The Altima's closest competition in this broad field of popular mid-size sedans comes from the Fusion, which also feels very sporty.
That additional driving sensation sets the Altima apart from the Accord, Camry, and Malibu, which all seem a bit heavier yet roomier in back.
With either of the engines, the Altima comes across as decidedly sportier than much of the competition--especially the Camry.
The Passat has a different, more European character, and its peppy four-cylinder engine performs best, but it requires premium fuel.
For safety, the Accord stands on top (it's an IIHS Top Safety Pick); also to the Altima's detriment, electronic stability control is still not offered on the four-cylinder model.
With some road noise entering the cabin, the Altima isn't noisier inside than most cars, except the Fusion.
|2008 Nissan Altima||2009 Toyota Camry||2003 Volkswagen Passat|
|$18,620Browse Used Listings||$19,145Browse Used Listings||$21,750Browse Used Listings|
|19 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Sedan I4 Manual 2.5||4-Door Sedan I4 Manual (Natl)||4-Door Sedan GL Manual|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sdn|
|Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|