Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2014 Ford Fusion VS 2015 Nissan Altima Near Surprise, AZ

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2014 Ford Fusion

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VS

2015 Nissan Altima

Safety Comparison

The rear seatbelts optional on the Fusion inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Fusion SE/Titanium offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Altima Sedan doesn't offer a collision warning system.

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.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Fusion has standard SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Fusion and the Altima Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Nissan Altima Sedan:

Fusion

Altima Sedan

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

262

Neck Stress

200 lbs.

216 lbs.

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

59 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.6 inches

Neck Compression

50 lbs.

62 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

14/11 lbs.

537/329 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Nissan Altima Sedan:

Fusion

Altima Sedan

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

16 inches

17 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Fusion its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2014, a rating granted to only 38 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Altima Sedan is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2014.

The Ford Fusion has a better fatality history. The Fusion was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 47% lower per vehicle registered than the Altima Sedan, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Ford Fusion 1.6T’s reliability will be 51% better than the Nissan Altima Sedan V6 and the Ford Fusion 2.5 is 88% better than the Nissan Altima Sedan 4 cyl.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 27th in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 13th in reliability. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

The Fusion’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 258) than the Altima Sedan 3.5’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Fusion 2.0 ECOBoost is faster than the Altima Sedan 2.5 (automatics tested):

Fusion

Altima Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.6 MPH

88.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion FWD 2.0 ECOBoost gets better fuel mileage than the Altima Sedan 3.5 V6 (22 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Fusion 1.5 ECOBoost offers an optional system to automatically turn off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Fusion has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fusion stops much shorter than the Altima Sedan:

Fusion

Altima Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

216 feet

245 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Fusion Titanium’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima Sedan 3.5’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Fusion Titanium offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Altima Sedan’s largest wheels are only 18-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’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Altima Sedan (112.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The Fusion SE handles at .85 G’s, while the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Fusion Titanium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Fusion uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Fusion SE is quieter than the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV:

Fusion

Altima Sedan

Full-Throttle

71 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fusion has 1 inch more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Altima Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Fusion has a larger trunk than the Altima Sedan (16 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Fusion easier. The Fusion’s trunk lift-over height is 25 inches, while the Altima Sedan’s liftover is 26.9 inches.

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

Ergonomics Comparison

When three different drivers share the Fusion (except S), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Fusion’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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.

The Fusion’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Altima Sedan’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Altima Sedan’s optional power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

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

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Altima Sedan’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Fusion has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Altima Sedan Base 2.5.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Fusion SE/Titanium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Fusion offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Altima Sedan offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Fusion Titanium’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Fusion SE/Titanium offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Fusion SE/Titanium offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Fusion owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Fusion will cost $375 less than the Altima Sedan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the Altima Sedan because typical repairs cost much less on the Fusion than the Altima Sedan, including $33 less for a water pump, $59 less for an alternator, $143 less for a starter, $187 less for fuel injection, $52 less for a fuel pump, $33 less for front struts and $291 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its November 2012 issue and they ranked the Ford Fusion SE higher than the Nissan Altima Sedan 2.5 SV.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2010. The Altima Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Fusion as their 2010 Car of the Year. The Altima Sedan has never been chosen.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2010. The Altima Sedan has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Fusion Hybrid as the 2010 North American Car of the Year. The Altima was Car of the Year in 2002.

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