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2017 Volkswagen Passat vs the 2017 Nissan Altima

Finding the right family sedan that’s perfect for El Paso can be a tricky proposition. On one hand you want a car that ticks all the boxes of passenger comfort and convenience. On the other is the urge to find a car that performs like a sports coupe for those times you’re rolling solo.

The Volkswagen team here at Hoy Family Auto isn’t just convinced the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is the perfectly balanced Yin and Yang of responsibility and delirious fun. They know it is.

Thanks to our team’s collective desire to be experts in their field, they compared the 2017 Passat to a host of worthy competitors. In this article, we’re going to show how the Passat stacks up to the 2017 Nissan Altima.

Engine Performance

There are two engine choices for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat. Kicking things off is VW’s proven 1.8L Turbo 4-cylinder that tips the scales at 170HP with 185LB-FT of torque. This engine is found in five different trim levels ranging from the Passat S to the Passat SEL Premium. The addition of a turbo gives the Passat an on-demand kick-in-the-pants. All you have to do is jump on the gas pedal.

Under the hood of the top two models of the Passat range, the V6 SE with Technology and the V6 SEL Premium, you’ll find a behemoth of a V-6 that is good for 280HP and 260LB-FT of torque. While a power plant like that is precision engineered for the high speeds of Germany’s Autobahn, we must urge you to follow the local rules and regulations here in El Paso.

While both of the Passat’s engines have plenty oomph, they don’t skimp on fuel economy, netting 25/35 and 21/30 MPG respectively.

The base trims of the 2017 Nissan Altima are powered by a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder that puts out 179HP and 177LB of torque. Don’t let the size fool you. It crawls to 0-60 in 8.2 seconds. That’s more than half a second slower than the 1.8 liter Passat engine.

Moving into the upper end of the Altima range you’ll find a 3.5 liter V-6 that rates at 270HP and 251LB of torque. Not only are these numbers smaller than the V-6 Passat, the performance lags behind as well. Pick a speed and it will take the Altima longer to get there than the Passat.

One area were the Altima slightly bests the Passat is in fuel economy. The base 4-cylinder rates at 27/39 mpg and the V-6 engine at 32/22 mpg.


Validating Volkswagen’s mission to make their cars as safe as they can be is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 5-Star Overall Safety Rating for the 2017 Passat. The NHTSA’s highest honor came through a combination of good old fashioned engineering and 21st century innovation with the brawn of a steel safety cage matched with an array of active safety systems such as Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System. In the unlikely event of a collision, the ICRS will automatically shut off the fuel pump, unlock the doors and activate the hazard lights.

While the Nissan Altima is equipped with many similar safety features such as traction control and airbags throughout the cabin, the bottom line is that it did not earn a 5-Star Rating from the NHTSA.

Exterior and Interior Design

Design is always subject to personal taste but if you put the Passat and Altima side-by-side, our Volkswagen team is confident that the Passat would be the consensus choice among a group of taste testers. Its style is understated, yet sophisticated and always turns heads in and out of El Paso.

Nissan calls the design of the Altima “aggressive,” we think a more accurate description would be “trying too hard to look like an Autobot” but that’s just us.

Moving into the cabin of the 2017 Passat you’ll find a voluminous interior with class-leading rear passenger space. All the vital controls are intuitively placed at the driver’s fingertips and Volkswagen’s innovative Car-Net App-Connect turns your smartphone into the car’s command center and brings a new level of convenience to the driving experience.

We’ll credit the Nissan Altima for having plenty of technology packed into its interior cabin but the issue is that all those features are literally packed in. The Altima’s interior cabin is smaller in every measurable category from shoulder room to cargo space.

The clear winner here is the Volkswagen Passat.


We saved the best part for last. The Passat range starts out with an MSRP of $22,440 compared to the $22,500 for the Altima. That might not be a huge difference but you still need to factor in the Hoy Family Auto advantage when it comes to pricing. Contact a team member today to find out your special price or to learn more about very attractive leasing offers.