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2021 Toyota Camry vs Nissan Altima

2021 Toyota Camry vs Nissan Altima

2021 Camry vs Altima - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

The 2021 Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima feature plenty of exciting options to get excited about. The former is upgrading its L trim with a new, 9-inch tablet-style touchscreen that takes the driving experience up a notch as well as stylish paint colors and wheel designs. Meanwhile, the latter's SR offers an improved engine for those wanting more power while their SV model receives luxury features in exchange through its SV Premium package.

With only $1,000 difference between them in terms of starting price, it can be difficult to decide which sedan is the better buy for 2021. Do you need more power and space? Or are style and convenience your top priorities? Delve into a comprehensive comparison of features offered by both options for an informed decision that best suits your needs.

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The Powertrain

The 2021 Camry is a great option for drivers looking to combine comfortability with performance. For those seeking extra power, opting for the V6 TRD model grants 301 horsepower - though unfortunately it does not qualify for AWD ability. However, even if choosing FWD instead results in slightly fewer horses under your hood (203 vs 206), that's still plenty of muscle to cruise around town.

The 2021 Nissan Altima offers a standard 2.5L four-cylinder engine for everyday driving, ensuring you have plenty of power with 188 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque under the hood. For those who want extra punch on their rides, an available optional turbocharged engine boosts performance up to 248 horsepower and 273 lb‑ft of torque when using premium gasoline - or 236 hp with 267 torques if running regular fuel – all packaged in a smooth continuously variable transmission (CVT). Additionally, an all wheel drive is also available as both cost efficient options.

The 2021 Camry and Altima offer impressive fuel economy for their segments, with the former reaching 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway in its standard setup. But go AWD on either car to see even better figures: 25/34 mpg (Camry) or 26/36 mpg (Altima). For an extra boost of power without compromising much efficiency, opt for the latter's V6 engine; it still gives you a respectable 22 mpg city / 33 mpg highway.

When comparing reliability ratings from the J.D. Power, the Camry does better. It received 3.5 stars out of five. The Altima received three stars, which is considered average for a midsize sedan. Both come with a three-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty & five-year or 60,000-mile on the powertrain.


The 2021 Camry promises an exciting driving experience, even at its most basic level. Looking for something more thrilling? Opt for the TRD trim and enjoy large brakes, stiff shocks, and a special suspension designed to provide maximum performance - perfect for those with a need for speed! Don't worry if that's not in your budget; SE and XSE models feature sport-tuned suspensions too so you can still get plenty of thrills behind the wheel.

All in all, the Altima is also enjoyable to drive. It corners well and absorbs road bumps. While the standard engine is adequate, those after a thrill will much prefer the SR trim with the turbocharged option. With either engine, the Altima is not quite as engaging as the Camry.

Upscale materials and a simple yet sophisticated design help to make the Camry an appealing choice. The 2021 Nissan Altima also has a luxurious cabin, although it is not as nice as the Camry's. This is mostly due to the number of hard plastics used inside the Altima.

The cabin of the Camry is spacious and should provide ample space for most passengers. Eight-way power-adjustment for the driver's seat is a standard feature. The Altima is also incredibly comfortable, offering what Nissan calls Zero Gravity seats. It is also roomy.

Trunk sizes are close when comparing the Camry and the Altima. For the Camry, there are 15.1 cubic feet. The Altima's is a bit larger, measuring 15.4 cubic feet. This number is closer to the average for midsized sedans. Both have standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats for hauling longer items.

The Camry's Entune 3.0 infotainment system has drivers hooked with a tablet-style 7" touchscreen, physical knobs for control, and standard features like Amazon Alexa, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay - all delivered through a Wi-Fi hotspot plus two USB ports. For audio lovers the Camry throws in satellite radio as well as six or nine speakers (depending on model) along with HD Radio; plus an optional 9" touchscreen display to round it out – complete with wireless device charging for convenience.

The Altima comes with NissanConnect. It does not run as smoothly as the Entune system found in the Camry. Also working against the Altima is the fact that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not included on the base model. That said, the Altima also includes handy physical controls. The standard touchscreen size is 7-inches, and the available upgrade is 8-inches. Just like the Camry, the Altima comes standard with a six-speaker audio system and satellite radio and can be upgraded to a nine speaker premium setup.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.


The 2021 Camry and Altima are two of the safest vehicles on the road, both earning five stars from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration for overall safety as well as side impacts and rollover protection. Not to be outdone, however, was its cousin -the stylish yet protective Altima- which earned four stars in frontal collisions but still received a Top Safety Pick+ rating by experts at IIHS. All drivers can feel secure behind either wheel.

The Toyota Camry has a longer list of standard advanced safety features. It has lane departure warning, lane trace assist, and lane keep assist. Also included are forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic is available on select models. Other available driver aids include a surround-view camera system and head-up display, along with reverse automatic emergency braking.

Buyers will find the standard safety list for the Altima is more modest but still respectable. All models include lane departure warning, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, driver drowsiness monitoring, and forward automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control is available rather than standard. Higher Altima trim levels also get a 360-degree camera system, blind-spot monitoring, and traffic sign recognition.

Which Has the Best Value?

Comparing the 2021 Camry and Altima is an exciting proposition for those seeking a solid base model at similar price points. Both cars offer their own appeal; however, features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, adaptive cruise control, more horsepower from the entry-level Camry with no sacrifice in fuel efficiency make it stand out as having greater value than its competitor's offering. The performance-oriented TRD trim of the Camry also bumps up luxury without breaking budget constraints - setting customers back only $32,185 against $34,100 for top tier Altima trims.

Comparing the top two trims of these vehicles is interesting. The Altima Platinum costs $2,000 more but comes standard with all-wheel drive. As for the Camry TRD, it is unavailable with AWD but has the more powerful engine. While the TRD aims for performance, the Altima Platinum aims for luxury. It has things such as ambient interior lighting and driver's seat memory settings, features missing from the TRD.

The next step in determining the best value is looking at the five-year true-cost-to-own numbers. Estimates for the 2021 Camry have not been released yet. Looking at the 2020 Camry LE can still give buyers a good idea of what they are in for if they choose the 2021 model. The 2020 Camry is estimated to cost $33,267 in five years. Of this, $17,818 is out-of-pocket expenses. This includes fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and more. The remaining $15,449 comes from a loss in value.

Those numbers can be compared to those of the 2021 Altima S. Over five years, this sedan will cost around $33,495. Buyers will be spending an estimated $18,095 out-of-pocket and dealing with $15,400 in depreciation.

When it comes to value, these two vehicles are incredibly close. The Camry will cost drivers around $0.44 per mile to drive, while the Altima will cost $0.45. That minor difference is unlikely to be a decision swayer for most buyers.

Which is Better?

With so many similarities between the 2021 Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima, it can be hard to decide which one is best. The fact of the matter is that when considering safety features, predicted reliability, interior feel and performance output - the Camry takes first place. Its V6 engine packs more power than its rival's turbocharged four-cylinder but sacrifices some fuel efficiency as a result. However with enhancements aimed at increasing handling potency on top of an already well-rounded package - these tradeoffs may just make sense for those seeking optimum performance out their new ride.

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