Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2008 Ford Fusion VS 2008 Nissan Altima Near Peoria, AZ

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2008 Ford Fusion

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2008 Nissan Altima

Safety Comparison

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

Both the Fusion and the Altima Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts and four wheel antilock brakes.

The Fusion’s bumpers sustained $1429 less damage than the Altima Sedan in four IIHS ( Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) bumper tests.

Warranty Comparison

The Fusion comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Nissan doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Altima Sedan.

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Fusion uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Altima Sedan with the 3.5 DOHC V6 engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fusion stops shorter than the Altima Sedan:


Altima Sedan

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Fusion SEL’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Altima Sedan (225/50R17 vs. 215/60R16).

The Fusion’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima Sedan 3.5 SE’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Fusion offers optional 18 inch wheels. The Altima Sedan’s largest wheels are only 17 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

The Fusion SEL handles at .84 G’s, while the Altima Sedan 2.5 S pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Fusion SEL is quieter than the Altima Sedan 3.5 SE (73 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fusion has 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Altima Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Fusion has a larger trunk than the Altima Sedan (15.8 vs. 15.3 cubic feet).

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Fusion and the Altima Sedan 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 Sedan prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the available exterior keypad. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Altima Sedan’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Fusion’s standard doors lock when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Fusion has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Altima Sedan 2.5 Base doesn’t offer rear vents.

With optional SYNC, the Fusion offers the driver hands free control of the radio, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Fusion is less expensive to operate than the Altima Sedan because typical repairs cost less on the Fusion than the Altima Sedan, including $22 less for a starter, $45 less for fuel injection, $172 less for front struts and $168 less for a power steering pump.

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