2012 Nissan Altima vs. 2012 Volkswagen Passat: Which One Should I Buy?

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Sedans are a special class of vehicle: created to provide a comfortable and often luxurious ride to those who have passed beyond the need to stick to the compact class. These slightly larger vehicles offer options the compacts and subcompacts wouldn’t dream of, and have the associated price tags to match.

When you consider the Nissan Altima versus the Volkswagen Passat, you’re looking at a battle of the beauties. Both vehicles are sleek and lovely with loads of extras, great space available, and plenty of options to enjoy. The Altima isn’t the roomiest of the mid-size sedan offerings, but it is one of the most handsome and certainly the sportiest of the offerings. The Volkswagen Passat’s claims to fame are a massive rear seat and excellent fuel economy and rear-seat leg room.

volkswagen passat 2012
2012 Volkswagen Passat

Fuel Economy

The two models have comparable fuel economy, and at 22/23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, either is a good option for commuting and tooling around the city. The mid-size sedans are fuel sippers and both get excellent range for their class of vehicle. A bigger fuel tank on the Altima gives you a pretty good bit more distance between fill ups than the 18.5 gallon Passat.

Interior Design

The Passat’s extra leg room and comfy rear seat are balanced by the use of a grainy plastic on the interior as well as excessive wind and road noise that definitely are not optimal. The Altima, on the other hand, can seem a bit tight in the rear seat but boasts a simple, comfortable interior although some materials do look a tad drab. The front seats on the Nissan are larger than average, and make the interior feel even more spacious. Enjoy leather seats on the Nissan, but only as an optional package.

Performance

While both get great gas mileage, neither of the mid-size sedans offer air compressors to maximize power output, making them both feel underpowered. The drivetrain is not good enough for off-road or poor weather driving on either sedan.

Safety Features

Safety features offer no real surprises for the class, with both vehicles offering antilock brakes standard as well as 5 airbags, disc brakes, child door locks and more. However, neither of these sedans offers a roadside assistance program.

You’ll have to consider whether you’re looking for comfort or value when you consider these two fine sedans.


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Jason

14 years of experience
116 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
Kia Rio - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Brooklyn, New York
Jason did a thorough job inspecting a car I was considering buying and answered all my questions after the inspection

Willie

23 years of experience
38 reviews
Willie
23 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Cerritos, California
Williec was definitely professional.and I would use his services again.He is very honest and was very thorough with inspecting the vehicle I purchased.Thank you Willie.
Mitsubishi 3000GT - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Long Beach, California
Mechanic was professional and knowledgeable about cars. His recommendation was excellent and appreciated. I would definitely recommend this mechanic to others.

Attila

18 years of experience
566 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Volvo XC70 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Plainfield, New Jersey
Attila was very throughrout with the inspection of the car and confirmed my suspicions about the breaks
Volkswagen Jetta - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, New Jersey
Mr. Attila is very knowledgeable about cars and he gave me good advice for future reference. Very kind and nice!

MICHAEL

32 years of experience
164 reviews
MICHAEL
32 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Michael was enjoyable to talk to. He gave me an honest, non-bias opinion of the vehicle I was considering buying. I was an out of state buyer, so having someone to rely on was important. I loved the pictures and the audio he included in his report, it was through. He pointed out a few things the dealer failed to bring up. Because of him I am deciding to move forward with the "deal"

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