The Altima's closest competition in this broad field of popular mid-size sedans comes from the Fusion, which also feels very sporty.
The Passat has a different, more European character, and its peppy four-cylinder engine performs best out of any base engines in this field, 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.
Compared to the Accord, Camry, and Malibu, the Altima feels a little perkier to drive, yet slightly smaller inside.
Especially versus the cushy Camry, the Altima comes across as decidedly sportier.
Get FREE Dealer Quotes
|2009 Nissan AltimaBrowse Used Listings||2009 Chevrolet MalibuBrowse Used Listings||2009 Ford FusionBrowse Used Listings||2009 Toyota CamryBrowse Used Listings||2003 Volkswagen PassatBrowse Used Listings|
|18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas 4-Cyl||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Sedan I4 CVT 2.5||4-Door Sedan LS w/1LS||4-Door Sedan I4 S FWD||4-Door Sedan I4 Manual (SE)||4-Door Sedan GL Manual|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sdn|
|Continuously Variable||Automatic w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2009 Nissan Altima vs. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu||2009 Nissan Altima vs. 2009 Ford Fusion||2009 Nissan Altima vs. 2009 Toyota Camry||2009 Nissan Altima vs. 2003 Volkswagen Passat|