2018 Nissan Altima

Starting Price: $24,145 | Price Yours

Above Average: Innovative Zero Gravity seats, good reliability and resale numbers, optional V6 engine

Below Average: Interior and trunk volume, no hybrid or all-wheel drive option, conservative styling

Consensus: A well-equipped and reasonably priced family sedan with a slightly sporty side.


2018 Nissan Sentra

Starting Price: $17,875 | Price Yours

Above Average: Interior space, wide range of models, turbocharged engine option, comfortable seats

Below Average: Missing some high-tech features, sedan-only body style, 4-star safety rating

Consensus: An affordable compact sedan with generous interior space and great gas mileage


The Altima offers the option of V6 power and its NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats are some of the most comfortable in this class. Like the Altima, the Sentra offers the latest in collision avoidance and driver assist technology, with automatic emergency braking standard on all but manual transmission and NISMO trims. Styling for the Altima and Sentra is similar, but inside you’ll find more rear seat legroom in the smaller Sentra. On the road, the Altima is a better performer, offering superior cornering and acceleration. Both cars deliver similar fuel economy numbers in base form, but neither offers the option of a hybrid model or all-wheel drive. On the technology front, the Sentra and Altima offer many of the same upgrades, including advanced driver assists, leather seating and a Bose audio system. Only the Altima, however, offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Nissan Altima Advantages

Available V6 engine, sporty SR trim, comfortable Zero Gravity front seats, Active Understeer Control which improves handling, available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Nissan Sentra Advantages

Low base price, roomy rear seat, sporty NISMO trim


The Sentra and Altima share similar styling inside and out, come standard with automatic emergency braking and offer numerous luxury and performance upgrades. Both offer wide, comfortable front seats, good fuel economy and above average resale and reliability ratings.

Final Recommendation

If you’re on a budget, there’s a lot to like in the Sentra. It’s roomy, well equipped and easy on the eyes. However, for just a bit more money you can step into the better equipped Altima, which is a better driving car with more high-tech infotainment options, a 5-star safety rating and an available V6 engine.

  2018 Nissan Altima 2018 Nissan Sentra
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.5-liter I4 1.8-liter I4
Horsepower 179 hp @ 6,000 rpm 124 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 177 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 125 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission Continuously Variable Continuously Variable
Fuel Economy 31 mpg (27 city, 38 hwy) 32 mpg (29 city/37 hwy)
Also Available 3.5L V6 1.6L turbo I4, 6-speed manual
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 4 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 109.3 inches 106.3 inches
Overall Length 191.9 inches 182.1 inches
Width 72.0 inches 69.3 inches
Height 57.8 inches 58.9 inches
Turning Diameter 37.4 feet 34.8 feet
Headroom, Front 40.0 inches 39.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.1 inches 36.7 inches
Legroom, Front 45.0  inches 42.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 36.1 inches 37.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.4 inches 54.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 56.4 inches 53.9 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 101.9 cu. ft. 95.9 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 15.4 cu. ft. 15.1 cu. ft.
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