Comparo: 2009 Honda Accord V6 vs Nissan Altima V6 vs Toyota Aurion

Comparo: 2009 Honda Accord V6 vs Nissan Altima V6 vs Toyota Aurion

I get asked a bit too many times which is the best midsize sedan out of the three Japanese stalwarts – the Honda Accord, the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Aurion. Very few even care for oddities such as the Galant, the Passat or the Lumina, but it is not my job to promote those market-losers. Even fewer care that only one member of the A-grade trio is actually built in Japan. I have never driven the three cars back-to-back, and do not intend to, as none of them are exciting enough to warrant a second round. However, I have driven the V6 versions of each of the three four-door cars back in 2008, and it is high time the topic is laid to rest by comparing them feature-for-feature.

Here are the competitors, in no particular order:

Honda Accord V6
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Nissan Altima 3.5SE
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Toyota Aurion
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The competitors can be judged in nine different categories:

Exterior Styling
3rd: Honda Accord – It is one of those cars that probably looked great as a drawing on the designer’s board, but not so much in real life. Older buyers love it though.
2nd: Nissan Altima – A futuristic favourite among the younger set, but alienates older people, including some Nissan managers I spoke to.
1st: Toyota Aurion – A balanced design that manages to be sporty, elegant and not shock old people, all at the same time.

Interior Ambience
3rd: Toyota Aurion – A bit boring but still conservatively pleasant, though not even a glowing all-blue stereo can make it more exciting. Firmer upper-trim materials than the other two.
2nd: Honda Accord – Sporadic use of premium materials mixed in with a central screen lifts the spirit, but the over-abundance of buttons kill any initial buzz.
1st: Nissan Altima – Not exactly beautiful, but judicious use of quality materials, digital displays and fake wood are enough to put it on top of this list.

Cabin space
3rd: Nissan Altima – Fine up front, but that sloping coupe-like profile cuts down on headroom and possibly legroom too.
2nd: Toyota Aurion – Good space both front and back, especially for average-sized people.
1st: Honda Accord – Big enough to almost be classified as a fullsize car, with tons of space, especially for rear passengers.

Cabin features
3rd: Honda Accord – Has most traditional power-operated features, but nothing unique. The big central screen doesn’t do much, there is no trip computer to show fuel mileage, and the Bluetooth is operated using a single button and has no display.
2nd: Toyota Aurion – Has all the usual power features, and can be optioned up with hands-free keyless entry and starter button, as well as a trip computer within the 3D-looking gauges. Navigation is optional, although it looks like Bluetooth is not offered.
1st: Nissan Altima – Comes standard with a Bose stereo, trip computer, Bluetooth and intelligent key with starter button on all except the basic 4-cylinder version. Oddly enough, even the top model has a manually-adjusted front-passenger seat next to the powered driver’s seat.

Engine
3rd: Nissan Altima – Keeping in mind that we are not talking about performance here, and that all three V6 cars are evenly matched on power, the Nissan 3.5-litre V6 comes in last due to its truckish gruff-sounding nature.
2nd: Toyota Aurion – The Toyota 3.5-litre V6 is a more refined and smoother proposition, while offering about the same power as the Nissan unit and more low-end kick than the Honda one.
1st: Honda Accord – The Honda 3.5-litre V6 was unique in its smooth and quiet demeanour, more likely due to better isolation from the cabin, but also impressive was its unnoticeable cylinder-shutoff technology that saves more petrol at cruising speeds.

Acceleration
3rd: Honda Accord – Even though it is the more technologically-advanced engine, it is saddled with pulling a very large car, and the basic 5-speed automatic gearbox isn’t doing it any favours, leading to a 0-100 kph time of 7.8 seconds in our tests.
2nd: Toyota Aurion – It matched the Altima’s time of 7 seconds in our tests, helped by a 6-speed automatic, but it is limited by a stability control system that cannot be turned off.
1st: Nissan Altima – While we only managed 7 seconds in our tests, we were conservative in our launches and believe that it can be raced harder, thanks to its oddball CVT transmission.

Ride Quality
3rd: Nissan Altima – Seems to be sprung more firmly than the other two, so some rough roads feel a bit jittery. Quiet otherwise.
2nd: Toyota Aurion – Has the softest suspension out of the three, so it feels comfortable, but can float up and down a bit too much over large highway bumps.
1st: Honda Accord – Perfect suspension tuning leads to a comfortable ride, but without feeling floaty and without feeling firm either. Engine noise is better isolated than the other two.

Handling
3rd: Toyota Aurion – Comparatively soft suspension tuning, with more body roll than the other two. Ironically, it also had better grip at the limit than the other two, as the rubbers start squealing a bit later than the other cars. However, the other two feel more confident around corners. Steering feel matches the Accord.
2nd: Nissan Altima – The Altima handles corners flatter than the Aurion, and does it as well as the Accord. Its downfall is the overly soft and lifeless steering feel, as well as featherweight pedals, both of which offer annoyingly little feedback when driving at the limit, leading to erratic mid-corner corrections.
1st: Honda Accord – The largest car in the group also has the best suspension, with a little more steering feel than the Altima. It safely understeers at the limit, just like the other two.

Price Value
3rd: Honda Accord – The priciest of the trio. We’ve heard stories where people call up the dealership many times, only to be told a progressively higher price every week. And the dealer keeps blaming the Japanese Yen. Incidentally, the Accord is the only one built in Japan.
2nd: Toyota Aurion – The Camry’s stronger twin. Although not as pricey as the Accord, the Australian-built Aurion’s prices have also gone up very slightly over the months, even though prices are actually supposed to come down instead, due to a weak Australian currency. Options drive up the price even higher.
1st: Nissan Altima – The cheapest of the lot when fully optioned out. Even though Nissan has sneakily increased its price a bit over the past year, it remains a bargain compared to the other two. No doubt, the pricing is competitive because the car is built in the United States, and we here are immune to dollar-value fluctuations. But it has to be said that the Altima also has a bit lower resale value than the other two.

These results are likely applicable to the 4-cylinder versions of these cars too. Besides the points mentioned above, all three cars are rather evenly matched, so I didn’t go into detail about things such as safety, air-conditioning and wheel sizes.

Winner: None.

I am not in the market for a V6-powered front-wheel-drive sedan, so I don’t prefer any of them. Different people have different preferences. Even though the Aurion is “average” in most of the categories, it still comes in 2nd-place many times, and sometimes that can be a good thing, as many people swear by it. The Altima’s looks and value are enough to overcome its rear-space deficiency and firm ride for many buyers, while the Accord is a hot seller simply due to its space and efficiency. Preferences differ between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and even between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. No matter what the outcome of this comparo, people will buy what they prefer.

For more information:
Honda Accord: Full Road Test / Buyer Guide
Nissan Altima: Full Road Test / Buyer Guide
Toyota Aurion: Full Road Test / Buyer Guide

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. For sure,Altima is the overall winner.Not seriously fast though,handles well….., it lacks the sports feel cuz of the CVT.Mileage is also pretty impressive for a 3.5 V6…it gives max. 620kms for full tank if driven under 2,500 rpm.I managed to get 6.78 sec (0-60 mph)which is fantastic for a 3.5 V6 FWD sedan.

  2. My Uncle have bought a v6 Camry from the States for $13K. It is much quicker than all of those three.

  3. winner is………………………………………..Accord v6.

  4. By the way is it worth having a leather interior. Yes the car looks more prestigious but I’m a cautious would it be painful to sit in the hot summer days in this interior?

  5. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    All my cars have leather. Just get good tint and bear the remaining heat. You don’t notice it after a minute.

  6. I think the Mazda 6 Ultra V6 beats all three in terms of acceleration, handling and exterior. Priced as good as an Altima too.

  7. Sorry for the stupid question but I didn’t understood what should I get?

  8. HOW DARE YOU? 😉
    Obviously, There is no Asian mid-size family sedan compares to Accord. And if there is any discussion about the best Asian mid-size sport car there is only one answer: Mazda6.

  9. If you wanna compare I recommend to compare Honda Accord with Chevy Malibu.

  10. nice, how did you edit the first picture?
    and Aurion is the winner, because it is …..

  11. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    CGI, like in Transformers. Or maybe the free Paint Shop Pro program I had since 2001.

  12. This comparison is incomplete without Mazda 6 plz mash arrange a Mazda 6 review i love to know more abt that car…

  13. Absolutely fabulous review Mash…Keep up the good work…

  14. I love Accord 🙂

  15. Mashfique u really did a great job, this is what i call a perfect information about cars, three of them got different qualities, its on the people which they prefer most. Mazda 6 for sure it has good handling and good power to compete these three cars, but in a long run mazda 6 is a big loser

    Anyway hats off to all three cars!

  16. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    Yeah, I suddenly decided to write this in one night, including the super-amazing CGI special effects.
    Mazda has no office in Dubai. The other magazines drove the dealer cars for a few hours only. Nowadays I refuse to take cars for so little time, because half the time is wasted just going and coming to the showroom, and then I end up missing details in such a short time.

  17. Hats off for the good report, I have a Honda Accord V4 now and the next one will be also a Honda Accord but a V6.

  18. Nice review , really difficult to adjudge the winner , Each one is a winner on their own. Let the owners decide whos the winner!

  19. Winner: None.

    agreed! xD
    its Maz6 for me!

  20. @prashant Dear there is nothing like V4 its I4 if u wana say cheers… 😛

  21. Four cylinder engines dont come in a V configuration..its not very efficient..its called an Inline 4 cylinder, where all the cylinders are arranged one after the other

  22. the best car iz altima

  23. Well with a 4 cylinder accord / camry / altima you get the luxury of a big car and the economy of a medium vehicle i believe.

  24. nice review mash…at least this will reduce the # of emails assking about those 3 cars… 😉

  25. mazda doesnt hav office in dubai????? 😯 wotz those Galadari guys doing thre?????/

  26. I wonder how long it will take for people to consider the Azera in the same league as the Big three…or even a Galant or a Optima…all of these cars are decent for the money they cost…

    Mashfique…I’d like to know which of these three have the worst or best feel of the accelerator pedals…and the min/max lag between hitting the accelerator and the car reaction…
    Also which of these cars when in Auto mode are hesitant to downshift when you accelerate hard….

    Thanks

  27. vivek, u r under the impression that Mazda and galadari are the same company?

  28. Definitely not Dr.Ankesh :)..I wont be fit enuf evn to spell the word “car” if I b’lieved so ..I know Galadari are the dealers..but in that case, does Toyota, Nissan or Honda have their own offices down here??? It is Al Futtaim for Toyota, Arabian Auto (Al Rostamani group) for Nissan and Trading enterprises (al futtaim group) for the Honda!

  29. no vivz… what i know is that nissan has a big office here..its “Nissan middle east office”..controls all the dealers here…i think thats what mash meant by that.

  30. Pretty comprehensive review….

    I have never really understood the steep price differential between the 2.5 versions of the Accord (82+) and the Altima (71+)….

    The cars are so similar, it may actually make sense to just test drive all 3 and then take what your intuition suggests. If you want to save cash, take the Altima…..

  31. Mazda 6 the best. Bandar kya jaane adrak ka swaad 🙂 🙄

  32. Adrak does not have reliability and good resale value i saw adraks are laid in shops except some asian people buying that otherwise no one cares for it 😆 😆 Mazda is the same nice fast but 😥 😥 when u going to sale it plus spare parts not easily available because the demand is not that much No.2 its Altima even if its nice but u see the same shape who cares about v6 or v4 both having same design and thats alot in Taxis No.3 is Honda accord nice car keeps it value but the spare part is very expensive plus my friend got an accident his v6 honda accord and the car was 2 months in the dealer garage coz some of its parts were not available>> Now the Answer Toyota is always the king in japenese cars not now from decades no one can ever beat them this is not what i am saying but the whole world are fans of toyota models so the answer is Toyota aurion not this three Company can match them ever As toyota aurion good resale good safety features than the other 3… Think and then talk

  33. Galadari guys makes people fool

  34. screw galadari! we’re talkin bout maz6 here!

  35. Accord: Prestigious car
    Altima: Value for money
    Aurion: Peace of mind (Toyota)

  36. Sohi , I neva heard in my whole life, tht after accident honda doesnt have parts to fix it for 2 months?, i think ur friend has old honda model and tht wud be american model, no Doubt toyota is best in maintanence thats why we have more toyota taxis here, Honda compete with toyota with just 2 cars here, n thts Civic n accord, imagine if Honda would create more models !!!, think n talk

  37. after all this analysis which is a superb job , Salute to mashfique, I dont have any questions about these cars, personally i love aurion, but i hate the interior

  38. Thanks MHC for detailed coparison. If we consider all categories Toyota Aurion is the best of three. I have driven both Toyota Aurion and Honda Accord but Honda Accord is not impressive and even more expensive too!

  39. Gud work mash, pls try to make a comparison of mid sized SUVs like Prado, Pajero, Fortuner etc

  40. Prado sucks family SUv
    Pajero amazing sexy interior!!
    pathfinder only power!!

  41. @:Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury,

    if you want to test mazda6 V6 utlra for couple of days ,i can arrange you through galadari , i have some good relation with some manager their
    i will talk to them and even they say no i am willing to give you my m6 utlra for week for review this master peiece

    you can write me email to get my contact details

  42. Main core requirement for a good car powerful car is the transmission!!!!!!……in that category aurion is clearly the hands down winner—-six speed+sequential shift+AI. Accord has simplest 5-speed and Altima has cushy CVT (no petrol head will ever opt for a CVT which sucks when comes to DRVING FEEL!!!)

  43. Thanks Muhammed for your support to review Mazda6 Ultra.. I even had its test drive and its really good. I hope MHC will soon write about Mazda Ultra soon which is still incomplete for the above rivals..
    Dear Muhammed could u email me more details for Ultra that u have experienced so far.. Cheers!!

  44. altima is the best 😆

  45. nice review, but i always wondered why people here overlook such competitive cars as the Passat,407,Superb,…guys, u r missing a lot, and satified by meths

  46. Request : MHC, please make a similar coparo of 7 seater family SUV like Prado, Fortuner, Pilot, Pathfinder, Pajero and Explorer!

  47. what for prado is the best!!!…….

    The rest for people who like to be brave

  48. 😎 Well, I own a Kia Opirus full option, its also 3.5 V6, and i think that its just great, people should change there mind about Kia…

    am telling you man, im just happy with my Kia, and I wish drive arabia test it soon.. 😎

  49. I have an aurion. When deciding to buy one of the 2 cars I test drove the accord and compared it with the Aurion. Aurion wins hands down.
    Awesome car, amazing in black, and trust me, the 0-100 accelerations is unbelievable. A royal Powerhouse.
    Truly enjoyable driving experience in traffic and highway driving.

  50. I truly love aurion , i have honda accord V6 though, But in handling Ill give thumbs up to Accord !

  51. I have driven all the 3 cars..truly admire the Accord for its build quality.
    Good resale for Toyota alwz keeps it good gng in the market.
    When it comes to Altima..I feel that you get a lot for that cheap price.Specially the Bose audio system you can buy.Filled with lots of gadgets which are not specified in the review compared to other cars..its a good bargain.

  52. What about the Mazda Ultra V6

  53. Out of the 3 ..accord is best…I have revolved around all these car before opting for the accord… But honestly I’m not 100% satisfied…

  54. The Review is excellent by Mashfique especially in the Gulf region where you dont get such professional comparisions.One point is Honda Tops the list in terms of Quality.Otherwise all 3 cars are equally good.

  55. Hi . . . I currently drive an altima 2.5 , yea its no skyline GTR :p but I got it for its value and got a good deal.
    I just wanted to ask where would you recommend for car tuining and modifications , not major , but just alloys, skirts , head lights , etc.

    Thank you

  56. In my personal opinion, this old model of Altima 2008-2012 was better than the new 2013 model. This had a bit of a road presence (except for those damn taxis :S) and was different than its competition.

    The new model seems like its working too hard to be maxima and has no personality of its own. It also has the same face of the Sunny which is a big blunder I feel. Havent seen many on the roads yet, but will hit the market soon.

  57. Great review by Mashfaq the great!

    I’m getting a good offer for an altima 2.5. it is a 2011 mode. this is the first time for me to buy a used car. can anyone suggest me some tips?

  58. There are too many altimas in uae already. Buy a white one and put orange stripes on it. Keep naswar and ur good to go.
    P.S : Get an accord

  59. Hi Mash,

    Considering the fact that both Altima and Accord have changed now, do the new models behave the same as before?

    Thanks,
    Abdullah

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