Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Altima VS 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Near Boerne, TX

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2017 Nissan Altima

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VS

2017 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Altima Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Malibu doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Altima Sedan and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available 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 Sedan is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

 

Altima Sedan

Malibu

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

19%

23%

Neck Stress

216 lbs.

937 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

186/153 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 Sedan is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

 

Altima Sedan

Malibu

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

197

235

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Altima Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima Sedan second among midsize cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The Malibu isn’t in the top three.

Engine Comparison

The Altima Sedan 2.5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 19 more horsepower (179 vs. 160) than the Malibu’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Altima Sedan 3.5’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (270 vs. 250) than the Malibu Premier’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.:

 

Altima Sedan

Malibu

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.2 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Altima Sedan uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Malibu Premier requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Altima Sedan has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu 1.5 Turbo’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 13 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima Sedan has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu 2.0 Turbo’s optional fuel tank (18 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Altima Sedan stops shorter than the Malibu:

 

Altima Sedan

Malibu

 

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Altima Sedan has larger standard tires than the Malibu (215/60R16 vs. 205/60R16).

The Altima Sedan 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 Malibu doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Altima Sedan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Malibu doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better maneuverability, the Altima Sedan 2.5/2.5 S’ turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Malibu’s (36.1 feet vs. 37 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV is quieter than the Malibu LT (38 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima Sedan has .9 inches more front headroom and 3 inches more front legroom than the Malibu.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Altima Sedan easier. The Altima Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Malibu’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Altima offers cargo security. The Malibu’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The Altima Sedan’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Malibu’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The Altima Sedan’s optional front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Malibu LT/Premier’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the front windows are left down on the Altima Sedan the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Malibu can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Altima Sedan has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Altima Sedan’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 Malibu’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Altima Sedan’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Malibu’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Altima Sedan, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Chevrolet only offers wireless connectivity on the Malibu LS/LT/Premier.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Malibu because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima Sedan than the Malibu, including $353 less for a water pump, $71 less for an alternator, $134 less for front brake pads, $128 less for fuel injection, $80 less for a fuel pump and $77 less for front struts.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima Sedan second among midsize cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Malibu isn’t in the top three.

The Nissan Altima Sedan outsold the Chevrolet Malibu by 44% during the 2016 model year.

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