2012 Nissan Altima vs. Its Competition

2012 Nissan Altima 4-door Sedan I4 CVT 2.5 S Side Exterior View
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

There truly is something for every driver among the popular segment of mid-size sedans, but it pays to have your priorities straight.

The Nissan Altima wins on styling and V-6 power, but it's not the most fuel-efficient offering and has less inspiring safety scores.

The Ford Fusion is one of the sportier-driving mid-size sedans and has great handling; it's also well-built and offers impressive fuel economy in four-cylinder form, especially as a hybrid.

For buyers seeking interior room, the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Toyota Camry are leaders; the Sonata and Optima are standouts in this class, with roomy interiors, impressive refinement, and excellent fuel economy, while the Accord has the largest back seat of all.

The Toyota Camry will be new for 2012; in the meantime, there's a new American-made VW Passat with vast rear-seat room and a simpler, plainer interior to go with its 43-mpg diesel highway fuel economy.

2012 Nissan Altima 4-door Sedan I4 CVT 2.5 S Side Exterior View2012 Nissan AltimaBrowse Used Listings2012 Ford Fusion2012 Ford FusionBrowse Used Listings2011 Honda Accord Sedan 4-door I4 Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda Accord SedanBrowse Used Listings2012 Hyundai Sonata 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited Side Exterior View2012 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings2012 Kia Optima2012 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings2012 Volkswagen Passat2012 Volkswagen PassatBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
The 2012 Nissan Altima isn't as roomy as the newest mid-offerings, but as a coupe or as a sedan, it's one of the best-looking and most sporty mid-sizers.
The 2012 Ford Fusion stays at the top of its game, especially as a Hybrid, with perky handling and its cut-above looks.
Though the 2012 Honda Accord now has one of the more dated four-door sedan designs--and Bluetooth connectivity remains hard to get--its comfortable interior and perky, refined performance hit the sweet spot for families.
After more than a decade on the market, the latest Hyundai Sonata's an overnight success--thanks to great gas mileage, grabby styling, and exceptional value for the dollar.
The basics don't have to be boring: the 2012 Kia Optima evades design and driving boredom with suave looks, good performance and great gas mileage and features.
A massive rear seat and better-than-hybrid highway fuel economy mask the slight loss of refinement and nimble road feel in the 2012 Volkswagen Passat.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
18 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I5
EPA Class     
MidsizeMid-Size SedanLargeLarge CarsMidsize CarsMid-Size
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan I4 CVT 2.54-Door Sedan S FWD4-Door I4 Manual LX4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual GLS4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual LX4-Door Sedan 2.5L Manual S
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sdn
Continuously Variable RatioManualManualManualManualManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Nissan Altima vs. 2012 Ford Fusion2012 Nissan Altima vs. 2012 Honda Accord Sedan2012 Nissan Altima vs. 2012 Hyundai Sonata2012 Nissan Altima vs. 2012 Kia Optima2012 Nissan Altima vs. 2012 Volkswagen Passat