North Georgia Ford Compares 2018 Ford Fusion VS 2018 Nissan Altima Near Calhoun, GA

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2018 Ford Fusion

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2018 Nissan Altima

Safety Comparison

The rear seatbelts optional on the Fusion inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Altima doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Fusion offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Altima doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Fusion (except S)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Altima doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Fusion (except S)’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Altima doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Fusion and the Altima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Nissan Altima:







5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Stress

200 lbs.

216 lbs.

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

59 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Nissan Altima:





Front Seat


5 Stars

3 Stars




Chest Movement

1.3 inches

1.4 inches

Hip Force

277 lbs.

493 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

16 inches

17 inches

Hip Force

597 lbs.

711 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

Engine Comparison

The Fusion has more powerful engines than the Altima:




Fusion 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

181 HP

185 lbs.-ft.

Fusion 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Fusion Sport 2.7 turbo V6

325 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

179 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

Altima 3.5 DOHC V6

270 HP

251 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Fusion turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.:




Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.6 MPH

88.1 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Fusion Sport 2.7 turbo V6 is faster than the Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

7.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.3 sec

21.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.8 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

131 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion FWD 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Altima 3.5 V6 (23 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Fusion 1.5 ECOBoost’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Altima doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Fusion has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Altima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fusion stops much shorter than the Altima:





80 to 0 MPH

216 feet

245 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Fusion’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima 2.5 SR/3.5’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Fusion offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Altima’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Fusion has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Altima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Fusion offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Altima’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Fusion’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Altima doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Altima (112.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The Fusion SE handles at .85 G’s, while the Altima 2.5 SV pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Fusion Titanium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Altima 2.5 SV (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Fusion Sport/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Altima doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fusion has 1 inch more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Altima.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Fusion has a larger trunk than the Altima (16 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Fusion easier. The Fusion’s trunk lift-over height is 24.4 inches, while the Altima’s liftover is 26.5 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Fusion’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Altima’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the Fusion (except S), the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Altima doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Fusion (except S)’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Altima doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Fusion and the Altima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Fusion is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Altima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Fusion’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Altima’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Altima’s optional power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/Sport/Titanium/Platinum’s exterior keypad. The Altima doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its NissanConnect can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Fusion’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Altima’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Fusion (except S) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Altima doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Fusion offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Altima offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Fusion (except S/SE) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Altima doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Fusion (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Altima doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Fusion (except S)’s optional Enhanced Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Altima doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the Altima because it costs $270 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fusion than the Altima, including $70 less for a water pump, $6 less for an alternator, $181 less for a starter, $212 less for fuel injection, $148 less for a fuel pump, $189 less for front struts and $56 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Ford Fusion and the Nissan Altima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its November 2012 issue and they ranked the Ford Fusion SE higher than the Nissan Altima 2.5 SV.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2010. The Altima has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Fusion as their 2010 Car of the Year. The Altima has never been chosen.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2010. The Altima has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Fusion Hybrid as the 2010 North American Car of the Year. The Altima was Car of the Year in 2002.

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