2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Altima have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Altima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Altima SV/SL/Platinum has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Altima offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Altima Platinum has a standard Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Altima and the Accord Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 15th in reliability. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 1 place higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The Altima’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 36 more horsepower (248 vs. 212) than the Accord Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Altima 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Honda Accord Hybrid:

Altima

Accord

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

7.7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Altima AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Accord Hybrid (16 vs. 12.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Accord Hybrid (16.2 vs. 12.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

The Altima stops shorter than the Accord Hybrid:

Altima

Accord

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Altima SR/Platinum’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Accord Hybrid (235/40R19 vs. 225/50R17).

The Altima SR/Platinum’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Accord Hybrid’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Altima SR/Platinum has standard 19-inch wheels. The Accord Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Altima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Altima has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Accord Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Accord Hybrid’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The Altima SR/SV/SL/Platinum’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Accord Hybrid’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Passenger Space

The Altima has 1.5 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Accord Hybrid.

Ergonomics

On extremely cold winter days, the Altima’s optional (except S) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Altima and the Honda Accord Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Accord Hybrid has never been an “All Star.”

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

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