Jones Ford Wickenburg Compares 2014 Ford Taurus VS 2015 Nissan Altima Near Wickenburg, AZ

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2014 Ford Taurus

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VS

2015 Nissan Altima

Safety Comparison

The Taurus Limited/SHO offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Altima Sedan doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Taurus offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Taurus SEL/Limited/SHO has standard SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Taurus and the Altima Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Ford Taurus weighs 517 to 1191 pounds more than the Nissan Altima Sedan. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Taurus is safer than the Nissan Altima Sedan:

Taurus

Altima Sedan

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

262

Neck Compression

13 lbs.

59 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

32%

35%

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

62 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

316/229 lbs.

537/329 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Taurus is safer than the Nissan Altima Sedan:

Taurus

Altima Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

1.2 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

173 G’s

184 G’s

Hip Force

337 lbs.

493 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

30 G’s

58 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Taurus’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Taurus has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Taurus has a standard 600-amp battery. The Altima Sedan’s 550-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Ford Taurus V6’s reliability will be 33% better than the Altima Sedan with the best reliability rating.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 27th in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 13th in reliability. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

The Taurus has more powerful engines than the Altima Sedan:

Horsepower

Torque

Taurus 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Taurus 3.5 DOHC V6

288 HP

254 lbs.-ft.

Taurus SHO 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

182 HP

180 lbs.-ft.

Altima Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

270 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Taurus V6 is faster than the Altima Sedan 2.5:

Taurus

Altima Sedan

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.1 sec

13.3 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.4 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

88.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Taurus has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Altima Sedan (19 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Taurus has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Taurus’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Altima Sedan:

Taurus

Taurus SHO

Altima Sedan

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

13.9 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

11.5 inches

The Taurus SHO’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Altima Sedan are solid, not vented.

The Taurus stops much shorter than the Altima Sedan:

Taurus

Altima Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

216 feet

245 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Taurus has larger standard tires than the Altima Sedan (235/60R17 vs. 215/60R16). The Taurus Limited/SHO’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Altima Sedan (255/45R19 vs. 235/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Taurus SE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Altima Sedan 2.5/2.5 S. The Taurus’ optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Altima Sedan 3.5.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Taurus has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Altima Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Taurus SHO’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Taurus’ wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the Altima Sedan (112.9 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Taurus is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Altima Sedan.

The Taurus SHO AWD handles at .87 G’s, while the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Taurus SHO AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV (26.8 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Taurus (except SHO) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Taurus SHO AWD is quieter than the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV (73 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Taurus is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the Altima Sedan is rated a Mid-size.

The Taurus has 2.3 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom, 3.7 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Altima Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Taurus has a much larger trunk than the Altima Sedan (20.1 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Taurus’ trunk lid uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Altima Sedan’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the Taurus Limited/SHO, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster), foot pedal distance and outside mirror angle. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Taurus and the Altima Sedan have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Taurus is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Altima Sedan prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Taurus’ exterior keypad. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Altima Sedan’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Taurus has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Altima Sedan Base 2.5.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Taurus Limited/SHO detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the Taurus Limited/SHO to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Taurus offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Altima Sedan offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Taurus and the Altima Sedan offer available heated front seats. The Taurus Limited/SHO also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Altima Sedan.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s standard air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

Both the Taurus and the Altima Sedan offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Taurus has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Altima Sedan Base/S doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Taurus Limited/SHO offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Taurus owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Taurus will cost $975 less than the Altima Sedan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Taurus is less expensive to operate than the Altima Sedan because typical repairs cost less on the Taurus than the Altima Sedan, including $18 less for a starter, $115 less for fuel injection and $87 less for a fuel pump.

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