Once upon a time in America, every automaker built midsize sedans. These cars were in every suburban driveway, filling the freeways, each with their own version of four-door sportiness. However, tastes have changed, and most midsize sedans have disappeared from the road, replaced by SUVs of all different shapes and sizes. Nevertheless, two of the best continue to soldier on; the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord. When comparing the 2022 Nissan Altima vs 2022 Honda Accord, you see two superior sedans with plenty of roominess for up to 5 passengers and a spacious trunk that is of fairly comparable size.
Both of these sedans are part of an impressive legacy. First introduced in 1993, the Nissan Altima is now in its sixth generation, providing drivers with a fuel-efficient sporty sedan. The Honda Accord has an even longer legacy, going back to the Bicentennial Year of 1976, and its 2022 model is part of this sedan’s tenth generation. This impressive pedigree is part of the reason why both of these sedans have survived the extinction event that has seemingly killed off so many other models from other automakers in their vehicle class. If you dig a little deeper, you will see that the reason why folks are still driving Altimas and Accords in 2022 is that both of these vehicles have built an unmatched reputation for quality and dependability that is based in large part on their advanced powertrains.
A Tale of Two Engines
One major thing that the 2022 Nissan Altima and the 2022 Honda Accord have in common is that they offer drivers a choice of two different engines. The base engine on the 2022 Altima is a 2.5-liter I-4. This has a dual overhead cam (DOHC) configuration, giving its 4 cylinders 16 valves for efficient performance. It is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), so there are no set gear speeds like a traditional automatic transmission. As a result, this direct fuel injection engine can produce up to 188 hp at 6,000 rpm and 180 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm. Nissan offers Altima models with this engine an optional all-wheel drive system, which Honda does not. If you choose the available all-wheel drive, the output from this engine will dip slightly to 182 hp at 6,000 rpm and 178 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm.
There is also a high-performance engine option on the 2022 Nissan Altima, which is a 2.0-liter VC-Turbo I-4 gas engine. VC stands for variable compression, a system that changes the compression ratio from 8:1 for high performance to 14:1 for high efficiency, depending on driving conditions. This is achieved through a multi-link system that raises or lowers the pistons to alter the compression ratio. This turbocharged engine utilizes both multi-point injection and direct fuel injection in a balanced manner. This is fairly unique, as most gas engines use one or the other type of system. Even though this engine is smaller than the base 2.5-liter I-4 on the Altima, it has higher output, providing 248 hp at 5,600 rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Honda has taken a slightly different approach, giving both its base and optional engine turbochargers. In addition, both engines have a DOHC configuration providing 16 valves for the 4 cylinders, as well as Honda’s VTEC variable valve technology. As a result, Honda has chosen to go with a smaller engine on its base model: a 1.5-liter Turbo I-4 gas engine, which comes paired with a CVT transmission. Utilizing direct fuel injection, this engine delivers up to 192 hp at 5,500 rpm and 192 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 to 5,000 rpm. It has a compression ratio of 10.3:1.
There is also an available 2.0-liter Turbo I-4. This also uses direct fuel injection but comes matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The lower compression ratio of 9.8:1 combined with the larger engine size provides an improved output of 252 hp at 6,500 rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 to 4,000 rpm.
Spending Less Time and Money at the Pump
Fuel economy has always been important to suburban drivers, living on a budget built around providing for their families. This is a big reason why the Honda Accord proved to be a big hit when it hit the roads in 1976 at a time of rising gas prices and oil embargos. Similarly, the Nissan Altima staked its place among midsize sedans as a result of Nissan’s focus on fuel efficiency in its vehicle. This dedication to providing exceptional fuel economy is another major reason why the Altima and Accord are still popular today. With gas prices up nationwide, drivers have come to better appreciate having a vehicle that reduces their gas consumption, saving them money in the process.
The 2022 models of the Altima and Accord are excellent fuel-efficient vehicles. Nevertheless, you need to dig deeper into the numbers to get a better understanding of which ones will deliver the best fuel economy numbers. A great deal depends on the engine that you choose for your sedan. If you go with the base engine on either of these sedans, you are going to save more at the pump than if you go with the more powerful available engines.
The 2022 Altima with the 2.5-liter I-4 and the 2022 Accord with the 1.5-liter Turbo I-4 provide fairly comparable fuel economy numbers. The Accord has a slightly higher combined fuel economy rating of 33 MPG compared to the combined rating of 32 MPG for the front-wheel drive Altima. However, if you take both cars out on the highway and open them up, you will get slightly better numbers from the Altima, which averages 39 MPG on the highway compared to 38 MPG on the Accord.
When it comes to fuel efficiency for the two available engines, there really is no comparison. The 2022 Altima with the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo I-4 provides better fuel economy than the 2022 Honda Accord with the available 2.0-liter Turbo I-4. This may be due to the fact that the Altima uses a CVT transmission instead of a 10-speed automatic transmission like on the Accord. If most of your driving is in the city, you can expect 25 MPG in the Altima compared to only 22 MPG in the Accord. Similarly, you can expect a combined 29 MPG with the 2.0-liter engine on the Altima, while the 2.0-liter engine on the Accord will only give you 26 MPG. The Altima also continues to dominate the Accord on the highway when both of their respective 2.0-liter engines are put to the test. The Altima gets an impressive 34 MPG, while the Accord gets 32 MPG.
Built for Speed?
While neither the 2022 Nissan Altima nor the 2022 Honda Accord will win any road races, they both provide solid acceleration for vehicles in their model class. The 2022 Altima with the available 2.0-liter VC-Turbo I-4 will actually give you some impressive numbers, with the ability to go from 0-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. It can also complete the quarter mile in only 14.3 seconds. That is significantly faster than the engine options on the 2022 Accord or the Altima with the base 2.5-liter I-4. The Accord can go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds regardless of which engine option you choose. What is interesting is that the Accord with the larger 2.0-liter engine takes 15.5 seconds to complete the quarter mile, slower than the 15.3 seconds it takes on the same car with the smaller 1.5-liter engine. The base model Altima with the 2.5-liter I-4 takes 7.4 seconds to go from 0-60 mph and needs 15.8 seconds to cover the quarter mile. This may be due to the lack of a turbocharger in this engine.
The Future of Midsize Sedans Today
The 2022 Nissan Altima and the 2022 Honda Accord represent the future of midsize sedans. They both combine fuel-efficient engines with exceptional performance and solid acceleration. When you factor in the reputations of both automakers for building safe, dependable, and affordable vehicles, you can see why these two models have outpaced the competition, carrying the tradition of midsize sedans into a future that didn’t look too bright for this type of vehicle only a few years ago.