2021 Nissan Altima vs 2021 Honda Accord

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  • 2021 Nissan Altima

    A red 2021 Nissan Altima is angled left.

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    2021 Honda Accord

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    39Fuel Economy (mpg highway)38
    AvailableAll Wheel DriveNo
    AvailableRear Automatic BrakingNo

    The rivalry between the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord has persisted for years. These two midsize sedans have battled over the course of multiple generations to top one another in specific feature sets and amenities. It's no different for the 2021 Nissan Altima vs 2021 Honda Accord. The two 2021 model years offer some new features and tweaks to improve their overall appeal while also giving potential car shoppers some enticing qualities to look forward to.

    The 2021 Nissan Altima is available in six trims, including the S, SV, SR, SL, SR-VC Turbo, and the Platinum. The 2021 Honda Accord is available in only five different trims, including the LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition, EX-L, and the Touring. Both vehicles offer a wide range of customization features and interior comforts. Find out how the two measure up to one another in this comparison breakdown to see which one may best suit what you're looking for out of a midsize sedan.

  • Performance

    A white 2021 Nissan Altima is shown from the rear driving on a snowy road.

    High performance isn't always about the amount of horsepower that a vehicle can produce but how it utilizes the power it generates. It also involves the amount of torque that the vehicle produces, which is why a lot of off-road vehicles focus more on torque than horsepower, and those who want great off-the-line performance and acceleration prefer higher torque rather than top-end horsepower. When it comes to the 2021 Nissan Altima vs 2021 Honda Accord, there is a very distinct difference in how both vehicles maximize the use of their torque.

    Available All-Wheel Drive

    The number one benefit that the Altima has over the Accord is that it offers potential shoppers multiple drivetrain configurations. You have access to both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Meanwhile, with the Accord, you only have access to front-wheel drive. Nissan's intelligent all-wheel drive system ensures that the Altima always performs on the road with a balanced feel and can adjust the torque and traction across each wheel based on the conditions of the road and weather - something that's missing from the Accord's feature list.

    Engine Options

    Both vehicles offer two distinct engine options, with the Accord offering a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder option and a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, both of which are turbocharged. The Accord's powertrains are paired with either a continuously variable transmission or a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Altima, alternatively, comes with either a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with direct injection or a 2.0-liter turbocharged option.

    The 2021 Accord does barely produce more overall horsepower than the 2021 Altima. However, both vehicles can generate up to 273 pound-feet of torque when configured with their top engines. In the case of the Accord, that engine is only standard in the top-of-the-line Touring trim. For the Altima, it's found in the SR-VC Turbo trim, which actually falls into the mid-tier price range. So, interestingly enough, getting the best performance out of the Altima will cost you noticeably less than getting the best performance out of the Accord.


    In any case, while both vehicles produce up to 273 pound-feet of torque, the Altima does so with a 2.0-liter variable compression turbocharged 4-cylinder, while the Accord manages its torque through a more conventional 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. The variable compression in the Altima allows for better efficiency and helps reduce overall fuel consumption. This plays a big part in bolstering the Altima's fuel economy rating without sacrificing performance.

  • Fuel Economy

    A red 2021 Nissan Altima is shown from the rear parked inside a gallery.

    Fuel economy is a strong selling point for many car shoppers. When it comes to the fuel economy ratings for the Accord and the Altima, it all depends on a number of factors. The Accord may offer a slightly higher city fuel economy rating for the lowest-end trim, but things quickly fall off as you begin to consider the fuel economy ratings of the higher-end trims versus the Altima.

    Digging Into the Numbers

    At the very top-end of the fuel economy ratings, the Accord delivers up to 30 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway for the LX and EX-L trims when paired with the continuously variable transmission. For the Altima, you have up to 28 MPG in the city and up to 39 MPG on the highway for the base engine and front-wheel drive. For the Altima, there is a consistency in the fuel economy even as the trims and performance scale, while you see some significant drops from the Accord with the more high-performance builds.

    For instance, the Altima, configured with intelligent all-wheel drive, still manages 26 MPG in the city and up to 36 MPG on the highway. Upgrading the Altima to its top 2.0-liter engine gives you a rated fuel economy of 25 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway. Meanwhile, the 2021 Accord with the more powerful engine nets you just 22 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. This large difference in fuel economy is thanks to Nissan's unique variable compression turbocharged engine in the SR VC-Turbo trim, which not only helps deliver great performance but also provides superior fuel economy.

  • Technology

    The interior of a 2021 Nissan Altima shows two rows of seating and the steering wheel.

    Almost every new vehicle on the market today is powered by an impressive suite of technology that manages a synergy between performance, infotainment, security, and comfort. The same applies to both Nissan and Honda's midsize sedans. But which one has the better technology suite in the showdown between the 2021 Nissan Altima vs 2021 Honda Accord? Well, both have a lot of great technology, but the Altima does edge out in a few key areas.

    Safety Technology

    From a safety perspective, both sedans are fully featured to protect both the driver and passengers. The 2021 Accord is outfitted with the Honda Sensing safety suite, which includes a number of standard collision mitigation systems, driver-assist technology, and warning sensors. Simply put, every Accord is outfitted with a litany of active and passive safety features.

    The Altima also comes with lots of standard safety features, from multiple driver and passenger airbags to vehicle security and immobilizer systems. There is also the availability of even more advanced safety features, such as a rear sonar system and the semi-autonomous driving system known as ProPILOT Assist. That latter piece of advanced technology is the next step in cruise control, automatically adjusting your speed based on surrounding traffic and keeping you centered in your lane. Extra packages can also enhance the Altima's already exceptional safety systems for those who want even more out of their sedan.

    Interior Technology

    Where the technology diverges between the two models is with the optional and standard cabin features. For instance, the Accord comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen across the entire trim line, which also includes Bluetooth wireless support and HandsFreeLink connectivity. The Altima, on the other hand, offers an 8-inch touchscreen but also features an additional 7-inch advanced Drive-Assist display unit with vehicle telemetry.

    Another benefit the Altima has over the Accord is the Siri Eyes-Free technology that is standard on every trim. This enables drivers to access multimedia, vehicle health, phone calls, text messaging, and more without ever having to take their eyes off the road. Additionally, the Altima also comes with its own navigation system in the form of the Nissan Door-to-Door Navigation along with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, as part of the NissanConnect Services. While the Accord does offer the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition capabilities, it's not quite on the same level as the Siri Eyes Free technology.

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