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Toyota is one of the best-selling and most well-known automakers in the world, but the Japanese company has plenty of competition. For example, Nissan is another automaker that started from Japan, and it’s been competing with Toyota for a long time. Here’s a look at how Toyota compares vs Nissan, and why Toyota appears to have the edge overall. 

An exterior view of a Toyota dealership
Toyota dealership | Getty Images

These are the areas where Toyota is stronger in

iSeeCars did a comparison between Toyota and Nissan, and it’s clear that Toyota has a lot of advantages over Nissan. For example, in terms of horsepower, towing capacity, and fuel economy, Toyota has the edge overall.

In total, 11 out of 20 Toyota models had more max horsepower than their Nissan counterparts, and 12 Toyota models out of 18 had a better fuel economy. In terms of towing, Toyota had more towing capacity in 5 out of 9 models.

It was a blowout as far as quality goes, as the automaker won in all 16 model comparisons. It was similar for reliability, as it won 15 out of 16 comparisons. It was the same story for retained value, as it won all 19 comparisons.

In terms of safety, Toyota only won in 5 out of 17 model comparisons, but the majority of the comparisons ended up in a tie. As such, while both automakers have safe cars, Toyota has more safe cars overall.

Toyota also performed better in terms of how its cars were ranked against other options on the market. This was the case in five different categories, as Toyota did better in terms of its cars’ overall rankings, its safety rankings, its reliability rankings, its resale value rankings, and its value rankings.

Toyota also offers a larger lineup and more options. For instance, Toyota has 10 hybrid options, while Nissan has none. Finally, Toyota blew out Nissan in terms of depreciation. 19 out of 19 Toyota models depreciate less than their Nissan counterparts do. 

The advantage of Nissan as a brand

Although Toyota won in many important areas, Nissan did get one big win, and that was in terms of pricing. Nissan had the cheaper car in 11 out of 19 model comparisons. It was a similar story for used vehicle prices, as the automaker had the cheaper used car in 12 out of 19 model comparisons.

For example, the Nissan Kicks is a subcompact SUV, and it starts at about $22,000. Toyota’s subcompact SUV option is the C-HR, and it starts at about $26,000. This means that the Kicks is $4,000 cheaper than the C-HR, and that’s a lot of money for most households.

Similarly, the Nissan Murano is a midsize SUV that starts at about $37,500. That makes it $4,000 cheaper than the Toyota 4Runner, which is also a midsize SUV.

Why Toyota has the edge overall vs Nissan

Overall, iSeeCars didn’t pick a winner outright, but it’s clear that Toyota is the better brand since it won in the majority of areas that it was compared on. The car critic compared the two brands in 10 areas, and Toyota won in nine of them. And while it was a close race in some areas, in other areas, Toyota completely dominated Nissan.

That said, while Toyota is definitely the better brand, there is still a compelling reason why car shoppers may want to choose a Nissan. After all, price is a very important part of car shopping, and Nissan won that category. Thus, Toyota is the better brand so long as car shoppers can stomach the higher price tag.


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