The 2017 Nissan Altima and the Toyota Corolla might be technically in different segments of the market, but they're definitely cars that buyers will likely consider when looking for an affordable family sedan. Also, they have both sold in big numbers for quite some time, so let's take a look at them in a head-to-head comparison to see which one is best.
2017 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Corolla
Styling: Nissan Altima
Most versions of the Altima can pretty much blend in to the midsize sedan landscape, but few buyers of a midsize sedan are looking for outlandish or outrageous. The Nissan was updated last year with a very pleasant and sensible design, but the sporty flourishes of the SR model means you can also have an Altima that's got a unique personality as well.
If the Altima is a car that's benefitted from a redesign, the Toyota Corolla is a model that could do with one. There's nothing wrong or ugly about the way the Corolla looks, and maybe its cookie cutter feel is because the Corolla sells so well. But, to be honest, the Corolla is taking unremarkable to a new level, with very little flair to its style.
Engines and Performance: Nissan Altima
The majority of Altimas that you'll find on the Power Nissan lot will have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. That engine is more than adequate with its 182 horsepower, but one of the best things about the 2017 Nissan Altima is that it also gives you more power if you want it. More power comes in the form of a 3.5-liter V-6 that puts out 270 horsepower and 251 lb.-ft.
Performance is probably a bit of a strong word for describing the Toyota Corolla, regardless of which version of the 1.8-liter four-cylinder we're talking about. The base engine develops 132 horsepower, but that can go up to 140 horsepower with the Eco version of the four-cylinder. The more powerful engine might become available in more models than just the Eco at some point, but even so, this is another easy victory for the Nissan.
Interior: Nissan Altima
Redesigns of late have had an upscale flair and though that trend isn't exclusive to Nissan, the Altima certainly benefits from it. Acoustic glass and additional sound deadening were added last year, and combined with the comfortable and spacious seating, the interior of this Altima definitely has a more premium feel. With 45 inches of leg room and 40 inches of head room, the front seats are particularly accommodating for taller drivers and passengers.
For such an affordable vehicle that sells in such huge numbers, people new to Toyota might be surprised at just how nice the Corolla is inside. The front isn't as spacious as the Altima, but the five extra inches of leg room in the back seats is impressive to say the least. The more compact nature of the Toyota becomes more apparent with the 3.4 fewer cu.-ft. of trunk volume than the Altima.
Learn More about the Nissan Altima
It's hard to argue with the popularity and the continued success of the Toyota Corolla, an underdog that's come into its own. This Corolla is starting to show its age and last year's refresh of the Nissan Altima shows how much the Corolla needs a similar treatment. But perhaps the best reason for choosing the Altima is the extra performance offered from the V-6. You may not want it or need it, and you might choose the four-pot instead. But an upscale style, performance option, and an interior that's both comfortable and beautiful makes the 2017 Nissan Altima the best bet in this match up.