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Comparisons Reviews

Mid-Sized Sedan Vehicle Matchup – Nissan Altima vs Volkswagen Passat


Nissan Altima

Engine: 2.5L+
Horsepower: 182+
Fuel Economy: 27 City / 38 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $22,300

Inside the 2015 Nissan Altima:

The 2015 Nissan Altima comes in several different trim packages including a 2.5L four cylinder engine and 3.5L V6 engine. The 2.5L, 182 horsepower engine not only gives you performance but efficiency with a 31 miles per gallon combined EPA fuel economy. In terms of the exterior color, buyers have eight neutral color options. The interior of the Altima has the feel of a luxury vehicle with an economy price. The Advanced Drive-Assist Display takes the important information a driver needs and puts in directly in front of them. This includes turn-by-turn navigation, lane departure warnings and caller ID. A 7-inch color touch screen display in the center dash utilizes NissanConnect to integrate with a smartphone for app integration. Buyers should consider the Remote Engine Start with Intelligent Climate Control. The vehicle will automatically adjust the interior temperature of the vehicle, based on the outside temperature, to ensure ultimate comfort when passengers enter.

“Ride of Your Life” is the slogan of the Altima as it’s touted to be similar to a racecar with rapid acceleration and precision handling. Current advertisements show unsuspecting passengers who are quite literally on the ride of their life, as the Altima takes to a closed race course. It’s later revealed that they aren’t in a high performance racing vehicle, but a Nissan Altima.

Volkswagen Passat

Engine: 1.8L
Horsepower: 170
Fuel Economy: 24 City / 35 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $21,120

Inside the 2015 Volkswagen Passat:

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat is available in four package options including: 1.8L turbocharged 170 horsepower base model, a 1.8L turbocharged Sport option and a four cylinder 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel option, as well as the 3.6L V6 supercharged upgrade that pushes 280 horsepower. The Turbocharged Direct Injection, or TDI, model is capable of a fuel economy into the mid 40’s. This mid-sized sedan also comes in eight color options, in addition to the 10 interior cloth and leather choices. The German engineers teamed up with the premier American audio company Fender, to give passengers a quality sound experience. The upgrade package includes 400 watts from 9 speakers including a subwoofer. An impressive feature is the VW Car-Net. A smartphone transforms into a vehicle control panel. Larger families with multiple drivers will appreciate the Family Guardian feature which notifies you via SMS message of Boundary Alerts and Speed Alerts to ensure your new teenager with freshly printed license stays safe when hitting the open road.

Current commercials for the Volkswagen Passat take aim directly at the competition are titled, “It’s Better.” They name a few mid-sized sedans and state the Passat as the best-in-class vehicle.

Our Pick for Winner:

Base Model: Nissan Altima

A slightly larger engine size and horsepower combined with superior handling give the advantage to the Altima.

Upgrades: Volkswagen Passat

The Passat offers consumers a lot more options in terms of engine size and fuel economy when you look at the upgraded models available. The V6 engine on the Passat pushes out 10 more horsepower than the Altima. The 44MPG of the TDI Clean Diesel model is hard to overlook.

Overall Winner:

The Volkswagen Passat

In a mid-sized sedan you are looking for enough legroom and comfort for all five passengers. The Passat is best-in-class in this category and therefore gets our nod for the win. Volkswagen offers more interior color options that the Altima which helped sway the tide to the Passat.
Passat Winner

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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