2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2019 Infiniti Q50

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 2019/12/06

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 Infiniti Q50 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Altima’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Q50 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Altima and the Q50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Altima the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q50 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 5 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Altima’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Altima’s reliability 20 points higher than the Q50.

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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Altima gets better fuel mileage than the Q50:

MPG

Altima

FWD

S/SV/SL 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/39 hwy

SR/Platinum 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/37 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/34 hwy

AWD

S/SV/SL 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

SR/Platinum 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

Q50

RWD

2.0t 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/29 hwy

Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.0t 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/27 hwy

Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/26 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the Altima’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Infiniti only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Q50 2.0t.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Altima uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The Q50 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Altima higher (7 out of 10) than the Infiniti Q50 (3). This means the Altima produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q50 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Altima has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Q50 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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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 Q50 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Q50.

The Altima Platinum handles at .91 G’s, while the Q50 Red Sport 400 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Q50’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 550 pounds less than the Infiniti Q50.

The design of the Nissan Altima amounts to more than styling. The Altima has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the Q50 (.26 to .29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Altima get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Altima uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q50 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Altima SL/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q50 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Altima has 1.5 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear legroom, 2 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Q50.

Cargo Capacity

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The Altima has a much larger trunk than the Q50 (15.4 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

The Altima’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Q50 Pure doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2019/12/06

Insurance will cost less for the Altima owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Altima will cost $540 to $9735 less than the Q50 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Q50 because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the Q50, including $213 less for a muffler, $168 less for a starter, $73 less for fuel injection, $95 less for a fuel pump, $310 less for front struts, $97 less for a timing belt/chain and $750 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Altima will be $10782 to $20171 less than for the Infiniti Q50.

Recommendations

© 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 2019/12/06

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Altima, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Infiniti Q50 isn't recommended.

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Q50 has never been an “All Star.”

The Nissan Altima outsold the Infiniti Q50 by over six to one during 2018.

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

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