Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2010 Audi A4 VS 2010 Nissan Altima Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2010 Audi A4

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VS

2010 Nissan Altima

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A4 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Nissan Altima Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A4 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A4 has a standard Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. The ESP then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. A skid prevention system costs extra on the Altima Sedan. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that skid control systems reduced single-vehicle car crashes by 30%.

The Audi A4 has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The A4’s optional blind spot warning system uses rear-aimed sensors monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

Both the A4 and the Altima Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts and four-wheel antilock brakes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the A4 with leather seats is safer then the Altima Sedan:

A4

Altima Sedan

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance from Back of Head

38 mm

48 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

23 mm

45 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

MARGINAL

Seat Design

Pass

Pass

Neck Force Rating

Low

High

Max Neck Shearing Force

1

2712

Max Neck Tension

430

570

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in frontal, side and rear impact tests, and its standard Electronic Stabilization Program, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the A4 Sedan as a “Top Pick” a rating only granted to 81 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Altima Sedan was not a Top Pick.

Warranty Comparison

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The A4 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Altima Sedan’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A4 comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Audi will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Nissan doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Altima Sedan.

The A4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Altima Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Audi pays for scheduled maintenance on the A4 for 1 year and 5000 miles. Audi will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Altima Sedan.

Reliability Comparison

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The Audi A4’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Altima Sedan’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the A4 has larger alternators than the Altima Sedan:

A4

Altima Sedan

Standard Alternator

120 amps

110 amps

Optional Alternator

150 amps

130 amps

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 21st.

Engine Comparison

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The A4’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 36 more horsepower (211 vs. 175) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 180) than the Altima Sedan 2.5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The A4’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 13 more horsepower (211 vs. 198) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 199) than the Altima Sedan HEV’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi A4 is faster than the Nissan Altima Sedan (automatics tested):

A4

Altima Sedan 2.5

Altima Sedan HEV

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.7 sec

7.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

88.5 MPH

92.3 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the A4’s engine produces its peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Altima Sedan:

Torque

A4 2.0 T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

1500 RPM

Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

3900 RPM

Altima Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

4400 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the A4 2.0 T FWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Altima Sedan 3.5 CVT V6 (23 city/30 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the A4’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Altima Sedan:

A4

Altima Sedan

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

The A4 stops much shorter than the Altima Sedan:

A4

Altima Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

206 feet

242 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the A4 has larger standard tires than the Altima Sedan (225/50R17 vs. 215/60R16). The A4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Altima Sedan (245/40R18 vs. 215/60R16).

The A4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima Sedan’s standard 60 series tires. The A4’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Altima Sedan 3.5 SE’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A4 has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Altima Sedan. The A4’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Altima Sedan 3.5 SE.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The A4 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Altima Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The A4 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Altima Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A4’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the Altima Sedan (110.6 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The A4 2.0T Sedan Quattro handles at .90 G’s, while the Altima Sedan HEV pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The A4 2.0T Sedan Quattro goes through Road & Track’s slalom 10.3 MPH faster than the Altima Sedan HEV (69.1 vs. 58.8 MPH).

The A4 2.0T Sedan Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Altima Sedan HEV (27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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The A4 is 4.6 inches shorter than the Altima Sedan, making the A4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the A4 2.0T Sedan Quattro is quieter than the Altima Sedan 3.5 SE (71 vs. 75 dB).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A4 Sedan easier. The A4 Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Altima Sedan’s lift-over is 27.6 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

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When different drivers share the A4, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The A4’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Altima Sedan’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

A power rear sun shade is optional in the A4 Sedan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a rear sun shade.

The A4 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Altima Sedan has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The A4’s optional heated front seats keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. The Altima Sedan 2.5 Base doesn’t offer heated seats.

The A4’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Altima Sedan 2.5 Base doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The A4’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Altima Sedan 2.5 Base doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the A4 offers optional rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Altima Sedan 2.5 Base doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the A4 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

With optional voice command, the A4 offers the driver hands free control of the radio, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a voice control system.

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