2020 Volkswagen Arteon vs. 2020 Nissan Altima

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 2020/04/05

The Arteon has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Altima doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Arteon and the Altima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front 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, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The Arteon comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Altima’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Arteon’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Altima’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Arteon for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Altima.

Reliability

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The Volkswagen Arteon’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Altima’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

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The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 86 more horsepower (268 vs. 182) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 178) than the Altima’s optional 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 80 more horsepower (268 vs. 188) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 180) than the Altima’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 20 more horsepower (268 vs. 248) than the Altima’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Arteon is faster than the Nissan Altima 4 cyl.:

Arteon

Altima

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.4 sec

19.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.4 sec

8.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

91 MPH

Top Speed

127 MPH

119 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Arteon has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Altima AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Arteon has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Altima FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 16.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Arteon’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Altima:

Arteon

Altima

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11.65 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.02 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

The Arteon stops shorter than the Altima:

Arteon

Altima

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Arteon has larger tires than the Altima (245/45R18 vs. 215/60R16). The Arteon’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Altima (245/45R18 vs. 235/40R19).

The Arteon’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima S’ standard 60 series tires. The Arteon’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Altima SR/Platinum’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Arteon has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Altima S. The Arteon’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Altima SR/Platinum.

Suspension and Handling

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The Arteon has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Altima’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Arteon SEL Premium R-Line 4Motion executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Altima SV AWD (26.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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

The Arteon has .1 inches more rear headroom and 5 inches more rear legroom than the Altima.

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Arteon’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Altima’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Arteon’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Altima doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Arteon has a 4850 lbs. towing capacity. The Altima has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Arteon uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Altima uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Arteon’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Altima’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Arteon’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Altima’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Altima SV/SL/Platinum’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

The Arteon’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Altima’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Arteon R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Altima doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Arteon’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan charges extra for heated mirrors on the Altima.

The Arteon’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Altima offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Arteon has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Altima, and aren’t available on the Altima S. The Arteon SEL Premium also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Altima.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Arteon SEL Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Altima doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Arteon SEL Premium has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Altima.

The Arteon has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Altima SV/SL/Platinum.

Both the Arteon and the Altima offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Arteon has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Altima doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Arteon’s optional Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Altima doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/04/05

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

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

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