2020 Mazda 6 vs. 2020 Nissan Altima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

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.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Mazda 6 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Altima is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2020.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Nissan is ranked 11th.

Engine

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The Mazda 6 has more powerful engines than the Altima:

Horsepower

Torque

Mazda 6 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

187 HP

186 lbs.-ft.

Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

182 HP

178 lbs.-ft.

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

188 HP

180 lbs.-ft.

Altima 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda 6 4 cyl. is faster than the Nissan Altima 4 cyl.:

6

Altima

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

7.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.2 sec

8.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.5 sec

4.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.9 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

15.8 sec

Top Speed

135 MPH

119 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

An engine control system that can shut down some 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

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

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

Mazda 6

Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature

Altima

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

11.65 inches

The Mazda 6 stops shorter than the Altima:

Mazda 6

Altima

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

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

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

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

6

Altima

At idle

42 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

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

Cargo Capacity

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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. The Altima’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Ergonomics

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The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature has 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 power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Altima’s parking brake has to released manually.

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 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.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Mazda 6’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Altima’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

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’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mazda 6 is less expensive to operate than the Altima because it costs $157 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Mazda 6 than the Altima, including $43 less for a water pump, $52 less for a muffler, $3 less for front brake pads, $95 less for a starter, $101 less for a timing belt/chain and $1 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/14

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 7 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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