Car Comparison

2018 Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Nissan Altima: Which Is Better?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL Sedan
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima
$19,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV Sedan
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima
$16,895
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV Sedan
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima
$16,895
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL Sedan
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima
$18,995
RELATED READING
See all Nissan Altima articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan 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 Eric Brandt August 2018

Although crossovers and SUVs are quickly taking over as America's choice family vehicle, the midsize sedan segment is still one of the most competitive on the market. Two of the big players in family cars are the 2018 Toyota Camry and the 2018 Nissan Altima, which have been close competitors for decades.

The Camry got a big update for 2018 and the current fifth-generation Altima is in its final model year with an all-new Altima coming for 2019. However, that doesn't mean the current model is irrelevant or can't compete with the Camry. Let's take a look at how these two popular sedans stack up against one another for 2018.

Exterior

The new styling for the 2018 Toyota Camry is very modern with angular lines helping it shake off its reputation as a boring sedan. Just about every Camry before the 2018 model blends into traffic, but the new one really stands out. Each trim level of the Camry has a different aesthetic with a couple different front fascias used throughout the model range.

The Altima has looked pretty much the same since the 2013 model year but did receive a facelift in 2016. While the Camry is very angular, the Altima has more of a curvy shape, but while the Altima doesn't look as modern as the Camry, it has a few available appearance packages that keep it interesting like the SR Special Edition and the SR Midnight Edition, which each add special wheels and other exterior accents.

As for size, the height, width and length of the two cars are very similar with all three dimensions being within an inch of each other.

Interior

There's nothing too exciting going on inside the 2018 Nissan Altima. It's certainly not ugly, but don't expect any groundbreaking interior design here. That said, the interior of the car is perfectly functional and comfortable enough for long drives. The front seat of the Altima has a little more legroom in the front, while the Camry has a slight advantage in rear legroom, making it a little more comfortable for adults in the back.

The interior of the 2018 Toyota Camry has a very sharp, modern design much like the exterior. It's a far cry from the dull Camrys of the past with a beautiful center stack that looks unlike anything else on the market, including luxury cars. The design isn't the only thing the Camry's interior has going for it. Depending on how it's optioned, the Camry can include red leather seats and interior trim to add a sporty look to the sedan. For a more luxurious touch, quilted leather seats and nice wood interior trim are available as well.

Which exterior you like more is a matter of personal preference, but the Camry is the hands-down winner in interior design over the Altima. Again, there's nothing wrong with the Nissan's interior, it just doesn't look nearly as good as the one in the Toyota.

Mechanicals

Both cars have an inline-four and a V6 available under the hood. The base engine in the Camry is a 2.5-liter inline-four that makes 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque while returning impressive fuel economy at 29 miles per gallon in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. The available 3.5-liter V6 turns up the performance to 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. Those are fantastic numbers for a car in this class, and it still returns decent fuel economy at 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy.

The engines in the Altima are good, but they fall a little bit short of both Camry engines on paper. The base engine for the Nissan is a 2.5-liter inline-four with an adequate horsepower rating of 179 and 177 lb-ft of torque. It returns 27 mpg city/38 mpg hwy. If you upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6, you get 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. Its fuel economy numbers are identical to the V6 in the Camry at 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy.

The Altima uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for both engines. A CVT is good for smooth, efficient cruising and providing more juice when you really need it. The Toyota uses a more traditional 8-speed automatic transmission. If you want a manual transmission in a midsize sedan, we'd suggest checking out a Mazda6 or a Honda Accord.

Features and Technology

Nissan Intelligent Mobility is Nissan's safety suite of semi-autonomous features that can help you prevent an accident. It includes intelligent cruise control, which keeps distance from the car in front of you, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic emergency braking. These features gradually become more available as you work your way up the model range.

The base trim for the Altima is the Altima S, which comes standard with a NissanConnect 5-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth streaming audio, a USB port and a rearview camera. The Altima SR adds a sporty appearance package, while the SV trim adds extra tech like blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and remote start. Finally, the SL trim brings luxury to the Altima, adding features like leather seats and Bose premium audio. The Altima SL is the only trim with the V6 available.

Every model of the 2018 Camry comes generously appointed with Toyota Safety Sense P, which consists of a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams and dynamic radar cruise control. Some of these features are usually expensive add-ons, but Toyota puts them in every Camry.

Other technology includes the Entune 3.0 infotainment system in an available 8-in touch screen that you can get with navigation and 9-speaker JBL premium audio. A 10-in color head-up display is available that can help you stay focused on the road. With Toyota's Remote Connect app, you can remotely monitor your Camry if someone else is driving it, and you can use the app on your phone to find your car in a parking lot.

The Camry has a little bit more to offer than the Altima does in both the low-end and high-end trims, such as standard Toyota Safety Sense across the board and available tech like intelligent clearance sonar with rear cross-traffic braking that can actually apply the brakes if it detects you're about to hit something. In the midrange for both models, these cars can be optioned pretty similarly.

Pricing

The 4-cylinder variants of the Camry and the Altima are very similarly priced, but the V6 Camrys are more expensive. The entry-level Camry L starts at $23,645, while the base Altima S starts at $23,260. The base Camry costs a little more than the base Altima, but you could argue that the Camry is a better value because of the extra standard safety features.

The only variant of the Altima with a V6 is the 3.5 SL, which starts at $33,630 and comes with all the luxurious features that come with the SL trim. The Camry has two V6 variants: The XLE V6 and XSE V6, which start at $34,550 and $35,100, respectively.

Conclusion

With the big 2018 update, the Toyota Camry is a decidedly more modern car than the Nissan Altima. The Altima 3.5 SL is a good option, however, if you want an affordable V6-powered midsize sedan with some nice features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, modern safety tech and leather seats. The Altima is also good for any driver who prefers a curvy aesthetic to a more angular exterior.

The new Camry has a lot to offer in just about every respect. From its modern aesthetic inside and out to its impressive performance and generous standard technology, the Camry is a car that any driver in the market for a midsize sedan can get excited about.

Find a Toyota Camry for sale

Find a Nissan Altima for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL Sedan
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima
$19,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV Sedan
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima
$16,895
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV Sedan
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima
$16,895
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL Sedan
Certified 2018 Nissan Altima
$18,995
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.
2018 Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Nissan Altima: Which Is Better? - Autotrader