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2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Nissan Altima: Which Is Better?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Chris O'Neill January 2019

Editor's note: You may want to read more of Autotrader's model vs. model comparison car reviews as well as the 2019 Toyota Camry review, and the 2019 Nissan Altima review.

The 2019 Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima are two of the leading midsize family sedans on the market. The 2019 Nissan Altima is all new, while the Toyota Camry was fully redesigned just one year ago. The Camry is offered with a new aggressive demeanor, while the new Altima can be had with all-wheel drive, a rarity in this segment. Below, we'll take a look at these two sedans side-by-side in a number of categories to help determine which one is the better buy for you.

2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Nissan Altima basic specs

Basic Specs

After living most of its life as a rather staid, complacent sedan, the newly redesigned Camry brings a much needed infusion of style and energy into the model line. Trim levels start with the entry-level L and include the sporty SE and XSE models, along with the Hybrid LE, SE and XLE models. SE and XSE models are particularly stylish, wearing 19-in wheels and unique front and rear fascias. An optional contrasting black roof and red interior are available for anyone wanting to take their XSE to the next level.

The Camry offers three different powerplants. On the base end is a 4-cylinder making 203 horsepower. Stepping up to the V6 sees output increased to 301 hp. The 4-cylinder Camry earns 32 miles per gallon in combined driving, while the V6 nets 26 mpg overall. Depending on trim level, the efficient Camry Hybrid returns between 46 mpg and 52 mpg overall.

Factoring in additional fees, a base model Camry L starts at around $24,000 while a fully loaded V6 XSE will top $38,000. See the 2019 Toyota Camry models for sale near you

The all-new Altima gets an attractive new design. Nissan's signature "V" grille is featured prominently up front. As is the case with the Camry, the new Altima gets a floating C-pillar design, although no contrasting roof color option is available. Trim levels start with the entry-level S model. A sporty "SR" model is offered that comes with a more aggressive suspension tune and 19-in wheels, among other touches. At the top of the range is the Platinum model, which also offers 19-in wheels, along with interior accent lighting and surround view monitors.

As a part of the Altima's redesign, its engine lineup is shaken up for 2019. On the lower end, the Altima gets a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder making 188 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Fitted with this engine, front-wheel drive Altimas return 32 mpg overall, while optional AWD nets 30 mpg combined. Out is the comically overpowered 3.5-liter V6 that has sat at the top of the Altima lineup since 2002, replaced by a new 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder making 248 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Oddly, the Altima's new AWD is only available on the base engine, meaning that the nicest, highest-performing Altima is still a FWD only affair. Equipped with the new turbo, the Altima returns 29 mpg overall.

The Altima starts at around $25,000 and reaches about $37,000 in fully loaded form, factoring in additional fees. See the 2019 Nissan Altima models for sale near you

2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Nissan Altima dimensions

Dimensions

The Altima and the Camry share very similar exterior dimensions. The Altima is 192.9 inches long, 72.9 inches wide and 56.7 inches tall, while the Camry is 192.1 inches long, 72.4 inches wide and 59.6 inches tall.

The Altima is slightly bigger than the Camry up front, but offers marginally tighter dimensions in the rear. The Camry offers 38.3 inches of headroom and 42.1 inches of legroom up front, while the Altima offers 39.2 inches and 43.8 inches, respectively. In its second row, the Camry offers 38.0 inches of headroom and 38.0 inches of legroom, while the Altima offers 36.9 inches and 35.2 inches, again respectively.

The Altima offers 15.4 cu ft. of cargo space, while the Camry offers 14.1 cu ft. to 15.1 cu ft., oddly, depending on trim level.

Overall, in terms of interior and exterior dimensions, there are few appreciable differences between these two.

2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Nissan Altima interior

Interior

As part of its 2019 redesign, the Camry gained a new driver-oriented cockpit, featuring an asymmetrical center stack that's angled toward the driver. This is a little odd, as it comes at the expense of the front seat passenger, isolating them somewhat from the rest of the cabin. The new Camry's interior is overall stylish and now features a variety of sporty touches. Non SE or XSE model are offered with available wood trim, while the SE and the XSE gets aluminum trim. Finally, XSE models can be specified with an intense-looking red leather interior. A large center infotainment screen is standard across the line.

As is a trend with new vehicles lately, the Altima's interior eschews warm, traditional tones like beige and wood in favor of sharp-looking industrial hues. Interior color options are gray or black regardless of whether you choose fabric or leather. Fabric interiors come with aluminum dashboard trim, while higher-end leather interiors get a unique gray faux-wood. A flat bottomed steering wheel, which is an underrated feature, is standard. Like in the Camry, every Altima comes fitted with a generously-sized infotainment screen.

2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Nissan Altima features

Technology, Features & Infotainment

The Camry offers an available 360-degree camera, a head up display, a panoramic sunroof, a JBL-branded premium audio system, sport and eco modes and paddle shifters. While heated seats are available, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats are nowhere to be found, quite a bold omission in 2019.

Altima buyers can opt for a 360-degree camera, interior accent lighting and a memory driver's seat in higher trim levels. As in the Camry, ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel are absent. The Altima also forgoes a head up display and offers only a basic conventional sunroof. Like all Nissan products, the Altima also has a trick tire pressure monitoring system that beeps the horn whenever the desired pressure has been reached.

Features available on the new Camry include a 360-degree camera, a head up display, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, sport and eco modes and paddle shifters.

While the Camry offers a 7.0-in screen or an optional 8.0-in screen, the Altima comes standard with an 8.0-in screen. While the Altima offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, the Camry doesn't offer this technology at all, a major strike against it.

Both vehicles come with one 12-volt outlet. While the Camry offers only one basic USB port, the Altima offers two USB ports and two USB-C ports, positioning it nicely for a future in which USB-C will be the new standard.

2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Nissan Altima reliability

Reliability

Toyota and Nissan rank above industry averages in terms of overall dependability, so neither Altima nor Camry buyers should really have to worry much about reliability. Toyota and Nissan both offer a 3-year/36,000 mile basic and a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, which is about par for the course.

2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Nissan Altima safety

Safety

Both the 2019 Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima perform exceptionally well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing. While the Altima earns a Top Safety Pick designation, the Camry takes this one step further, achieving Top Safety Pick+ status.

In terms of driver-assistance safety features. Every new Camry comes with adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward-collision warning, front automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane keeping assist. Buyers can also opt for rear parking sensors, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and rear automated emergency braking.

Every 2019 Altima comes standard with automatic emergency braking. For other safety active safety features though, buyers must opt an SV model or better. Starting with the SV, the Altima gets radar cruise control, lane-keeping assist, pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic braking and automatic high beams. The Altima also offers Nissan's Pro Pilot Assist, which combines the functionality of the vehicle's radar cruise control with lane-keeping assist to assist with highway driving. This doesn't make the Altima autonomous, but it helps to relax things on the freeway.

Autotrader's Advice

Altogether, buyers will likely be satisfied with either of these midsize sedans. Both represent considerable improvements over their previous generations, offering just about all of the driver-assistance safety features one could want, along with reasonable passenger and cargo space. While the Camry offers unique features like a head up display, a potent V6 engine and a panoramic sunroof, the Altima has a much better infotainment system and offers optional AWD with its smaller engine. Altogether, buyers looking for value will likely prefer the Altima, while anyone wanting a little added excitement out of their vehicle will probably prefer a Camry SE or XSE. Find a Toyota Camry for sale or Find a Nissan Altima for sale

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New 2019 Toyota Camry XSE
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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.
2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Nissan Altima: Which Is Better? - Autotrader