2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2020 Subaru Legacy

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 2020/04/01

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 Legacy doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Altima Platinum has a standard Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Legacy only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Altima and the Legacy have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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There are over 70 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Subaru 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 16 points higher than the Legacy.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

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 2020/04/01

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan Altima 4 cyl. is faster than the Legacy 2.5i 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder:

Altima

Legacy

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

19.7 sec

22 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

8.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5.6 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

88 MPH

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 Subaru Legacy (3 to 7). This means the Altima produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Legacy every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Altima stops much shorter than the Legacy:

Altima

Legacy

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/04/01

For better traction, the Altima SR/Platinum’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Legacy (235/40R19 vs. 225/55R17).

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 Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Altima SR/Platinum has standard 19-inch wheels. The Legacy’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 Legacy doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Legacy doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Altima’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Legacy (111.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The Altima SR handles at .89 G’s, while the Legacy Touring XT pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Altima Platinum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Legacy Sport (26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Legacy’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Subaru Legacy.

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 Legacy doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Altima has 1 inch more front legroom and .1 inches more front shoulder room than the Legacy.

Cargo Capacity

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

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/04/01

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 Legacy doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the Altima the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Legacy can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Altima’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Legacy’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

Model Availability

© 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 2020/04/01

The Altima is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Legacy doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2020/04/01

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its December 2019 issue and they ranked the Nissan Altima SR AWD higher than the Subaru Legacy Sport.

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

The Nissan Altima outsold the Subaru Legacy by almost six to one during 2019.

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