An interesting new VC-Turbo is available in the Altima and so is all-wheel drive.
The Accord offers a manual transmission and a hybrid option.
The market might be making a big shift towards crossovers, but that doesn’t mean all manufacturers have abandoned sedans. Two long-time competitors that are at the top of their game in 2019 are the Honda Accord and the Nissan Altima. The Altima is all-new and the Accord continues in its excellent 10th generation.
Let’s take a look at what sets these two midsize sedans apart and which is better.
The styling of the Altima is all-new for 2019 and a step forward from the previous model. It keeps some old design cues, while making the whole thing more modern with a more pronounced "V motion" front grille. The Honda Accord was new for 2018 and aesthetically, there are no changes for 2019. It has a nice, modern look and wears the Honda corporate face very well. See the 2019 Honda Accord models for sale near you
The dimensions for these two cars are almost identical with the Altima being just one inch longer than the Accord. It’s not enough of a difference to be noticeable, and these both fall right in line with the rest of the midsize sedan segment.
Which car is better-looking is up to you, but we think these are two of the best-looking cars in a segment that’s normally known for being pretty bland. See the 2019 Nissan Altima models for sale near you
Both of these sedans have nice interiors to match their handsome exteriors. The inside of the 2019 Nissan Altima is a big upgrade over the previous model with a premium look and feel and nice materials. The Altima has adopted a tablet-like infotainment screen setup with an intuitive, user-friendly system that comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The 2019 Honda Accord also has a cabin that’s nice and roomy. Some of its controls will make you feel like you’re in a much nicer car with their smart design and satisfying feedback. Like the Altima, it has a nice, user-friendly infotainment system, but unlike in the Nissan, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are optional rather than standard.
The Accord has three available engines and the Altima has two.
2019 Honda Accord Engines
2.0-liter turbocharged inline four; 252 hp, 273 lb-ft of torque; 23 mpg city/34 mpg hwy
2.0-liter hybrid inline four; 212 hp, 232 lb-ft of torque; 48 mpg city/48 mpg hwy
2019 Nissan Altima Engines
2.5-liter inline four; 188 hp, 180 lb-ft of torque; 28 city/39 mpg hwy
2.0-liter VC-Turbo inline four; 236 hp, 267 lb-ft of torque; 25 city/34 mpg hwy
The specs of the base engines of both of these cars are pretty similar with the Honda having a slight advantage in performance and fuel economy. As for the next step up, Nissan’s innovative new VC-Turbo engine makes it slightly more efficient than the 2.0-liter turbo in the Accord, but it falls a bit behind on performance. The VC-Turbo is a variable-compression engine, meaning the engine can change its compression ratio based on input for the driver to optimize either fuel economy or performance or a balance between the two.
It’s worth noting that the Accord is available as a hybrid, but you can’t get a hybrid 2019 Altima. The Accord Hybrid is a great way to save gas without sacrificing much in terms of performance. The Accord is also available with a manual transmission in the Sport trim, while the Altima is only available with an automatic.
Something that the Altima has that the Accord doesn’t have is available all-wheel drive. However, you can’t get AWD combined with the VC-Turbo engine. If you want an AWD Altima, you need to settle for the base engine.
The 2019 Altima is available with Nissan Safety Shield 360, which is a suite of safety tech that includes blind spot monitoring, high-beam assist, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking. The Altima is also available with ProPILOT Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane centering technology to give you a more relaxed drive. It’s not autonomous driving, but this is nice technology to have.
Standard on every 2019 Honda Accord is Honda Sensing. Honda Sensing is a bundle of technology that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, collision mitigation braking and traffic sign recognition.
The starting prices of these two sedans are almost identical. The Accord starts at $23,720 and the Altima starts at $23,750. The higher trims get into the mid $30k range and comes generously appointed with features like leather seats, wireless charging and navigation. The Accord Hybrid starts at $25,320 and the most affordable AWD Altima you can get is $25,100.
This is a tough call since both cars have a few things that the other doesn’t have. The Accord offers a hybrid variant and a manual transmission, but the Altima has standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and it’s available with AWD.
We’re fascinated by the engineering of the VC-Turbo engine in the Altima, but the more conventional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine in the Accord is an even better performer with only slightly worse fuel economy. We also love that Honda Sensing is standard on every Accord. You can’t go wrong with either of these sedans, but if we had to pick one, we’d recommend the Accord over the Altima unless you really want AWD. Find a Honda Accord for sale or Find a Nissan Altima for sale