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Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy: The Battle of Midsize Sedans

When it comes to midsize sedans, the market is saturated with options catering to various preferences and needs. Among the myriad of choices, the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy stand out as popular contenders in this competitive segment. Both offer reliability, comfort, and performance, but each has its unique strengths and weaknesses. Here, we compare the Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy by looking at pricing, performance, comfort, driving, and fuel efficiency.

Pricing Overview

Before diving into the specifics, let’s take a glance at the pricing information for both the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy:

ModelStarting InvoiceStarting MSRP
Subaru Legacy AWD$24,583$26,015
Nissan Altima 2.5 S Sedan$25,371$27,140
Subaru Legacy Premium AWD$26,738$28,315
Nissan Altima 2.5 SV Sedan$26,116$27,940
Subaru Legacy Limited AWD$31,057$33,065
Nissan Altima 2.5 SL Sedan$31,603$33,840
Nissan Altima 2.5 SV AWD Sedan$27,511$29,440
Nissan Altima 2.5 SR Sedan$27,417$29,340
Nissan Altima 2.5 SR AWD Sedan$28,812$30,840
Nissan Altima 2.0 SR Sedan$34,393$36,840
Subaru Legacy Sport AWD$33,384$35,615
Subaru Legacy Touring XT AWD$36,755$39,315

Now that we have a glimpse of the pricing spectrum, let’s dissect various aspects of both vehicles to see how they stack up against each other.

Performance and Engine Options

Both the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy offer a range of engine options to cater to diverse driving preferences. The Nissan Altima comes with two engine choices: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a more potent 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The 2.5-liter engine delivers decent performance with adequate power for daily commuting, while the turbocharged option offers a more spirited driving experience with its increased horsepower and torque.

On the other hand, the Subaru Legacy offers a standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) system across all trim levels, providing enhanced traction and stability, especially in adverse weather conditions. The Legacy’s engine lineup includes a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an available turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The base engine offers a good balance of power and efficiency, while the turbocharged variant provides a significant boost in performance, making it ideal for those seeking a more exhilarating driving experience.

Interior Comfort and Features

When it comes to interior comfort and features, both the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy excel in providing a spacious and well-equipped cabin. The Altima boasts a modern and upscale interior with premium materials and a user-friendly infotainment system. It offers ample legroom and headroom for both front and rear passengers, ensuring a comfortable ride, even on long journeys. Additionally, advanced safety features such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning come standard on most trim levels, enhancing overall safety and peace of mind.

Similarly, the Subaru Legacy impresses with its spacious and well-appointed interior, featuring high-quality materials and intuitive controls. The Legacy offers generous cargo space, making it suitable for hauling luggage or groceries. Moreover, its advanced infotainment system supports smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing seamless connectivity on the go. Furthermore, Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance suite, which includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, comes standard on all trim levels, enhancing driver convenience and safety.

Driving Dynamics and Handling

In terms of driving dynamics and handling, both the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy deliver a smooth and composed ride, whether you’re navigating city streets or cruising on the highway. The Altima’s responsive steering and well-tuned suspension ensure agile handling and precise control, providing a confidence-inspiring driving experience. However, some critics note that the Altima’s ride quality can be slightly firm over rough pavement, which may be a consideration for those prioritizing comfort.

Similarly, the Subaru Legacy offers a comfortable and stable ride, thanks to its standard all-wheel-drive system and refined suspension setup. The Legacy’s precise steering and composed handling make it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, while its compliant ride quality ensures a smooth and enjoyable driving experience for both the driver and passengers. Additionally, the Legacy’s standard all-wheel-drive system provides enhanced traction and stability, particularly in inclement weather conditions, giving drivers added confidence and peace of mind.

Fuel Efficiency and Overall Value

When it comes to fuel efficiency, both the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy offer competitive mileage ratings, making them cost-effective options for daily commuting and long-distance travel. The Altima’s base 2.5-liter engine delivers impressive fuel economy, with an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine sacrifices some efficiency for increased performance, achieving an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

Similarly, the Subaru Legacy’s standard 2.5-liter engine delivers respectable fuel economy, with an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The turbocharged 2.4-liter engine, while offering more power, still maintains decent efficiency, with an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Overall, both vehicles offer excellent fuel efficiency for their respective engine options, providing owners with significant savings at the pump over time.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, both the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy are formidable contenders in the midsize sedan segment, offering a compelling blend of performance, comfort, and value. The Altima impresses with its refined interior, agile handling, and advanced safety features, while the Legacy stands out with its standard all-wheel-drive system, spacious cabin, and comprehensive driver assistance suite. Ultimately, the choice between these two vehicles comes down to personal preference and priorities. Whether you prioritize performance, comfort, or safety, both the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy are sure to satisfy your needs and preferences. offers accurate estimates of new and used car loan payments based on self-selected credit score, current rebates, down payment, and trade equity or negative equity, without customers having to provide their personal identifying information such as email and phone.

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