2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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

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 Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Altima and the Camry Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Altima’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (248 vs. 208) than the Camry Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

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

Altima

Camry

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

7.8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.1 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

The Altima AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Camry Hybrid (16 vs. 13 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Camry Hybrid (16.2 vs. 13 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

The Altima stops shorter than the Camry Hybrid:

Altima

Camry Hybrid

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Altima has larger standard tires than the Camry Hybrid (215/60R16 vs. 205/65R16).

The Altima S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Camry Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires. The Altima SR/Platinum’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Camry Hybrid SE/XLE’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Altima SR/Platinum has standard 19-inch wheels. The Camry Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-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 Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Altima has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Altima SR handles at .89 G’s, while the Camry Hybrid LE pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Altima Platinum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Camry Hybrid LE (26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Camry Hybrid LE’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

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 Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Altima has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Camry Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The Altima has a larger trunk than the Camry Hybrid (15.4 vs. 15.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Altima Platinum, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Altima Platinum’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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

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 Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Recommendations

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Camry hasn’t been picked since 1997.

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

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