We're spoiled with options right now when it comes to quality midsize sedans. But like any segment, we think of some names first when considering a purchase. With midsize sedans, the Honda Accord has been one such name for as many years as most of us can remember, but the 2018 Nissan Altima isn't too far behind. Let's see how these two sales heavyweights compare to each other right now.
The Cool Factor: Nissan Altima
Let's be honest--few of us dreamed of owning a midsize sedan when we were younger. That said, it's probably fair to say that the latest incarnations of these big-selling sedans are more stylish and desirable than they've ever been. The Accord has now gone down a sportier, more aggressive route with its styling than in the past, but that might not appeal to its traditional buyer.
The Altima contrasts that aggressive styling nicely, with a handsome, stylish, nearly upscale look that the Accord has left behind. While both the Altima and Accord are so popular that they are everywhere on the road, that's especially true of the Accord. Uniqueness and stateliness give this round to the Nissan Altima.
Interior Comfort: Tie
At the entry level, it's possible the Honda Accord is a little more comfortable and of a higher quality inside than its Nissan equivalent, but the Nissan gets much better, much quicker when we go up the trim levels. At the upper echelons the Nissan is a rival for its Infiniti luxury siblings, but for many thousands of dollars less.
The highest trim levels of the Accord probably don't reach the same heights as the Altima SR, but the average across the range is probably a little higher. You'll get more room in the front of the Nissan, but the Honda offers rear-seat passengers class-leading levels of leg room. Overall, we'll have to score this one a draw.
Performance: Nissan Altima
Honda might have a Type R performance version of its already sporty Civic, but it doesn't give its Accord Sport the same treatment. The V-6 engine option has now been dropped from the line, so the most power and performance on offer is 252 horsepower from a detuned version of the Type R's four-cylinder powerplant.
Meanwhile, the Nissan does still offer a V-6 in the Altima SR, which is a 3.5-liter unit producing 270 horsepower. There's not a great deal of weight difference between the two cars so the 3.5-liter V-6 engine gives the performance honors here to the Altima.
Fuel Economy: Honda Accord
It's not difficult to see why the Nissan Altima and the Honda Accord have sold in such big numbers, especially since both have done a good job of adapting to meet the changing demands of consumers. The Honda Accord is a very good car in all its forms, but Nissan Altima has a slight edge in styling and performance, especially in the sporty, higher performance Altima SR.