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Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry



  • My 4cyl. 2007 Altima purchased about two weeks ago was about $200 less than my comparably equipped (automatic) 2003 Altima 2.5S. That summarizes exactly how I feel about
    this car. In a word: WOW! The redesign is excellent inside
    and outside -- firmness of seating notwithstanding. Sportier
    than Toyota Camry and without the acceleration issues many
    consumers have ascribed to Camry. What's not to like about the 2007 2.5S Altima? The updated styling, automotive technology (CVT transmission), and affordable financing
    options available through Nissan are all -- first rate!

    I won't bash the competition, however, I 'm not aware of a better car anywhere for a working man's price.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    You forgot to mention the Ikey
  • motoguy128motoguy128 Posts: 146
    My wife and I thought th Camry interior was too plain. Like a Buick. No personality. We loved the leather interior on the 2.5SL and a test drive confirmed that the steering feel was better, and the power from the 2.5 was far superior to Toyotas now dated 2.4L which is way behind the curve in the HP wars. The Altima has 175HP and more improtant 180ft-lbs... there's power everywhere. The Accord makes 190HP now, but it's towing along almost 300lbs more than the Altima and makes less power at low RPM's where it's used most. Accord has a bigger backseat, but smaller trunk.

    Basically, more power, better EPA ratings, smaller dimensions, bigger trunk and huge gas tank. Nissan also had better deals than Toyota.

    We had 4 adults in out Altima last weekend and there weren't any complaints. Performance wise, you didn't even notice the weight. That CVT and 2.5L combination is sweet. Why bother with a V6.

    To another poster... check you manual, but premium is only recommended in the V6 for best performance, but I don't think it's required. The engine will altimatically retard the timing to compensate for the fuel your using. You'll may lose 2-3% in mileage and about 30 peak horsepower but not much if any loss at low RPM's in normal driving.... but premium costs about 10% more than regular.

    I have hte same issue wiht my BMW motorcyle. I usually just use premium since it gets 40+mpg anyway, but I can use regular and take a 5-10HP hit.
  • carguy65carguy65 Posts: 24
    I had a 2007 Camry, V6, I had problems so I went to a 2007 Altima SE V6, I thought the car was as good as the Camry, especially the CVT but I found the ride and Torque steer a problem. The Altima SE rides like a buckboard (an old wagon), but I know alot of people like the road feel, but I did not, in a cold climate and bad roads it sucked in that department. But if you want to feel the road that's the car, I bought a 2008 Camry, and I love the ride. The SE radio was better, blue tooth better, leather seats harder, and head room a bit more than the Camry, both cars great. But for me it's the Camry.
  • karpediemkarpediem Posts: 46
    You should have test drove the 3.5 SL then, softer ride than the SE which has the sport tuned suspension.
  • motoguy128motoguy128 Posts: 146
    I'm suprised you didn't notice the stiffer ride in the SE when you test drove it. Yes, the SL has a softer ride. Torque steer is a fact of life with a torquey V6 and expecially with the responsive CVT. A conventional automatic gives you time to anticipate the steering wheel jerking a little, with CVT, the power is there immediately without waiting for a double, tripple or even a possible quadruple downshift as in the Camry.
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    When I was searching for a new car, I wanted something sporty, fun to drive, but good on gas. I had an '02 Toyota Solara that I adored. It was fun IMO, but the power in the 4-cyl was lacking compared to some more modern cars.

    The first car I tested was an '08 Camry SE 4-cyl. I expected a car that was a lot like my Mom's '05 Camry LE 4-cyl; easy to drive, light, reliable, and considering what I'd heard about the SE version of the new Camry, it needed to be a fun car to drive. However, I was not impressed during my test drive. The engine felt underpowered, the wheel felt heavy, the features were lacking, and while it had cool gauges, the overall fit and finish in the car was severely lacking compared to my Solara. Don't get me wrong, it was clean, but a lot of stuff in the car felt "flimsy" to the touch.

    Next, I went and test drove an '08 Accord EX 4-cyl, and boy was that nice. The engine was powerful, steering was light, response was great, and ride comfort was top notch. However, I hated the center stack, and the final price was about $1000 more than the Camry, and the EX I tested didn't even include leather, while the Camry SE I tested did. However, I loved how the Accord drove.

    I didn't even think about the Altima until later, and I was put off by the thought of driving a car with a "rubbery" CVT. I finally decided it was worth a test drive, so I went and drove a 2.5 SL sedan... I was totally blown away! The car was quick, nimble, responsive, pleasing to look at, clean, and comfortable. It was an absolute blast to drive too! I've never had that much fun in a car before... and this was only the 4-cyl Sedan. The Ikey and CVT were the best bits about the car as well... neither of these features were on the Camry or Accord I was looking at. The leather is firm but comfortable, and the interior is very clean and functional. The Accord is a little more roomy and nicer on the inside, but the Altima was far more "user friendly" with its stereo and climate control.

    A few weeks later, I bit the bullet and bought a loaded 2008 Altima 2.5 SL w/ connection pkg. and haven't regretted it one bit. It has been so much fun to drive, and the gas mileage has been supurb... 25-26mpg almost all city driving.

    I will concede that if you want straight up comfort and ride manners, the Camry XLE is a much better choice as it has several more "luxury" options, but bear in mind, you pay for those options. I couldn't see myself using that stuff, and I value a responsive ride over numb comfort, so I chose the Altima. You need to test drive the Altima to know what I'm talking about... Its responsive, but the Altima also smooths over bumps and potholes much easier than my old Solara did. It's also a lot more fun to drive. I'm not sure how Nissan did it, but the Altima is the clear winner in my books.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    premium is only recommended in the V6 for best performance, but I don't think it's required. The engine will altimatically retard the timing to compensate for the fuel your using. You'll may lose 2-3% in mileage and about 30 peak horsepower but not much if any loss at low RPM's in normal driving.

    I'd be surprised if the hp hit is as much as 13hp, much less 30hp!

    Our Odyssey van (a 2000 model) had a 3.5L which asked for premium to make 210hp and 229lb-ft of torque. On regular, it made 205hp and 217lb-ft. Really not noticeable.

    Can an Altima owner tell us the numbers?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Since the advent of EFI and non-resonant knock/ping sensors ignition timing is no longer the first choice to combat engine knock/ping. The engine control ECU uses the crankshaft position to "time" the occurance of knock/ping to see if ignition is too early. In the case of low octane fuel the usual result is a slight enrichment of the A/F mixture to alleviate knock/ping, or maybe even a downshift if enrichment does do..
  • petrozeropetrozero Posts: 4
    On my 96 Infiniti I-30 (same as Nissan Maxima) when running on 87 octane, I get a check engine light with knock sensor code. This causes the computer to inject much more fuel than with higher octane blends, which I can attest significantly decreases my mpg. For example, with 87 octane I get about 275 miles range. With 93 octane I get close to 400 miles out of a tank. Big difference.

    I've commented on this extensively at the PetroZero forums,
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    More recent cars don't raise a ruckus like your old Infiniti does; our Odyssey that asked for premium ran with no noticeable difference in economy, or power (although technically it lost 5 horses according to the manual).
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    That's exactly why most new cars have 6(9-10)(***) speed automatic transmissions, some now even with 8(12), increases the range of speeds and roadway conditions wherein a more optimal gear ratio can be used to avoid knock/ping due to lugging.

    With one of these new 8(12) speed transmissions the FE difference between preminum and regular may not even be measureable.

    *** Six "real" gear ratios plus 3 or 4 more using the lockup clutch to take the torque converter's "gear" reduction, and POOR efficiency, out of the loop.

    Not to address the issue of CVT's having an infinite number of gear ratios.

    But now everyone seems to be complaining about how often the transmissions "shift" gears.

    Gas is above $4.00 and headed north, rapidly, live with it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Those 5 horses are lost only when compared with PEAK engine performance. At the lower RPM/throttle openings required for typical roadway cruising speeds the HP/torque difference may very well be negligible.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Pretty much what I said; no noticeable difference. ;)
  • gregd1gregd1 Posts: 38
    Has anyone done research on the Nissan Altima hybrid vs Toyota Camry hybrid ?
    In the states that have Altima hybrids they seem to have lots.
    Camry hybrids seem to be rare everywhere.

    Any ideas if you can get an Altima hybrid shipped to a non "allowed" state?
  • nhmtnbkrnhmtnbkr Posts: 2
    Hi all - last year I bought the Altima SE 3.5 after test driving practically every V6 midsize on the market and found that the Altima was vastly superior. Better fit and finish, handling, braking, acceleration, the whole nine yards. When I drove the Camry I found the handling very vague, the braking dangerously poor and the acceleration very inconsistent, something very suprising after driving Camry's in past test drives. Read a lot of posts that the Camry had major issues with the transmission not shifting, esp. in hard pushes. I also found the seats very short for a tall person like me at 6ft 3in.

    By comparison I found the Altima to be quiter, with better braking and neck snapping acceleration if you're so inclined. I have nearly 16K miles without any problems other than an occasional glitch with the power seat not tracking 100% perfectly. My biggest beef with the car is the crappy OEM Bridgestone Turanza's, I'd love to see nissan put Goodyear Tripletred's on instead.

    I highly recommend using at least midgrade gas, as I noticed a drop in mileage by about 4mpg when I tried regular and some noticeable HP drop too, despite having added a K&N air filter in.
  • i drive a infiniti G35 which i believe is built on the nissan altima platform. Its really nice, good handling, but the worst thing about it, its very load, alot of road noise and infiniti is supposed to be a little better quality, its still loud. I sold toyotas for a long time, my favorite is the 4 cylinder camry xle. its very quiet, good handling and excellent resale value, with nissan on the other hand, they are merging with dodge, so resale values of nissan will probably go down with years to come.

  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    Hmmmm.... You're comparing a 4 cyl Camry XLE to an Infiniti G35?!?!? Can you get any more different in terms of what cars are built for?

    Camry: Calm, comfortable cruiser that has rock solid reliability and usability. It's usually considered a car that's "easy on the eyes" and the wallet, but it doesn't generate excitement when you drive it. It's affordable and easy to maintain. It's a great "grandma" car.

    G35: Quick and exciting sport sedan. The G35 was built to handle curves with poise that is usually only beaten by BMW's 335i. The G35 also has a 306HP V6 with a 7500 RPM redline. The car is very fast, no matter what the conditions are. However, it was NOT engineered to be quiet and comfortable like the Camry. Adding extra sound deadening adds a lot of extra weight to the car. This would take away from the driving experience drastically. You can't get the thrills OR technology offered on the G35 on a Camry.

    There's a reason the G35 costs more than a Camry. It's an apples to oranges comparison.

    Also, Nissan is NOT merging with Dodge. They're partnering together to engineer new vehicles much the same way Toyota and Pontiac partnered to create the Toyota Matrix and the Pontiac Vibe.

    Furthermore, when I was testing new vehicles, I tested both the Camry and the Altima... I bought the Altima. The Camry is a good car, but lets face it. The Camry is about as interesting as a log in the middle of a road; it's there and there's no way to avoid it. Go drive a Camry and an Altima on curvy roads and you'll quickly see why the I bought the Altima. The Altima is far and away the more competent handling sedan. Not to mention Nissan's 2.5L/CVT engine easily outpaces Toyota's 2.4L/5-speed automatic. There's no comparison.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Not to mention Nissan's 2.5L/CVT engine easily outpaces Toyota's 2.4L/5-speed automatic. There's no comparison.

    The revised 2010 Camry (due in early 2009) will feature the 2.5L I4 engine that is currently in the 2009 RAV4. It produces 179hp in that application.

    Just thought I'd pass that on. :)

  • That is totally awesome news. :) I hope the 2010 camry is even better :)

    Once, I pay off my 2008 Rav4 I'd eventually like to get an Altima.
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