Sedans & Coupes

It’s Clear Who Should Buy the 2021 Nissan Altima Over the Honda Accord

The 2021 Honda Accord is highly competitive in the midsize sedan segment, and it’s one of the most reliable vehicles on the market. No matter where you’re driving, you’re sure to spot one on the road. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for every driver. In fact, there’s a particular audience who may be better off buying a 2021 Nissan Altima.

This assessment may seem surprising to most shoppers because of its blatant popularity across the board. The Honda Accord is a well-rounded car that sets the standard in its class. The Nissan Altima is a decent sedan in its own right, but it has trouble topping its rival in a head-to-head contest. Nevertheless, it could just be the difference between a good and excellent driving experience for a specific subsect of motorists.  

So who are these types of drivers who would benefit from driving a 2021 Nissan Altima over a Honda Accord? Let’s breakdown how the midsize sedans compare against one another and examine the one aspect that sets the Altima apart.

Challenging the popularity of the 2021 Honda Accord 

A red 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid parked in front of a house with trees in the background
The 2021 Honda Accord on display | Photo via Honda

It’s easy to see why the Honda Accord is a perennial favorite in the automotive industry. It’s equipped with a suite of driver-assistance technologies, easy-to-use technologies, and an impressive powertrain. A 1.5-liter turbocharged engine lies under the hood of the 2021 Accord. This powerplant produces 192 hp and achieves an EPA-estimated 33 MPG city/highway combined.

The 2021 Nissan Altima holds its own with a standard 188-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which gets an EPA-estimated 32 MPG combined. The decrease in power and fuel efficiency shouldn’t be too noticeable. However, the Altima’s lack of space compared to the Accord may irk some drivers. The 2021 Altima offers nearly five cubic feet fewer passenger volume than its competitor. Plus, its cargo area is also slightly smaller.

The 2021 Nissan Altima has this edge on the competition 

A silver 2021 Nissan Altima driving down a twisty road
The 2021 Nissan Altima in action | Photo via Nissan

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Nissan’s midsize sedan hasn’t been the top model in its class for quite some time. However, you shouldn’t ignore the 2021 Altima. It offers a significant feature that’s rarely seen in the midsize sedan segment – an all-wheel-drive system.

The 2021 Nissan Altima’s available AWD system is crucial for drivers who live in snowy or rain-heavy areas. This is because AWD provides extra traction on slippery surfaces, greatly enhancing the safety of the vehicle. Meanwhile, the 2021 Honda Accord only offers a front-wheel-drive system.

There are a couple of caveats to equipping your new Altima with AWD. First, its fuel efficiency drops by about two MPG, according to the EPA. Additionally, you won’t be able to experience the Altima’s most thrilling powerplant – the 248-hp 2.0-liter variable compression turbo four-cylinder engine. However, these sacrifices could be worth the benefit of having AWD, especially for northern drivers.

The final verdict: which sedan comes out on top?

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The sedan market has experienced declining sales for a while now. However, it seems the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord are here to stay. While both models will serve drivers well, the Nissa Altima comes out just a hair ahead of the competition for drivers who require an AWD system. This is exceedingly important for motorists who routinely drive in inclement weather. The Nissan Altima can brave rain, sleet, and snow to safely get you to your destination, which is a huge selling point and should be gravely considered when making your next car purchase.