2023 Nissan Altima vs 2023 Subaru Legacy

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  • 2023 Nissan Altima

    A red 2023 Nissan Altima is shown angled left.

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    2023 Subaru Legacy

    A silver 2023 Subaru Legacy is shown angled right.

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    188Horsepower (hp)182
    180Torque (lb-ft)176
    27/39Fuel Economy (city/hwy MPG)27/35

    Trucks are known for their capabilities, while SUVs are known for their spaciousness, but what exactly are sedans known for? From fuel efficiency to interior comfort, the sedan is a fantastic all-around vehicle known for offering things that other style vehicles can’t. So, when it comes to the sedan category, what features set a car apart and make it better than the rest? We look at the 2023 Nissan Altima vs 2023 Subaru Legacy, two exceptional models, to find out what makes a sedan stand out.

    The first sedan in this match-up is the 2023 Nissan Altima, available in five trims, three of which are offered in all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive. The Altima is available with two engine options, which pair with a class-exclusive continuously variable transmission. There are two sport-style trims, the SR and the SR VC-Turbo, both of which feature a manual shift mode for a more exciting driving experience and sport-tuned suspension.

    Each trim option offers impressive fuel efficiency, with both the S and front-wheel drive SV trims managing 27 MPG in the city and a whopping 39 MPG on the highway. A suite of safety features comes standard on all trim levels, with additional safety features being available to round out the sedan’s intelligent capabilities. Inside the cabin, occupants enjoy several class exclusives that elevate the Nissan Altima, making it a fantastic option for sedan buyers.

    The second sedan option is the 2023 Subaru Legacy which is available in five trim levels. All five trim levels are all-wheel drive, and there are two available engine options, including a turbo. The Subaru Legacy also offers a sport version trim with sport cloth upholstery but no manual mode option. The Legacy offers solid fuel efficiency with 27 MPG city and 35 MPG highway.

    The Subaru Legacy has its own suite of standard safety tech, including Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control and several additional safety features that come equipped on select trim levels. Except for the Base trim, each trim features adjustable power seats so the driver gets a customized and comfortable driving experience. The Legacy is a worthy opponent of the Altima, each vehicle offering an assortment of features worth taking a better look at.

  • Performance

    A grey 2023 Nissan Altima is shown from the front at an angle during a 2023 Nissan Altima vs 2023 Subaru Legacy comparison

    The Power and Performance of the 2023 Nissan Altima

    With enhanced fuel efficiency and two engine options to choose from, the 2023 Nissan Altima will have you excited to grab those keys and hit the open road. There are five trim options, the S, SV, SR, SL, and SR VC-Turbo, all of which are available as front-wheel drive vehicles. For those seeking a vehicle that offers a bit more grip, the SV, SR, and SL trims are also available as all-wheel drive.

    The first available engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine equipped on the S, SV, SR, and SL trims. It produces 188 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque with the front-wheel drive option and 182 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque when opting for the all-wheel drive version of the Nissan Altima. That leaves the second engine option, the 2.0L VC-Turbo four-cylinder engine, equipped on the SR VC-Turbo trim. This engine has the honor of being a class-exclusive variable compression turbo that produces up to 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.

    The Engine Options of the 2023 Subaru Legacy

    The 2023 Subaru Legacy also offers five trim levels with two engine options; however, that is where the similarities end. The first engine option of the 2023 Subaru Legacy is a 2.5-liter BOXER engine that produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. This engine option is standard on the Base, Premium, and Limited trims, all of which are all-wheel drive. The second engine option is a 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine. This option produces 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The turbo is standard on the Sport trim and the Touring XT trim. These trims are also all-wheel drive, making the entire Legacy line-up all-wheel drive.

    Which Vehicle Outperforms the Other?

    Clearly, the turbocharged engine of the 2023 Subaru Legacy edges out the 2023 Nissan Altima’s turbo when considering horsepower and torque output, but not by much. Unfortunately for the Subaru, this is where its advantage ends. Despite their turbo engine offering a slight increase in power, the 2023 Nissan Altima’s turbo is more sophisticated. Nissan's variable compression turbo engine claims the spot of the most tech-advanced engine within its segment. Variable compression technology allows the engine to optimize performance or fuel efficiency depending on the situation, making this engine highly intuitive.

    Furthering its advantage, the 2023 Nissan Altima’s 2.5-liter engine produces more horsepower than that of the Subaru Legacy. Additionally, the Subaru Legacy is available with an all-wheel drivetrain only, while the Nissan Altima is available in either all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive. Though all-wheel drive has the advantage of offering improved performance in less-than-ideal road conditions, it is not always necessary. All-wheel drive can add weight to a vehicle, reduce fuel efficiency and cost more money to equip, which is why it is nice to have the option to choose your drivetrain and not pay for something you do not need. In the end, it's obvious that the 2023 Nissan Altima takes the win.

  • Safety

    A red 2023 Nissan Altima is shown from the rear at an angle on a city street.

    The 2023 Nissan Altima Puts Safety First

    When it comes to safety, you can never be too prepared; that’s why the 2023 Nissan Altima is equipped with intelligent safety features designed to keep both driver and passenger secure. All five trims of the Nissan Altima come standard with Nissan’s Standard Safety Shield 360, a suite of cutting-edge safety technology. One feature included in the suite is High Beam Assist which automatically turns down the high beams of the vehicle if there is oncoming traffic detected.

    Another feature of the standard Safety Shield 360 is Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection. This safety feature monitors the area in front of your car for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. It can issue a warning if you are driving too close to the vehicle in front of you or deploy the brakes to slow down or stop you if necessary. Similarly, Rear Automatic Braking, in cooperation with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, monitors the area behind your car, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert will alert you to potential collisions. If the vehicle is not stopped, Rear Automatic Braking will initiate braking to prevent injury or harm.

    Another fantastic feature is Lane Departure Warning which will warn you if it senses you are drifting out of your lane. If you are intentionally leaving your lane, but a vehicle is in your blind spot, Blind Spot Warning can warn you of a potential issue. This is only a handful of features available, with other available features including Intelligent Driver Alertness and Intelligent Auto Headlights.

    Safety Features of the Subaru Legacy

    The 2023 Subaru Legacy has its own set of safety features, some of which overlap with the Nissan Altima. All trim levels of the Subaru Legacy include Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, Pre-Collision Braking, and Automatic Emergency Steering. Adaptive Cruise Control monitors the area in front of the car and can also be set to maintain a specific distance behind other vehicles that are directly in front of you.

    Pre-Collision Braking behaves similarly to Nissan’s Automatic Emergency Braking by detecting potential front-end collisions and applying the brakes if necessary. Lane Centering is another familiar safety feature, which monitors your position within your lane, and if it senses you are beginning to leave unintentionally, it will alert you. Select trims of the Subaru Legacy also include features such as Intelligent Driver Alertness and Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

    Which Vehicle Is the Safest Bet?

    Both the 2023 Nissan Altima and the 2023 Subaru Legacy have been named a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and have received an overall rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seemingly placing them on a level playing field. However, some discrepancies put one above the other.

    The Subaru Legacy has some wins here, like how its Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control system is available on all its trims. Despite this, many of its other features are only available on higher-end trims, which are standard across the board for the Nissan Altima. Features like the Intelligent Driver Alertness come on every available trim of the Nissan, but Subaru’s equivalent is only available on the two most expensive trims. Blind Spot Warning is another feature that comes standard for the Nissan but is only standard on the top trim levels of the Subaru Legacy. So, although they are both perfectly safe vehicles offering advanced safety technology, the Nissan Altima offers more bang for the buck.

  • Interior

    The Comfort and Convenience Features of the 2023 Nissan Altima

    Comfort is extremely important, especially if you plan to drive your new car to and from work, on long trips, or handle those pesky weekend errands. Having a vehicle you can depend on is important, but so is the enjoyment you get when you climb inside the cabin. That’s why it is difficult not to appreciate the 2023 Nissan Altima and all the comforts and conveniences it is equipped with.

    It doesn’t matter if you like the simple things in life, the luxurious side of life, or you prefer to live life with a bit of thrill, there is a 2023 Nissan Altima trim for you. Each trim offers unique options, from the interior's color to the infotainment touchscreen's size. The interior ranges from a soft and stylish Charcoal cloth interior on the S to the sleek and modern Charcoal leather interior on the SL and SR VC-Turbo trims.

    Look forward to class-exclusive zero gravity seats designed to minimize fatigue and improve comfort during long car rides, which is even easier with the Nissan Altima’s competitive front legroom. During your drive, you can enjoy options available on select trims, such as heated seats, Wi-Fi, and a wireless charger to keep all your compatible electronics charged and ready to go. Plus, there are plenty of standard options across the trims, like voice recognition, speed-sensitive volume control, Siri Eyes Free, and more.

    The Inviting Interior of the 2023 Subaru Legacy

    The 2023 Subaru Legacy offers an assortment of features to provide a warm and inviting ride. The interior is available in cloth and leather, ranging in colors from black to cream, so everybody has an option. On select trims, the front includes power-adjustable seats with lumbar, and all on board can enjoy Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

    Other available features include a heated steering wheel, a premium sound system, and Wi-Fi availability. The Base trim offers a manually adjustable seat and black cloth interior, while the highest trim is equipped with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. All the trims have an impressive 11.6-inch touchscreen for infotainment purposes, where you can access music, apps, and more.

    Which Sedan Can Win Interior Comfort?

    Comparing the interiors of the 2023 Nissan Altima and the 2023 Subaru Legacy is difficult because they have many similarities. Both vehicles offer Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, a feature that is becoming increasingly important with the growing need to stay connected. Each sedan has a sporty trim with sport style cloth interior and a luxury trim with all the features for the person that wants it all. Yet somehow, these two cars don’t line up entirely.

    There are a few things that stand out that put the 2023 Nissan Altima ahead, such as the class-exclusive Zero Gravity seats. It is one thing to add leather inserts to a seat and call it luxury; it is another to equip a vehicle with seats that are luxurious all on their own. Another point favoring the Nissan Altima is the large, easy-to-read 12.3-inch touchscreen available on select trims. This infotainment screen is one of the largest in its class, another area where Nissan beats out plenty of others.

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