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Compare the2024 Nissan AltimaVS 2022 Volkswagen Passat

2024 Nissan Altima
2022 Volkswagen Passat

Safety

© 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

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 Volkswagen Passat doesn’t offer pretensioners for its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Altima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Passat doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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 Passat doesn’t offer knee airbags.

The Altima AWD offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Passat doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Altima SL/SR VC-Turbo has a standard Intelligent Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Passat 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.

The Altima’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Passat doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Altima and the Passat have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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 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 Volkswagen Passat:

Altima

Passat

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

114/342 lbs.

166/453 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

239

267

Chest Compression

.5 inches

1 inches

Neck Compression

110 lbs.

147 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 Volkswagen Passat:

Altima

Passat

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

185

249

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

544 lbs.

713 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

157

359

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

49 G’s

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

Warranty

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Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Altima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Passat. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Passat ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Altima’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Passat’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 68 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Altima’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Altima has a standard 510-amp battery. The Passat’s 480-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Altima’s reliability 27 points higher than the Passat.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan above average in initial quality. With 69 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is rated below average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen With 12 fewer problems per 100 vehicles in the first three years of ownership, J.D. Power ranks Nissan higher than Volkswagen.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2023 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 8 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The Altima AWD’s optional 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 8 more horsepower (182 vs. 174) than the Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Altima’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 14 more horsepower (188 vs. 174) than the Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Altima SR’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 74 more horsepower (248 vs. 174) and 67 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 206) than the Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Altima AWD 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder is faster than the Volkswagen Passat:

Altima

Passat

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5.6 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

119 MPH

116 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Altima gets better mileage than the Passat:

MPG

Altima

FWD

S/SV 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/39 hwy

SL/SR 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/37 hwy

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

Passat

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/36 hwy

Transmission

© 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

The Altima has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Passat doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Altima stops much shorter than the Passat:

Altima

Passat

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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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 Passat doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Passat.

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

The Altima executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Passat R-Line (26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

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The design of the Nissan Altima amounts to more than styling. The Altima has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the Passat (.28) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Altima get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Altima uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Passat doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

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 Passat doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Altima has .8 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Passat.

The front step up height for the Altima is 1.8 inches lower than the Passat (14” vs. 15.8”). The Altima’s rear step up height is 1.5 inches lower than the Passat’s (14” vs. 15.5”).

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Altima easier. The Altima’s trunk lift-over height is 26.9 inches, while the Passat’s liftover is 28.2 inches.

Ergonomics

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On extremely cold winter days, the Altima SL/SR 2.0’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Passat doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Altima (except S) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Passat doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Passat because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the Passat, including $203 less for a water pump, $322 less for a muffler, $419 less for a starter, $82 less for a fuel pump, $147 less for front struts and $305 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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

The Nissan Altima outsold the Volkswagen Passat by almost 58 to one during 2022.

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