Nissan Altima 2.5s VS. Subaru Legacy 2.5i

carquestion1carquestion1 Member Posts: 1
edited May 2014 in Nissan
Hello All,
I am in the market for a new sedan. I have thus far narrowed it down to a 2006 Nissan Altima 2.5s or a 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. I will be going to college in the fall and will be commuting from NY to FL twice a year... power on the higway is important without "breaking the bank." Basically- I need a reliable car that has enough "get up and go" and passing power to satisfy a young driver. Which would you choose if you were me... the 06 Altima 2.5 or the 06 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. Thanks so much for your time!


  • rasuprasup Member Posts: 136
    Hello carquestion,
    I love this question. I have personally driven both cars as well as subaru 2.5S GT. I was totally impressed with the GT that was a blast to drive. But you have to shell out more $$ and tolerate the lower gas mileage. Coming to the Altima 2.5s v/s subaru 2.5i. Both are great cars. Here is what I think:
    1. For refinement and stability as well as great crash scores the subaru is better slightly.
    2. For space and power as well as great passing and handling, the Altima seems better.
    3. For snow/winter capability and quietness of ride the subaru is better.
    4. For external appearance and great leasing deals, the Altima is better.
    5. For Long term ownership and durabilty I think the subaru has an edge, however it has a horizontal boxer engine and an awd. Long term maintenance might be more.
    6. For 06, I know Nissan is offering great deals with the 2.5S special edition with many features. They have a great lease program too. The Altima special edition might be cost effective. The Subaru dealer was not able to offer good deals when I test drove. The dealer it seemed was not overtly concerned in pushing the car, as Subaru owners are loyal and one of a kind. The Altima is a very popular car and should be easier to sell after being used. Both cars are great and have unique character.
    As regards your pattern of use, I'd prefer the Altima that is powered better and perhaps has the highest power in this class.
    This is my opinion. However I advise you to test drive both cars as well as others like mazda-6i and select your car.I have test driven at least 20 cars before I bought the 2.5S Altima spe. edition some time back. So far its a great car and has very good get up and go. The car looks great too.
    Good luck on your choice.
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    Why not Subaru Impreza Wagon?
    Not WRX, you want it cheaper and better milage, but RS or TS whatever they name it.
    Wagon is much better for moving stuff.


    PS Legacy wagon would be larger more expensive than sedan or Impreza Wagon. Any wagon is much better with moving.
  • busheybushey Member Posts: 3
    I work at a dealership that has both models, and I would say you should strongly consider the Altima over the Legacy. The Legacy is a nice car, but if you don't need the AWD you're paying more about 3k more for it all things considered. The Altima has more interior space, more responsive engine that allows for quicker acceleration from a moving , a smoother ride, better resale value, more responsive handling. The Legacy does have there own special edition that will get you the Sunroof and power seat, quiter ride, AWD or course, more safety features bar none(the Altima does poorly on crash tests without the optional side impact air bags), better insurance rates. Regarding repairs, the Nissan will fair much better in the longrun. Timing chain instead of timing belt so no Maintenance for 105k miles. Also, the Subaru will have a clicking/knocking noise when you first start it for about 15 minutes b/c of how the engine is designed. You won't find this lots of places either, but the Altima has a far superior seat design. Much more comfortable on any trip over 45 minutes. Personally I would go with the Altima, but if you drive in snow and bad weather the Legacy can't be beat. Good luck. You're making a good decision either way.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    I very much disagree with regards to the Altima strengths in handling/ride and seat comfort.

    The Legacy has been praised by many magazines for a great combination of ride and handling, and thats part of the reason that Automobile has named the vehicle Best Family Sedan for 2 years in a row ('05, '06). Additionally, people think AWD is a waste in anything other than snow, but this is untrue; you'll be surprised at the marked improvement in traction even on rain slicked roads. The Altima is a bit peppier, but the 173 horse unit in the Legacy is no slouch AND-get this-despite the added weight and drag of AWD, the Legacy achieves BETTER MPG ratings than Altima (23/30 for the Legacy vs. 23/29 for the Altima).

    Now, the Altima has more interior room hands down, but the Legacy interior is much more well appointed, with better materials that line up more closely. The Legacy is also the ONLY moderately priced midsize vehicle to earn a Top Pick "Gold" in IIHS crash tests. This means the vehicle got the top rating in the Frontal, Side, AND Rear impacts.

    To sum up:
    Altima strenghts:
    Maintenance Costs

    Legacy strenghts:
    Crash test ratings
    Ride/Handling balance
    Interior Quality and Fit/Finish
    Fuel efficiency
    AWD capability
    Recognized Two Years in a row by Automobile Magazine as Best In Class
  • tima3tima3 Member Posts: 6
    Just drive both cars as much as you can before your puchase...
    Personaly, I have done just that .... The fit and finish, drivetrain refinement, and balance of the suby are superior IMO..... torque steer is awful in the Nissans esp. the 3.5...
    I bought the suby and it impresses me more and more as I drive it.. (My last car was an Infinity that is far superior to the 2.5s....and guees what... I prefer the suby!)
  • rennie4rennie4 Member Posts: 55
    I think the epa ratings for the altima are underestimated. During highway runs i usually get over 32 mpg. The Altima also has more space. I have a 2006 special edition (charcoal interior) and the ride at 75+ mph is a whisper with barely any wind noise. I really dont see why people complain about the altima being too loud. Maybe they made a mistake and put a double coating of sound deadening materials.
  • lightwave25lightwave25 Member Posts: 18
    I've never driven a Legacy, but I had an 05 Altima and I just acquired an 06 Altima. They are truly great cars, especially for the money. I am leasing a 2.5S with the special edition package with no money down for $287 per month. It's a powerful 4 cylinder with great gas mileage. It's also a great looking car.
  • rennie4rennie4 Member Posts: 55
    which one did u ever get?
  • ztbztb Member Posts: 1
    I'm considering either the 2010 legacy (because it has cvt transmission which makes it more fuel efficient) or 2009 Altima (because the 2010 won't be out for another month or more and I need a new car now!) Anybody have any feedback on these two models and the cvt transmission? I've heard interesting things on the cvt...mostly that it's a drive that takes a while to get accustomed to. I test drove it the other day and found it to be very smooth...and nothing quirky or weird. I'm doing a lot of commuting and on the road about 3 hours a day. Any feedback would be appreciated.
  • altimatealtimate Member Posts: 74
    Can't tell you much about the CVTs but I purchased an 09 Legacy 2.5SE about a year ago and currently average about 31mpg on the highway with AWD. The EPA estimate is more like 27mpg. So my guess is you would do very well with 2010 Legacy CVT. Actually while at the dealer for an oil change a week ago a salesperson told me she had driven the 2010 CVT on a 100 mile trip and the computer indicated 35mpg.

    I previously owned a 03 Altima 2.5S (not CVT) and my best highway mileage was 28-29. Personally I prefer the styling of my 09 Legacy to the 2010, but that's a personal preference. I note that Nissan had dismal recent JD power results. My Legacy has been just about flawless in my first year of ownership.
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