2020 Nissan Altima vs 2020 Subaru Legacy- Car Comparison
Is it all-wheel drive is Subaru’s thing? The “Symmetrical AWD” badges emblazoned on almost all Subaru’s and moreover the brand’s accompanying marketing. This further constantly proclaims the advantages of four-wheel traction which is making it abundantly clear to consumers. However, yes it’s hardly a Subaru-exclusive feature, no other automaker has so effectively cornered the conversation on why you may need AWD in your next vehicle.
2020 Subaru Legacy
Almost all-wheel drive is a legitimate differentiator for the Subaru Legacy. However, it’s the only affordable mid-size sedan that is persistently offering four driven wheels. Yet, it has been recently joined by the Nissan Altima, as the new sixth-generation model. This further follows by an all-wheel-drive option that costs some extra bucks. Now that the Legacy isn’t the only AWD mid-size sedan, we set out to see if it’s still worth considering.
2020 Nissan Altima
The redesigning of both the Altima and the Legacy is recent. Further, the Nissan is longer, lower, and wider and is even boldly styled with an aggressive nose and sharp creases along its sides. Moreover, the SR test car’s attractive 19-inch wheels and Sunset Drift Chroma flair orange paint serve as further accentuate its athletic proportions. Considering the looks of the Subaru appears as comparatively dowdy, with a tall greenhouse and an awkwardly styled front end. Furthermore follows by the half-hearted Sport trim level’s black wheels and small lip spoiler which don’t help that much.
Above all, considering the spec sheet, the Altima and the Legacy are nearly indistinguishable. Both are stimulated by naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder and route power through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Further, you may find that the Subaru’s all-wheel-drive setup can also be paired with the Legacy’s optional 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four, whereas Nissan’s is only available with the Altima’s base power plant. The numbers for our two test cars are extremely close, with the Nissan making 182 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque, and the Subaru making 182 ponies and 176 lb-ft. These two examples and their EPA fuel-economy estimates reside within a tiny margin of difference. Further, the Legacy eked out the win on paper with its combined/city/highway figures of 30/27/35 mpg versus the Altima’s 29/25/35 mpg.
On the Road
Further, Apart from the spec sheets, however, the Nissan comes out ahead in most of our testing metrics. Moreover, it makes better use of its engine at the test track with a decent 7.4-second run from zero to 60 mph, beating the Legacy by 0.6 seconds. The Nissan furthermore proves to be more efficient in our hands, averaging 31 mpg to the Subaru’s 28 mpg. And handling-wise, the Altima gripped our skidpad at a solid 0.91 g, far outperforming the Subaru’s 0.84-g result and coming close to some sports sedans.
Besides this, moving beyond these objective numbers, the Altima appears as the more pleasant car to drive. It’s the one we’d rather pilot every day, considering its more comfortable ride and responsive handling. Besides this,
The Nissan’s firmer suspension tuning is able to manage its body motions far better than the Subaru’s. It further allows for floppy up and down and sides to side motions on bumpy or curvy roads. While both cars’ CVT transmissions cause the engine to occasionally drone at high RPMs under harder acceleration.
Further, Nissan’s inline-four feels smoother and quieter than the Subaru’s raspy and coarse boxer-four. Moreover, the Altima transmission is more effectively mimics the gear shifts of the conventional automatic transmissions that most drivers are familiar with.
The Inside View
Above all, take a seat inside the Legacy, and you’ll enjoy a clear view out of its large windows. Subaru may have sacrificed some style in designing this sedan’s tall profile, but we think many will appreciate the confidence of the elevated seating position.
2020 Nissan Altima
In contrast, you sit a bit lower in the Altima, and its relatively smaller windows can make it feel a bit confining. Rearward visibility is particularly bad in the Nissan.
The slightly raised rear end caused by the hardware of the all-wheel-drive system (AWD models sit 0.5-inch taller by Nissan’s measurement), as well as the housing for the center-mounted brake light on the parcel shelf, makes it difficult to see cars behind you out of the rear window.
2020 Subaru Legacy
It’s imperative to a toss-up between the two in terms of interior materials and quality. Both sedans use a fair amount of hard black plastic and black upholstery together with some bits of contrasting trim to alleviate the gloom.
Further, the Nissan consists of an 8.0-inch touchscreen mounted on top of the dash like an iPad. While the Subaru’s cockpit consists of a huge 11.6-inch vertically oriented touchscreen. Further, for example, only uses a small fraction of the screen to mirror your phone. Moreover, you may prefer the simplicity of the Altima’s volume and moreover tuning knobs to the hassle of Subaru’s myriad non-physical controls that live within the touchscreen.
The Bottom Line
2020 Nissan Altima vs 2020 Subaru Legacy: Nissan’s new Altima is a clear victor here. It is further simply better than the Legacy in almost every regard. Furthermore, It accelerates quicker, handles more sharply, looks better, and moreover sips less fuel. It’s only marginally more expensive and you may thus consider it’s a more desirable sedan. Even if the Nissan didn’t offer all-wheel drive, we can pick it over the Legacy. Further, the reason is it does have that feature is merely a bonus. If you’re shopping for an affordable all-wheel-drive mid-size sedan. You should feel glad that Subaru is no longer the only game in town.
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