Nissan Altima Vs. Toyota Corolla: Which Is Better?

The Nissan Altima has a more powerful engine and more head and leg room than the Toyota Corolla, making it worth the higher price.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2022 Nissan Altima has a more powerful engine and a bit more head and leg room than the 2022 Toyota Corolla, making it worth the slightly higher sticker price. 
The Altima is a mid-size sedan, while the Corolla is considered a compact car—but it’s still worthwhile to compare the two vehicles. Both are attractive, affordable, and fuel-friendly, making them worth the test drive if you’re looking for a stylish vehicle for anyone in your family.
To show you exactly how these two cars compare,
trustworthy super app
and personal
car insurance
has collected detailed information about key specs like engine performance, fuel efficiency, and interior measurements. Let’s take a look. 


Because the Nissan Altima comes from a larger class of vehicles than the Toyota Corolla, its price tag is higher by a few thousand dollars
Let’s take a look at how the various gas-powered trim levels compare in price:
2022 Toyota Corolla L
2022 Nissan Altima S
2022 Toyota Corolla LE
2022 Nissan Altima SV
2022 Toyota Corolla SE
2022 Nissan Altima SR
2022 Toyota Corolla XSE
2022 Nissan Altima Platinum
2022 Toyota Corolla XLE
2022 Toyota Corolla APEX
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If you’re looking for a vehicle with the lowest possible sticker price, the Toyota Corolla is the obvious choice—you can purchase the top-of-the-line APEX for less than $1,000 more than the cheapest Altima. 
You’ll pay less for the Corolla in the long run, too. Edmunds estimates that 5-year ownership costs for the Corolla will come out to $30,246, which includes an estimated $4,799 in
Corolla insurance costs
. Interestingly,
Altima insurance costs
are a little bit cheaper at $4,709 for five years, but the overall cost of ownership is still estimated to be quite a bit higher at $37,685


The Altima’s engines outperform the Corolla’s in terms of both horsepower and torque.
Depending on how you
configure your 2022 Nissan Altima
, you’ll get one of the following engines: a 188-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 180 pound-feet of torque, or a 248-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 273 pound-feet of torque
Both engines pair with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), but only the more powerful 2.0-liter engine can be paired with optional all-wheel drive.
The 2022 Corolla comes with two engine options, as well—but neither is quite as zesty. The cheaper trims use a 139-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces 126 pound-feet of torque, while the upgraded 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 151 pound-feet of torque
A CVT is standard and a six-speed manual transmission is optional, but only front-wheel drive is available, regardless of the trim you choose.

Fuel efficiency

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE is, by far, the most fuel-efficient vehicle of the bunch, offering an estimated 53 mpg city and 52 highway. However, the gas-powered Corollas and Altimas are relatively neck-and-neck.
The Altima doesn’t offer a hybrid or plug-in hybrid option—but its two engines certainly don’t guzzle gas. You’ll likely be shocked at how similar the Altima’s EPA ratings are to the Corolla’s, especially when considering it’s a significantly larger and more powerful vehicle.
Take a look at how each of the gas-powered Corollas and Altimas compare:
Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined)
2022 Toyota Corolla
1.8L four-cylinder (base)
30/38/33 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla
2.0L four-cylinder
31/40/34 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
1.8L four-cylinder
53/52/52 mpg
2022 Nissan Altima
2.5L four-cylinder (base)
28/39/33 mpg
2022 Nissan Altima
2.0L four-cylinder turbo
26/36/31 mpg
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In terms of infotainment-focused technology, the Corolla and the Altima offer the same basic features: a touchscreen infotainment system equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, as well as optional subscription-based WiFi hotspots. 
An upgraded JBL audio system is available in the Toyota, but the Nissan lets audiophiles opt for a nine-speaker Bose stereo.
Safety-driven technology looks a little bit different in the two cars, though. Both Toyota and Nissan standardly include forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, but Corolla buyers also benefit from standard lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Altima buyers will have to pay extra for these features. 
But higher trims of Altimas do come quite tricked out. In addition to the features listed above, you’ll get blind-spot monitoring, high-beam assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and a semi-autonomous drive mode called ProPilot Assist. 


The 2022 Corolla gets better reliability ratings than the 2022 Altima from experts like J.D. Power, RepairPal, and Consumer Reports. 
The 2022 Toyota Corolla has an 85/100 predicted reliability score from J.D. Power, 
Compared to the 2022 Altima’s 82/100. Similarly, RepairPal gives the Corolla an impressive 4.5/5.0 rating for reliability, making it the #1 option among 36 compact cars. The Altima’s 4.0/5.0 rating is still above average but only makes it 11th out of 24 for midsize cars


The Nissan Altima is the larger sedan, which is evident when comparing its head and leg room to the Toyota Corolla. Drivers and front-seat passengers will especially notice a difference. When it comes to cargo space, however, how much room you have will depend on whether you select the Corolla sedan or hatchback. The hatchback offers the most cargo space overall—at the expense of some rear leg room—but the Altima has the biggest trunk among sedan options.
Toyota Corolla Sedan
Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Nissan Altima Sedan
Cargo volume
13.1 cubic feet
17.8 cubic feet
15.43 cubic feet
Headroom (front seats)
38.3 inches
38.4 inches
39.1 inches
Legroom (front seats)
42 inches
42 inches
43.8 inches
Headroom (rear seats) 37.1 inches
37.6 inches
36.9 inches
Legroom (rear seats)
34.8 inches
29.9 inches
35.2 inches

The final word

While the 2022 Toyota Corolla is significantly cheaper and slightly more fuel efficient than the 2022 Nissan Altima, the Altima is the superior choice when it comes to performance, comfort, and safety options on higher trims
If saving money is your top priority, you’ll want to go for the Corolla. Since it’s a smaller vehicle, it’s also easier to maneuver and park in tight spaces—so it could be the ideal choice for drivers in busy cities. 
However, if you want something that feels a bit more refined and fun to drive, you’ll have to go for the Altima. A single test drive of both models makes the differences clear. 

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Yes—the Nissan Altima is considered a mid-size sedan while the Toyota Corolla is a compact car.
The Toyota Corolla has a hybrid trim that is the superior option for fuel efficiency. However, in terms of gas-powered vehicles, the Corolla outperforms the Altima by just a hair.
Yes—you’ll likely spend several thousand dollars more on a Nissan Altima compared to the Toyota Corolla, depending on which trim you choose.
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