2021 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry - Prices, Trims, Performance and Features Compared

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T. Tenson 

Content Writer

March 4, 2021  at 9:17 AM

The mid-size sedan segment has been a recurring hot-spot because of the well-balanced package it puts on the table. Japanese automakers have dominated this segment and two of the constants here are Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. Both these cars are high on practicality with equal importance given for performance, to not be boring! This is one of those tighter face-offs and things might get tricky! Read on to find out how the stand-off proceeds.

2021 Nissan Altima Latest Updates:

2021 Toyota Camry Latest Updates:


The race to grab the first bite is at its peak with automotive stalwarts, Nissan and Toyota, announcing the release of their 2021 models of Altima and Camry. Both 2021 Nissan Altima and 2021 Toyota Camry are day-to-day commuters that are designed relaxing rather than thrilling. But that doesn't make either of them slouches in all sense, as it has a few tricks up their sleeves. In terms of price, the MSRP of the 2021 Altima starts from $24,300 while the 2021 Toyota Camry's starting price is slightly higher, at $24,970.


Read more on Nissan Altima:


While Nissan Altima will carry forward many of its features from its 2020 model, the Toyota Camry will bring forth the Safety Sense 2.5+ package, restyled dashboard and upholstery, rehashed center console, a new 7-inch floating infotainment screen, and so much more. So, things look more favorable for Toyota with its refreshed package.


Read more on Toyota Camry:


Priced between the range of $25,000 - $35,000, both Camry and Altima are packed with a powerful engine and perform commendably on the road. The level of safety on both these sedans is also impressive with a well-put-together list of active and passive safety features along with Assistance features. Let’s check out how both these commuters stack up against each other, in terms of performance, features, fuel efficiency, engine, and pricing! 

2021 Nissan Altima and the Toyota Camry: How do these sedans compare in general?

The Toyota Camry has been outselling almost every mid-size sedan in the US for the past two decades. While the Camry developed from a coupe to a convertible, its popularity grew by leaps and bounds. On the flip-side, the Nissan Altima was introduced as a continuation of Nissan’s Bluebird line, to compete in the mid-size sedan segment in 1993 and since then, it has beaten every other Sedan to become one of the most preferred mid-size Sedans in the US.

The Altima and Camry have been considered equally terrific for years, be it in terms of their performance or looks. They continue to deliver excellence as they grow into new designs. While Nissan’s Altima has been applauded for providing comfy seating and a spacious cabin, Toyota’s Camry has been recognized for efficiency and reliability. With both these crossovers priced within a pocket-friendly range of $25,000 - @35,000, we can only expect the best of Toyota’s features outfitted in the 2021 Camry and as excellent a performance as its previous model from the 2021 Altima. 

2021 Nissan Altima vs 2021 Toyota Camry: Which is lighter on the pocket?

Delivering bundles of features, both the Japanese mid-size Sedans fall under the price range of $24,000 - $35,000. There isn’t much information announced yet, but based on their respective 2020 models, we can presume the prices of the current models. The 2021 Nissan Altima starts at the base price of $24,200 and goes all the way up to $33,530 as we move up in the trim levels. Similarly, the 2021 Toyota Camry starts at the base price of $25,425 and goes all the way up to $36,160 for its TRD model. But the standard trims wraps at $31,405.

Though base trim level prices are almost similar in both these Sedans, the top trim level of Toyota Camry which also offers the most potent performance figures against its competition would cost you more with a more significant price difference against the Nissan Altima's topmost trim level. Both cars offer handsome fuel economy figures without compromising their performance. So, if you want to opt for a base trim level, you might find yourself oscillating between both Altima and Camry. However, if you go for the topmost trim levels, you’d have to check the size of your pockets to choose between Altima and Camry. 

2021 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry: What are the trims on offer?

Nissan Altima

The 2021 Nissan Altima will offer five trim levels that are S, SR, SV, SL, and Platinum, all of which come equipped with a standard FWD and have an availability of an optional AWD that you’d get by spending a few more bucks. But if you are opting for 2.0L VC-Turbo engine trim levels, then the FWD setup would be the only drivetrain you will get. The standard engine is a 2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4.

Nissan has made sure to bundle ample features in all of the available trims and so you do get every penny's worth in any of the trim you decide on taking home. The top of the line Platinum trim gets all of the modern bells and whistles with more emphasis given to added safety and Assistance features for one of the best packages you can attain for under $33,000.

Trim

S SR SV SL Platinum

MSRP (FWD)(Expected)

$24,200

$25,800

$27,980

$30,340

$32,280

MSRP (AWD)(Expected) $25,550 $27,150 $29,330 $31,690 $33,530

Key Features

Cruise control

All the features in S trim added/ replaced and:

All the features in SR trim added/ replaced and: All the features in SV trim added/ replaced and: All the features in SL trim added/ replaced and:
 

Manually adjustable front head Rear Parking Sensors restraints

Leather Steering Wheel

Hands-Free Smart Trunk Release

Full floor console with a covered box

Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) w/Full-Speed Range and Hold distance pacing

 

Dual front impact airbags

LED headlights and taillamps

ABS and driveline traction control

Illuminated passenger vanity mirror

Distance pacing cruise control

  Cruise and Audio Controls on Steering Wheel Always on DRLs

Steering assist cruise control

 

Day-night rearview mirror

 

Remote keyless entry

 

Front passenger airbag occupancy sensor

   
 

Seat-mounted driver and passenger side-impact airbags

       

The SL trim is feature-packed and has a lot of luxury features too, the Platinum trim is an edge ahead of the SL trim and comes with all the bells of whistles. The AWD trims cost an additional average of $1,300 across the line-up but it comes powered by the same 2.0L NA unit as standard, which weirdly is less powerful than its FWD counterparts. And AWD trims don't come in a turbo setup!

Toyota Camry

On the other hand, the 2021 Toyota Camry offers six trim levels that are L, LE, SE, SE Nightshade, TRD V6, and XSE V6. Just like the Nissan Altima, all the trim levels come equipped with standard Front Wheel Drivetrain and an optional All-Wheel Drivetrain.

Pricing is expected to be bumped up across the range by an average $1000 which is impressive for the number of new features Toyota has added to the Camry for 2021. It gets tweaked exterior styling bits along with a restyled dashboard that now houses a floating center-mounted infotainment display in line with its modern stablemates.

Trim

L LE SE XLE XSE

MSRP (FWD) (Expected)

$25,425

$25,970

$27,170

$30,455

$31,005

MSRP (AWD) (Expected)

-

$26,370

$27,570

$30,855

$31,405

Key Features

Rearview camera

All the features in L trim added/ replaced and: All the features in LE trim added/ replaced and: All the features in SE trim added/ replaced and: All the features in XLE trim added/ replaced and:
 

Pre and post-collision safety system

Remote anti-theft alarm system

Climate control

Turn signal mirrors

Two-Tone Body Color

 

Lane departure warning accident avoidance system

Driver seat with power adjustable lumbar support

Leather and simulated alloy steering wheel

8-way power front passenger seat

19-inch wheels

 

6-speaker audio system and satellite radio

8 -way power driver seat

Transmission, cruise and audio controls on steering wheel

Blindspot warning

 

 

Adaptive cruise control

Split-folding rear seatback with folding center armrest

Leatherette interior surfaces

satellite radio w/real-time traffic 

 

 

Electric power steering

Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof

Rear bumper and lower rocker applique

Heated front seats

 

 

Heated mirrors

Rear Spoiler

Blackout Emblem Overlays

Leather upholstery

 

Safety features also get bumped for 2021 with the most notable being Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ package. The 2021 Camry also happens to be the first Toyota to come bundles with this latest safety package. The infotainment system has been upsized and now is offered in 7 and 9-inch formats. Apart from these, new upholstery options help freshen things up in the cabin.


Also Read:


2021 Nissan Altima vs 2021 Toyota Camry: Engine and Performance

Both the Japanese automotive manufacturers have pushed the edge of the envelope to outfit their stellar sedans with power-packed engines that deliver excellent performance for the price.

The 2021 Nissan Altima is expected to carry its 2020 model’s engine. It’ll be powered with both its familiar powertrains, of which the first one is a standard 2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 churning out 188 hp and 180 lb-ft. As a more lucrative option, the revheads can go for a VC-Turbo 2.0L engine (available only in SR and Platinum trim levels) pumping out 236 hp and 267 lb-ft.

The only shortcoming with the latter is that it comes with only front-wheel-drivetrain. Both the engines are aligned to an XTRONIC Continuously Variable Transmission (XTRONIC CVT) unit. The 2021 Altima offers an FWD as a standard or an optional AWD drivetrain unit. For the year 2021, we can cross our fingers for Nissan to electrify the engines to make it a wholesome package. 

Likewise, the 2021 Toyota Camry is being offered with two powertrain units to choose from, the same as its 2020 model. The standard engine of the 2021 Toyota Camry is equipped with a 2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 unit, which surprisingly manages to generate more power & torque than the 2021 Nissan Altima. It churns out 203 hp and 184 lb-ft.

The engine is mated to a rather quick and smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 Camry’s XLE, XSE, and TRD trim levels also offer the optional more powerful 3.5L V6 engine with power & torque output of 301 hp & 267 lb.ft respectively. The 2021 Camry comes standard with an FWD and an optional AWD availability.

Model

2021 Nissan Altima

2021 Toyota Camry

MSRP

$25,550

$25,425

Engine

2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

FWD

Transmission

CVT

8-Speed Automatic

Power 

188 hp @ 6,000 RPM

203 hp @ 6,600 RPM

Torque 

180 lb-ft @ 3,600 RPM

184 lb-ft @ 5,000 RPM

0-60 MPH

8.0 secs

7.6 secs

Top Speed

130 MPH

135 MPH

Falling within almost the same price range, both Nissan and Toyota offer refined powertrain figures for the mid-size sedans. Both are equipped with a 2.5L Inline-4 naturally aspirated engines, but the 2021 Toyota Camry’s performance figures are slightly better than the 2021 Nissan Altima’s performance. Even when we discuss their transmission systems, the Toyota Camry outsmarts Nissan Altima with its quick and smooth shift 8-speed transmission unit. Though the Camry has comparatively faster acceleration, the Altima only manages to beat Camry in top speed figures.

2021 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry: Which one churns out better MPG figures?

It’s a popular opinion that most of the mid-size Sedans are outfitted with economical engines. The same is the case with the 2021 models of the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry! Even with 2021 approaching, when most of the Sedan manufacturers prefer performance over fuel efficiency. With its most fuel-efficient 2.5L Inline-4 Naturally Aspirated engine, the Nissan Altima manages to deliver an EPA estimated mileage of 28 MPG in the city, 39 MPG on the highway, and 32 MPG as combined.

The 2021 Nissan Altima offers an above-average fuel tank capacity of 16.5 gallons and delivers an impeccable combined cruising range of 518 miles. Despite having an 8-speed automatic transmission over a CVT and equipped with the same engine type, the 2021 Toyota Camry offers an EPA estimated mileage of 29 MPG in the city, 41 MPG on the highway, and 34 MPG as combined.  The 2021 Toyota Camry offers a fuel tank capacity of 14.5 gallons and delivers a decent 505 miles of cruising range.

Model

2021 Nissan Altima

2021 Toyota Camry

MPG (City)

28

29

MPG (Highway)

39

41

MPG (Combined)

32

34

Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons)

16.2

14.5 

Range (City/ Highway/ Combined) (mi.) 

454/ 632/ 518

442/ 595/ 505

In this neck-to-neck rivalry, Toyota Camry leads the charts by being a more fuel-efficient car than Altima. On the other hand, the 2021 Nissan Altima offers a comparatively larger fuel tank capacity and hence, provides a better cruising range than the 2021 Toyota Camry.


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2021 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry: How good are the interiors in these sedans?

Nissan has continued with the simplified theme for the cabin in the 2021 Camry. The front seats are very well bolstered and hold you tight in place, knee room is adequate, but the driving position does not give you a wholesome view outside the windscreen, partly due to the thick pillars, and that might be a problem for some drivers. The 2021 Nissan Altima features an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system mated with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay availability and it gets a 6-speaker set up on the base trims and a 9-speaker setup on the higher trim levels.

Contrarily, the Camry's quirky “Y” dashboard design along with its comfy and spacious seats are carried forward in the 2021 Camry. Even with all of those buttons on board, the dash looks pleasing and Toyota has added a touch of wood” for the premium feel. But the major noticeable change is the now floating infotainment display which is now parallel to the dashboard layout instead of the earlier angular arrangement. Technology has been given a major bump in the 2021 Toyota Camry. It now gets a new set of 7-inch and 9-inch touchscreen units that are also shared with the new 2021 Toyota RAV4 line-up. 

Model

2021 Nissan Altima

2021 Toyota Camry

Passenger Capacity

5 5

First Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom) (in.)

39.2/ 58.2/ 43.8 38.3/ 57.7/ 42.1

Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom) (in.)

36.9/ 57.1/ 35.2 38.0/ 55.7/ 38.0

Cargo Capacity (cu. ft.)

15.4 16.7
Notable Interior featues Wood inserts on the dashboard

Dual Zone automatic climate control

Zero Gravity rear seats

Rear seat air-con vents

Soft-touch plastic panels

New upholstery options

Flat bottom steering wheel

Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging

NissanConnect Services with SiriusXM and HD radio

4.2-inch TFT MID in instrument cluster(lower trims)/ 7-inch TFT instrument cluster(higher trims)

9-speaker Bose premium audio

10-inch heads-up display

8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit

7 or 8-inch infotainment touch screen unit with 6 speakers
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with Amazon Alexa support

Both these sedans are neck-on-neck when it comes to the interior layout. Toyota Camry, however, has the upper hand here due to the refreshments made for 2021. It has bought the Camry finally in line with the Altima with similarly placed floating infotainment display. But when it comes to the quality of material and lux-appeal in this price bracket, the Altima is always one step ahead with its soft-touch materials, wooden inserts, and the famed Zero Gravity rear seats that are designed to keep you comfy for the longer hauls with ease.

2021 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry: How different are the exterior design cues?

The 2021 Nissan Altima is quite a modern and handsome looking car. It has great proportions, looks balanced, and has a composed stance and nothing has changed over the 2020 model year as well with the last generation upgrade taking place in 2019. Upfront, there’s the signature V-Motion finished in chrome. Only, unlike on the Maxima, this one’s V dips deeper. It is because of that this sedan looks a lot more imposing now. A set of big diamond-cut wheels has a striking design that adds to the sedan’s appeal.

On the other end, Toyota has subtly updated Toyota Carmy for 2021 in terms of design language. It also gets new 17 and 18-inch wheels to complement its subtle refreshment. The LE and XLE differ from SE and XSE in terms of the front fascia design. The former duo gets wider front grille, with a single uncut piece and thus a bigger intake area, whereas the latter gets a sharper and split layout with side vents. The newly added TRD model with its red accents and blacked-out exterior components adds to its sporty appeal and doesn’t give off as the comfortable sedan it is intended to be.

Model

2021 Nissan Altima

2021 Toyota Camry

Curb weight (lbs.)

3212

3241

Length (in.)

192.9

192.1

Width (in.)

72.9

72.4

Height (in.)

56.7

56.9

Ground Clearance (in.)

45.1

5.7

Wheelbase (in.)

111.2

111.2

Notable Exterior Features Unique V-Motion front grille

LED lighting all-round with dusk sensing headlamps along with LED DRLs

LED headlamps with DRLs Read Lip Spoiler
Blacked out C-pillar with floating roof design Dual exhausts with Quad-exhaust tips
Muscular lines on the bonnet Wide entry single front grille for lower trims
Integrated rear diffuser Gloss black front grille

Both these cars fare differently when it comes to the exterior design language. While the Nissan Altima has a muscular beefed-up approach, Toyota Camry is all about smooth lines and sleekness. Both have their undeniable road presence and LED lighting up front plays a very crucial role in this as well. Proportionally, both are very similar and in some cases the same. Toyota, however, has an upper edge here as it also provides with a more hardcore TRD trim that looks and goes the part equally.


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2021 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry: How do they compare in terms of safety features?

As for safety, there’s no bother with either Altima or Camry. They are both are night knitted and are the safest crossover duo in the segment.  The 2021 Altima will be outfitted with forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and various other safety features. It also gets rated with the Top Safety Pick by the IIHS and has also received a 5-star rating from NHTSA, which is the highest that any car can get. Apart from the sturdy architecture, the 2021 Nissan Altima also flaunts a whole new set of advanced safety features, bundled as Nissan 360 Safety Shield package.

Safety has been never compromised in the Toyota Camry and the same follows for 2021. It retains all of the segment-leading features and continues to be a benchmark among fellow sedans in this segment. The most notable addition is the updation of the Toyota Safety Sense to 2.5+ which now adds more driver assistance featues including Automatic Emergency Braking. Apart from this, as the 2021 Toyota Camry is a carryover in all sense, it is also entitled to a 5-Star rating from NHTSA and the “Top Safety Pick+” award from IIHS just as the 2020 Camry.

Model

2021 Nissan Altima

2021 Toyota Camry

Notable Safety Features

Cruise control

Perimeter/approach lights

 

Manual adjustable front head restraints

Seat-mounted driver and passenger side-impact airbags

 

Pre-collision safety system

Occupant sensing airbags

 

Dual front impact airbags

Manual adjustable front head restraints

 

Seat-mounted driver and passenger side-impact airbags

ABS and driveline traction control

  Pro Pilot Assist Blind-Spot Monitor(BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert(RCTA)
 

Blind Spot And Lane Departure Warnings Accident Avoidance System

Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+(includes Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic high beams and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control)

These safety and Assistive features put both of the sedans in line with the offerings from a segment above. This is also one of the key aspects in which the above two outshines its competition by a huge margin. Even the base trim of both these cars are not left unattended to and get a fair share of the safety deal. We hope that fellow automakers take not on the amount of input given in these cars on the safety front.

2021 Nissan Altima or 2021 Toyota Camry: Which fully-fledged sedan should you go for?

Altima and Camry finally look at each other right in their faces with their exceptional features, brilliant performance, high reliability, and multiple trim options to choose from. It had been an impeding rat race between the two for a long time which has finally neutralized for 2021. Both the Japanese Sedans are great choices if you’re looking for a regular commuter. Its touch to point one out of the two, as each one has its own set of fortes.

The 2021 Nissan Altima is a sedan that you’d be delighted to have for your day-to-day traveling. The vehicle performs nicely on various parameters; however, it falls a little short on performance, which is where the 2021 Toyota Camry shines forth. The Toyota Camry, even with the same engine configurations as the Altima, performs excellent and delivers a better horsepower. And if that doesn't suffice you, the TRD will tickle your Adrenaline rush well.


Also Read:


2021 Nissan Altima vs Toyota Camry FAQs

Which is more powerful: Nissan Altima or Toyota Camry?

If we take the base trims into account, Toyota Camry is the most powerful of the two despite sharing engines with the exact saem capacities. The 2021 Toyota Camry churns out 203 hp and 184 lb-ft whereas the 2021 Nissan Altima pumps out 188 hp and 180 lb-ft.

Which is the pricier one between Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry?

Toyota Camry is the pricier one. The 2021 Nissan Altima is expected to start at $24,200 for the FWD trims and $25,550 for the AWD trims, where the 2021 Toyota Camry starts at $25,425 for the FWD trim and $26,370 for the AWD trim.

Is Toyota Camry reliable?

Reliability is a winning factor for a Toyota and the Camry excels in it. The 2019 Toyota Camry scored an impressive 85 out of 100 which is the highest in its segment. Since 2020, there hasn't been a single official recall which helps it uplift its reliability quotient. Apart from these, Toyota offers a comprehensive warranty package on the Camry that includes:

  • Basic Coverage Warranty lasts for 36 months/ 36,000 miles (whichever is earlier)
  • Powertrain Coverage Warranty for 60 months/ 60,000 miles (whichever is earlier) covering the engine, transmission, front-wheel-drive system, rear-wheel-drive system, seatbelts, and airbags.
  • Rust-Through Coverage Warranty for 60 months/ 60,000 miles, covering the damages done to the metal sheet due to corrosion or rust.

Which has a more spacious cabin: Nissan Altima or Toyota Camry?

This is a very tricky face-off as both these sedans are equally competent when it comes to cabin space. Nissan Altima has a more spacious front row seating but the second row is lavished out in Toyota Camry. So if driving is what you love, then Nissan Altima will fare well and if being chauffeured is your choice then go for the Camry. Cargo volume is also neck-on-neck with 15.4 cu.ft.in the Nissan Altima and 16.7 cu. ft. in the Toyota Camry.

Is Nissan Altima reliable?

Nissan has played its Reliability car well with the Nissan Altima and goes head-to-head with the Toyota Camry. J.D. Power Report rated the 2020 Nissan Altima at an impressive 82 out of 100 which is just marginally lower the score of Toyota Camry. Apart from its impressive scores, Nissan has always been quick to rectify errors with swifter recalls. Nissan also offers a wholesome warranty package that includes:

  • Basic Warranty - 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever is earlier
  • Powertrain Warranty - 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever is earlier
  • Drivetrain Warranty - 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever is earlier
  • Roadside Assistance - 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever is earlier
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