2023 Toyota Camry vs. Nissan Altima: Which Sedan Is More Fuel Efficient?

When it comes to the midsize sedan segment, the 2023 Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima are nearly polar opposites. The Camry is geared toward comfort and efficiency, while the Altima adds in a dose of sportiness and AWD capability. Both sedans are practical, and if you’re looking for fuel efficiency, they have you covered as well. But which one is more fuel efficient?

The 2023 Toyota Camry has a base engine that achieves good fuel economy numbers

Overhead view of new silver 2023 Toyota Camry midsize sedan, highlighting how much a fully loaded version costs
2023 Toyota Camry | Toyota

When checking out the specs and trim levels on the 2023 Toyota Camry, you might notice that it has three different engines to choose from. The base trim levels receive a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, while the upper trim levels have a 3.5-liter V6. There is also a hybrid powertrain available, but we’ll get to that later.

The base four-cylinder engine is the most ubiquitous one as it’s offered on five different Camry trims. It puts out 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to power the big sedan onto the highway with ease. It’s also the best fuel-efficient gas engine, as the EPA rates it at 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

If more power is what you seek, the V6 engine will get the job done. The V6 engine generates 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty of power for passing and accelerating up steep hills. As for fuel efficiency, the V6 can get up to 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. However, you might not care about fuel efficiency if you have a heavy right foot. Instead, you’ll likely care more that the Camry V6 can get up to 60 mph from a standstill in only 5.8 seconds, according to MotorTrend.

The 2023 Camry has a hybrid trick up its sleeve

The 2022 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid badge.
The 2022 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid badge. | Toyota

If you don’t care about horsepower and care solely about fuel efficiency, then the 2023 Camry Hybrid is the one to get. The Camry Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter engine mated to an electric motor for a total power output of 208. That’s a decent amount of power for driving around town, but its strong point is fuel efficiency. The EPA rates the Camry Hybrid at 44 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway, making it a clear winner when it comes to gas mileage.

The 2023 Nissan Altima has two different engines to choose from

A white 2023 Nissan Altima sitting in front of a building.
A white 2023 Nissan Altima sitting in front of a building. | Nissan

The 2023 Nissan Altima doesn’t have a hybrid powertrain, but it has two gas-powered engines. The first is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 188 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. It’s a little weaker compared to the Camry’s base engine, but it gets the same EPA-estimated 28/39 city and highway mpg ratings.

The higher Altima trim levels are offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with variable-compression technology. This technology raises or lowers the engine’s compression ratios when needed to produce optimal power and efficiency in any driving situation. As for fuel economy, you can expect up to 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. That means the Altima VC-Turbo gets slightly better gas mileage than the V6-powered Camry.

Which of these midsize sedans should you choose?

The VC-Turbo engine found in the higher Nissan Altima trims.
The VC-Turbo engine is found in the higher Nissan Altima trims. | Nissan

If you’re looking for the best fuel efficiency and don’t care for a hybrid powertrain, then the 2023 Nissan Altima is the car to get. Its two gas-powered engines get slightly better fuel efficiency than those found in the Camry.

However, if you really care about fuel efficiency over anything else, then the Toyota Camry Hybrid is hard to beat.

RELATED: Is the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid Worth $2,000 Over the ICE Camry?