2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

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Thread: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

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    GMI Staff Member Premium Member nadepalma's Avatar
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    2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2020 Subaru Legacy: Which AWD Mid-Size Sedan Is Best?
    Nissan has challenged Subaru’s all-wheel-drive dominance in the family-sedan segment, so we set out to choose a winner.
    By JOEY CAPPARELLA
    NOV 5, 2019
    caranddriver.com



    All-wheel drive is Subaru’s thing. The “Symmetrical AWD” badges emblazoned on nearly all Subarus and the brand's accompanying marketing that constantly proclaims the advantages of four-wheel traction have made that abundantly clear to consumers. While it’s hardly a Subaru-exclusive feature, no other automaker has so effectively cornered the conversation on why you need AWD in your next vehicle (Spoiler alert: You don’t).

    All-wheel drive is a legitimate differentiator for the Subaru Legacy, however. It’s the only affordable mid-size sedan that has consistently offered four driven wheels. Yet, it was recently joined by the Nissan Altima, as the new-for-2019 sixth-generation model added an all-wheel-drive option that costs $1350 extra. Now that the Legacy isn’t the only AWD mid-size sedan, we set out to see if it’s still the best. (Certain trim levels of the Ford Fusion also offer AWD, but the Fusion is not long for this world, so we left it out.)

    The Matchup
    Both the Altima and the Legacy were recently redesigned. The longer, lower, and wider Nissan is boldly styled, with an aggressive nose and sharp creases along its sides. Our SR test car’s attractive 19-inch wheels and Sunset Drift Chromaflair orange paint only served to further accentuate its athletic proportions. The Subaru looks comparably dowdy, with a tall greenhouse and an awkwardly styled front end, and the half-hearted Sport trim level's black wheels and small lip spoiler don’t help.

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    GMI Staff Member Premium Member nadepalma's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    I know they don't sell as well, but I'm glad to see that not everyone has given up on producing capable sedans.
    "La vita è come un albero di Natale..c'è sempre qualcuno che ti rompe le palle!"

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    It looks like Subaru has some catching up to do.

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    The Altima actually handles better than the Legacy. I didn't expect that.
    26 + 6 = 1

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by 1958carnut View Post
    It looks like Subaru has some catching up to do.
    More like Subie got lazy...

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyDiablo View Post
    More like Subie got lazy...
    ...and they rest on their laurels.

    On the other hand, the Altima will have a lot to catch for sales who aren't fleet sales and will the AWD Altima with its price also enter in Maxima territory.

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyDiablo View Post
    More like Subie got lazy...
    Gee, this sounds a lot like my circa-2008 Scoobie Doobie Doo rental. Which was probably lots worse. It was the only car remaining on the lot, that didn't make me very happy, so I got a Soobie Experience in spite of me. I think I wrote it up here.

    Basically, the seats were awful, the powertrain weak and noisy, the ride not so comfy, not sure how good the AC was, and overall I think I'd rate it as my second-worse rental car experience. The Toyota or more appropriately in this case the Toyletta Echo was the worst. It had less power, it rode worse, it smelled of chintzy, it had far less space, and overall it had an unmistakable POS vibe to it. (Nothing against the Vibe. I had one as a rental and I thought it was a pretty decent car.)

    Two notes to the writer/editors:
    a) When you're comparing TWO, it's "the better" not "the best." What was that, 6th grade English? Do they still teach English in skoolz?
    2) Thanks for this comment, it pretty well summarizes what marketing can do vs. rational thought:
    no other automaker has so effectively cornered the conversation on why you need AWD in your next vehicle (Spoiler alert: You don’t).
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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    2) Thanks for this comment, it pretty well summarizes what marketing can do vs. rational thought:
    no other automaker has so effectively cornered the conversation on why you need AWD in your next vehicle (Spoiler alert: You don’t).
    +1
    I wish that organizations offering HPDE and car control clinics will someday be as effective in marketing such programs as carmakers (especially Subaru and Audi, but just about all the others too) and dealerships are in spreading hype about AWD.
    Last edited by gkr778; 11-11-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    no other automaker has so effectively cornered the conversation on why you need AWD in your next vehicle (Spoiler alert: You don’t).
    Have you driven a FWD car in the snow uphill? I've seen RWD and FWD get stuck climbing a hilly incline that AWD have no trouble with in the snow. Sure if you have snow tires or a snow chain you wouldn't need AWD, but if it snows in while you are driving and you aren't prepared AWD can make a difference.

    One more reason for AWD. Over the ages I figured out that any exit can be taken at 2x the posted speed as long as it is dry, or you will be sideways and I have been , unless you are in a AWD car. But that's just my personal experience, anecdotal I know.
    26 + 6 = 1

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    It's obvious the GM is the worst choice in this comparison. Let me use my unbiased logic to tell you why because, um, uh wait....

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Why no Regal AWD in the test? Buick: the forgotten division.

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by joey View Post
    Why no Regal AWD in the test? Buick: the forgotten division.
    Same reason that Ford Fusion 2.0T AWD wasn't part of the comparison: Buick Regal (whether equipped with AWD or not) is unlikely to last in the U.S. market much longer. I wouldn't be surprised if MY 2020 is its last.

    Also, Regal is technically a hatchback rather than a notchback sedan like Legacy, Altima, and Fusion. Don't know if that was among Car and Driver's criteria, though.
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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    I don't come to GM Inside News to read about Subarus and Nissans. I don't give a **** about *** crap. Get over it....
    Jake

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by joey View Post
    Why no Regal AWD in the test? Buick: the forgotten division.
    Who? What?...they still make those?

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    Re: 2020 AWD Sedan Comparison: Nissan Altima vs. Subaru Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    Gee, this sounds a lot like my circa-2008 Scoobie Doobie Doo rental. Which was probably lots worse. It was the only car remaining on the lot, that didn't make me very happy, so I got a Soobie Experience in spite of me. I think I wrote it up here.

    Basically, the seats were awful, the powertrain weak and noisy, the ride not so comfy, not sure how good the AC was, and overall I think I'd rate it as my second-worse rental car experience. The Toyota or more appropriately in this case the Toyletta Echo was the worst. It had less power, it rode worse, it smelled of chintzy, it had far less space, and overall it had an unmistakable POS vibe to it. (Nothing against the Vibe. I had one as a rental and I thought it was a pretty decent car.)

    Two notes to the writer/editors:
    a) When you're comparing TWO, it's "the better" not "the best." What was that, 6th grade English? Do they still teach English in skoolz?
    2) Thanks for this comment, it pretty well summarizes what marketing can do vs. rational thought:
    no other automaker has so effectively cornered the conversation on why you need AWD in your next vehicle (Spoiler alert: You don’t).
    I had to go to page 20 of reader reviews, but I found it:

    FORESTER & MAZ6 4
    I recently had the chance to enjoy rental cars, the Subaru Forester and Mazda 6 four.
    Forester: You can have this one. The seat belt dinger drives me crazy, if it first does not succeed it will ding you again. The only solution is to buckle up. I wear my seat belt, but I do not like having the Nanny tell me what to do when I'm in the parking lot looking at a derned map.
    The seats are uncomfortable, both horizontal and vertical surfaces. Subaru has not reached the level of uncomfortable, lumpy seat expertise that The Sleepy General has, but these seats ache quickly.
    There is no R arm rest for the driver. ???
    The A/C switches off frequently, leaving a draft of nice warm air. Nice touch.
    The 4 speed auto needs two more gears, or this sluggish flat four needs 40 more ft lbs.
    The radio search function is quite good. Traveling through the boonies, this helps find Rush.
    The chassis is only fair. The shock/spring combo is such that damping is not snubbed down properly, but the ride isn't that comfortable either. Some pogo here.
    Instruments not that easy to see. This is sort of like getting into a 10-years back car, especially when compared directly with the Mazda6 four.
    Mazda6: Man, what a chassis! This baby is tight, tight, tight. So is the gearing, with 23 mph/1000 rpm in top gear (auto). Can't hear it, though.
    I like the red light dash, instruments easier to read than Soobie.
    Good seat, it has an armrest on the right! Very good ABS, a raccoon couple tested it out for me. Steering is very direct, I like this chassis setup.
    The four is reasonably powerful, this car could use more tranny gears. I repeat myself. It would be nice with a GM 3.8 or 3.4.
    AC is better than Subaru, doesn't go away nearly as often.
    Looks nicer than the Soobie, neither of them is particularly striking IMO though.
    The clear winner here is the Mazda, it feels modern and like a real handler. Now I know why I never bought a Subaru.
    2017 Soul &, Titanium

    Where liberty dwells, there is my country. Benjamin Franklin

    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson

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