2019 Mazda 6 vs. 2019 Nissan Altima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mazda 6 has standard Whiplash Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Altima doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Mazda 6 and the Altima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Mazda 6’s reliability 25 points higher than the Altima.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Nissan is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Mazda 6’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 180) than the Altima’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (250 vs. 248) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 273) than the Altima’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda 6 (base engine) is faster than the Nissan Altima (base engine):

 

Mazda6

Altima

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.6 MPH

90.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 6 (except Turbo)’s fuel efficiency. The Altima doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mazda 6 Touring/Signature’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Altima:

 

Mazda6 Turbo

Altima

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.65 inches

The Mazda 6 stops shorter than the Altima:

 

Mazda 6

Altima

 

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mazda 6 has larger tires than the Altima (225/55R17 vs. 215/60R16).

The Mazda 6 Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mazda 6 Sport has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Altima S.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Mazda 6 Touring is quieter than the Altima Platinum:

 

6

Altima

Full-Throttle

76 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

The Mazda 6 has .2 inches more rear headroom and 3.5 inches more rear legroom than the Altima.

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Mazda 6’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Altima’s useful trunk space.

Ergonomics

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve and Signature have a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Altima doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Mazda 6’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Altima’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Altima SV/SL/Platinum’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

The Mazda 6’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Altima’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Altima doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Altima offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Mazda 6 and the Altima offer available heated front seats. The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Altima.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Altima doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Mazda 6 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Altima SV/SL/Platinum.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda 6 and the Nissan Altima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mazda 6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 6 years. The Altima has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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