2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2019 Volvo S60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

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 S60 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Altima and the S60 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, driver alert monitors, 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 S60 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Altima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the S60. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the S60 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Altima’s warranty.

Reliability

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 S60.

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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th, 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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 15th in reliability. With 67 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 15 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Altima gets better fuel mileage than the S60:

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

AWD

S/SV/SL 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

SR/Platinum 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

S60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/36 hwy

AWD

T6 2.0 turbo-supercharged 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

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 S60 T5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Altima AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the S60 FWD’s standard fuel tank (16 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Altima higher (7 out of 10) than the Volvo S60 (5 to 7). This means the Altima produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the S60 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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 S60 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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 S60 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the Altima uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the S60, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the S60’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 950 pounds less than the Volvo S60.

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 S60 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 S60 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Altima a Mid-size car, while the S60 is rated a Compact.

The Altima has 4.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S60 (100.8 vs. 96).

The Altima has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear hip room and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the S60.

Cargo Capacity

The Altima has a much larger trunk than the S60 (15.4 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Altima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Altima with a number “1” insurance rate while the S60 is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the S60 because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the S60, including $227 less for a water pump, $271 less for a muffler, $44 less for front brake pads, $189 less for a starter, $66 less for fuel injection and $453 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Altima, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo S60 isn't recommended.

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The S60 has never been an “All Star.”

The Nissan Altima outsold the Volvo 60 Series by almost 18 to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos