2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. 2019 Nissan Altima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The Jetta GLI has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Altima doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Jetta GLI 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Jetta GLI comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Altima’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Jetta GLI’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Altima’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Altima’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (228 vs. 188) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 180) than the Altima’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is faster than the Nissan Altima 2.0 VC Turbo (automatics tested):

Jetta GLI

Altima

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

5.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

14.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

99 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Jetta GLI’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Altima:

Jetta GLI

Altima

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11.65 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.02 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

The Jetta GLI’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Altima are solid, not vented.

The Jetta GLI stops much shorter than the Altima:

Jetta GLI

Altima

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Jetta GLI has larger tires than the Altima (225/40R18 vs. 215/60R16).

The Jetta GLI’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 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 Jetta GLI has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Altima S.

Suspension and Handling

The Jetta GLI offers an available 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 Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition 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 Jetta GLI is 7.7 inches shorter than the Altima, making the Jetta GLI easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Jetta GLI has .3 inches more rear headroom and 2.2 inches more rear legroom than the Altima.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Jetta GLI and the Altima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Jetta GLI is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Altima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Jetta GLI’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 Jetta GLI’s 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.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Jetta GLI Autobahn 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 Jetta GLI 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.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos