Car Comparison

2015 Nissan Altima vs. 2015 Ford Fusion: Which Is Better?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium
Used 2015 Ford Fusion
$17,125
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Used 2015 Ford Fusion
$16,775
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Used 2015 Ford Fusion
$15,950
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Used 2015 Ford Fusion
$16,950
RELATED READING
See all Ford Fusion articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro July 2015

Choosing a midsize sedan can be difficult, thanks to a wide variety of challengers that all seem to offer benefits and drawbacks. To help narrow your search, we've compared two of today's most popular models: the 2015 Nissan Altima and the 2015 Ford Fusion. Which one is better? Which offers a better value? And which one should you get? We've answered all of these questions to help drivers choose between these two popular, affordable midsize sedans, but first let's see what's new with the Fusion and the Altima for the 2015 model year.

2015 Nissan Altima

The Altima offers a few minor changes for 2015. The 3.5 S and SV trim levels have been canceled, while the 3.5 SL now adds last year's optional Technology package as standard equipment. Finally, the Altima 2.5 SV gains a power driver's seat.

2015 Ford Fusion

The sole change to the Ford Fusion for the 2015 model year is the addition of a newly standard backup camera across the model lineup.

Reliability

When it comes to reliability ratings, both the Nissan Altima and the Ford Fusion earned an above-average score from reliability experts at J.D. Power. However, Consumer Reports says that only the Fusion offers above-average reliability, while the Altima's dependability has been below average. That suggests to us that the Fusion might have a slight edge over the Altima. As for warranty coverage, both sedans offer the exact same protection: 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage.

Fuel Economy

The 2015 Nissan Altima offers only two powertrain choices, both of which come standard with front-wheel drive and a fuel-saving continuously variable automatic transmission. Standard on the Altima is a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, which returns 27 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. For drivers who want more power, there's an available 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 that touts an impressive 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy.

The Fusion, meanwhile, offers a truly impressive array of engine choices. Base models get a 175-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, which returns 22 mpg city/34 mpg hwy. Drivers who want better gas mileage can upgrade to a 182-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which touts 25 mpg city/37 mpg hwy. Those seeking extra power can go for a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which boasts an excellent 22 mpg city/33 mpg hwy.

But the Fusion's powertrain lineup doesn't stop there. There's also a plug-in hybrid model, dubbed the Fusion Energi, which can travel more than 20 miles on electric power alone. And the fuel-efficient Fusion Hybrid uses a 188-hp hybrid 4-cylinder that returns 44 mpg city/41 mpg hwy.

How do all those numbers add up? While the Altima offers better fuel economy in base-level guise, the Fusion has a slight edge among drivers who want more power. And only the Fusion touts hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions for shoppers who are especially focused on gas mileage. For most drivers, we'd give this category to the Altima, but if you're especially focused on fuel economy, you'll want a Fusion Hybrid.

Safety

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, both the Ford Fusion and the Nissan Altima earned a perfect 5-star score. It's the same story in testing carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with both cars earning Top Safety Pick scores (a great result, but just shy of the firm's best Top Safety Pick+ rating due to their lack of front-crash avoidance systems).

As for available safety equipment, the Fusion has just barely beaten out the Altima. While the Altima offers lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring systems and rear cross-traffic alert, the Fusion adds to that list with an available lane-keep assist system, an optional forward-collision warning system, inflatable rear seat belts and a standard backup camera (versus the Altima's optional unit).

If you don't plan to opt for any extra safety features, we'd say these cars are about even in terms of crashworthiness, but if you want all the latest gadgets, you'll find more of them in the Fusion than in the Altima.

Technology

When it comes to technology, the Fusion offers a few more high-tech gadgets and features than its Altima rival. We've covered some of the key benefits in the safety section above, where the Fusion boasts standout features such as lane-keep assist, forward-collision warning and inflatable rear seat belts. But it isn't just safety where the Fusion has its advantage. The Ford also offers an infotainment system that's easier to use than the Altima's system, an automated parallel-parking feature, a larger center touchscreen than you'll get in the Altima and adaptive cruise control. While the Altima isn't necessarily down on equipment, the Fusion offers class-leading technology, so if you're into gadgets, you'll probably be more impressed with the Fusion than the Altima.

Value

Like most midsize sedans, the Fusion and the Altima are very close together in terms of pricing. In fact, their base prices are less than $200 apart, and that similar pricing trend continues throughout their model lineups.

To us, however, the Fusion represents a better value. The Altima offers more standard fuel economy, but the Fusion's optional 1.5-liter turbocharged engine almost entirely makes up the difference. The Fusion also boasts features you can't get in the Altima, including the latest technology, all-wheel drive and a hybrid powertrain.

Autotrader's Advice

Although we think the Nissan Altima deserves more coverage for its many benefits and positive attributes, we prefer the Ford Fusion in a head-to-head comparison. The Fusion offers similar gas mileage (or better gas mileage if you choose the fuel-efficient Fusion Hybrid), along with additional features, gadgets and equipment. The Fusion is also the only one to offer all-wheel drive, which can be a huge benefit to shoppers in cold northern climates. The Altima isn't a bad car, but it's not good enough to unseat the Fusion, which is among our favorite midsize sedans.

Find a Nissan Altima for sale

Find a Ford Fusion for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium
Used 2015 Ford Fusion
$17,125
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Used 2015 Ford Fusion
$16,775
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Used 2015 Ford Fusion
$15,950
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Used 2015 Ford Fusion
$16,950
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Nissan Altima vs. 2015 Ford Fusion: Which Is Better? - Autotrader