A red 2023 Nissan Altima SR drives away from a 2023 Nissan Altima vs 2023 Honda Accord competition through a city at night.

A Sedan Survival Guide: the 2023 Nissan Altima vs the 2023 Honda Accord

In a world in which sedans are becoming increasingly rare, it is comforting to find that mainstays like the Nissan Altima and the Honda Accord are still on the road and thriving. On the other hand, it makes it more necessary to compare vehicles like the Altima and Accord, which is even more challenging as automakers try to differentiate their sedans in a waning market. However, when comparing the 2023 Nissan Altima vs. the 2023 Honda Accord, there are a few areas in which drivers may have an easier choice.

Both the Altima and the Accord have a long history on the American roadways. The Altima was introduced for the 1993 model year, originally as the Stanza Altima. Eventually, it became the middle sibling of the Nissan sedans, between the Senza and the Maxima.

Meanwhile, the Honda Accord has been winning accolades since it hit the market in 1976. While the sedan version was not produced until 1979, the Accord has left its tire print on the country, with its frequent awards for safety and value.

Even though the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord are very different vehicles in practice, they are now two of the top competitors in the 2023 sedan market. Let’s take a look at how they stack up next to each other.

Power and Performance in the Altima and Accord

One of the things drivers love about sedans is that they are small, peppy, and easy to maneuver. Unlike their larger SUV and truck cousins, vehicles like the 2023 Nissan Altima and Honda Accord tend to be nimble and easy on the fuel economy.

The standard engine for the Nissan Altima S, SV, SR, and SL models is a 2.5L inline-4 engine, which offers a respectable 188 hp and 180 lb-ft. of torque. The S trim provides 28 miles per gallon on the city streets and 39 on the highway, while the SV, SR, and SL trims drop those figures slightly to 27 and 37, respectively.

Those who are looking for the ultimate Altima experience may wish to check out the SR 2.0 VC-Turbo trim. The title refers to the engine, which is a trim-exclusive 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 engine that kicks things up to 248 hp with 273 lb-ft. of torque. Fuel economy drops slightly with the increased power, to 25 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 2023 Honda Accord LX and EX are equipped with a 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which slightly tops the Altima’s power ratings at 192 hp and 192 lb-ft. of torque. Fuel economy is also on par with the Altima as well, as both the LX and EX make 29 miles per gallon city and 37 miles per gallon highway.

If you are wondering why Honda only offers two trims of the acclaimed Accord, they don’t. However, the rest of the trims are hybrid, making it difficult to compare to the all-gasoline-powered Altima lineup.

A pair of 2023 Honda Accord Sport L Hybrid LX's are shown parked in a garage, one red and the other grey.

All-Wheel Drive or Hybrid?

You might need a moment to digest that last bit there, which is understandable. While an electric future seems inevitable, hybrid vehicles remain a divisive topic. Some drivers tend to avoid them for various reasons, ranging from high MSRP costs to concerns about maintenance and repairs.

In a bold move, Honda has decided that the Sport, Sport-L, Touring, and EX-L trims of the Accord will include a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine paired with dual electric motors. Together, the system provides 204 hp. As with hybrid vehicles, the fuel economy on these vehicles is impressive, with the Sport, Sport-L, and Touring models getting a combined fuel economy of 44 mpg and the EX-L bumping that up to 48 mpg.

The 2023 Nissan Altima, on the other hand, does not offer a hybrid model. A hybrid Altima was sold from 2007-2011, but since then, it has existed only in memories and rumors.

Instead, the 2023 Altima is offered with something many drivers can appreciate, but the Accord does not provide: All-wheel drive. Again, this is a somewhat divisive feature, as some drivers wince at the reduced fuel economy. In contrast, others seek vehicles that offer better balance and control in wet and cold weather conditions.

The good news is that you are not required to select an all-wheel drive model. The Altima’s SV, SR, and SL trims are offered with optional all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive is standard and the only option for those who select the S or SR VC-Turbo trims. The all-wheel drive Altima musters a perky 182 hp and 178 lb-ft. of torque, and fuel economy drops slightly, with the SV and SL models enjoying 26 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

A man is shown reversing in a 2023 Nissan Altima SR.

What About the “Cool Stuff?”

Though we all try to deny it, most of us would be lying if we did not check out all the fancy bells and whistles our prospective new cars offer. After all, we spend enough time in the car that we each deserve to enjoy the right as much as possible.

The Nissan Altima’s trims range from the practical and basic S trim to the well-decorated SL and SR-VC Turbo trim. Each trim includes the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of driver assistance technology, including front and rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot warning. Nissan’s Zero Gravity driver and front passenger seats are also on board to relieve physical pressure and tension caused by your commute.

The Accord includes the Honda Sensing suite of technology, which offers features similar to those of the Altima. A few extras are included, such as Traffic Sign Recognition and Traffic Jam Assist. Leather-trimmed heated seats are included on the top three trims, but Honda currently does not offer a zero-gravity type seat. The Hybrid trims include built-in Alexa and a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, while gasoline-powered versions have a 7-inch screen system.

Additionally, none of the 2023 Accord trims are offered with any 360-degree or birds-eye view camera, while the Nissan Altima can be outfitted with the Intelligent Around View Monitor, which allows drivers to select a variety of exterior views to assist with maneuvering in tight spaces or parking spots.

Both the Altima and Accord are offered in many trim levels, with several options provided at each level. Therefore, it is highly possible for drivers to select and create an ideal vehicle for their budget.

Choosing Between the 2023 Nissan Altima and the 2023 Honda Accord

If you are currently in the market for a new sedan, choosing between the 2023 Nissan Altima and the 2023 Honda Accord can take a lot of work. Both are exceptional vehicles with a long history of excellence. Both are engineered to be enjoyable, dependable, and economical. At the end of the day, though, most of us have to make a decision.

Naturally, everyone’s preferences differ. If you prefer a gasoline-powered vehicle, you may appreciate that the Altima offers more than two trims for you. If all-wheel drive makes sense for where you live and drive, the Altima might be an easy choice again.

However, if your top priority is finding a comfortable, affordable sedan that can keep you on the road for miles to come without testing your patience or your pocketbook, both options deserve further inspection.