2020 Chevrolet Malibu vs. 2020 Nissan Altima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

The Malibu’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Altima doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Malibu 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

The Malibu’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Altima’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Malibu’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Malibu first among midsize cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Altima isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

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The Malibu has more powerful engines than the Altima:

Horsepower

Torque

Malibu 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

160 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Malibu Premier 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

182 HP

178 lbs.-ft.

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

188 HP

180 lbs.-ft.

Altima 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Malibu Premier 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Nissan Altima 4 cyl.:

Malibu

Altima

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96.2 MPH

90.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

On the EPA test cycle the Malibu CVT with its standard turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Altima FWD CVT turbo 4 cyl. (29 city/36 hwy vs. 25 city/34 hwy).

The Malibu has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Altima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Malibu

Altima

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11.65 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11.02 inches

The Malibu stops shorter than the Altima:

Malibu

Altima

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Malibu RS/Premier’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Altima (245/45R18 vs. 235/40R19).

Suspension and Handling

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The Malibu Premier handles at .88 G’s, while the Altima SV AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Malibu Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Altima SV AWD (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Malibu LT is quieter than the Altima Platinum:

Malibu

Altima

Full-Throttle

71 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

The Malibu has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Altima (102.9 vs. 100.8).

The Malibu has .3 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and 2.9 inches more rear legroom than the Altima.

Cargo Capacity

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The Malibu has a larger trunk than the Altima (15.7 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Malibu has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Altima has no towing capacity.

The Malibu Premier can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Malibu can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Altima can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

The Malibu’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Altima does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Malibu and the Altima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Malibu 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 Malibu’s standard front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Altima’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically. The Altima SV/SL/Platinum’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

Consumer Reports rated the Malibu’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Altima’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

When the Malibu Premier is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Altima’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Malibu and the Altima offer available heated front seats. The Malibu Premier 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 Malibu Premier 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Malibu Premier has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Altima doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Malibu Premier has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Altima doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Malibu Premier’s optional Automatic 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Malibu owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Malibu will cost $625 less than the Altima over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Malibu is less expensive to operate than the Altima because it costs $246 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Malibu than the Altima, including $118 less for a timing belt/chain and $208 less for a power steering pump.

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

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