2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2020 Ford Fusion

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 2020/03/29

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 Fusion 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 Fusion doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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

Both the Altima and the Fusion have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, driver alert monitors, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems 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 125 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fusion was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Altima’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Fusion’s camshafts. If the Fusion’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 45 points higher than the Fusion.

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 15th in reliability. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 5 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

© 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 2020/03/29

The Altima has more powerful engines than the Fusion:

Horsepower

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

182 HP

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

188 HP

Altima 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

Fusion S 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

175 HP

Fusion SE/SEL 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder

181 HP

Fusion Titanium 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

245 HP

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Altima 4 cyl. is faster than the Fusion SE/SEL 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder:

Altima

Fusion

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

9.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

84.5 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 2020/03/29

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

MPG

Altima

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/39 hwy

SR 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/37 hwy

SR 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/34 hwy

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

SR 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

Fusion

FWD

1.5 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/29 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.) Ford only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Fusion ECOBoost FWD.

Environmental Friendliness

© 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 2020/03/29

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Altima higher (7 out of 10) than the Ford Fusion (5 to 7). This means the Altima produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Fusion 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 Fusion doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Altima stops shorter than the Fusion:

Altima

Fusion

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

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 Fusion 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 Fusion; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The Altima Platinum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Fusion Titanium (26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Fusion’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.5 feet). The Altima SR/SV/SL/Platinum’s turning circle is .1 feet tighter than the Fusion’s (37.4 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

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 2020/03/29

The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Ford Fusion.

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 Fusion doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

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 2020/03/29

The Altima has .4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fusion.

Ergonomics

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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 Altima’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Fusion’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

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The Altima will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Altima will retain 42.51% to 43.88% of its original price after five years, while the Fusion only retains 39.28% to 42.37%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Fusion because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the Fusion, including $166 less for a muffler, $76 less for front brake pads and $233 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 $4529 to $9357 less than for the Ford Fusion.

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 2020/03/29

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Altima and the Ford Fusion, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima first among midsize cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Fusion isn’t in the top three.

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Fusion Hybrid hasn’t been picked since 2010.

The Nissan Altima outsold the Ford Fusion by 26% during 2019.

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