2011 Volkswagen
Jetta S
vs. 2012 Nissan
Altima 2.5 S

2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

10.0

starting from

$24,860

Reasons to buy the Nissan Altima 2.5 S

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Has continuously-variable transmission
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OK brakes
Disc
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Fantastic range on the highway
640 miles
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Fantastic range in the city
460 miles
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S

9.4

Runner-up

Volkswagen Jetta S

starting from

$17,265

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Jetta S

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Average number of gears
5
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Good braking distance from 60mph
113 ft
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OK cornering
0.82 g
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Average-sized back seats
43.8 ft3
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 8.2
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S Winner: Altima 2.5 S
[details]
  • Have your choice of leather or cloth seats on the Altima 2.5 S
Cost 9.8 vs 10.0
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Winner: Jetta S
[details]
  • The best price we've seen is $7,595 cheaper (more than 30% less), $17,265 vs $24,860
  • Almost the same, 24 mpg vs 23 mpg
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Poor protection, 10% to 20% chance of rolling over during emergency lane change
  • Poor protection, 6% to 10% chance of serious chest injuries in a crash
  • Poor protection, 10% to 20% chance of serious head or chest injuries in a crash
Safety Features - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Performance - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
  • Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
  • Underpowered
Practicality - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
Entertainment System - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Road Tests - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Overall 10.0 vs 9.4

Luxury Features

Nissan
Altima 2.5 S
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Volkswagen
Jetta S
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Not Available vs Not Available Neither has a power seat option
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Optional vs Not Available Have your choice of leather or cloth seats on the Altima 2.5 S

Cost

Nissan
Altima 2.5 S
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Volkswagen
Jetta S
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MSRP $24,860 vs $17,265 The Jetta S has a great price and the Altima 2.5 S is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 23 mpg vs 24 mpg Both get OK mileage in the city
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basic warranty miles 36,000 mile vs 36,000 mile Shorter basic warranty
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basic warranty years 3 year vs 3 year Shorter-lasting basic warranty

Crash Test Ratings

Nissan
Altima 2.5 S
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Volkswagen
Jetta S
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Rollover resistance 4 stars vs 4 stars Poor protection, 10% to 20% chance of rolling over during emergency lane change
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Front driver crash test 4 stars vs 4 stars Poor protection, 10% to 20% chance of serious head or chest injuries in a crash
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Driver side crash test 4 stars vs 4 stars Poor protection, 6% to 10% chance of serious chest injuries in a crash

Safety Features

Nissan
Altima 2.5 S
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Volkswagen
Jetta S
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Unknown vs Unknown
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Airbags 5 vs 5 OK number of airbags
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Rear brakes Disc vs Drum The Altima 2.5 S has good brakes for high-performance driving
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child door locks Standard vs Standard Child door locks come standard
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Roadside assistance system None vs None

Performance

Nissan
Altima 2.5 S
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Volkswagen
Jetta S
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Horsepower 175 HP @ 5,600 RPM vs 115 HP @ 5,200 RPM Underpowered
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Number of gears Continuously variable vs 5 The Jetta S has an OK number of gears, while the Altima 2.5 S has very few
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Transmission Automatic transmission vs Manual transmission The Altima 2.5 S's automatic transmission is convenient for stop-and-go traffic
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paddle shifters Unknown vs Unknown
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Air compressor None vs None Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
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Power-to-weight ratio 17.8 lb/hp vs 24.4 lb/hp The Altima 2.5 S has OK performance while the Jetta S gives sluggish performance
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius Unknown vs 36.4 ft

Practicality

Nissan
Altima 2.5 S
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Volkswagen
Jetta S
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 640 miles vs 493 miles The Altima 2.5 S gets fantastic distance on a single tank, and the Jetta S gets OK distance
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Cargo space 8.2 ft3 vs 15.5 ft3 The Jetta S has OK cargo room, while the Altima 2.5 S has very little
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front seats 52.6 ft3 vs 50.3 ft3 The Altima 2.5 S has average-sized front seats, while the Jetta S is very cramped
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Not Available The Altima 2.5 S offers an optional navigation system; not available on the Jetta S
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Cupholders Unknown vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Entertainment System

Nissan
Altima 2.5 S
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Volkswagen
Jetta S
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Number of speakers Unknown vs Unknown
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Has speed sensitive volume Unknown vs Unknown
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Not Available Like your tunes? In the Altima 2.5 S, you can upgrade to satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Unknown vs Unknown
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Has subwoofer Unknown vs Unknown
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entertainment system Optional vs Not Available It'll cost you to get an entertainment system on the Altima 2.5 S; but it's not available at all on the Jetta S

Road Tests

Nissan
Altima 2.5 S
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S Volkswagen
Jetta S
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0-60 mph 8.3 seconds vs Unknown
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Braking distance at 60mph 129 ft vs 113 ft The Jetta S has above average braking ability for this class of vehicle, but the Altima 2.5 S is just OK
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1/4 mile 16.5 s @ 87 mph vs Unknown
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Lateral acceleration 0.75 g vs 0.82 g The Jetta S has OK cornering abilities compared to the below average Altima 2.5 S
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Top speed Unknown vs 130 mph

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2012 Audi A3 Premium Jetta TDI vs A3 Premium
2011 Volkswagen Jetta S 2011 Volkswagen Golf Jetta S vs Golf
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2011 Toyota Camry SE Jetta TDI vs Camry SE
2011 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2012 Volkswagen CC Lux Limited Jetta SE vs CC Lux Limited
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan S 4Motion Jetta TDI vs Tiguan S 4Motion
2012 Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 2011 Nissan Maxima SV Altima 3.5 SR vs Maxima SV
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 2011 Nissan Rogue SV Altima 2.5 vs Rogue SV
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 2011 Toyota Corolla S Altima 2.5 vs Corolla S
2012 Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 2011 Mitsubishi Galant SE Altima 3.5 SR vs Galant SE
2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 2011 Mazda 3 i Sport Altima 2.5 vs 3 i Sport

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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