There's plenty of legroom and headroom in the rear seats to easily fit taller passengers. The Altima carries 6 carry-on bags, or up to 17 bags with the rear seats folded down. The rear seats don't fold totally flat though - you have to use handles in the trunk which can be a pain.

The Altima SV adds even more to comfort like a leather wrapped steering wheel and an 8-way power driver's seat. The SL model piles on luxury features like leather seats, navigation, Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,9-speaker Bose sound system, and a 12.3-inch color display.

3. Good Fuel Economy

The Altima gets really impressive fuel efficiency - up to 27 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. This great fuel efficiency comes partly from its standard VC-Turbo engine. This engine can adjust its compression ratio, so it can give you more power when you need it, or better efficiency when you want to save gas.

The Altima also gets good MPG from its CVT transmission, stop-start system, and regenerative brakes that capture energy.

The fuel economy for the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Subaru Legacy, and Kia K5 is as follows:

  • Nissan Altima: The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is able to get an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. With all-wheel drive, those EPA estimates drop to 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

  • Honda Accord: The most fuel-efficient (nonhybrid) Accord earned 38 mpg highway. The Accord Hybrid returns up to 48 mpg in mixed city/highway driving.

  • Hyundai Sonata: The standard Sonata with a 2.5-liter engine has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.

  • Subaru Legacy: The base engine proves an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

  • Kia K5: The base engine provides an EPA-estimated 29 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.


4. Good Standard Safety Features & Driver Assistance

The 2024 Altima prioritizes safety with Nissan's Safety Shield 360 suite as standard. This includes helpful tech like automatic emergency braking, rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring.

Some other notable safety features the Altima includes:

  • EyeSight Driver Assist uses cameras for collision warning, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning alerts you if at risk of hitting the vehicle ahead using radar and a camera.

  • Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert - warn if a vehicle is in your blind spot or approaching from the sides when backing up. Use rear radar sensors.

  • Forward Automatic Emergency Braking - can automatically brake to help avoid frontal crashes it detects above 3 mph.

So in summary, the Altima comes packed with collision alerts and crash avoidance assist through the standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 system and extras like blind spot monitoring and automatic braking. Safety is clearly a priority.

The Altima has a handy driver assist called ProPILOT Assist to help take some pressure off driving:

  • Intelligent Cruise Control - Maintains safe distance from the car ahead in traffic.

  • Steering Assist - Helps keep you centered in your lane so you don't have to constantly correct.

  • Stop and Hold Function - Brings the car to a complete stop when needed, and resumes driving when traffic moves. Helpful in heavy traffic.

  • Navi-link Sync - Adjusts speed for curves and speed limits based on navigation.

  • Highway Driving Assistance - Can help change lanes, pass cars, and take exits on highways. Can even allow hands-free driving when conditions are right.

Overall, ProPILOT Assist adds comfort on long drives by helping with things like speed, lane centering, and stops/starts. It's like a helpful co-pilot for the highway.

5. Good Safety Ratings

What to Expect with the 2024 Nissan Altima's Safety Ratings

The Altima hasn't been crash tested yet by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

. But based on last year's ratings, we can expect good safety scores.

The 2023 Altima got 5 out of 5 stars overall from the NHTSA. It also scored 5 stars for frontal and side crash protection. It got 4 stars for rollover resistance.

The IIHS named the 2023 Altima a Top Safety Pick+. This is the highest rating the IIHS gives. To earn it, a vehicle needs good scores in all 6 IIHS crash tests. It also needs good front crash prevention tech and headlights.

6. The Altima is Reliable

The 2024 Nissan Altima Gets High Marks for Reliability. Although it scored average, it did have higher scores than its competition. The Accord, K5, Legacy and Sonata all received average reliability from consumer reports, but they scored less than the Altima. Only the Camry was rated higher.

J.D. Power rated it the gave it the same score as the Accord and legacy. It gave a slightly better score to the Sonata (81/100) and K5 and Camry where excellent. (85 and 88 out of 100)

In Consumer Reports' 2023 survey, the Altima placed 8th out of 26. J.D. Power gave it 80 out of 100 in its 2024 dependability study.

Here are some examples of the Altima's reliability:

  • The engine and transmission are very sturdy and long-lasting.

  • The interior materials are high quality and durable. They don't show wear and tear over time.

The Altima is clearly a reliable choice in the midsize category based on expert reviews. If you want a dependable sedan, the Altima is a great option.

(Reference: Consumer Reports, J.D. Power)

7. Altima is a Good Value

The Altima gives you a lot for your money. It has great features, performance, and price. The Altima comes well-equipped but is still affordable.

Features: The Altima has many standard features that cost extra on other cars. These include an 8.0-inch touchscreen touchscreen infotainment (12.3-inch touchscreen which is standard on the SL and SR with the optional turbocharged engine.), safety tech, and a comfy interior. Some examples are:

  • Altima's ProPILOT Assist mentioned above really adds to it's value

  • Touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

  • Driving aids like automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist

  • Dual climate control

  • Power locks and windows

  • Keyless entry and cruise control

  • Bluetooth and a 6-speaker sound system

The infotainment system also has a built-in navigation system, satellite radio, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Price: The starting price for the Altima is $26,845. This is similar to other popular cars like the Accord and Camry.

Overall, the Altima gives you a lot of car for the money. It has the features, performance, and price shoppers want. That makes it a smart purchase for many buyers.

8. Affordable Pricing Compared to Rivals

The Altima is known for its affordability, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers. Here's a general overview of the prices for the Altima vs the main competitors:

  • Nissan Altima: $26,845 - $36,545

  • Honda Accord: $28,990 - $39,635

  • Hyundai Sonata: $28,615 - $38,315

  • Subaru Legacy: $26,015 - 39,285

  • Kia K5: $23,690 - $32,915

  • Toyota Camry: $27,515 - $35,390

Prices are based on MSRP and include the destination fee.

9. Five Trim Levels Make it Easier to Fill Your Needs

More trims offer more offer more choices. With five trims and a large $9,700 price gap between the Base S model and the SR VC Turbo trim, you should be able to finds a model that suits your needs and budget.

The trim levels and starting prices available for the Nissan Altima models are as follows:

  • Altima S - $26,845

  • Altima SV - $27,645

  • Altima SR - $29,045

  • Altima SL - $33,545

  • Altima SR VC-Turbo trim - $36,545

10. Optional All-Wheel Drive

The vehicle is offered with all-wheel on all trim levels after the base S, and front-wheel drive on all models.  In comparison, the Accord comes with FWD only. Sonata offers it on the SEL trim for $30,115, and K5 offers it on  the GT-Line for $29,615 - so you will need to pay more to get it. The Camry offers it on the LE trim on up and it starts at $28,915. The Legacy offers AWD on all trims as standard.  

What We Think Needs Improvement - Five Cons to Consider

Even with all its positives, the 2024 Altima does have some downsides to think about too:

  • Noisy cabin, especially at high speeds

  • Questions about the CVT transmission's long-term reliability

  • Just okay handling and performance - nothing too exciting

  • Interior not as nice as some rivals

  • Infotainment system not as easy to use

Here's a deeper look at some of the drawbacks, so you can make an informed decision with the full picture. It's good to know where the Altima falls a little short before deciding if it's the right ride for you.

1. Gets Noisy Inside

When driving at high speeds on the highway, the Altima's cabin can get pretty noisy from road noise, wind, and the engine. This can make it tough to chat with people or listen to your tunes.

Even though Nissan tried to cut down on noise by adding thicker insulation and special acoustic glass, it's still loud inside at highway speeds.

If you're worried about a noisy ride, be sure to take the Altima on a long test drive on the freeway before buying. That way you can experience the cabin noise for yourself.

2. Mixed Reviews on the CVT Transmission Reliability

The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) in the Altima has gotten mixed reviews on its reliability. Some concerns have come up that it may not hold up well long-term, especially without proper maintenance. Although Nissan has improved their CVT transmissions over the years, there are still general questions about CVT durability overall. You can read more about this conversation reddit.

3. Okay Handling and Power

The Altima's handling and performance are decent, but not as sporty or powerful as some rival sedans. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. That's enough for most drivers, but not as zippy as other midsize options out there. For more power Nissan offers the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 248 HP on the SR VC-Turbo but you have to pay up for that trim.

While the Altima gives you a nice smooth ride, it doesn't deliver the same fun factor behind the wheel as competitors like the Accord, Sonata, or Legacy. Those interested in a more exciting driving experience may want more sporty handling and engine muscle.

The Altima gets the job done for everyday driving, but it's not going to wow you with razor sharp moves and blazing speed off the line.

(Reference: MotorTrend)

4. Okay But Not Luxurious Interior

The materials used inside the Altima are alright, but not super fancy. There's a mix of hard and soft plastics, and some pieces feel cheaper than in rival cars.

Compared to some competitors, the Altima's interior isn't quite as refined. It uses a combo of hard and soft plastics, with some parts that seem low quality. But the interior is well put together with no real issues like gaps or panels not lining up right.

While the Altima's cabin doesn't have a super premium vibe, it's still solidly built.

How it Stacks Up to Other Competitors

When you look at the 2024 Altima next to rivals like the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Subaru Legacy, and Kia K5. Let's take a closer look at how the 2024 Altima directly compares to each of these competitor sedans. This will give you the details on how it measures up in areas that may matter most to you.

Vs. Honda Accord

The Altima and Accord both have their pros - depends what you're looking for.

The Altima wins for its peppy engine, smooth comfortable ride, great gas mileage, and fancy interior design. Reliability, safety, and cost efficiency are its priorities.

The Accord shines with its sportier style, cool tech features, and fun performance. It appeals to driving enthusiasts with its heritage. The hybrid offers killer fuel economy too.

  • Altima strengths: quiet cabin, proven reliability, value.

  • Accord strengths: sporty looks, advanced tech, driving experience.

So in a nutshell:

  • The Altima if you want a comfortable, efficient ride.

  • The Accord if you crave sporty driving excitement.

Test drive both to see which best matches your needs and preferences! You can't go wrong with either of these solid sedans.

Vs. Hyundai Sonata

The 2024 Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata each have their own strengths as sedans.

The Altima wins for:

  • Its refined, sleek design

  • User-friendly tech

  • Smooth, comfortable ride quality

  • Roomy, quiet cabin

  • Great gas mileage

  • Lots of standard driver assists

The Sonata shines for:

  • Its bold, eye-catching design

  • Next-level tech features

  • Comprehensive safety systems

  • More front head/legroom

  • Smaller turning radius for maneuverability

  • But costs a bit more

Overall, the Altima leans practical while the Sonata is more stylish and techy. Test drive both to see which sedan best fits your priorities and driving needs!

Vs. Subaru Legacy

The 2024 Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy both offer advantages as midsize sedans.

The Altima wins praise for:

  • Its spacious interior, abundant standard driver assists, good fuel economy, comfortable ride quality, and available AWD.

The Legacy is known for:

  • Superior fuel efficiency, standard AWD, and high resale value.

In summary, the Altima prioritizes comfort, amenities and technology, while the Legacy focuses on efficiency, drivetrain value. Test driving both can help determine which car’s strengths align better with your priorities in a midsize sedan. The Altima caters more to passenger space and features, while the Legacy appeals with its frugality and drivetrain.

Vs. Kia K5

The Altima and Kia K5 both offer nice perks as sedans.

Altima pros:

  • Roomy interior

  • Lots of standard driver assists

  • Great gas mileage

  • Comfy seats and smooth ride

K5 advantages:

  • Bit more rear legroom

  • More front head/legroom for tall drivers

  • Smaller turning radius for easier maneuvering

  • More horsepower and torque

But the Altima wins for:

  • Requiring fewer fill ups

  • More convenient fuel efficiency

The Altima prioritizes space, tech, and efficiency. The K5 offers more power and roominess for tall folks.

Test drive both to see if the Altima's practicality or the K5's performance and space suit you better!

Our Final Thoughts

The 2024 Altima: A Budget-Friendly Cruiser

The Altima brings fuel-efficient - impressive 39 mpg highway! It has spacious comfort for budget-focused folks too. The advanced safety tech keeps everyone protected. Overall, it's a comfy highway cruiser without destroying your wallet. And that 5-year/60k-mile warranty provides peace of mind.

But keep in mind:

  • road noise becomes noticeable on extended journeys.

  • The CVT reliability is a potential concern

  • Handling isn't thrilling for driving enthusiasts

  • Tech interface is a bit outdated vs rivals

Best for:

  • Commuters - Maximize savings with great MPG and smooth ride

  • Safety-minded families - Top safety ratings and driver assists provide peace of mind

  • Value shoppers - Get the most space and efficiency while staying in budget

Consider alternative choices if:

  • Sleek handling is a must (Honda Accord could be better)

  • Plush interiors are a priority (check out the Kia K5)

  • Cutting-edge tech is important (look at more advanced rival systems)

Overall, the Altima does blend practicality and value nicely. But weigh its pros and cons versus your needs before deciding! Test drives can help find your perfect match.