|16.7||Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||15.4|
|40.4||Rear Legroom (in)||35.2|
Midsize sedans were once the most popular family cars in the United States. The suburbs were filled with foreign and domestic four-door cars, shuttling kids to school, driving off to work, and heading out on the weekend for shopping adventures. But for most Americans, those days are in the rearview mirror, as the minivan and SUV supplanted the midsize sedan in terms of popularity. Even so, there are still a number of automakers building some really good midsize sedans, with two of the leading options to compare being the 2022 Honda Accord vs 2022 Nissan Altima. The Accord is currently in its tenth generation since it was first introduced in 1976. The Nissan Altima is a more recent vintage, having first hit the road in 1993. The current model was introduced in 2019 as the sixth generation.
Both models are front-wheel drive standard, although the 2022 Nissan Altima is available with all-wheel drive as well, but only for the base engine. In addition, both the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima feature their companies' respective infotainment systems. The Accord comes with a standard 8-inch Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the Altima has the NissanConnect system, although the standard screen is 7-inches, and you have to pay extra for the comparable 8-inch color touchscreen.
One of the main reasons to buy a midsize sedan is to get a fuel-efficient engine that provides solid performance. While both the 2022 Honda Accord and 2022 Nissan Altima come with two engine options, the efficiency of both models depends on which powertrain you choose.
The base powertrain on the 2022 Honda Accord is a turbocharged 1.5-liter I-4 gas engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Accord Sport and Sport Special Edition models add paddle shifters for more control over engine performance. The engine itself has a dual overhead camshaft configuration (DOHC) with Honda's VTEC system for improved efficiency through variable valve timing. This engine uses direct fuel injection and tops out at 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque.
The 2022 Nissan Altima has a base powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter Direct Injection I-4 gas engine with a CVT. It also uses a DOHC configuration but only has the ability to deliver up to 188 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque on front-wheel drive models. If you opt for a 2022 Altima with available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, the performance of this engine drops even more to 182 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque.
The Honda Accord truly benefits from the presence of a turbocharger in its standard powertrain. Not only does it outperform the standard powertrain on the 2022 Altima, but it also provides better fuel efficiency. For example, the Accord is estimated by the EPA for very impressive 30 MPG in city driving, compared to 28 MPG on the front-wheel drive Altima and only 26 MPG with the all-wheel drive model.[b] In addition, EPA-estimated combined fuel economy ratings favor the Accord at up to 33 MPG compared to 32 MPG on the front-wheel drive Nissan Altima and 30 MPG with the all-wheel drive model.[b]
The Honda Accord Sport is offered with an available turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 gas engine. In place of the standard CVT, Honda has paired this engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission with shift-by-wire and paddle shifters. This direct fuel injection engine has a DOHC configuration with VTEC and is capable of 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The 2022 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo model also comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine. However, Nissan's performance option comes equipped with a CVT and is capable of a slightly lower 248 horsepower.
While Nissan's 2.0-liter engine provides less performance, the Altima with the optional engine has the slight edge in EPA-estimated fuel economy, available to provide an estimated 29 MPG combined, compared to 26 MPG combined on the Honda Accord with the optional engine.[b] This may be due to the choice of transmission, although the Accord's transmission will give you more control over performance as a result of the paddle shifters and physical gear ratios.
Both the 2022 Honda Accord and the 2022 Nissan Altima were chosen as Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).[c] This is the highest rating from the IIHS, and it denotes the safest models in a specific vehicle class. However, if you dig a little deeper, you will see that the Accord gives you more standard safety features than the Altima. In addition, the Accord has so far performed better in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).[d]
The 2022 Honda Accord has more standard features on its entry-level LX trim than are featured on the 2022 Nissan Altima S, the base trim of Nissan's midsize sedan. To begin, the Accord features the Honda Sensing Safety and Driver-Assistance Technologies suite of active safety systems, while the base model Altima doesn't have Nissan Pro-Pilot Assist but only offers a small number of standard active safety features that are part of this system.
There are four active safety features that are included as standard on both the Accord and the Altima. Both sedans have a high beam assist system that automatically turns the high beams on in areas of low light and then turns them off as soon as the system detects either improved lighting or the presence of another vehicle. This keeps you from having to hassle with the high beams when driving at night.
The Accord and Altima both also feature a forward collision warning with an emergency braking system. Honda refers to this as Forward Collision Warning with Collision Mitigation Braking System, while Nissan calls this Intelligent Forward Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking. The two features work in pretty much the same way. The radar system mounted in the car will detect an imminent collision with a vehicle in front of you. It will immediately sound a warning while automatically engaging the brakes to either avoid a crash or reduce the damage caused by such a collision.
Finally, both of these cars have a standard feature to keep you from drifting out of your lane on marked roads. This is called Lane Keeping Assist on the Honda Accord and Lane Departure Warning on the Nissan Altima. If you start to drift, the system will sound an alert and begin using slight adjustments to your steering to get your vehicle back into your lane. This will help you avoid a collision with a vehicle in the other lane.
There are three standard safety features on the 2022 Accord that are not standard on the 2022 Altima. First, the Accord has a standard Road Departure Mitigation System. This will use a series of slight adjustments to steering if the system detects that you are driving too close to the edge of the road. The Accord also has standard Adaptive Cruise Control. This uses intelligent technology to detect slower-moving vehicles in front of your Accord and then adjust the cruise control speed downward until the vehicle in front of you has either departed your lane or increased its speed. When this happens, the system will return to your pre-set speed.
Finally, the Accord has a standard Traffic Sign Recognition System. This will detect speed limit signs and notify you to adjust your speed to comply with posted speed limits along your way. Therefore, if you suddenly pass from a 65 mph zone to a 45 mph work zone, you won't get a ticket for speeding. Again, these are features that are only available as optional equipment on the higher trims of the 2022 Altima.
Each year, the NHTSA conducts a series of crash tests on passenger vehicles and then publishes its results for the public. These tests include frontal crash, side crash, and rollover. The tests were completed on the 2022 Accord, and it scored a perfect 5-star safety rating on all tests.[d] While the tests on the 2022 Altima are not yet complete, the results so far are not as good as those for the Accord. While the Altima did receive a 5-star rating for rollover test, it only scored a 4-star rating for the frontal crash tests.
Like most other midsize sedans, the 2022 Honda Accord and the 2022 Nissan Altima are designed to seat up to five passengers, providing two bucket seats for front-row passengers and a three-passenger bench seat in the back. However, despite these similarities, Honda has given the Accord a much roomier passenger compartment than the Nissan Altima, as well as a much more versatile trunk.
No matter which model of the Accord you choose, you will get more passenger space than the comparable Nissan Altima. The key difference in determining passenger space depends on the presence of a sunroof. Accord and Altima models with a sunroof will have slightly less passenger space than one without one due to the fact that the presence of a sunroof will cause a slight reduction in headroom. Nevertheless, the Accord without a sunroof gives you 105.6 cubic feet of passenger space, while choosing a model with a sunroof will reduce this slightly to 102.7 cubic feet. If you look at the Nissan Altima, you only get 100.6 cubic feet of passenger space without a sunroof, which goes down to a fairly cramped 98.8 cubic feet on models with the sunroof.
While both models are fairly similar in headroom and shoulder room, the real differences can be seen in legroom and hip room. While the Altima gives you slightly more legroom in the front row than the Accord, the same cannot be said for the back seat. While the Accord gives back seat passengers a very generous 40.4 inches of legroom, the Altima only affords 35.2 inches of legroom in the back seat, making it quite uncomfortable for long drives. In addition, the Accord gives over 55 inches of hip room in the front and back rows, which is almost one inch more than in the Altima.
The versatility of a sedan often comes down to the trunk space. Some midsize sedans offer plenty of passenger space while skimping on the cargo space in the trunk. Fortunately, this is not the case with the 2022 Honda Accord, which comes with a spacious 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk. This is over one cubic foot more than the 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the Nissan Altima's trunk. When you factor in the smaller passenger compartment in the Altima, you can see that you will not have as much space to move things in the Altima as you will in the Accord.