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Compare the2024 Nissan AltimaVS 2023 Toyota Prius

2024 Nissan Altima
2023 Toyota Prius

Safety

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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 knee airbags.

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

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 Safety Pick Plus” for 2022, a rating granted to only 128 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Prius has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2023 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 above average in initial quality. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is rated below average.

Engine

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The Altima has more powerful engines than the Prius:

Horsepower

Torque

Altima AWD 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

182 HP

178 lbs.-ft.

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

188 HP

180 lbs.-ft.

Altima SR 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Prius 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid

194 HP

Prius 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid

196 HP

As tested in Car and Driver the Altima SR 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Toyota Prius 2.0:

Altima

Prius

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.7 sec

18.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

8.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.6 sec

4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.1 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99 MPH

92 MPH

Top Speed

142 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’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 standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius:

Altima

Prius

Front Rotors

11.65 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.02 inches

11 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

Tires and Wheels

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

The Altima SR/SL’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Prius XLE/Limited’s 50 series tires.

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 2.9 inches longer than on the Prius (111.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the Prius.

The Altima handles at .91 G’s, while the Prius Limited pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Altima SR VC-Turbo 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.

Passenger Space

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The Altima has 9.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius (100.6 vs. 91.2).

The Altima has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more rear hip room and 4.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.

Ergonomics

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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/SR VC-Turbo’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 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.

Recommendations

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

The Nissan Altima outsold the Toyota Prius by almost four to one during 2022.

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