2019 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2019 Nissan Altima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the A-Class and the Altima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

The A-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Altima’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Engine

The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 180) than the Altima’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Altima:

 

A-Class

Altima

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.65 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

11.02 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

The A-Class stops much shorter than the Altima:

 

A-Class

Altima

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The A-Class’ 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 A-Class has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Altima S.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Altima doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A-Class offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Altima’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The A-Class’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Altima doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the Altima Platinum pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The A-Class is 1 foot, 1.8 inches shorter than the Altima, making the A-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The A-Class has 1.1 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more rear headroom than the Altima.

Cargo Capacity

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

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Altima doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 44% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Altima Platinum, the A-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The A-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 A-Class’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. 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 avoid possible obstacles, the A-Class offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Altima doesn’t offer cornering lights. The A-Class also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The A-Class’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan charges extra for heated mirrors on the Altima.

The A-Class offers optional 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A-Class 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 A-Class 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.

Both the A-Class and the Altima offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A-Class has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Altima doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The A-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Altima doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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