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Compare the2022 Nissan AltimaVS 2022 Toyota Prius

2022 Nissan Altima
2022 Toyota Prius

Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Altima have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Toyota Prius doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Nissan Altima has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The Prius doesn’t offer a front passenger side knee airbag.

The Altima Platinum has a standard Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Prius only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Altima and the Prius have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Altima is safer than the Toyota Prius:

Altima

Prius

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

171

229

Neck Injury Risk

30%

33%

Leg Forces (l/r)

114/342 lbs.

274/256 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Altima is safer than the Toyota Prius:

Altima

Prius

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

185

249

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

157

267

Hip Force

769 lbs.

781 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the Altima, with its five-star roll-over rating, is 1.5% less likely to roll over than the Prius, which received a four-star rating.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Altima its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2021, a rating granted to only 74 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Prius last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima first among midsize cars in their 2021 Initial Quality Study. The Prius isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2021 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 13th.

Engine

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The Altima’s optional 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 61 more horsepower (182 vs. 121) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (178 vs. 105) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The Altima’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 67 more horsepower (188 vs. 121) and 75 lbs.-ft. more torque (180 vs. 105) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The Altima SR’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 115 more horsepower (236 vs. 121) and 162 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 105) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan Altima 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota Prius:

Altima

Prius

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

10.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

19.7 sec

31.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

10.9 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

4.8 sec

5.1 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5.6 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

79 MPH

Top Speed

119 MPH

115 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Altima AWD’s standard fuel tank has 5.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius AWD-e’s standard fuel tank (16 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima FWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.2 vs. 11.3 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Altima’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius:

Altima

Prius

Front Rotors

11.65 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

11.02 inches

10.2 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

The Altima stops much shorter than the Prius:

Altima

Prius

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Altima has larger standard tires than the Prius (215/60R16 vs. 195/65R15). The Altima SR/Platinum’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Prius (235/40R19 vs. 215/45R17).

The Altima S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Prius’ standard 65 series tires. The Altima SR/Platinum’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Prius XLE FWD/Limited’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Altima S has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Prius. The Altima SR/Platinum’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Prius XLE FWD/Limited.

The Altima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Prius doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Altima’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the Prius (111.2 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Prius.

The Altima Platinum handles at .91 G’s, while the Prius pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Altima Platinum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.6 seconds quicker than the Prius L Eco (26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Altima SL/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Prius doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Altima Platinum is quieter than the Prius (70 vs. 72 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Altima has 7.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius (100.8 vs. 93.1).

The Altima has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear legroom, 2.6 inches more rear hip room and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Altima. The Prius doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

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The Altima has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Prius doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Altima Platinum, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Prius doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Altima Platinum’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Prius doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Altima’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Prius L Eco/LE’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Altima has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/Limited.

The Altima SL/Platinum’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Prius doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Altima and the Prius offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Altima SL/Platinum has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Prius doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Altima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Altima with a number “1” insurance rate while the Prius is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Prius because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the Prius, including $94 less for a water pump, $63 less for a muffler, $329 less for fuel injection, $94 less for a fuel pump, $567 less for a timing belt/chain and $575 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2024Advanta-STAR Automotive Research, all rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America (“Advanta-STAR”). If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it, or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. Removal of this watermark/notification without prior written license and approval received from Advanta-STAR is an agreement, understanding, and/or stipulation by the person(s), entities, agents, attorneys, and any other persons involved in the removal of this watermark/notification (including but not limited to Search Optics, LLC and any and all parent entities, sister entities, and subsidiary entities of Search Optics, LLC and/or any other entity, agent, attorney, and persons related in any manner to Search Optics, LLC) to: 1) an agreed upon amount of liquidated monetary damages of a minimum of $1,250,000.00 US Dollars in favor of Advanta-STAR; 2) the jurisdiction and enforcement of any legal claims associated with this matter asserted by Advanta-STAR in the United States Federal District Court in Portand, Oregon; and 3) service of process of any legal claims asserted by Advanta-STAR associated with this matter may be accomplished by First-Class Postage by the United States Postal Service or comparable service. XPYNN-M34HG 2a06:98c0:3600::103 2024/04/13

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Prius, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Prius has never been an “All Star.”

The Nissan Altima outsold the Toyota Prius by 88% during the 2021 model year.

© 1999 - 2023 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.