Comparison: 2018 Chevrolet Malibu vs 2018 Nissan Altima

Comparison: 2018 Chevrolet Malibu vs 2018 Nissan Altima

The Malibu and the Altima are both strong contenders if you’re looking for a midsize sedan in the greater Richmond area. Both models have class-leading safety ratings, high-tech features, and modern styling – but you’re probably more curious about the differences.

When comparing the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu to the 2018 Nissan Altima, it’s important to examine the details. Below, we’ll detail everything you need to know before deciding which midsize sedan is best for you and your family:

Powertrain and Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Malibu

The 2018 Malibu has two gasoline engines and one hybrid. The base powertrain is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, making 160 horsepower and getting up to 36 MPG fuel economy. The Malibu Premier has a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, which makes 250 horsepower and gets up to 33 MPG.

The 2018 Malibu Hybrid has a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with a hybrid electric propulsion system consisting of two electric motors. The system makes a net 182 horsepower, and its fuel economy lets you tour Virginia and beyond with few stops at the pump, at 49 MPG.

Nissan Altima

The 2018 Altima has two gas-powered engines, but no option for a hybrid. The base engine is a 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 179 horsepower and gets up to 38 MPG. Buyers can also opt for a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 270 horsepower and gets up to 32 MPG.

Both engines are mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, and this is where shoppers should pay attention. Nissan’s CVT has had issues since it started production in 2002. Complaints include shuttering acceleration, overheating, slow response, and complete failure at low mileage. According to CarComplaints.com, the 2013 Altima failed after just 74,340 miles on average. For your reference, repairing a CVT can cost roughly $3,500.

Warranty and Reliability

Chevrolet Malibu

Chevy offers Complete Care coverage standard on every 2018 model. The comprehensive benefit program includes two maintenance visits, plus 5 years or 60,000 miles of Roadside Assistance with Courtesy Transportation and Powertrain Limited Warranty protection. It also includes a 6-year/100,000-mile Rust-Through Protection, 3-year/36,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty, and 5 years of the OnStar Basic Plan with select features from the myChevrolet Mobile App.

The Malibu scores a four out of five in J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study ratings, making it better than most sedans in its class.

Nissan Altima

Nissan backs its models with 3-year/36,000-mile limited vehicle coverage and 5-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain coverage. It also offers 3-year/36,000-mile Roadside Assistance, but does not have OnStar or an equivalent, nor does it include rust-through protection. Despite lingering issues with its CVT, Nissan only includes a transmission warranty on 2003-2010 models.

Similar to the Malibu, the Altima scored a four out of five for reliability by J.D. Power and Associates.<./p>

Pricing

Chevrolet Malibu

Starting at $21,680 MSRP

Nissan Altima

Starting at $23,260 MSRP

Categories: Comparisons