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2019 Nissan Altima

Starting Price: $24,645 | Price Yours

Above Average: Very sporty; plenty of standard safety features; sharp, aggressive looks, available all-wheel drive

Below Average: No hybrid model; neither the sportiest nor the most luxurious in the segment; prices for options and higher trim levels add up quickly.

Consensus: For 2019 the Nissan Altima has been redesigned, with a new look, sportier dynamics, two new engines, and available all-wheel drive. It has dropped the V6, however, in favor of a feisty 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. It can feel a little strained on hills, but it’s got plenty of power for highway and city driving. Nissan continues to add and refine both its driver-assist and safety features, with the Altima earning 5 out of 5 stars from the NHTSA.
 

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2019 Ford Fusion

Starting Price: $23,735 | Price Yours

Above Average: Large variety of models, including a V6, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid; variety means models range from frugal to opulent

Below Average: Top model tops $40,000; bland styling

Consensus: There is likely a 2019 Ford Fusion for every budget and choice, from a bare-bones entry-level model with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder all the way up to a 2.7-liter V6 making 320 horsepower and both a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. For 2019, Ford has also added what it calls Ford Co-Pilot360 Protect, a suite of advanced safety technologies.
 

In the very competitive midsize sedan class, both Ford’s Fusion and Nissan’s Altima make strong cases for themselves. While other models may have “Sport” variants with fancier trim pieces and bigger wheels, Nissan’s SR and Ford’s Sport both make the case convincingly, with more power and tighter suspensions. The Nissan has been heavily updated for 2019, and the Ford has been refreshed significantly, with both adding more safety and infotainment options. Each offers a decent entry-level model, and for both the Fusion and the Altima, as you climb the trim levels and add options, prices climb significantly, with a nearly $12,000 variance between low and high for Nissan and closer to $17,000 between Ford’s entry-level and top-trim Fusion.

Similarities

Prices increase significantly as you climb trim levels and add options; both offer an all-wheel drive model

Nissan Altima Advantages

Sharper looks; best seats in the midsize sedan class; even the base model has some oomph

Ford Fusion Advantages

Available V6; both hybrid and plug-in hybrid options; upper trim model is packed with features and luxury.

Final Recommendation

If options are what you want, the Fusion emerges as the clear winner here, with a full nine different trims, ranging from a bare-bones entry-level model to an opulent and powerful V6-equipped Sport as well as two hybrid options. Nissan has fewer choices for the Altima (including ditching the V6 in 2019 for a turbocharged 4-cylinder), but even the entry-level model is well equipped, and its styling is more contemporary. Ford has spoken of discontinuing the Fusion after 2019 in favor of the more volume-selling SUVs and crossovers, so the Fusion could be the nostalgic choice. For our money, however, the Nissan makes a better case for itself at any level.

  2019 Nissan Altima 2019 Ford Fusion
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.5-liter I4 2.5-liter I4
Horsepower 188 hp @ 6,000 rpm 175 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 180 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm 175 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission Continuously variable 6-Spd automatic
Fuel Economy 30 mpg (26 city, 38 hwy) 25 mpg (21 city, 31 hwy)
Also Available 2.0-liter I4, turbocharged 1.5-liter I4, turbocharged; 2.0-liter I4; turbocharged; 2.0-liter I4 hybrid with CVT; 2.0-liter I4 plug-in hybrid with CVT; 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6
Specs    
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 111.2 inches 112.2 inches
Overall Length 192.9 inches 191.7 inches
Width 72.9 inches 75.2 inches
Height 56.7 inches 58.1 inches
Turning Diameter n/a 37.6 feet
Headroom, Front 39.2 inches 39.2 inches
Headroom, Rear 36.9 inches 37.8 inches
Legroom, Front 44.1 inches 44.3 inches
Legroom, Rear 35.1 inches 38.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.2 inches 57.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 57.1 inches 56.9 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 100.8 cu. ft. 102.8 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 15.4 cu. ft. 16.0 cu. ft.
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